Thursday, October 2, 2014

Grandbaby #8 Decides to Arrive a Little Early

I mentioned that Sarah had been having some issues with her pregnancy and I was a little worried about heading home to Alaska.  Sure enough, she continued to have contractions and was in and out of the hospital after I left.  She was put on meds to stop contractions, which helped at first but then not.  She was put on bed rest at home and her doctor hoped she would be able to hold off a little longer. Of course, I was also hoping baby would wait awhile, not only for health reasons, but also since I was not going back to Texas till October 10.  As Sarah continued to have problems, I talked with my boss and we agreed that I either needed to go right away and come back in time for our big pledge drive on Oct. 3, or we would have to reschedule the event.  I decided I would go to Texas and help as much as I could, and come back here at the end of September.  Then I started looking for plane tickets and there were none available till September 22.  I made a reservation for that date and tried to get one sooner, but had no luck. Meanwhile Sarah called to say she was back in the hospital and it might be THE DAY!  Sure enough, little Jack Allen Durham decided to make his appearance on September 20.  Sarah was 35 weeks along, so he was not too terribly early, but had breathing difficulties at birth and had to be intubated and sent to the NICU.  He weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 20 inches long.  Needless to say, everyone was very concerned about his condition and Sarah didn't get to see him for 24 hours, which was so hard on her! After a long night of worry, she got to see him the next day and he was already doing much better!
Mama finally got to hold baby Jack in the NICU
Thankfully, Jack improved by leaps and bounds each day. I left here on the 22nd and arrived the afternoon of the 23rd.  Miles picked me up at the airport and we went right to the hospital to see Sarah and Jack.  I was so happy to see them!  The first day I didn't get to hold him but was just glad to be able to see his sweet little face!  Meanwhile, Sarah and Miles were spending the night in the hospital so I was in charge of taking care of Elle and Beck at home. Elle was so upset that she couldn't even see the baby (kids had to be 12 to go into NICU and she's only 6) and of course both kids missed their parents.  But we still had fun hanging out at home and they were both in school during the day (1st grade for Elle and preschool for Beck) so I got to go up to the hospital when they were gone.
 Ahhh, nothing sweeter than holding a little baby! 

Doing much better!

Sarah was discharged but Jack had to stay at the hospital.  We were told he'd have to stay another week or so, but he actually got to come home a couple of days after Sarah. We spent most of one day sitting with him in NICU so Sarah could feed him and we'd be there to hold him.  It was tough spending the night at home without him.  Next thing we knew, the hospital called and said Sarah could "room in" with him that night and if he passed all requirements for discharge, he could come home the next day.  Miles spent most of the evening with them and then came home to help with the other kids while Sarah spent the rest of the night at the hospital.  Then, finally, baby boy got to come home the next afternoon. What a relief!
In bed at home with Daddy and doggie Beau, who was very interested in this new little guy!
 Elle was super excited to see Jack when she got home from school. She thought he was SO CUTE and couldn't wait to hold him. She's quite the helper and wants to hold him and feed him every chance she gets.
We didn't know how Beck would react but he absolutely adores his baby brother, too. When he walked in after preschool, he immediately said, "I LOVE him!"  So sweet.
I only had a few more days there before I had to return home, but was glad to be able to help with the older kids and the baby as needed.  Elle and Beck are so much fun and Jack is such a darling baby.  He's still pretty sleepy since he should not even be born yet and Sarah is having to wake him up to feed him and try to get some weight on him!  We took him to the pediatrician the day I left and we were all quite excited that he'd gained an ounce since discharge.  He's tiny but has long hands and feet and 20 inches is pretty long for just a 5 pounder so we think he's going to be a tall one.  :)  He has dark hair like Elle and and we can't wait to see how he looks when he plumps up a bit!
Bye, bye, baby Jack!  Luckily, I will still be keeping my plans to return on October 10 so I can help Sarah and Miles and visit some more.

We are very thankful that Jack is doing so well! Sarah and Miles also have many very generous and kind friends who have been picking up the kids before and after school, taking them to soccer, bringing meals, and so on, and Miles' mom spent quite a bit of time with the kids while Sarah was on bed rest at home.  I feel better being far away knowing that they have so many people who love them and want to take care of them!