It’s been almost a year since we’ve posted anything here. Our last post was about our arrival in Canada. So much has happened in the meantime! But most importantly ofcourse Wolf is born! That sounds very crazy after 10 months. It’s so self evident that he is around and we can’t imagine life without him. As some of you have already seen on instagram, exciting news is on the way! We can’t make such a big step, without finishing Wolf’s birth story.
After our arrival in Canada, we had to quarantine for 14 days due to COVID. Two weeks in suspense. Does Wolf stay put long enough so we can attend at birht? But it’s also crazy to finally be so close to Melissa, but not to be able to meet her and her family in real life yet. Fortunately we had a very nice Airbnb and it was also very good weather (20+ degrees) for a few days and we could sit in the garden and enjoy the sun. The upside was, due to Corona we are perfectly used to working remotely and I could continue working on the other side of the ocean.
Furthermore, we puzzled a lot and ordered food, a lot of food. Really all the food can be ordered and it almost never takes longer than fifteen minutes before you have it at home. Our favorite is the Blizzard of the Dairy Queen a kind of McFlurry 2.0, with endless choice in toppings, lots of toppings.
When the 14 days were over, we were finally able to go outside on November 12th. How nice it was to finally meet Melissa and her family in person!
As predicted, Melissa didn’t start labor on her own. Also, because Wolf seemed fairly large, there was no reason to wait any longer. On Tuesday, November 17, the induction was scheduled and it was waiting for the call from the hospital. In the meantime, the weather has turned into snow and there was already a thick suit (yes, that can change so quickly in Canada). Inductions are planned, but c-sections and natural births always go first. We knew it could take a long time before the redemptive (literally) call came. It soon became clear that we were at the bottom of the list and that the phone call would probably not come until the night or the next day.
November 18 at a quarter to 4 in the morning Melissa finally got the message that she could come to the hospital. As soon as Melissa’s water broke she gave us a sign so we could also come to the hospital. At 7:00am we arrived at the hospital. Fortunately, despite Covid, Scott and we were allowed to be there for the entire delivery!
Where we had counted on a delivery of 3 to 4 hours (Melissa’s previous deliveries were quick and smooth) it became delivery of almost 24 hours. Dilation didn’t want to progress enough. The doctors had no direct reason, but a reason could be that Wolf was quite big, so the body said “this doesn’t fit”. The doctors see an urgent need for a c-section, although it was an option if it all took much longer. One last shot of contractions inducers should do it.
From that moment on, everything went very fast. The idea was that when Wolf was born he would be put directly on Melissa’s chest, one of us would cut the umbilical cord and Wolf would then be put skin-to-skin with the other one of us. This all turned out differently. Within seconds, the whole room was full of medical staff and a lot was happening. Except what we expected. Wolf was born, did not cry, a nurse cut the umbilical cord and Wolf was immediately handed back to other nurses who went to work with him.
How we felt at that moment is indescribable. All scenarios come across your mind. But you know one thing for sure, this is not good. This is not how it should all go. And this is certainly not how we expected it to be.
Fortunately, we were allowed to go to Wolf very quickly. A team of three nurses were occupied with him and gave him oxygen. Fortunately he cried quickly and there was no immediate conern. Because Wolf was a lot bigger than expected (4450 grams and 55cm) he got stuck with his shoulders and his heart rate dropped. After twisting his arm along his ear, he could finally be born as a Superman.
To the NICU
At birth, Wolf did not breathe spontaneously and the doctors were afraid that his shoulder might have been broken by turning his arm. The doctors therefore thought it was a good idea that he was transferred to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for check-up.
Fortunately, before Wolf was carried to the NICU, he was allowed to go to Melissa’s chest. At that moment we hadn’t been able to hold him ourselves, but it was so nice that this was possible. It would be unimaginable that after 9 months of carrying him, he had to go away without her being able to hold him for a minute.
At the NICU, breathing went well quickly. A lot of tests were done and pictures were taken to see if there were any fractures. There were no fractures and after checking the physiotherapist everything turned out to function properly.
Unfortunately, after checking his blood (A lot of jabs and squeezes in those small heels!) it turned out his blood sugar was way too low. He was asymptomatic and it was easy to solve with an IV. It meant that he would have to stay in the NICU for at least 24 hours.
After being awake for at least 24 hours and little sleep in the previous nights, we were practically going solid for 48 hours. Everything went differently than expected with a sweet little boy on the NICU. In a really big hospital, with a lot of COVID measures, so it was barely possible to sit decently next to each other. The moment announcing family and friends in the Netherlands the happy news of Wolf’s birth suddenly all feels something different. We were mentally broken and literally didn’t have the strength to call everyone cheerfully to tell the big news. For the most part it was a standard copied message with a picture:
“Wolf is born! Fortunately, he is doing well now, but it has not gone smoothly. He probably has to stay in the ICU for a day and then he can join us. I will tell further details later. We’ve had 30 intense hours, so I don’t have the strength for it anymore :-P. “
At that moment we missed our family and friends so much! Stupid Corona.
Although there was a lot of uncertainty, we fortunately knew very quickly that things were going to be okay and we knew Wolf was in good hands. There were no major concerns. Fortunately, there was soon space for a lot of relief and joy! We are Dads!
But how is Melissa doing? That’s a question that came up a lot that day. We went with Wolf and Melissa stayed behind. Fortunately, we knew she was in good hands with the doctors and Scott. But what did that woman go through!? What primal forces! And all this to make us Dads and put Wolf into the world.
I think it speaks for itself without going into details that the delivery for Melissa did not go smoothly at all. She also had to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours. And luckily, she heals very quick and soon everything got better and better with her.
A blessing in disquise Melissa had to stay in the hospital, she was allowed, despite the Covid measures, to come and visit Wolf. And also a few times in a day we had a break to visit Melissa and to drink coffee and eat Timbits (from the Tim Hortons of course!) together.
What a woman! And how grateful we are. And how guilty we have felt that she has endured this all for us. She gave us the very best gift ever!
Soon Melissa was discharged after a day and a half to recover further at home.
Only 4 days left
Soon things seemed to be going well with Wolf’s sugar levels, which were tested every three hours with blood from his heels. The IV could be disconnected. After disconnecting the IV, he would have to be tested three more times with good values before he could go home. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that he could not maintain his sugar level himself. The values dropped extremely and the IV had to be stepped up again and again. So high, that the next step would mean a bellytube was needed. Luckily, that was not necessary and the infusion could be phased out very very slowly.
Sunday morning, November 22, he would be allowed to go home, the sugar IV was disconnected. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the hospital in the morning carrying the carseat in, he was completely wrapped up with sunglasses in a light blanket. His jaundice values were too high at night and he had to be on light therapy. Would he be allowed to join us to home on Monday morning? But unfortunately we had to wait until Tuesday morning the 24th. But then the time had finally come! He was ready to go home.
It is heartwarming to see how all the sisters and doctors love to do their work and provide the very best care, day and night. They took such good care of Wolf!
Caring for a baby
In the Netherlands we are used to maternity care. However, maternity care is always linked to the woman, so even if we were in the Netherlands, we would not be entitled to it. In Canada, normally you stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours after birth and you get a crash course in caring for a baby.
Because we had to stay in the hospital for 5 days, we were given a very extensive course. We were allowed to feed and change Wolf ourselves from day one, record his temperature etc.. We were also able to wash him under the supervision of the nurses and we even had an explanation of how to put him in the car seat. It was super nice to get used to our child in a controlled environment and take care of him. When Wolf went with us to our home in Canada, we weren’t too insecure and we knew we were going to fix this.
We are so spoiled with this sweet little man. Sleeps like a rose from dy one, eats well and grows like cabbage. We can’t wish for a better and sweeter son :-).