Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Miracle of Ben (and another b-day)

A friend recently suggested I write a post about when Ben was born.
I thought, for his birthday post, it would be an appropriate time to revisit that incredible day that happened six years ago.

You know, I really don't have the best fact, it stinks...and things were such a blur anyway, but I will try and give the facts as I remember them.

About 6 months into my pregnancy, Ben wasn't measuring correctly so they did an ultra sound and found that his head was normal size but his body was small.  They didn't know what this meant so they sent us down to a hospital about an hour away with more specialized doctors.
We went down (it was actually on my birthday) and went through several hours of testing and things.  I think we ended up staying the night...or it might have been that we had to go down again later and spend the night that time but, in any event, they basically told us that things checked out okay and they were just going to keep a close eye on things and give me steroids.
I think from then on I went in for weekly non stress tests and had frequent ultrasounds.  It must have been during one of these that they saw something wrong with Ben's blood flow.
I found this graphic and think it describes it pretty well...

So during my ultrasounds they were seeing the "absent end diastolic velocity".  The way it was described to me was that normally, even at the trough, there should still be blood flowing forward.  In Ben's case, there was no blood flow at the just stopped.  They explained that if they were to ever see a reversal (blood flowing backward at the trough) they would induce me immediately.
About six weeks before my due date I went in for another ultrasound and they saw reversal.  The tech pointed it out to me and told me they would send me upstairs right away to labor and delivery.

I guess they knew there would be issues so they sent a nurse from the NICU to come talk to me and prepare me for turns out that she was a good friend of my next door neighbor :)
I really don't remember how fast things went once they got going but I remember as soon as he was born, they whisked him over to the back of the room where the NICU nurse and pediatrician were waiting.  I learned later that my OB was keeping me distracted from what was going on with Ben as they worked on him.  Andy was standing in the middle and remembers that they had classified him as "code blue"...he thinks he had flatlined.  He also remembers the nurse doing chest compressions.
I was quite oblivious to all of this as my OB delivered the placenta and kept me talking.
Once he was somewhat stable they took him to the NICU and this is how we found him that evening once they let me go down to visit.  There were so many people surrounding him doing different things.  I remember they stuck a needle right into his tender, little head...I had a hard time watching that.  I knew they knew what they were doing though so I was okay :)
This little guy was 3 lbs 4 tiny!

Things eventually calmed down and they placed him in his incubator.
The nurses were so nice and, even though they weren't supposed to, let the kids come see him through the window :)  Mom, Dad and Andy held them up.

Look at how big that binky is!

That diaper :)

I think he was two days old before we were allowed to hold him.

I just couldn't believe the little miracle that he was.

He did really well and only was in the NICU for 11 days before he came home.
(A week later, he ended up going back to the NICU for 6-7 more days but that is a story for another time :)

Fast forward 6 years and here we are!
The night before his actual birthday, we celebrated at Mom and Dad's house.
He had had 18 seizures beginning late the night before so he wasn't himself.  (I had given him his emergency meds to stop them after 5 but for some reason they didn't work this time)

Ben loves blowing out candles...

...he kept talking about it after they had been taken away and he was supposed to be opening gifts.

He was making some pretty funny faces that night...I don't think they were on purpose like they usually are.

The next day he was really out of it...even more so than the day before.
We got a few smiles out of him toward the end of the day though.
We're still not giving Ben sugar but he needed something I could put candles in even if he wasn't going to eat it.  So I used the remaining brownies from the night before.

He enjoyed that and didn't give a second thought to the brownies on the plate :)

Then, once again, he kept talking about the blowing out of the candles.
He really showed no interest in opening his presents.  We had to literally do it for him.

I thought this picture of him looking at one of his new books was funny.
He loves to look at the back of those Sandra Boynton books.  He knows which ones we have and will ask for them by pointing to the pictures on the back.

We had root beer floats and popcorn (and left over brownies) for his treat.
I made it special by actually buttering (or rather, coconut oiling) and salting the popcorn which I haven't done for about 6 months.

Having a birthday is tiring work!

Ben truly is a miracle and such a blessing in the lives of each member of this family.
Happy Birthday Ben!
We love you!


  1. Thanks for sharing this story - love all of the pics - especially the one where your mom is showing him the cake - the look he's giving her just makes me laugh!

  2. Oh my goodness, he was so cute and tiny! Still is adorable! :)

  3. Love the story. Makes me cry. Happy birthday Ben!! And many more!!

  4. What a look back at a true miracle baby! He continues to be a miracle in our lives--love him so much!