Friday, 5 August 2011

Welcome Gage Gregory Rooney Colnar...Long Post with lots of Pictures!!!

I have been totally slacking in the blog department, so I am going to start with my delivery of my precious baby boy in quick time with lots of pictures, and the days following. For all who are about to journey through this post, some pictures are graphic or "sad" as most put it. If you have a queezy tummy you may not want to venture through this post. But for all who are curious, and for all who have been in my shoes, here is our journey :)
It started off as any typical day. Brandon was working and I was large and uncomfortable and hated being home alone. I decided to go on tow calls with Brandon that day in his truck; we ventured to sudbury and then to hamilton and back, 12 hours in the tow truck. I was had a sore back which wasn't anything out of the ordinary for me, and we were joking that I was ready to have this baby any day, never expecting that I was already in labour and just didn't know it!
Fast forward to 1am..I kept waking up in the middle of the night with awful back pain. Since I had crippling UTI's in my pregnancy, I assumed this was the beginning of another. I tried to tough it out and by 3 am I decided that I should probably go to the hospital and get some antibiotics before it turned into a kidney infection or something worse. Not thinking I could be in labour, I told Brandon to stay in bed an sleep, kissed him goodbye and told him I would call if I needed him.
I arrived at emerge and the nurse asked if I was in labour, I laughed and said no, not yet... jokes on me. When they hooked me up to the monitor, i was horrified to see that my back pain was in fact a contraction.
 "well sweetheart, looks like you're in labour!" I'm in WHAT? I can't be. He's not supposed to be here for another 5 weeks. Sure enough.....I was having this baby whether I was ready or not.

I called Brandon and chaos began. He packed a bag (for him and Gage and forgot about mom lol), and made it to the hospital just in time to give me a kiss goodbye. I started to cry then, fear was getting the best of me. It was a short cry, just had to get it out of my system lol.. Brandon reminded me everything was going to be ok; he got in the car and began the drive to TO. I was given a medication to stop my labour so I could get airlifted to Toronto without delivering mid-air. Of course Gage decided to come on a day when it was raining and windy. The plane shook violently the whole way there, but surprisingly I was much calmer than I thought I would be. I think it began to sink it that I was going to be a mom by days end. I was going to be a mom to the most amazing little boy. I look like hell, and was terrified!! lol


I arrived at Mount Sinai at around 9:00am and my active labour began at 10:30. I was 3-4 cm when i got to the hospital and my labour moved pretty quickly.
My contractions weren't terrible, they were tolerable, but were getting closer together. Since I was given the option of an epidural, I decided not to be a hero and take the meds. I waited until I was about 6 cm dilated at around 3pm the epidural was administered. This was the worst part of my whole labour and delivery. It took about 15 pokes to actually get the catheter in, and sent my back into spasms. (This hurt much more the next day once the bruising started)
Needless to say, I was ready to go after this :)


The nurse gave me a nice cocktail of drugs and I couldn't feel much. I could certainly feel the pressure of the contractions and knew I was getting close. I had lots of visitors that day, and even a special visitor from the spina bifida forum that was my saving grace during pregnancy. Meet Amanda :) She knew all the right questions to ask for me, since she had already been in my shoes a year earlier. I was so thankfiul to have her!

The delivery doctor came in (who happened to look like a handsome soap opera actor, just my luck) and broke my water. Things moved very fast after that. Before I knew it I was 10 cm dilated and ready to start pushing. It was 6 pm, I was tired, hungry and so scared. It was then that I realized the craziness was about to begin. The doctors started coming in to talk to me, and then everyone left the room. Just me, Brandon, the nurse and some ice cubes. I pushed and pushed (totally afraid that I was going to poop on the nurse, which thankfully never happened) I didn't yell, swear, cry... thank you epidural. I would push 3 times, eat an ice cube, push 3 times, eat an ice cube. It was a good system, and within 30 minutes I was being moved to the OR. This is when the nerves really set in. I could feel the pressure, I had to push. The baby was right there.. I was in a room with more doctors then I had ever seen, all ready to do their part with Gage, each having their own role in his care. 2 more pushes and I saw my baby boy make his appearance at 6:47pm...I instantly started to panic. 1) He had a huge sac on his back. No one prepared me for this. This was my biggest fear and the reason I wanted a c-section. I had no idea what this meant for him. 2) It didn't look like he was breathing and he wasn't crying. He was taken out of the room with all his doctors in tow.... I cried then. Brandon and the nurse left to go be with him while I got fixed up. The nurse was so sweet and came back with pictures of him so I could see my baby crying and doing well.
They took me over to him as soon as I was out of the OR. Here are the first moments with my little dude :)


I couldn't believe how much I loved him already. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. I didn't want to leave his side. I instantly felt like a mom. It was an amazing feeling. I remember seeing his legs kick and I started crying again. It is one of those things that lingered in my mind the whole time I was pregnant; it was an unknown-would his legs move? and they did.. boy did they kick. He came 5 weeks early and weighed in at 6lbs 5oz and had no premie symptoms at all. I knew right then I had a fighter. I was given a little trooper. This kiddo really was mommy's little over achiever, and I knew I was lucky to be his mom.

Things slowed down a little after this and Gage was transferred to the NICU for the night before going over to Sick Kids. When I went to visit him early the next morning, Brandon and I got to hold him for the first time. We had been waiting in anticipation and it was finally time..


I really wanted to enjoy this moment. And I did. But I knew what was coming next, and the thought of this little guy going into his first surgery made me sick. I did not want to let my baby go. I didn't want to see his tiny body hooked up to monitors and too, I didn't want him to be in pain.
He was transferred over to Sick Kids after this to prep him for surgery the next morning. This is when we finally got a good look at his back for the first time. What I saw shocked and scared me. It wasn't the little lesions that I had heard and read about. This was much different. Not for the faint..

 For those that are seeing this for the first time, please keep in mind this is not typical. If you look super closely, you can actually see the spinal cord running along the top of the sac. It was really hard to look at this. It measured 5x5 and looked like an organ. Plastics came in to assess him and tried to make a plan. The warned us that his closure may not look like what expect. They said it may have to be round and pulled in a circular pattern to close it completely, and they may even need to use skin grafts if there was not enough good skin. They would start peeling away the layers and see what happened when they got in.
My baby boy went in for surgery at 9am the next morning...I cried. I bawled in fact, watching your 2 day old baby get wheeled into surgery was excrutiating. It ripped me apart. Then we had to wait.. and wait.. 4 hours. But our little fighter proved everyone wrong again. This is what he looked like before...

And after....

It was a perfect closure. Better then anyone could have expected. We found out then that his lesion level was L5-S3. Gage had made it through his first surgery and was doing so well...

4 days later...

And a month ago...

Gage's incision is now almost completely faded other than a beautiful red heart over his lesion. How fitting :)

At 5 days old Gage had his first shunt put in. He had his first revision on June 30th at approximately 6 weeks old, and another revision 8 days later. 3rd one is a charm so far. We have also discovered that Gage may have a symptomatic Chiari. Thankfully his vocal cords are ok, and he has no breathing problems, but it has created a large syrinx in his spine located from C4-T6. His next surgery may be a decompression sooner than we would like... Yes it is hard, but as moms you just find the strength deep down inside you to be a rock for your kiddos. He needs me, so I suck it up and stay strong for him.
I could go on and on about our days and weeks at the hospital, but those days are behind us now. We are happy going to our regular check ups and showing off how well he is doing. Gage is now 12lbs 10oz, healthy, happy and an absolute joy.
If you're saying "I just can't imagine".. neither could I. Never in a million years would I have pictures myself in these shoes. Having a little baby with different needs than most babies. But let me tell you something else; never in my life would I have pictured myself this happy. this proud. this confident in who I am. Gage has changed me forever as I person. Many people will go through life never really knowing their purpose, never understanding why they were put here and what they are supposed to do. I was put here to be Gage's mom. And he was given to me to show me what it truly means to be happy. Gage brings light and joy to so many people, even those just passing by. He really is my little miracle, I am such a lucky mom <3

Here are some more pictures, enjoy!! I know I am :)
Preofessional Shot in hospital