January 21st, 2019 at 9:06pm…The moment we became proud parents of Carter Moore Oldehoff.
I had only dreamed about the moment we would hold our son for the first time. I wanted this to be just as we thought about and all of the beautiful stories we've heard about the moment you set eyes on your baby for the first time. It was anything but that and it hurts so bad.
Carter cried three times, they laid him on my stomach for 30 seconds and then took him to the bin where 5 people would try to save his life and keep him alive. We watched in silence as they worked on him, each person had a job and they were perfectly choreographed. It felt like an eternity. Watching and waiting to see if your son is going to live was now the worst moment of our lives. I laid there in sheer shock. Dan stood across the room, I know he's just as nervous and scared as I am. The emotions are unexplainable.
The tubes are in. Oh, thank God. They rolled the clear bin he was in over to us before rushing him into the NICU. Dan sat on my bed and we both just stared at him. I touched his little head, counted his fingers and toes. Carter, you are perfect. The doctor took a few photos of us as we saw him for the first time. You can see the pain in our eyes and small smiles. This is supposed to be the most exciting, the most joyous, incredible moment of our lives, isn't it? Then why are we in so much pain? I knew I may never see him again once they left the room. My son may die. He is perfect and I'm so in love.
Dan and the team rushed Carter to the NICU. The doctor and nurse continued to work on me and get me settled. They left the room and I sat there alone. Scared. Crying. In shock. About 20 minutes in, I asked the nurse to go put her eyes on Dan and my son, I just needed to know everything is okay. I sat there feeling numb. The moment Dan came back in the room took my breath away - Carter was stable. It was like this huge weight was lifted for just a moment. We didn't know how to feel. I was wheeled to the NICU to see Carter and touch him. We felt delirious and I didn't truly grasp the NICU and journey ahead. It was overwhelming already, and it hadn't even hit me.
It's now 2am , we were moved to a postpartum room, and the nurse says "we need to teach you how to pump for Carter". I'm beyond exhausted, but I knew it needed to be done. I hadn't read any of the books we had purchased or anything on pumping, and of course I didn't remember what she just showed me. The nurse took the 3 milliliters to the NICU for Carter. She told me I needed to pump every 2-2.5 hours, I had no idea what I was doing so I knew I would need her to help me.
We were running on 7-8 hours of sleep over the last 72 hours. I finally laid in bed around 3am to try and sleep. Although I knew Carter was in the best hands possible, he wasn't with us. He should be next to us and he wasn't, that was all I could think about. Our son was here, but the future was unknown. How do you manage the emotions of your son being here, but not in the way you envisioned?
This wasn't the picture perfect moment parents dream of after their child is born, it was far from it. No words could describe what we were going through. Dan and I are now parents but there is no worse feeling then wondering if you're child is going to make it through the night. And so we wait, on pins and needles.