I realize that it has been a full two months since my last post. I apologize for that. The first half of my absence was due to nothing new to write about. The second half? Well, it has been crazy.
Here is the cliff note version: routine doctor appointment, hospital stay, premature birth, NICU stay, crazy toddler.
Want the rest? Well, sit back and relax - here it is (at least part of it - I am, it seems, very lazy while on matenrity leave and can't bring msyelf to finish this post, but I will later AND I ahve added a picture for extra cuteness!!!)....
May 1- June 21
I honestly had nothing to write about. Ryan was being the picture perfect toddler. He was sick over Memorial Day weekend and then I was sick after that, but nothing earth shattering. Just a cold (and an ear infection in the little one). Father's Day weekend I really started to complain about being pregnant! Everything was so different! The good thing? I was carrying much smaller than I did with Ryan so I remained comforatble. The bad? WEll, every time the baby moved it HURT! Really hurt to the point of bringing me to tears at times. She had also slowed down considerably but was still moving enough to satisfy me. Plus I had an appointment on the 22nd. I intended to mention all this to the midwife then.
Woke up feeling miserable. Tired and sore, but strangely energetic (like I wanted to clean the whole house). The phone rang shortly before 7:30 and Rob had to go to work so I decided to stay home with Ryan. I cleaned the enitre house before my 3:00 midwife appointment and ultrasound.
The ultrasound was first. It was to check the location of the placenta since it had been too low for a vaginal birth at 30 weeks. So at 35 weeks and 1 day it had moved! YAY! However, the tech was considered about the fluid level being really low. She left me to get dressed (yup, it was a dildo cam one) and Rob asked what that meant. I was so nonchalant about it. I said I was probably going to have to drink more water, and stay home until my due date!
We went upstairs and I should have known there was something wrong when I saw my midwife, the ultrasound tech, and two doctors conferring.
Routine stuff. Blood pressure was great and I had lost 2 pounds. Caroline (midwife) came in and told me that the fluid level was very low and they were admitting me to the hospital to be rehydrated (who even knew it was possible). She said it usually works and that I should be able to go home the next day and that I would be on bedrest, etc. So we were a little nervous, but not scared yet. Honestly, getting Ryan taken care of was my main concern.
So we got the hospital. A non-stress test showed Little Miss boggying away and as happy as a clam. I was hooked up to an IV and force fed 24 ounces of water every 3 hours all night long. As fun as it sounds! Oh the midwife performed my group B strep test "just in case".
Discharged at 9am. Ultrasound at the midwife office at 9:15. Readmitted at 9:30. So the rehydrating didn't work and I was going to be induced! At 35 weeks and 2 days - YIKES!
I met the OB who would be taking care of me now and was told that 98% of 35 week babies do just fine and go home in a few days. An ultrasound showed LM to be around 5 pounds which is a nice healthy weight for her gestational age.
Spent all day being monitored and waiting. It wasn't until 7:00 that night that someone FINALLY got things started. A staff midwife inserted the cervadil and a very nice nurse (who we would get to know very well) finally gave me a real room! WEll, sort of a real room. I needed to deliver in the high risk unit - steps away from the OR and the NICU.
June 23 - The Birth Story
The Cervadil didn't do a thing - no surprise considering that I went 10 days past term with Ryan. The mnonitors showed such a healthy baby that another ultrasound was ordered. ITv was performed by a resident who decided that there was plenty of fluid and told me I could probably go home! YAY! I called Rob who had gone home to shower and take care of the dog. WEll then my doctor came in and showed the resident how to check if the pockets are fluid or cord and guess what? Yup, they were all cord! At this point I was told that there were 2-4 cm of fluid when there should be around20-25cm. YIKES!
They broke my water (strange I know, but they were trying to start labor naturally) and 2 hours later started the Pitocin.
The rest of the afternoon passed uneventfully and around 7 my contractions started to feel real and painful.
At 9pm the doctor came to talk to me about pain control. I was confident that I was at LEAST 6 cm, but a quick check showed me at 2. Barely. DARN IT!
I was so afraid to get an epidural as the last time around it didn't take, so they started with the Nubain. I spent the next hour like a drunk girl at a frat party. I kept passing out after each contraction and was answering questions no one asked!
Around then I sent my mom and Kara home since it looked like a long night ahead. My sister stayed though.
At 10:45 or so another exam showed that I was only at 4 cm. Fearing a long night ahead and a long pushing time I asked to see the anesthesologist. HE was wonderful! He looked at my crooked back and where my last epidural had been and decided it was up to high and that is why I never got relief from it.
So he got started. It was in place and working by 11 which is good since my contractions were literally non-stop at that point. The baby's heart rate beagn to drop while Rob was out getting my sister (they only allowed one person in the room during the epidural) so the nurse decided to "tickle" the baby's scalp. You can imagine how that is done! So there we are - the nurse with her hand in a very intimate spot when she gets this really panicky look on her face. She calmly reaches for the phone and pages my doctor. Apparently I was 8 centimeters!
My sister quickly called my parents (who thankfully live about 10 minutes away) and the nurse informed us that the doctor was finishing up a c section and would be right in.
When they checked me again 10 minutes later, the nurse had Rob hand her the phone and she called the doctor again to let her know that she was actually holding the baby's head in her hand! 4 quick pushes later and at 12:05am Rachel Louise was here!!!
She was screaming loudly right away and got a 7 and 8 on her Apagars. She weighed 5 lbs 13 oz and was 19 inches long. I was allowed to hold her briefly but she was grunting and they wanted to get her to the NICU for monitoring.
So, I was cleaned up and stitched (I tore slightly where I had been cut the last time) and taken to a real room - with a window. Here I'll say this: this was definitely an easier delivery than Ryan's. With him I pushed for 4 hours and then was sewen back together for another 2 hours. This peanut just popped out! 3 pounds really makes a difference!
We went and saw Rachel and she looked great! Her nurse said she was doing really well and that they would give her a bath when she warmed up a little and that she most likely would go home in 3 days.
Since it was now 3am, I went to sleep and Rob went home.
A few hours later I decided to go check on my little princess.
What a difference a few hours makes. When I got down to the NICU, Rachel was in a bubble. Really no other way to describe it. It was a plastic thing over her head that delivered oxygen to her in a mist form. Apparently it is the lowest form of oxygen they give. She was also on an IV for anitbiotics since the cause of the low fluid was unknown and infection hadn't been ruled out, as well as for fluids. We had missed rounds that day so I got all my info second hand from the nurses. They still thought Rachel was doing well enough to go home in a few days, but I thought she looked smaller and weaker than she had a few hours earlier.
Later that day I began my relationship with the breast pump. I was on the fence over breast feeding. I wanted to try, but Ryan did so well on formula that I wasn't planning on trying to hard. When it became clear that we were going to have a preemie I decided I needed to give her breast milk. That was an easy decision.
In the early morning hours there was a knock on my door and it was the NICU resident. Being hormonal, I started to cry before she even said anything! Turns out Rachel had gone into severe respitory distress while they had her off the oxygen and were taking chest x rays. They ended up putting her on CPAP. She looked so uncomfortable (just a note: we have no pictures of her on the CPAP - it is something we decided we never wanted to see again).
Later that morning we met with the neonatologist who showed us the xrays and explained why he was so concerned about Rachel. It seems that she had not yet begun to produce surfactant which is neccesary to breath. There was talk of transferring her to another hospital and giving her the surfactant. She would need more monitoring than our hospital could handle and the risks were very high. WE were waiting on her blood work before he decided what to do.
Fortunately they decided to wait it out and by that night she was doing much better.
June 26 - June 28
Rachel remained on the CPAP and received nothing but IV nutrients. They attempted to wean her off it a few times, but were not successful.
I left the hospital on the 25th. I missed Ryan and figured that since there was nothing I could do for Rachel - I couldn't even hold her - I should try to get home and finish getting ready for her. We went to the hospital 4-5 times a day, but it was hard. I felt guilty when I wasn't there, but when I was all I could do was stare at her.