Tuesday, April 3, 2012

James Douglas Gawel is HERE!

James Douglas Gawel was born 4/2/12 at 3:43pm via C-Section weighing in at HUGE 3lbs, 4oz. James is doing FANTASTIC! I will not make you scroll down to get the good news so I will begin with the stats and explain the story later in the post. As we have said all along he is strong and a fighter.

  • He came out crying and breathing all on his own

  • His heartbeat is perfect

  • He is a wiggle worm moving his arms AND legs all around

  • The hole in his back is much smaller than we originally thought. JD will still probably need to have surgery but they have told us from the beginning small equals better so we feel this is a good development

  • AND as you may have noticed he was bigger than estimated. Obviously he heard about his brother’s stats last week and is already trying to keep up.

JD is a champ. The only slight concern they had right away was how he continued to tuck his small little chin into neck, therefore, cutting off his airway. They were able to situate his head to keep him comfortable while making sure he was not blocking his airway. Like I mentioned, he was breathing very well all on his own so they did not want any setbacks.

You may be asking “is it already Wills and Kate's anniversary April 23rd?” No you have not missed the whole month of April but JD decided (or at least the doctor’s decided) April 2nd would be a wonderful birthday. This will be a bit long so you can skim if you wish but here was our day . . .

Let me start off by saying I told Nate, after JD was diagnosed, I felt he would be born on 4/1/12 (I just had a feeling) then after I realized that day was a Sunday I figured Monday, 4/2/12 would be the day. I know, another weird mom feeling but I cannot help the fact I have a 6th sense (in the non-creepy seeing ghosts, Bruce Willis movie kinda way).

Our appointment was very quick as the tech seemed to be an in rush. This was the same tech we had last time and rushing is her style. She was very quick to say, “he’s not breathing, he’s not moving, I am going to tell the doctor he did not pass.” WHAT? As soon as she walked out Nate could see my stomach jumping with all of JD’s movement plus this test is suppose to last 30 minutes and she barely watched him for 20 minutes. Now, in her defense she was trying to grab Dr. GB before she left for lunch but we still felt the test was not significant. And we made our concerns known when Dr. GB came in but there was a host of other concerns.

Dr. GB said, my amniotic fluid was very, very low as we had seen a decline over the past few weeks. I am not sure what is considered high/low levels but the changes we saw over the past few weeks from 6.2cm to 5.8cm to yesterday 1.8cm yesterday seemed substantial. Plus, he grew a bit over the past two weeks but not as much as we had hoped. Finally, if you add the fact he was not breathing during the test or, according to the tech, he did not move the doctor told us she was ready to move forward with delivery.

Nate and I did not go that easy. We asked if we could be monitored for 24 hours rather than just delivering right away. Dr. GB said that was not a risk she would recommend based on the low fluid there was a chance the placenta was not working so we could have a stillbirth. Reluctantly, Nate and I walked over to Prentice to be admitted for what we called monitoring but what everyone else knew was prep for the C-Section.

Our nurse Anne, was AMAZING!!!!!!!! I cannot stress enough how great she was the whole time. Just like with Connor’s nurse, I kinda wanna be her friend and have her over for wine night. Anne’s plan was to monitor us then wait until Dr. G (my regular OB) came over to discuss next steps. Once again, JD was showing off by kicking up a storm and moving all around

To spare you the long details we were monitored for a bit while waiting for Dr. G to came in to discuss the next steps. Dr. G agreed with Dr. GB that delivery needed to happen at that time to ensure we did not lose him. When she said the words “we are all in agreement” it made it very clear we would need to come up with a very strong argument to overrule the medical professionals at Prentice. If only we had Powerpoint with an Excel document as backup to prove our points

Nate and I took a few minutes alone to cry and discuss our options. We decided what good would 24 hours do if we would end up in the same place tomorrow or the following day. Plus, what happens if his heart slows down or he stops moving in the middle of the night forcing us to have an emergency C-Section without Dr. G or without the full Pediatric Team (Pedis) on duty. Our best option was to have a low stress, non-emergency planned C-Section with Dr. G, whom we have been through this before, with the full Pedis Team ready and waiting to care for JD. We came to the decision, while not what we planned, it would be best for JD to be delivered now so the medical teams could care for him to the fullest of their ability.

No need to go into details about the C-Section except I can tell you it was much better the first time when I was slightly loopy and out of it rather than wide awake with the ability to be nervous as they prepped me for surgery. The part I found funny was they asked me how tall I was a few times while I was becoming fully numbed. It was taking a little longer than expected but they kept reassuring me by saying “well, you are a tall girl so it can take some time.” Really? Tall? Since when is 5’5” considered tall?  If that is the case, my poor SUPER tall friend towering over us all at 5’8” will take hours to numb – you know who you are and I love you for it!

However, the best part of the whole C-Section was the moment when they announced “we have delivery” and we IMMEDIATELY heard a cry. To parents who feared breathing problems with their little munchkin that first cry was the best sound in the world. He had a tiny little cry that lasted all the way to the other room. Similar to when he moved all around, JD wanted everyone to know he had arrived.

As they finished my C-Section the Pediatric doctor came in to tell us all the great news above. She sounded very optimistic which helped to get through the remaining few minutes of the surgery. The Pedis team wheel him into the operating room so we could get our first look at our new son. He was awesome. His tiny little head was exposed while the rest of his body was in a plastic bag to keep him warm. It looked like he was Ziplocked for freshness.

Nate and I hung out in recovery while the feeling returned to my legs. The Pedis Team had JD in the NICU to ensure JD was stable for transport to Children’s Memorial. The good/bad news was he was doing so well they were able to transport him very quickly. Great that he was stable but sad they would take him so quickly. Nate went up to the NICU to hang out as they got JD ready to be wheeled down to see me for a few minutes. James grabbed Nate's finger and he opened his eyes when he heard my voice. He was karate chopping the air with his little hands show off how active he plans to be throughout life. It was an AMAZING moment. Even our best friend, nurse Anne, had tears in her eyes.

After the transport team and Nate left for the ambulance Nurse Anne wheeled me to my room. I don’t like to brag but I am kind of a big deal in this hospital so I have scored a lakeview room AGAIN! As Connor’s book, Good Night Chicago, starts out “Good Morning Lake Michigan, Good Morning Chicago Harbor Lighthouse, Are we ready for a wonderful day?” Yes, yes we are and thank you for asking.

I believe this post is long enough so I will let Nate update everyone on JD’s progress at Children’s which is going so well he is even taking a pacifier right now. We told you JD was going to fight like champ all the way through.

For the record, I am recovering very well and should be released tomorrow morning. I think I could have pushed for today (4/3) but Dr. G and I both agreed we did not want to push anything too early as it has been less than 24 hours since the C-Section.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the text’s and emails we received yesterday while waiting for the results of the test. All your prayers and love seem to have done the trick thus far. Keep it up please.

Thank you to my wonderful husband (ugh, another shout out to Nate and his wonderfulness – yep, deal with it) for keeping me posted on our little man and spending time hanging out at Children’s with all the nurses and doctors. Also, for being so great during the C-Section keeping me focused on important matters such as how he liked The Hungry Games and if we thought the movie would be as good as the book.

Now . . .who wants to see the little man?!?!?  Here are James Douglas’ first paparazzi shots?

 James hanging out waiting for the transport team to take him to Children's. Comfy and cozy and chopping the air with his little hands.

Me trying to look okay even though I was SUPER nervous and scared. Did not want JD to see the fear.

Nate and I ready to meet our little guy. Those smiles are real as we knew everything would be okay.

One last shot so everyone can see just how great our munchkin looks!

Hopefully, we will have more updates to post later today.


  1. I'm so happy for the both of you and your new family. Wish I was there to share it in person. We think about both of you often and how strong you are. Not to mention fabulous writer. Congrats. Hope to see you soon. Love ya.

    1. by the way i have no idea why this says indianchick and not my name.

    2. JD is absolutely adorable (no surprise there)! No surprise that momma looks super pretty! Jay, Miles, Daisy, and I love you guys and can't wait to meet the newest addition to our friend family!! We are here if you need ANYthing and can't wait to see you guys!
      Miller Family

  2. I am so in love already! Thank you for sharing this beautiful birth story - I can't wait to meet him!!! :) JD is already bringing such joy to your family and he's only a day old (show-off! lol :)). Congratulations to two amazing parents and great friends (plus an awesome big brother!). xo

  3. Congratulations!!! JD is adorable! Woo-Hoo and such wonderful news on how well everyone is doing. I am so excited for you. I cannot wait to see more pictures and hear updates. Sending love!

  4. I am so happy to hear of JD's arrival into the world. What a great week to arrive too, being Holy Week and all there is certainly a prayerful spirit in the air! Keep on being the champ that you are buddy and know that we are all rooting for you. You show 'em what you are made of! Ben can't wait to high five his new buddy some day soon! xoxo to all FOUR of you! WHOO HOO!

  5. Oh what great news!!! Congratulations to all of you and way to go, JD!! Keep on surprising us! You're adorable and we can't wait to meet you in person! Sending lots of prayers your way. Love from the Everson's

  6. What wonderful news! I am so happy to read everyone is doing well. I can't wait to send JD some Longhorn gear;) Lots of love from your cousins in Tucson! xoxo

  7. Congratulations to you all! JD and you look great :) Cannot wait to see more!

  8. Welcome JD! Congrats to the Gawels. He looks adorable and is obviously a champ. BTW, Jen you look great! Sending tons of good thoughts your way. The Slatterys are rootin' for ya!

  9. SO happy to hear you are doing well! Kudos on scoring a lakeview room! I need to take notes on your strategy.. :) Can't wait to meet your little guy. Your strength is amazing and I am so happy to hear you are well. The BOlden's got yo backs! :)

    Btw, 5'5, tall, really? WHo knew?!