Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Kumquat is Born!!

We have received an overwhelming amount of support from family, friends, friends of family, family of friends, strangers, etc. Some people are just hearing about the fact that our son, Liam Robert is in the NICU and they are wondering what exactly happened to put him there. I am going to do my best to tell the story here. I am going to just start typing. All grammar and spelling are out the window at this point. Just want to get the events and some of my feelings down . . .

I went to work on Wednesday, August 5 - business as usual. Or as usual as it can be when you are 38 plus weeks pregnant and totally uncomfortable. Jen and Karen both mentioned that I looked as if my belly had dropped. I knew I wasn't totally feeling myself when I refused a hug from Karen because it actually sounded like it might hurt. I had lunch plans with Fada and Kelly. I was excited to see them. I knew it would be the last time while pregnant! On my way to meet them I felt an urge to run into Marshall's and Babies R Us for some last minute items for my bag (which was packed and had been in my car for a couple of days - just in case). Shanna sent me a list of things that she had brought, needed, didn't need and wished she had! This was SO helpful. I had to get the things that I was missing. After I got my stuff, I met the girls and ALL the kids and had a really fun lunch. I went back to work and didn't feel very well but also felt the urge to get the Schwartz Awards (my part) wrapped up. I worked until about 7:00which was pretty late for me considering I have been bolting at 5:29 to get home to pjs and the couch! It's like I knew I wouldn't be back!

Wednesday night after dinner I started to have some contractions. I had them before and this didn't feel much different. I paid attention to how far apart they were and how intense. I took a bath. A LONG bath. Brian went to bed while I was in the bath. When I got out I tried to go to bed but was super uncomfortable when lying down. So I got up and went out to watch tv. It was like 11:00. At 12:00 I felt like the contractions were coming at a regular interval about 6-7 mins apart. I woke Brian up, told him to get his glasses, a watch and a pad of paper . . . I needed him to help me keep track! This seemed real (well, from what I had read.) We did this for one hour like we had learned. The contractions were pretty consistent - getting closer to 5 minutes apart and lasting about 40 seconds each. After hoing and humming we decided to go to the hospital. We thought the worst thing that could happen is that they would turn us away but at least we wouldn't be so worried. So we loaded up the car and headed to Winter Park Memorial Hospital.
The main entrance to the hospital is closed after hours so we had to go through the Emergency Room. We were the only people here. A woman asked me my name and maybe because I was scheduled for induction on Monday, I was in the system. She put me in a wheelchair and we made our way to Labor & Delivery. She did get a little lost a long the way and my contractions were getting a little more intense. I still wondered if we were going to be turned away! It was SO quiet when we arrived. They put us in a room and the nurse told me to put a gown on. REALLY? We are really doing this? She checked me and said I was 4 cm but my cervix was paper thin and I was 100% effaced. She asked if I would be wanting an epidural. Um, YES! They said they would go ahead and make the call since the anesthesiologist had to come from home. My contractions were becoming really painful now. Like crying during! I kept asking "how far away does he live!?" I wanted to see what real labor felt like and now I know! Ouch. I don't have the times memorized anymore but it had been a few hours (we arrived at 2:00 am) and I was now 6 cm. My parents were on their way.

Around this time god arrived. I mean the anesthesiologist got there. I was crying pretty much through each contraction at this point. Boy, was I happy to see him! He started the epidural and my legs got all tingly. It was wonderful. I could see my contractions ("off the chart" as the nurse had put it) on the monitor but I couldn't feel a thing.

My parents arrive and we all hung out for a few hours. The nurses continued to check my dialation and my doctor had been called. In the last blog I mentioned that I saw the nice, new, young doctor because my doctor had gone out of town. Well, looks like she would be delivering our baby after all! They said she would be around first thing in the morning. The nurses suggested that I get some sleep now and asked my parents to leave. They went to Denny's for breakfast (it was 4:00 am). Brian slept. I did not. Who could sleep at a time like this!?

Lots of checking. The doctor arrives. I am 10 cm. It's 8:00 am. It's go time!! I was so happy that I was going to be doing this with Dr. Snook. She made me feel very comfortable.

I basically just pushed for the next two hours straight. I still wasn't feeling the contractions so we would all watch the monitor. As soon as we saw a contraction was coming we took our places and I pushed through it. Usually four good pushes per contraction. They could see the top of the baby's head every time I pushed but as soon as I would take a new breath or stop it would go back up to where it had started. They were all cheering me along and saying "good job" but I could read the looks between the nurse and the doctor and it said "this baby isn't progressing." We were about to start the third hour of pushing when the doctor suggested that we take a break for awhile. She wanted me to "labor down" and see if maybe he would descend some more on his own. I also was exhausted and needed to get my strength back up.

At this time I was in horrible pain again. I kept saying that my epidural had worn off. They explained to me that it hadn't worn off but that the baby was adding more pressure to my pelvic bone and that is what I was feeling. They told me that I could have more but they explained that it would be helpful for me to try and push through some contractions while I could feel them. I agreed. At this point I would do anything to get the baby out. So we started the fourth hour of pushing. I pushed for that last hour with what felt like no epidural. It was so painful. They tried different positions and continued to cheer me on. The doctor now had a few other patients at the hospital and she left for a couple of minutes. I continued to push with the nurse.
I should mention that Brian was sitting right on the bed this entire time. He was holding a knee and doing everything we had learned in our birthing classes. I think I only yelled at him a few times for stroking my arm. He was so supportive. My parents also stayed in the room. Mom sat in a chair above my shoulders and Dad stood behind a curtain near the door!

At the end of hour four Dr. Snook came back into the room. I was now sobbing in pain. She took one look at me and said "OK, honey, we're not going to do this anymore." I agreed. It was c-section time! They explained what was going to take place now. Gave me more drugs. Prepped Brian and I for the surgery. They wheeled me out of the room and told Brian that they would come get him in just a few minutes.
Here is where the story gets blurry for me! Here is what I remember and what others have told me. They prepped me for surgery and Brian joined me in the emergency room. There was an anesthesiologist and her intern at my left shoulder, Brian at my right, Dr. Snook and another doctor down there and a couple of nurses in the room. Everyone was joking around. They were commenting on my toenail polish. I was asking if they gave me the "Michael Jackson" juice. They were explaining what they were doing. It all seemed so routine and normal. Even though I warned him not to (I was scared to death he would pass out), Brian peaked over the curtain at the start of the surgery.
Now this is where we should have the picture of the baby being held over the curtain for us to take our first glimpse. Brian cutting the umbilical cord. And then the picture of them putting my new bundle of joy on my chest and me crying at the sight of my beautiful baby boy. And then the picture that Brian would take of our son being weighed, having his footprints done, etc. But for us this is where everything takes a horrible turn.

I can feel a tremendous amount of pressure. Not pain. PRESSURE. More than what would be normal. I can hear the doctors huffing and puffing. I even heard Dr. Snook say "oh my god as she gasped for more air." I heard someone shhh her. Then someone starts yelling "get Daddy out of here." Brian is looking at me and shouting back "I'm not going anywhere." I look at him and calmly say "go on babe, do what they tell you. I am fine! I will be fine." He listened to me and I remember the scared look on his face as he leaves the room. At one point before he left I mentioned to him that there was so much pressure on my chest. That it felt like someone was standing on it. He said he looked over and the reason was that someone WAS standing on my chest. Two large male doctors have a knee on each side of my chest and they are tugging. He heard Dr. Snook yelling for someone to "push it up" "not like that" "like this" (as they tried to push the baby back up through my birth canal. I was gasping for more air as the pressure became more and more intense. The doctor was yelling for them to give me more drugs. "Knock her out! Knock her out!" I heard. "I already gave her blah blah blah cc's (or whatever the measurement was) "well, give her blah blah blah more!" Brian was gone. The room was full of people. I now knew that my baby was STUCK!

The first thought that ran through my head was . . . they have to get this baby out of me, right. I mean, they will break bones or whatever it takes but he has to come out. I knew I would be OK. They kept saying "you're going to be OK." But then it hit me "is my baby OK!?" Is HE going to be OK?! Then I started yelling "Is my baby OK? Is my baby alive?! Is he going to be OK? Someone has to tell me something." The anesthesiologist and her intern were shhing me and assuring me that everything was going to be OK. Finally I can tell that he is out. Now there is a different team of people saying things. I am so drugged out that I am not sure what is going on but I remember that I was still yelling. Finally a nurse comes over to me and says "you're baby is out. He is in distress. We are doing everything we can. You need to calm down." That is the last thing I remember until I come to, still in the operating room and Brian is there with me. They are stitching me up.

The story that my mom tells of Brian coming out of the room is heartbreaking. My parents were standing at the window of the nursery where they were told to wait to get the first glimpse of their grandson. They stand there . . .waiting and waiting. While they are waiting they notice that there are a lot of doctors and nurses coming off the elevator. Running. Running down the hall and into what my mom is sure is my operating room. She mentions this to my dad and he assures her that everything is fine. But it keeps happening. Mom has a bad feeling and starts walking that way. This is when Brian walks out of the room . . . he losses it and tells my parents that the baby is stuck. They wait together. Yuck!

They put Liam into an incubator and rushed him past his grandparents to the NICU.

Liam Robert was born on August 6, 2009 at 12:28 p.m. He was two weeks early and weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz. He was 20 in long. He was stuck in the birth canal and experienced head trauma. His apgar scores were 0 at 1 minute, 3 at 5 minutes and 6 at 10 minutes. His paperwork describes him as "depressed, floppy and gasping" at birth. He was moved to the NICU where he was put on a ventilator and feeding tube. Liam suffered two mild seizures over the next two days and was given an ct scan and an EEG. No major damage was detected. If he had one more they were going to start him on Phenobarbital. Thankfully it never happened again. Brian barely left the NICU the next two days while I was stuck in the room on an IV and catheter. My blood pressure was alarmingly low and I was stuck. Two days after he was born I FINALLY got to see my baby in person (Brian was bringing me lots of pictures). These were the two most horrible days of my life.

I was dismissed from the hospital on Sunday but they let us stay so we spent one night as "squatters." It was weird and depressing so on Monday we went home. It was a long week of back and forth to visit and bring milk to him. It was so sad when we left. We knew he was in good hands. The nurses (angels) in the NICU were so amazing. He was in good hands. He improved every day. Started to breath on his own. Eventually I was able to breast feed him in the NICU.

On Friday, August 14, Liam was discharged and we brought our beautiful baby home!! It's been two months since then and although we are still being seen my neurologists and developmental specialist, we believe that this was all just a really shitty start to an otherwise healthy, happy life!! Liam seems perfect and just melts our hearts when he smiles at us! We love him so much.

Enough of the scary saddness get ready for a blog filled with funny stories of first time parents feeling their way through this thing called life! And away we go!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

38 Weeks

Had our weekly OB appointment yesterday. Our doctor is out of town so we had this new woman that has joined the practice. We LOVED her! Once we got past how stinkin' pretty and nice she was, we just thought she was so smart and inquisitive. She asked so many questions about my diabetes and how it works with me going to a specialist too (which I don't think has worked that great at all - no communication between doctors). She said she might come by and see us in labor on Monday! I hope she does. I think I might choose to go to her for my GYN after the baby. It's not like we could have had her as our doctor - she just started. Anyway, she did the pelvic exam (ouch). She looked up at me and said "how many kids have you had?" I said "this is it." And she said "wow! you are about 4 cm dilated. That is really unusual to be that far along with your first." BUT this is great news! Because if I am induced on Monday it will be so much better to be further along on my own. My chances of c-section will be considerably lower. I was so happy to hear. So here I sit at work (I have two things left to get done!) contracting and 4 cm dilated! Yikes. I do have my bag, packed and in the car!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm having contractions!

So I went in for my Monday morning monitoring today and the nurse said that I was having some consistent contractions. She counted on the paper that prints out and said about 8 minutes apart. She then said "you may be having this baby before next Monday after all!!" On the way out the door she told the cute lady at the front desk that they probably won't see me on Thursday (have I mentioned before that I love the women that work here). That woman said "well, Heather just called and is not coming in today because she had the baby last night!" Then they threw some voodoo on me and told me "GOOD LUCK!" I was instructed to call my doctor if they became more like 5 minutes apart. The thing is they don't hurt. It is just tight pressure. So sometimes I can't tell if it is "real" or not. I think I am having one right now at 2:15 so I will pay attention and see when it comes again.

By the way . . . I know that this could go on for a long time! And I also know that he probably won't be as big as they say! All just a guessing game. But kinda fun to guess, don't you think!?

Can we please talk about the HORRIBLE pelvic pain that I am having? How did I not know anything about this? For weeks I have been exclaiming that my vagina hurts (mostly just because it causes people to giggle) because I couldn't exactly tell where the pain was coming from. Last night it was SO bad that I started to google around and I found that it is a real thing. I am sure I have had this for a while. The things that people were writing online . . . hurts to put my pants on when I have to lift one leg, hurts to roll over in bed at night, hurts to walk up stairs . . . yep that's it. And it is getting worse everyday. OUCH!!!

Brian and I went out to dinner this weekend! It was the first time since I started the insulin. It has just seemed like too much of a hassle to me, but my craving for sushi won out and we did it! Brian packed a small cooler and got all of my things together for me. We went to Seito in Baldwin Park (a favorite!). My plan was to park close to the restaurant and then go do my shot after we ordered to ensure that I would be eating within 15 mins of ordering. Well we parked pretty far away so I decided to take a chance and gave myself the shot before we got out of the car. We were seated right away and ordered some edamame and seaweed salad as soon as we sat down. It came fast and I relaxed. I am sure you don't have to be this crazy about the timing but what do we know! I really didn't want to pass out there! We had the most delicious sushi! If you eat there be sure to try Fireworks on the Beach. It is as pretty as it is delicious. Can we go back tonight!?