Carson Thomas was born on Tuesday, September 1st at 5:43 am in Chicago, IL, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and measuring 19.5 inches long.
He is the smallest of our three sons at birth, but also born the earliest out of the three, at 38 weeks and 6 days gestation. Originally, he weighed in at 7 lbs 5 oz but in the NICU they weighed him in at 7 lbs 7 oz and that is the discharge weight that was recorded.
My pregnancy was very easy but due to Dylan's heart history, Carson was diligently monitored during the whole pregnancy. At the first fetal echo they found that he had a "sub-optimal" aorta. Dylan was born with a coarctation of the aorta, so of course alarm bells rang when Carson's aorta was measuring on the narrow side. Then towards the end of my pregnancy with Carson my OB detected an irregular heart beat - exactly the same situation with Dylan's heart. With Carson I had numerous fetal echos and NSTs. Regardless of all the testing it was one of those situations where nothing could really be done and there was so sense in worrying. We anxiously waited for his birth.
My labor and delivery was relatively easy. I went into labor at 9:30 pm Monday night. The contractions were about 10 minutes apart and lasted about 1 minute long. I called my OB at 12 midnight to see if I should come in. He gave me the green light. We called Joe's mom to come and watch the boys and finished packing and getting everything ready while we waited for her to arrive. By the time we left for the hospital it was after 2 am and the contractions were 6 minutes apart, still very manageable.
We checked into the hospital at around 3 am and in triage my cervix was measuring about 4-5 cm dilated and fully effaced. They sent me to the birthing room. At about 4:30 am I had an epidural, and just in the nick of time, my contrax were about now 1-3 minutes apart. I was fully dilated and very ready to push. Dr. Kleinberg told me to hold off because the neonatal team wasn't ready (everything was happening faster than expected, I suppose). Man, did I want to push! The epidural didn't really take because the urge to push was so great and annoyingly painful. The epidural was a total waste of time and money. That realization was more painful than the contractions!
Finally, everyone was ready and I told to start pushing. I think he came out after the 4th good push. Joe was not able to cut the umbilical cord because it was tightly wrapped around the baby's neck. I found this out after the delivery, I had no idea was going on, except I do remember being worried that the baby wasn't crying or making any noise. Joe said that the baby was white from the neck down and reddish-purple in the face.
Dr. Kleinberg clamped off the cord and cut him free. By the time the baby was laid on the table his color was normal. He scored 8/9 on the APGAR, losing points because of the blue color.
The irregular heartbeat was evident and he was whisked away to the NICU for observation. After they took him away, I broke down. It was deja vu all over again.
In the NICU he had an EKG and was put on a 24- hour Holter monitor. On day two, he had an ECHO. During this time his oxygen levels, respiratory levels were all excellent. A very good sign. The ECHO came back with good news and also some new findings. First the aorta was fine. No kink. That was wonderful to hear! The irregular heartbeat was occuring in 2% of the heartbeats. At 1 % they don't do anything, but at 2% and up they want to keep monitoring it. He will go back for another 24-hour Holter in October. They also found a hole in his heart and an aneurysm in the wall between the two large chambers of his heart. He will be monitored by Dylan's cardiologist. I can't wait to talk to Dr. Randolph and get more information about the defects and what it will mean for Carson in the long run.
After all of that excitement. We were actually discharged a day early. We came home Wednesday night.
Big brothers, Dylan and Matthew were excited to greet their new baby brother. First of all, it was amazing to see how big Matthew looked next to Carson. Our baby Matthew was no longer the baby.
Dylan especially sweet. Matthew was just excited to be going home and couldn't wait to get his shoes on and go "bye bye". When none of us were ready to leave Nana B's just yet, Matthew had a tantrum. I had to nurse the baby before we left for the long drive home, Matthew found me in the other room with the baby and busted out crying. To his credit the baby was crying first and that might have set Matthew off, plus the stress of wanting to leave and the fact that it was after 9 pm which is Matthew's bedtime.
Both boys are very good with Carson, lots of hugs and kisses. We are adjusting well! I am especially happy to be home on maternity leave. Especially, since the weather is still warm and sunny (I was home with both Matthew and Dylan in the winter months).
Btw, Carson is my maiden name and Thomas was Joe's grandfather. We hadn't decided on a name for the baby until after he was born. It boiled down to two names - Carson or Harrison. When we found out that the resident on duty was named Harrison, we almost took it as a sign. But we chose Carson in the end because it had more meaning to us. Mainly, honoring my beloved brother, who died when he was in his early twenties.
More photos of Carson in our Flickr album!
More stories of our three sons to come! We are going to be very busy!