Monday, April 1, 2013

Slade Asher Sylvester

Because so many of you have been faithfully praying for us and want to know how our sweet Slade is doing, we thought it'd be best to put the update in one spot for everyone to get the latest. Plus, you can see pictures of our cute Baby Boy!

So to catch everyone up to speed, our second son, Slade Asher Sylvester, was born at 11:06am on Saturday, March 30th, 4 days before his official due date. He weighed 8lbs 3ozs and was 21 1/2 inches long. Around 4am that morning I woke up from contraction pains. Not sure if they were just Braxton Hicks or if they were real; I used a timer app on my phone and within an hour and 2 conversations with my midwife, we knew I was in labor and Matt and I were in the car and our way to the hospital.

Once we got there, my contractions were coming very regularly and it didn't take long for me to become fully dilated. I told my midwives months ago that I was really hoping to utilize the great gift of the epidural, especially after I had experienced doing a homebirth with Roxy (whose birth story you can read here) which I am very thankful I got to experience but now that I did, I was ready to go back to the blessing of modern medicine. But my midwife thought Slade was ready to pop out any minute so she had me push. But no matter how hard I pushed, he wasn't really budging and I kept begging for the epidural. They said the anesthesiologist was in the OR and would come as soon as he can, I thought they were fibbing and were trying to stall so that I would just go forward with the pushing but I was in so much pain, much more than I felt with Roxy during the homebirth and I felt like I was going to black out it hurt so bad. I think they saw how I was losing it and went and double-checked and when the anesthesiologist finally came, it was like seeing an angel appear!

Right after he administered the epidural, my body calmed down and while I could still feel sensation in my legs and toes, I couldn't feel the pain of the contractions so this bought me some resting time. At around 10am the midwives had me try pushing again but I still wasn't making progress getting Slade to move. Finally, my midwife got the OB/GYN and had him come assess me. He said to give me 30 minutes more of trying to push and if nothing happened, to call him again. We tried, and still nothing, so he came back and this time pulled out the vacuum. Within 10 minutes, Slade was born.

They put him on my chest and he cried and then got quiet. I held him for what felt like just minutes when one of the midwives looked at him, checked his heart rate then grabbed him from me, put him on a little table and hit the emergency button. The room was flooded with what seemed like 15 people all at once surrounding him, with one nurse coming up to block my view and trying to distract/calm me down by letting me know they were checking on him. I could tell something was very wrong but had no idea what was going on. This was by far the scariest moment of my life.

They were able to revive him and I heard him crying again. After examining him, they said they needed to bring him to the NICU for further monitoring and just like that, my newborn son was whisked away. It would be hours later that I would be able to visit him in the NICU and by this time, they said he had experienced a second "spell" (that's what they were calling it), where he would experience apnea and stop breathing, teamed up with sporadic shaking of his legs which they thought might also be seizures.

So they administered all sorts of medicine to him and after calling the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, decided it was best to transfer him there where he could get more specialized care. Sick Kids came to pick him up within an hour and Slade had another spell. Matt and I soon followed once I went through the discharge process at the hospital.

Later that night at Sick Kids, they scheduled him for a CT scan and during the examination he had another spell.

So here's the current news: ever since the CT scan episode, Slade has not had another spell - praise the Lord! And so far, all the results from all his testing (blood work, CT scan, x-rays, etc.) have all been clear. Before we left the hospital today, he was getting a detailed EEG done and hopefully we'll learn the results of that test tomorrow. So best scenario is that Slade's body was just responding to a bit of trauma of being birthed the way that he was, having a bit of a reaction within the first 12 hours of his life and now has gotten it out of his system and is okay now - this is what we are hoping for.

So as of now, we don't know how much longer he'll be staying at Sick Kids, and whether he'll be discharged straight from there or whether he'll be transferred back to the hospital where he was born for some extra monitoring before he can come home, everything is up in the air at this point. 

The last two days have been the toughest times we have ever experienced. There have been lots and lots and lots of tears, battles with fear, and testing of faith but we are experiencing God's grace and mercy in such a raw and deep, cut to the heart kind of way and we praise Him for who He is and for the plans He has for us, plans for good and not for evil. 

And we thank and praise God for how He has been answering so many prayers already and how He has been showing His love and care for us through all of you. Matt and I have been so overwhelmed with all your texts, emails, messages, and prayers and we thank God for each and everyone of you.

Will try to update on here when we can, Matt and I love you all so much!!!

Our sweet Baby Boy in the NICU at Markham Stouffville Hospital

Since I barely had anytime with him after he was born, they let me hold him for a few minutes before transporting him to Sick Kids. It was while I was holding him that he had his third spell.

Can you spot him in there? I couldn't even believe that that was my son getting whisked away in this huge massive machine, I just sat there and cried and cried. Matt was driving back to the hospital after running home to pick up some stuff for us when he saw them pass him in the parking lot and he just started bawling.

I felt like I was watching a medical t.v. show and that this wasn't real.
But I must say that everyone we were interacting with, from the doctors, to the nurses, to the transporters, all of them were amazing and were so kind and compassionate, which was such an extension of God's grace to us during a very scary time.

Here is Slade after newly arriving at Sick Kids.

Proud but sad Daddy

I just wanted to scoop him up and hold and kiss him so bad. It's so easy to take simple things like that for granted until you have it taken away from you.

We love you so much sweet Baby

He held my finger so tight

This was the next day after he was born, he woke up to say hi for a few minutes and was probably wondering what in the world was going on!

They had to shave his head to find places to insert an IV. It took them a couple of tries and now Slade has a very interesting haircut but he's still as cute as ever. Good thing he's got a lot of hair to spare!

That little triangle piece of fabric on him is called a "cozy cloth." They have found that a parent's scent has a comforting affect on babies so they make these little pieces of cloth for you to wear against your skin for about 20 minutes and then you leave the cloth with them so that they can sense your presence even when you're not around. This hospital and what they're doing with little touches like that is amazing.

Handsome little man

I got to hold him for a long time today - what a gift that was to my heart! 
We did Kangaroo care/skin-to-skin time.

See what I mean about his hair? I guess it's fitting right? A tough haircut for a tough boy!

This was from today when they were hooking him up for a 20 point EEG, which we hope to hear the results of tomorrow.


  1. Tear tear tear. Praying praying praying. Thank you for sharing Sue-y. He is just so so sweeeeeet. You all are in my heart and prayers. Love you.

  2. What a precious gift he is. Crying and praying with you, Suelynn. May the unending and abundant grace of God be your comfort and hope. Slade is so handsome and chunky and we are praying for his good bill of health...while praising God that he is fearfully and wonderfully made! Much love from all of us to all of you, Molly

  3. Suelynn & Matt- Shelly & I will be praying for you guys & sweet, beautiful Slade. Though we are so far- we are thinking of you much & knowing that our God is awesome & completely in control of every single minute detail We love you guys so much!!