Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brand New Tank!

Hours old
Tank was born on the morning of the 20th of June AD 2009. The first words he heard were his father speaking his name: Thomas Alexander.

It was a turbulent time in our little family. Eight weeks earlier we packed up our belongings and books in Laidley, Queensland, where Christian had been vicar for nine months. We holidayed in our campervan and slowly journeyed our way back to Adelaide.

We arrived in Adelaide five weeks before Tank was to be born. Much had changed at the Sem in our absence, and it was a struggle to settle back in again, particularly knowing we were going to be packing up again in six months after Christian's ordination.

Tiger loving his little brother.
Up until our return to Adelaide, I had only seen our obstetrician once. But he came on the recommendation of a very dear friend, and he turned out to be our best obstetrician yet (okay, our GP/Obstetrican was the best but we couldn't keep going back to Cooma to have our babies). We did a lot of correspondence with this doctor, and decided for the first time to have an elective caesarean.

We left our home at around 5:50am that cold June morning, rugged up, and bag in hand. Our children were still asleep, as was Granny. It was an exciting, slow walk two city blocks down the road to Calvary North Adelaide. We had walked past this hospital so very many times in our walks around North Adelaide, now finally I was going to be a patient. I always enjoyed the statue of Mary they had praying in the back garden (now there's an admission coming from a Presbyterian raised pastors kid!).

Playing dress ups.
I had made some very specific requests for this surgery, and here I had a doctor who took me seriously and ensured that they happened. He was God's great ministry to me. I am so very grateful for his care.

Request One: Minimal people present in the operating theatre. This stemmed from The Man's birth when we had what felt like 20 people in the room. This time, only those needed were present.

Request Two: My physical privacy respected as much as is possible. This also came from The Man's birth, where I was left uncovered on the operating table for a number of minutes. The doctor was amazing about this request. Nurses were sensitive to my desire, although I never mentioned it, so they must have actually been briefed!
The Man was and still is very loving to his baby brother.

Request Three: Catheter put in by a female nurse without the men present. Okay, now this is being fussy, I admit. I figured that it would mean the obstetrician might occupy himself with something else or go to my head, but no, he took his assistant and they both left the room. Only the anaesthetist was left, but he was at my head.

Request Four: No Morphine. This was for the anaesthetist, and he was brilliant too. He gave me a "heavy" drug that had to be "spread" manually throughout my body. So this meant that I was tipped down (feet first) and then back (head first) on the table. It was a weird experience. The nurse began to giggle, a lot!  Tank was kicking wildly at me being turned upside down, and it was a funny sight!

Our last days at Sem.
Request Five: That the curtain be lowered and my head lifted to see my beautiful baby. I have asked this at nearly every birth, this was the first and only time it happened. It was wonderful!

Request Six: That my baby stay with me unless this was not medically possible. Wow! They made this happen! Tank was weighed in recovery, they had to bring the scales down especially. When taking me to my room they even broke hospital rules and allowed me to hold Tank in the bed with me. The rules state baby must be moved in a wheely bassinet, never carried and most certainly not in the arms of a drugged up mother!

Princess with Tank.
And I couldn't put my beautiful Tank down. He was such a delight! Christian and I sang to him our baptism song. Christian rang the children, Tiger was at German School, and Princess and The Man were with Granny. As requested, Princess answered the phone.

"We have had a boy!"

"Oh" (disappointed Princess).

"Your new brother is named Thomas!"

"WOW!" Princess got really excited! 

His first visitor was his brother Tiger, who held him with great delight, but the rest of the children were too sick to visit at first. This was followed by his Godparents, who we had chosen before he was born, but asked them on this visit. His godfather still thinks Tank is named after him (he is a godly man, and whilst it wasn't intentional, we love the association)

Tank on his Baptism Day
Feeding Tank wasn't easy. Mostly the trouble was that he wasn't putting on the "desired" weight. This would be the third of my babies that had this "trouble". So for six weeks we "topped him up" on bottle breast milk, and he eventually got the hang of how to put on weight for the nurses. Truly, I think my babies come out puffed up on water, and lose this water quickly to go back to what they should have been. The trouble was he wasn't gaining to "their" standards...but he was gaining.

Our Tank has been, and is a wonderful blessing to us. Lately, he walks around and says that he can see Jesus "in real life"! Today at dinner he got out a Bible and started reading: "Jesus loves me, Jesus loves everyone". We pray that he will always seek Jesus, and be known as "The Believer" who in John 20:28 said: "My Lord and my God!"

Tank's baptism day cake.

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