Meeting Our Son | Experiencing Soul-Shaking Fierce Love

Our sweet boy, Finn Thomas Donohue, was born on December 19th, 2013 at 6:16pm weighing 4 lbs 4 oz. and measuring 17 1/3 inches.  Having him placed on my chest the first time felt like a lightening bolt of pure, heavenly love saturating my entire body.  I’ve heard moms try to explain the fierce love they have for their babies, but I never knew what an intense, indescribable feeling it was until meeting our son.  I don’t think there are adequate words to describe the love I have for him.  What’s even more surprising is the love I feel for him actually grows every time I see his face and smell his sweet breath.  He is my heart’s desire and I am overwhelmed with pure love; soul-shaking heavenly, fierce love.

Finn’s due date was January 28th which means he was born at just 34 weeks gestation.  He spent 2.5 weeks in the NICU. He came out breathing on his own but was unable to eat by mouth so he started off on a TPN IV (total parenteral nutritional) and then progressed to an NG feeding tube until he was strong enough to eat every meal. The nurses we had were so incredible. Kim and Vicki to name a couple. How can we ever repay them for loving and caring for our boy when we went home at night?  We owe them the world.

Here is his birth story…

On Thursday morning, December 19th,  I was driving across the causeway from Clearwater to Tampa for one of my weekly Perinatologist appointments. The reason why I was seeing a Perinatologist is because my first trimester screen (the screening for chromosomal abnormalities) came back abnormal.  The red flag that went off was a low level of “Papp-a,” a hormone the placenta produces during pregnancy. Because of this, I had additional screening (MaterniT21) which fortunately ruled out any chromosomal abnormalities.  They knew something was “off” with my placenta function but were not sure what, so they continued to monitor my baby’s growth and placental/cord blood flow every 4 weeks.  However, it actually took one of the doctors, Dr. Rius, at the perinatal office to really express concern over my high blood pressure at my last visit (this was another piece to the puzzle…my blood pressures were sky rocketing which indicated possible placental issues) She asked to increase my appointments to twice a week instead of once a month. If it wasn’t for Dr. Ruis and her suspicion that something was going on, I don’t think Finn would have made it to birth.  If I would have waited 3 additional weeks for a scan, he would have been cut off for too long from the placenta/oxygen. We are so grateful to God and to the amazing diligent doctors that he got out unscathed!

After my appointment on December 19 I was going to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law for a Pre-Finn/Christmas visit. The doctor came in after the tech took all the ultrasound images, as he always did, but this post scan chat was different. He said there was an issue with my cord and my placenta.  Basically, my placenta was puttering out and wouldn’t last much longer. He said if I continued with the pregnancy that Finn would likely be stillborn.  He went on to say that Finn being born at 34 weeks meant he would have a 99% chance of survival.  He looked at me and said “it’s time to have a baby”.  Stunned, I replied, “you mean like tomorrow or next week” and he said “no, like right now and you can only pack a bag if your house is on the way to the hospital.”

I felt like the world was spinning as I called my husband to tell him that was I was being admitted to the hospital for an emergency caesarian section.  As my mother-in-law was on her flight heading to Tampa, she got my text saying something along the lines of “we are having a baby today.”  I met my husband at our house and we made the drive to the hospital. The whole thing felt surreal. My mother-in-law took a cab to the hospital and my husband and she laughed with me and distracted me from what was getting ready to happen.  I was having a baby, a preemie, and as the Neonatologist said in our briefing, we weren’t sure what kind of problems he would have until after he was born.

I was rolled down to the operating room, my head spinning, my whole body physically convulsing in fear. Kevin was sent to a small waiting room/closet while I was prepped for surgery. My nurse, Eppi, was an absolute godsend.  I cry whenever I think about what she did for me on the day Finn was born.  She was so upbeat and positive, saying to me “we are having a birthday party and you are meeting your son today.”  She rubbed my back and hugged me as I sat up to get my spinal block. She told me everything that was going to happen before it happened in a sweet, soft, calm voice.  She was an angel.  She is an angel.   Another angel was Troy the nurse anesthetist.  He was so calming and soothing, talking to me the entire time and letting me know everything would be ok.  He assured me he had everything under control and then he gave me the most amazing IV cocktail post surgery.  Haha…I love you Troy!!!!

My husband has been absolutely incredible.  Helping me bathe, get to the bathroom, breast pump every 2 hours at night, run said breast milk over to the NICU all through the night, all while sleeping on a wood plank of a couch in my hospital room for 4 nights.  Not to mention being my emotional pillar during many postpartum tears while watching our son struggle. Watching Kevin love Finn brings me to tears.  It’s the most beautiful thing in the world to see him love and care for Finn.  I love Kevin more now than I ever have and feel like the luckiest person in the world to have such an amazing husband to go through life’s struggles with.  I once wrote in my journal, before marrying Kevin, that the greatest gift I will ever give our future children, is giving them Kevin as a dad.  He is the most amazing, loving father and I can’t wait to see his relationship with Finn grow.

Thank you God for saving our sweet son from harm.  Thank you God for all the doctors and medical staff who saved his life.  We will never be able to repay them for what they have given us.

Here are some pictures from our sweet boys birth and from the past 2.5 weeks.  These are the most precious images I will ever own.  Happy New Year! Love, Emily

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