Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Big Day!

Well, the big day has finally come - William Gary Zierer was born yesterday, 9/20/2013 (right on his due date) at 5:54am. He weighed in at 7lbs 12oz and is 20 3/4". We are so in love! This labor and delivery was totally different from my first one - labor progressed slowly and seemed to feel way more painful, but the actual delivery was done in 15 min with 3 pushes - whew! Here we are right after he was born:

And now the real journey begins. As we suspected, along with Will's bilateral cleft lip, Will's palate is also involved. That means that feeding can be tough because it is very hard for him to get the suction he needs to eat from a bottle. So we have found ourselves at our first test - feeding. After spending about an hour and a half with us after he was born, he was then taken up to the NICU to get fully checked out and to see how he does with feeding. Luckily, he has received a clean bill of health so that is fantastic! And we were encouraged to find that his first feeding went pretty well - he took a good amount from the Haberman bottle (which is a special bottle for babies with clefts). His second feeding also went fairly well, but it took a long time for him to eat, and then he ended up spitting up some of it. The third feeding he just really wasn't getting anything from the bottle, so the decision was made to give him a feeding tube to ensure that he gets the nutrients he needs to stay healthy and keep his weight up. Since then, we continue to try to feed him with the bottle but usually he only is able to get a small amount and it takes him a long time to get it, so we finish the remainder of his feedings with the feeding tube. And so, the reality is that Will needs to stay in the NICU until he is able to eat on his own without the feeding tube - which could be a few extra days but could be longer. I had really hoped that we would be one of the lucky ones where our baby would be able to eat well and we could go home after the normal hospital stay just like everyone else, and once the feeding tube came into the picture, I knew this would not be the case for us, so that's been a little hard for me to accept but I know in the long run we'll figure it out.

Right now, I am feeling so many mixed emotions. Of course, the biggest is that I am overjoyed and completely smitten with my sweet baby boy. He's more handsome than I could have ever imagined and he's such a complete sweetheart. But I'm also feeling other emotions too. I feel guilty and sad that he is having a hard time eating and as his mommy, I can't help him right now. Little Will is a fighter - he tries so hard to eat from the bottle, but the poor little guy just can't seem to get anything from it. I am also feeling bad since we can't be like everyone else and just go home on time and get started into our new routine as a family. Plus I miss Sadie and feel guilty that I'm not able to be with her right now. Tomorrow I get discharged and will have to make the heartwrenching decision of whether I stay or leave the hospital without my baby... I don't even want to think about that yet. But I know Will is in good hands, and that we will get through this by staying strong and taking it one step at a time. We meet with the feeding specialist on Monday, so I am hopeful that they will have some different techniques for us to try and will help us find the best way to help Will eat on his own. We will also meet with the Plastic Surgeon on Monday so he can do an initial review of Will's cleft and give us an idea of what treatment plan he'd like us to follow, so that is exciting. I know it will all work out, and I am grateful that Will's NICU stay is not something life threatening. I just have to remember to stay strong and positive for my little fighter. And by the way, he sure does have the sweetest little smile if I do say so myself... don't you agree?


  1. Will be following your blog. It is very interesting to read about little William. I wish your family love and strength throughout your journey. He is a precious beautiful baby and his clef is what God intended for strong parents like u and buddy. And yes, his smile is beautiful <3 wishing you all the best! Congratulations from me and my mom oxox

  2. Congratulations on your little guy! Those first few days are tough as you figure out how to make things work for your specific kiddo, but he'll be home with you before you know it :-)