Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Welcome Gavin Joseph Kade Nielson

Our lives changed forever for the better on October 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm.  Our sweet little boy, Gavin Joseph Kade was born.  Karlee and Devrey invited us to be at the hospital while Karlee was laboring but asked us to step out while she delivered the baby.  It was a pretty relaxed night and according to Karlee an easy labor.  JD was able to wear the second band they give the parents at the hospital which gave him access to the nursery.  I work at American Fork Hospital where he was born so I was able to go into the nursery already and I'm sure glad we could both be there.

JD, Karlee, Devrey and I had a hospital planning meeting that day at  LDS Family Services with our case workers but about 15 minutes into the meeting we got a call from Karlee she was at the hospital and in labor and they would be breaking her water around 5 pm!  Excitement and fear of not being good enough flooded me as I hung up the call with Karlee and we said our good byes to our case workers and headed to the hospital.

JD and I arrived at the hospital around 5pm after making a few phone calls and getting things arranged at home.  Karlee was only 36 weeks and 1 day so we thought we had at least another week to get things wrapped up at home before this sweet little spirit was going to be coming.
Karlee had gone into the hospital with a terrible UTI mid morning with her mom and as they were about to discharge her she started having really hard contractions every 30 seconds- wowza I can't even imagine what that felt like.  Karlee was sure a trooper but I know she was glad to get an epidural.

Karlee relaxing after she got the epidural.  I think the labor was more stressful for all of us watching the monitor than it was for her once the epidural was given to her- thank goodness.  She was very relaxed the whole time.  You can tell by Devrey's face he was concerned and he wasn't feeling well either.

So grateful we were able to be there while Karlee was in labor.  It was such a gift to experience that with them.  This was about 4 hours before Gavin was born.

We were able to meet Gavin just a few minutes after he was born and I will never forget the moment that Devrey placed that sweet baby in my arms.  I have a beautifull HORRID picture of me crying as we were passing this sweet boy from Devrey to me, to grandma Kris to JD.  I'm glad the nurse took over the camera to capture those first moments.

The first moment we saw Gavin.  Obviously a very difficult moment as just a moment later Karlee told Devrey to give me our son. Devrey was such a great support to Karlee and we are so grateful we got to share the experience with them.

A moment I will NEVER forget and will forever be grateful I was able to experience.

Oh how I loved our baby from the moment I saw him.  I couldn't wait to kiss him and tell him I loved him.  He is sooo loved by both of his families!

Just over 36 weeks and he was nearly 7 pounds.  He was determined to be a big boy.

JD holding Gavin for the first time after delivery.

Our sweet boy, Gavin Joseph Kade Nielson

We are so grateful that Karlee and Devrey allowed us to be there at the hospital as she labored that night but also to participate in prenatal visits and the ultrasound when we found out Karlee was having a boy!  It was more than we could have ever hoped for and something we will never forget and forever be grateful for.

JD, Grandma Kris and I went downstairs with Gavin where they hooked him up to Cpap and started an IV and gave him fluids to increase his blood volume. I was so glad that my friend Rhianne was the nurse in the admit nursery that night.  She has such a calm personality but doesn't miss a beat and knows just what to do. Honestly, I think any of the nurses I work with are just as great but I just love Rhianne.  Since Gavin was 36 weeks they expected that he would have some trouble breathing so the respiratory therapist was there waiting in the nursery too.  Again, I am glad I work in the nursery at the hospital or all of the things they were doing to Gavin could have really freaked me out.
I was able to explain to JD and go out to explain to Kris what was going on and it was good they were able to intervene and try to help him out.  It was so hard to watch his little body work so hard to breath and as each hour passed and Dr. Foster (the on-call pediatrician) came in to check him out and could see he wasn't improving plead his case to the neonatologist at UVRMC to give Gavin surfactant for his lungs.  When he didn't improve after an hour with the surfactant Dr. Foster felt it best that Gavin be transferred but they made them keep him at American Fork to try and "prove himself" on Cpap.  Ultimately Gavin had to be transferred to UVRMC NICU and put on a oscillating ventilator.  He was only on it for about 18 hours then spend 3 more days on Cpap after that.  Once he was off the Cpap they him on a nasal cannula that they said was just a reminder for him to breath because it was set so low it was basically like breathing room air.

Gavin's Life Flight transport team.  They were so good to all of us during the stress of transporting Gavin.  When we saw them at the NICU while he was at UVRMC they would make sure to say hello and check on Gavin's progress

Our first visit to Gavin at the NICU.  It is never easy to see your tiny baby hooked up to all of these things but I am so glad I work where I do because it made all of the tubes and machines much less scary for me and knowing what the doctors and nurses were saying was not as intimidating for JD because I could translate or wasn't afraid to ask what they meant.
Those 9 days in the NICU were long but we are so grateful for the excellent care Gavin received.  We were so excited when we finally got to hold him, then feed him is first bottle and then continue to feed him eat time he ate.  We loved his nurse Pam that came in on the 6th day he was there and said he looks great we just need to let him try and eat on his own instead of doing the step up slowing protocol that they were planning on doing.  This woman needs a gold medal if you ask me because she saw what our boy needed and did it because she could just tell.  Gavin eats like a champ and took so easily to the bottle!

 Sunday, October 14- Karlee, Devrey, Kris, JD, and I and our caseworkers, Melinda and Hayley met at LDS Family Services to sign paperwork for Gavin's adoption.  Karlee, Devrey and Kris were able to go to the NICU and visit Gavin before we met and I'm so glad they were able to.  I was so nervous as we walked into LDSFS that afternoon.  I had never questioned Karlee and Devrey's decision to place this sweet angel up until that moment.  I really wasn't questioning them at that moment but I was so overcome with emotion, excitement, sadness for Karlee and Devrey, concern for our little Gavin that I couldn't help but think everything was right there within reach and what if....
I was a basket full of tears and emotion as we walked into the room to meet with Karlee and Devrey after they had signed the relinquishment papers and they were both so calm.  It seems so trite to say thank you to two people who just gave you the greatest and most amazing gift.  I will never understand where they found the strength to make the decision they did to place Gavin for adoption but I will ALWAYS be grateful they did.  I am so humbled by their strength and love for this little boy and the only promise we cam make is to be the best parents we know how to be and to teach him how much he is loved by both of his families.

Melinda (Karlee and Devrey's caseworker), Hayley (our caseworker), Devrey, Karlee, me and JD right after placement papers had been signed. 

Our first official family picture!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Catching Up

I have a lot of catching up to do.  For anyone that is a friend on Facebook you see plenty of pictures of our sweet little Gavin and we have a private blog that we keep updated for our family and for our birth family.  I am happy to say I am actually pretty good at keeping up that blog.  I think the longest I have gone is 2 weeks without a post.  Obviously my attention to that blog, that will be Gavin's blog, has caused this blog to get left in the dust.
It is so hard to believe that a year ago we were in the midst of filling out our adoption paperwork.  We were just getting ready to attend adoption training (that isn't even offered any longer, sadly) and anxious about what the future would hold for us and "the wait" we had ahead of us.  We were wrestling with the letter to birth parents that would become part of our adoption profile.  Oh how a year changes things.

Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to since the introduction to our amazing and strong birth family and our sweet Gavin- when we got to see him for the first time via ultrasound.

Karlee and Devrey- Gavin's birth parents at 28 weeks

Dinner at our house with Karlee and Devrey and Melissa's favorite- The Farming Game

I tried to take pictures of Karlee each week of the pregnancy from 28 weeks on but I can't remember how far along she was

Dinner at Los Hermanos in Lindon with Karlee and Devrey

We were able to go to the Brigham City temple open house with Karlee and Devrey.  It was such a fun day to spend together.

Karlee and Devrey at the Brigham City LDS Temple

Dropping off Karlee and Devrey for one of their meetings at the adoption agency.

Just weeks before we were going to meet Gavin.  Karlee was so sick during the pregnancy and those last few weeks were really hard on her.

The last pre-delivery picture I have of Karlee.  She would have been 35 weeks in this picture.