Last week this handsome little guy made his big debut:
Clyde Emmett was born in the early hours of the 19th, a great way to kick off a Monday morning!
He weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs 3 oz - topping all of his siblings' weights by over a pound.
Clyde is a Dey family name, coming from my dad's middle name (and also my great uncle Clyde). And Emmett.... well, it just seemed to be a strong name for our newest little ranch hand on the Cross D.
He was born at home - a true farm boy. And his was one of my favorite home births, despite a few hard moments at the end -- the best part being that he was born as the sun was coming up on a beautiful new day, with the roosters crowing, and he and I surrounded by the support of Clay and a fabulous birth team from Family Birth & Wellness.
"...But Joy comes in the morning."
And, in perfect timing, just as we were getting settled and enjoying those precious first baby snuggles, his big siblings began to trickle in with bed hair and shining eyes -- amazed to find that their little brother was born while they were sleeping!
This little guy is surrounded by a lot of love. And there is no shortage of little arms eager to hold him!
And seeing these two together melts my heart....
Sweet William has been waiting for a little brother for so long. After getting three (lovely) sisters in a row, he remained a bit skeptical that he was actually getting a brother this time, even after the ultrasound announcement. So when Clyde finally arrived he tentatively asked: "He really is a boy??". And after I responded in the affirmative, I overheard him quietly repeating "He really is a boy. He really is a boy!"
Unfortunately, poor William had a bad head cold the day that Clyde was born, so it took a couple days before we let him hold his brother. It was a hard rule to enforce, but since Clyde had some respiratory concerns at the beginning we wanted to be extra careful.
So the first day or two William had to be satisfied with reading books in the same general vicinity. It was pretty touching to see him just sitting and watching his brother.
He was pretty happy when the day finally came for him to hold him for the first time.
As my mom pointed out, we have our own half-dozen now. We think they are pretty great.
Looking back I am very thankful for that first day or so resting at home with our new little one, because it turned out that the rest of the week wasn't quite as restful as we were hoping. Because of the severe bruising on poor little Clyde's face we were keeping an eye on his bilirubin (jaundice) levels. On Wednesday evening they were up to 20 mg/dL which is considered a critical level and necessitated us being admitted to the CMH hospital in Bolivar.
We arrived at 9:45 p.m., after frantically tucking in the older kids into bed and calling up Clay's parents for last minute child care. (A HUGE thank you for the invaluable help from all of our parents this past week, the prayers and support from friends and family, and the amazing quantity of delicious food provided for us from church friends!)
By the time we finally got vitals checked, more blood drawn and the bili lights set up - at about midnight - his levels had spiked to 22.5. Since the doctors were concerned with him getting irreversible brain damage we were thankful when he was under the lights! And as a bonus, he got to wear these sweet eye patches:
Staying in a hospital is never the most enjoyable thing, though we are quite thankful for them when they are needed. But somehow Clay and I made it through 40 hours with essentially no sleep (20 hours at the hospital), surviving on a couple tiny cat naps, the finest of hospital dining fare, and lots of prayer.
I was incredibly thankful for this man -- who stood guard all night long, allowing me to sit on the one hospital bed in the room, watching over our little guy, reading hundreds and hundreds of pages of scientific articles on bilirubin, and taking and charting Clyde's vitals and doing what he could to help keep him warm in a chilly hospital room.
When the day shift arrived at the hospital and we began to get a steady stream of miscellaneous hospital staff popping into the room I couldn't help but laugh inside as I was reminded of this scene from the Marx Bros Night at the Opera:
"I came to mop up."
"Just the woman I was looking for ... you'll have to start on the ceiling, it's the only place that isn't being occupied."
At last we got permission to return home on Thursday evening! It was an extra happy moment since we had mentally started gearing up for having to stay another night there in order to get his numbers down to the acceptable range. And we were desperately missing our other kiddos. It felt like Christmas getting to drive home again! (Which also helped us stay awake during the drive, thank goodness.)
We were able to go home because we were able to bring a "bili blanket" along with us to continue phototherapy at home.
This nifty little device also worked as a great night light. Tired of searching for your baby in the dark for all those night time feedings? Just plug it in and let your baby light up any room! Available at a home medical supply company near you.
Kids these days.... Always lit up with their electronic devices:
When we left the hospital Clyde's numbers were still fairly high at about 16 mg/dL. And they actually went up again (to 18) after leaving the huge hospital lights behind, but the doctor, thankfully, let us continue on at home, and after a week of using the blanket Clyde finally reached the acceptable level of 13, and got the all clear from the doctor yesterday afternoon.
This little guy spent a lot of time basking in the sunlight:
It feels pretty nice to be able to snuggle him again without all those cords attached. And not have to take him in to get his heel poked any more (after going through over ten blood draws, poor baby). And to get to try out some of his cute newborn outfits while he still fits in them!
Needless to say, we are pretty smitten with this little guy: