Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Eventful Day

I suspect I'm not the first, first-time father to express this sentiment, but oh my god, am I tired! I made a list of five to-dos today and only managed to finish one: I called my dad. Welcome to parenthood, I suppose. At any rate, I've been mentally composing a number of posts today, and I thought I'd simply combine them into one monster entry. Here goes: the first day in the life of Samuel...

Hey, I Just Got Born!

So right after Samuel was born, he was immediately cared for by a virtual army of neo-natologists. There were (no joke) 12 people in the birthing room at one time. Within the first ten minutes, he was foot- and hand-printed, measured, swaddled and on his way to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at University Hospital. Kristin and I did get to hold him for a few minutes, which was nice, but it didn't last near long enough. Kristin had to stay in the room for after care, while I accompanied Samuel to the NICU (check out his cute little feet while he has an umbilical line placed!). After awhile, the echocardiogram technician arrived, and it was time for Kristin and I to have some late, late dinner and what turned out to be the briefest of naps...

From the NICU to the CICU

Kristin woke me up out of a dead sleep because the doctors had decided Wolfie's oxygen saturation levels were too high, and so he needed to be taken over to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at neighboring Children's Hospital right away. What followed was definitely the most surreal part of the evening. When I arrived at the NICU at around 1:55 a.m., I was treated to a scene that a friend of mine suggested came straight from The Matrix. They try to get you ready for all the tubes and wires, but my imagination was utterly lacking in comparison to the reality of it all. I mean, just look at the contraption they had to use just to get him from University to Children's, a mere three-minute ambulance ride away! The middle picture best summarizes my impressions of the whole thing; I'm amazed I was even able to snap these photos from my cell phone in my stupor. Anyway, sometime between 2 and 4 a.m. we arrived safely at the CICU. All was well, and Samuel and I slept...

How he's doing now

I was woken up in a heartbeat at 6:58 to the sound of alarms. Little Wolfie had stopped breathing. Evidently, the prostaglandins that are keeping his heart temporarily viable can also cause an apneic side effect. Happily, I did not have time to panic because by the time I woke up enough to understand what had happened, there were eight doctors and nurses in the room, one of whom was able to get him breathing again very quickly. After he stabilized, I got to spend some time holding him. It was amazing: joyful and terrifying. Wolfie was still alive, but he will have to endure more and more difficult struggles in the future. Here's hoping he (and we) have enough fight in us to overcome all such moments...


  1. he is so beautiful!!! thank u for posting! hang in there-- you have already come so far, and everyday he will only get stronger. love u both...and wolfie too. that hat is a riot, btw ;-)

  2. That little hat is so cute. Kristen, I think he looks like Jason :-) So I am sure he will grow into the name - Wolfie.

  3. Wow - what a ride for you all. Hang in there.

  4. Jason,
    I believe that you, Kristen, and Wolfie have the fight in you. For what it is worth, I often think I was more traumatized by all of those tubes and machines than Kai was. As adults, we see the full picture, the babes just see people around them taking care of them.
    I just found out last week that there is another three year old in Kai's class who had a heart repair. While Kai had his repair as an infant, Sophie's was just within the last six months.
    Yesterday, while I was waiting on the playground for Kai to decided that going home was actually a good idea, I watched Sophie play. She was carefree and content. Yes, your little guy will have to go through quite a few more struggles, but those struggles won't always define him. I think that our children whith their crazy hearts remind us of just how strong we can be and how worth it it is to press on.
    On another note, the doctors were not lying--Samuel is SO stinking CUTE!

  5. I agree with Brenda...Samuel is SO stinking CUTE! And the hat is adorable!

  6. All I can say is...beautiful little boy.

  7. He is a beautiful baby who is in store to spend some amazing time with God. Because every time he stops breathing or is in surgery he is being held by his Father. God knows what this little guy will have to go through in his life. He also knows that Samuel will not be alone and neither with either of you. I'm praying for all of you.

  8. I love the fact that Samuel is dousing the nurse's hand in the very first picture. Go Samuel! Pee on the people who poke you! He obviously has the fighting spirit he'll need for the next few months.

  9. You guys are amazing. I think it is so powerful that you are blogging about this. I know what a tool writing can be and we are all so privileged to share this with you.
    PS the picture of little Wolfie/Samuel peeing cracked me up (recently, Max peed into his aunt's mouth as she was changing his diaper and singing to him!) love, jules

  10. Aaaaw! His little hat says "Wolfie" That's SO adorable, Mr. Leclaire!
    All us IB kids are thinking of you guys and hoping for the best!
    -Mackenzie B

  11. Just saw this link via Matt Hammitt. Will definitely add you both & little Wolfie to my prayers. ~Lis

  12. Dear Kristin and thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Little "wolfie" is adorable! After what I have witnessed the past few weeks, the medical field can do miracles. I know that little Wolfie is in good hands. I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers each day.
    love, Joan of Art