Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our Birth Story!

What a relief, she's here, she's healthy, she's beautiful and she's FULL TERM!!!! So the journey to the end was all new for us. All of my previous c-sections I had to be completely out for, so Master Chief couldn't even be in the same room. So this was quite the experience.

Mama's Mom arrived on Thursday afternoon and we stayed up late playing games. Master Chief and I had a hard time getting to sleep that night and I think Mama finally fell asleep around 1:30am. We set our alarm to wake us up at 4:45am and we were a bit tired! So we got ready, snapped a last pregnancy belly shot and hit the road. It was so weird to be going to the hospital to have a baby without an emergency.
When we got into L&D they sent Master Chief to the surgery prep/recover room and sent me to the bathroom for a urine sample. After I dropped off my 'sample' I looked in the mirror and got a little teary. I was excited, nervous, worried and anxious, knowing that this will be my last pregnancy. I went out and they took me to the surgery prep/recovery room, gave me a gown and told me to get undressed. The nurses (there were two of them) stayed in the room while I got undressed and that was a little weird to me. So then I hopped up on the bed and they started getting me all hooked up to the monitors, the baby was doing great. My blood pressure was high, but nothing exciting. They took my medical history, started my IV and had me sign paperwork for surgery. (Later they realized that I was also having a tubal done so they abbreviated tubal ligation, adding it to the consent form and called it good. Then AFTER my surgery they had me resign the consent to surgery because they couldn't abbreviate - that was kinda funny!)

Then the anesthesiologist came in and we talked about my blood clotting history, and what to expect with a spinal. This is what I was most scared of! It sounded easy and nice but freaky all in the same sentence! I then signed more paperwork! Talk about signing my life away.

And then it was time to wait. We were waiting for my Dr to arrive but we got all the prep stuff done so quickly that we had a few minutes. As soon as my Dr arrived she mentioned how she had been in the hospital the night before and she was telling everyone how excited she was for her c-section in the morning. Mama had wondered if our Dr was excited and clearly she was!
Then it was time! The nurse gave me this nasty shot of what she called "a sweet-tart minus the sweet" and she was right, it was very tart! It was to help neutralized the acids in my stomach. Luckily it didn't have a huge aftertaste.

The one nurse had mentioned watching Survivor the night before so I commented on it, as I had also watched it the night before. Then she started talking to the nurse anesthetist about Grey's Anatomy and I sat there and waited for the conversation to be over with. My Dr peeked her head in and was like, "Um, are we going to do this?" Silly nurses! So we were off. When we'd done our hospital tour they showed us the door where the c-section room was. This was an illusion! It was a door to a narrow hall to the rest of the hospital. Then we walked for a bit to get to the OR. During our walk they started giving my Ancef through my IV and it burned going in my arm. Finally we arrived in the OR. Talk about a boring, COLD, white, COLD, plain and did I mention COLD room! The minute I got in there I started shivering. There were 2 people off to the side counting instruments, I thought to myself, "Count them right ladies... I don't want one left inside me!" Then they had me move from the gurney to the operating table. This table was SO skinny, I wondered how a person could stay on the table!

Then it was time for the dreaded spinal. My sweet Dr brought me 3 warm blankets so I could stop shaking and wrapped them around me. I sat on the edge of the bed and my Dr stood in front of me and just held my shoulders. I had to arch my back in the shape of a shrimp! Then the moment came to poke my back. The actual stick didn't hurt, but I'm ticklish and jumpy and each time they'd jab me, I'd sit up and they'd have to try again! My Dr just held my shoulders and tried to talk to me and keep me still! Pretty soon my legs started to feel warm, I didn't even realize they'd gotten the needle in! They laid me on the table and I started to feel that numb sensation through my belly, legs and feet. I kept wanting to move my toes but while I could think about it and tried to, I just couldn't do it. I thought about books and movies I'd watched about victims being drugged so they couldn't move and I decided that would really stink! (duh!!!) I'm a bit claustrophobic and I had to stop thinking about the fact that I couldn't move my toes because it was driving me nuts! They put foam pads under my arms but I'd requested to not have my arms tied down and my Dr told them that as long as my hands "obeyed themselves" I could keep them untied.

I had to have two Dr's attend my surgery because this was my 3rd C-Section. So soon both Dr's were there and my tummy was cleaned, a sheet was placed on my belly that draped up so I could see nothing. They brought Master Chief into the room and surgery had begun. While I could feel no pain, I could feel pressure and I knew exactly what they were doing. I knew when they were cutting (aside from hearing my Dr ask for the scalpel, that was a little scary!) but I could feel the movement of her hands and that was really odd. Then it was time to cut my uterus. We listened to the two Dr's discuss where to cut. Apparently I've got lots of scar tissue from my past surgeries and there was a bit of an issue when it came to the actual cut. Master Chief and I both thought they took a few minutes to make the decision. But it was made and it was time!

My Dr said, "We have lots of water." Then after a minute or so she said, "There's an ear!" At that point Mama started to cry. What a blessing this all is. And then it happened. She started to scream! Baby girl made her entrance at 8:04am and they lifted her over the sheet for me to see, she was SO big! Master Chief followed her over to the bed and since my hands had "behaved so well" I got to move my arm over and pull back the sheet so I could see what was going on with baby. She was still screaming! She was doing great though, with apgars of 8 and 9. The Dr's laughed and mentioned that they had a new screamer on their hands!
Pretty soon Master Chief brought her over to me and I was able to kiss her and see her for a minute. Then Master Chief took her and went with the nurses back to the recovery room. Then it was time to tie my tubes, put me back together and sew me up. They had warned me that I'd feel short of breath due to my spinal, but it kinda freaked me out! I started telling them, "I'm really short of breath!" Then I'd crank my head back and look at my blood pressure and stats. Then I'd breathe the Oxygen in really deep, and start the process over again! They finally told me that I knew too much medically and that I was doing just find as I could see, so just relax! I was hoping the Dr's were almost done with me because it was hard for me to not think about not being able to wiggle my toes, and not think about the fact that I was having a hard time breathing. So I started to think about the sweet baby I'd just brought into the world, how sweet she was, how her cry made me cry and what a miracle she was and a blessing she was to our family already. Then I heard my Dr say, "Oh, we still need to tie her tubes!" Like she'd forgotten! So they did that and then I started to feel pain from the pressure and I asked what was going on. They informed me that I was being put back together and that literally all my insides were sitting on top of my outsides! But stuffing myself back together was not very comfortable. And then they were done. They stitched me up on the inside and then I could feel the pressure of the staples on the outside. They had some issues with getting my bleeding to stop because my blood levels from my heparin were still a little high, so they had to use gel foam to stop my bleeding. They were pretty impressed that I knew what that was! (thanks to my experience as a kidney dialysis technician!) Then they bandaged me up and took the sheet off of me. The sheet was stuck to me due to the sticky tape on it and pulling it off felt so weird. The strangest part of all was transferring me from the table to the gurney. Having no feeling or ability to move my body was a little un-nerving to me when they put this roller 'thing' under my body and tipped me on my side. I screamed! It scared me so much! But they assured me that they had a hold of me and they wouldn't let me fall, and guess what... they were right!

Then it was back to the recovery room. When I got there, Master Chief and Baby Girl were sitting there happy as can be. Master Chief placed her in my arms and good heavens she was beautiful. I was starting to get the shakes and my face was feeling itchy, so I was afraid I would drop her, so I told Master Chief to take her back. I was happy just to look at her with her daddy. But she started rooting and looking for some food, so back she came to get to work feeding her little belly! I was so happy, this is what I'd wanted, for her be able to nurse right away. Everything was so perfect.

After she ate, they came and I got to watch them give her a bath, oh her hair... her hair was so thick and long, at least more than we've ever seen on our babies! All of our babies have been pretty bald! This was so exciting. Plus her hair has some curl to it! They put a cute blue bow in it and she was ready to go! They placed her in my arms and we were off to my post partum room. We'd done it! We had a baby, full term, and here she was in our room in the hospital! It was a dream come true! The only other piece of the dream was to bring her home from the hospital with us when I went home. And that we did!

One Day Old!

We had a few issues in the hospital though, between the nurses not being on the same page as far as my care, one person telling me to get up and get some lunch to the next one telling me to stay down all day and drink clear liquids. Then I had issues with my blood pressure. We knew that I'd have issues after birth, but that they'd work themselves out eventually. The nurses didn't get that memo though! They'd have me lay on my left side, and re-test, draw labs, and call the Dr's. Each time things worked out to be just fine!

The biggest issue we had though was with Baby Girl and a mix up with some labs. They do a skin test for billiruben, checking for jaundice. This number was 8 and due to her hours old, they decided to send a blood sample to the lab. This result came back at a 13.1, not an 8. The nurses mentioned that they aren't supposed to get such a difference in readings, but the blood test doesn't lie, so we had to put her on a cozy bed with lights coming up from underneath and a blanket across her top. This was just not acceptable to Baby Girl! She loves to be swaddled and held, that didn't happen on the cozy bed so she screamed for 6 hours straight. And then she screamed some more and some more. Finally it was time to retest her blood level and her results came back at 8.9. They were all so surprised that she'd come down so fast. One nurse even mentioned that there may have had a mix up. So to be sure she was okay, they had her sleep on the bed that night and to get her to calm down they gave her a binky. Mama kinda had a feeling that wasn't the best thing but it did calm her down and allow her to get some rest which Baby Girl truly needed. The next day they discontinued her cozy bed (hurray) and later tested her skin level and she was at 40% (not sure on the number but they only do blood tests at 75% so we were well under). Her issues were over with! Except they weren't. Because they'd given her a binky she had major nipple confusion and nursing became a nightmare. Plus since she'd screamed for 6 hours, she'd burned a lot of calories and her weight dropped to 5lbs, 9oz which is 10% below birth weight which becomes an issue if it drops any lower. So the nurses wanted me to supplement and I was not about to do that. I wanted to keep her at the breast and with my milk. But she wasn't able to figure out how to nurse, so we put glucose water in a syringe attached to a tube that she drank from while nursing to get her interested in sucking. We thought we were going to be fine, but by that night she'd dropped to 5lbs 8oz which was 11% below birth weight. Mama was in tears, just sure that they wouldn't let Baby Girl come home from the hospital with Mama. So we chose to put formula in the syringe through the night. When the pediatrician came through the next morning, she was not worried and discharged her to come home with Mama as long as we were able to get into our regular pediatrician the next day. What a relief!!!
So we packed our bags and hit the road before anyone could change their minds! Then all our dreams had come true! We'd fulfilled each thing we'd came to do and we were feeling so blessed. We are happily home now, nursing has been a mess, but we've been to see a lactation consultant and things are going very well now! Baby Girl is growing, eating, sleeping and pooping like any normal baby! We all adore her. Kermit loves to hold her and if she starts to cry he tells us that "It's okay, I've got her!" Miss Piggy is good at changing her diaper and loves to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, right in her face! Good thing Baby Girl doesn't seem to care. She's so happy and content. We truly couldn't ask for a better baby and a fantastic way to complete our family!

Thank you to all our family and friends who prayed day in and day our for our little miracle. We know we couldn't have gotten where we are now without you.

And since this has taken me forever to post, here's an update. At 12 days old, Baby Girl weighs 6lbs even and has grown 1 inch! She's now 19 1/2 inches long. How do they grow so fast? Mama was able to get into her pre-pregnancy pants at 4 days post baby!!!! And at 11 days post baby she is 7lbs under her pre-pregnancy weight! GO ME!!!

And here's a recent picture of our sweet Baby Girl at 13 days old.


taffi said...

I'm totally crying. I need to come get a Baby Girl fix. Love you guys!

Camisha Gollaher said...

Oh my goodness Jami, what a little miracle story! I am so excited for you guys, the blessings, and the best outcome there could have been. She is just beautiful!!! It's amazing, you're amazing, and baby girl...I just wanna squeeze her! Give all your kiddos a kiss from me. I love you.

Meemer said...

she is so beautiful! i am so happy for your family.

The Jensen Family said...

C-sections where your awake are the wierdest things! I remember feeling the same way you did! She's a cutie!

Our Story said...

I am so happy for you guys! and I need to some see her in person! :)

Jenni said...

what a great story! and how did you luck out? a beautiful baby and pre-preg weight--definitely go-you!

Lisa Curtis said...

How perfect! I'm so glad you had a great experience and your baby is beautiful!

Gina Sims said...

Absolutely amazing, I have no other words! She is gorgeous & I am so thrilled for you! Thanks for sharing your amazing journey!

emlouisa said...

I'm so glad you had such a great experience this time. You truly deserve it.

I need to come meet this little girl!!!! What a cutie. She's beautiful!


Ammon & Nicole said...

What a great story Jami! I'm so glad that everything went well and that you got to bring her home with you. I too had to supplement Piper in the hospital and I was so worried that she wouldn't want to nurse but she still did. They never tried to give her a binky though. I am a little mad at you thou to be under your prepregnancy weight! That's just not fair!

krissi said...

This is the best post ever! What a true gift and miracle for your family! Im so glad this went so well for you! Congrats on everything! Love all the pictures, her hair bow pics are too cute!

sweetpea said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! She is absolutely beautiful!! I am so happy for you.

Caitlin and Jared said...

Thanks for posting your story! What a miracle! She is so beautiful!