Monday, March 7, 2011

Addalynn's Natural Birth Part 2

This is the part where everything changed. Addy was on the warmer, wasn't she still supposed to be in my arms? The nurses kept talking about how wet she sounded, I had in our birth plan that I did not want her to be deep suctioned. Well, the more they talked, the more worried I became and I told them to go ahead. Then I realized what was happening to me. The Dr. had asked if I had IV access, he ordered Pitocin and he was still rubbing vigorously on  my belly. Not only was he rubbing hard but he keep checking me, I thought he was looking for a tear, but he said I didn't have one. So what's going on? Well, your uterus is not wanting to contract. GREAT! All this work and now it decides to quit on me? After a shot of Methergine in the leg and Pitocin being started in my IV, and thirty minutes of massage and removal of blood clots, the Dr. was able to stop the bleeding. I will be completely honest, while this was happening, I thought I was going to die. Jake was as white as the walls, the baby was on the warmer by herself. The immediate pictures of Addy were taken by a nurse. Jake never left my side. The Dr. was pretty anxious, the nurses were running around like crazy and all I could think about was not telling the kids good-bye before we left. I was so weak, I could hear everyone talking around me, but I didn't talk back. The pain was more than anything I have ever endured. I had just gave birth to an almost 10 pound baby, but to have the Dr. go back inside and dig around for 30 minutes?!? I would rather give birth any day over that pain. Maybe I was so distant because I was trying to deal with the pain. After the bleeding stopped, there were lots of theories on what happened. I am still uncertain and I am looking forward to talking to the Dr. at my 6 week appointment.

Theory 1) Addy was so big your uterus was in shock. Theory 2) For some reason the placenta separated immediately after Addy was born, not an abruption, but I think he called it a terminal separation. If this was the case what caused that? Her cord did seem short, but I never heard anyone else comment on this theory. Theory 3) My platelets were low. Norm is 150,000-300,000. Mine were 82,000 when we checked in. Nothing new for me, happens with every pregnancy. This was the lowest they had ever been and we are glad we chose to go natural this time. You cannot get an epidural if they are below 100,000 so the choice would have been made for us. But the Dr. said usually you don't have a bleeding problem like I did unless they are below 20,000. Whatever the cause, the whole process was very scary. I know Jake and I were praying very hard, and God heard us. I believe God was trying to show me He was in control. I felt like I was in control until this point. I took my eyes off of Him and started relying on myself. I felt like Peter, one minute walking on water, then I lost my focus and I was drowning. Thank God for his grace and mercy. I realize it could have been a different outcome.

Meanwhile, Addy had been checked by the NICU nurse. They were also concerned about her collarbone, the Dr. thought he had felt it pop as she was coming out. Addy checked out fine, even though I still thought she sounded wet. Her glucose was initially 35, but I got to feed her and it jumped to 67. Wow! I had lost so much blood, they cleaned me up and brought in a whole new bed. I was still so weak from the blood loss and pain that I didn't get up and walk. My Pitocin was still going and causing horrific cramps. Much worse than the labor pains.

At shift change, they decided we were stable enough to transfer to postpartum. Jake left at this point to go and get the kids. I was in my new room without my husband and still in shock over everything that had happened. I felt myself start bleeding again and I pushed my call light. No one answered. I waited for who knows how long, there was no clock in our room, and Jake had his cell phone, we had left mine at the house. I tried to dial out of the room, but it was long distance. Finally my new nurse came in, I told her about the bleeding, she checked me and said, "it looks like you have more clots, let me go get another nurse." Now I panicked again. How could this be happening. They ordered another bag of Pitocin and there were a total of four nurses in the room. As a nurse, you never feel comfortable when they call for back-up. Jake had returned with the kids, but they had to leave the room pretty fast once the other nurses came in. Jake took them outside, and one of the nurses started working on me again. Same as just a few hours before, more massaging and more digging. This was really bad; I was crying, a nurse was holding Addy who was crying, and all the nurses were crying. Jake and the kids were standing right outside the door hearing everything. They kept asking if I wanted anything for pain. I was not in pain until this happened again, and I knew by the time pain medicine would work they would hopefully be done. (Plus the only thing they offered was ibuprofen or tylenol, ibuprofen would not be good for bleeding, and what would tylenol do?)The nurse holding Addy put her in her crib and went to get Jake. She offered to take the kids for a walk so Jake could be with me. Let me just say that we have delivered at three different hospitals and we received the BEST care this time. All of the staff were excellent. After calling the Dr., they decided to do oral doses of Methergine, which had worked earlier as a shot. At some point, Mom was called to come and get the kids.

The kids' first look at their new baby sister!
Such a proud big brother!
And another proud big brother!
Such a sweet picture, she couldn't believe this baby doll was moving!

Except for one trip to the bathroom, I still hadn't even got up to walk yet and it was 9:00a.m. The nurses didn't want me to aggravate the bleeding, but I wanted a shower so badly.  Around noon, I was allowed to get up, after one dose of oral medication and my second bag of Pitocin. I believe that was the best shower I have ever had! Things were beginning to look up. I was doing much better and we had a perfect healthy baby girl. She was eating well, already two dirty diapers and several wet. We had a few visitors and were ready for bed that night.

My one complaint about the hospital is the fact that they have no security system. We wanted to room in with the baby, but no one can sleep if Addy was in the room. We were so exhausted, only a few hours of sleep from the previous night, and awake all day. I knew if I fell asleep I would sleep like a brick and the same for Jake. I couldn't risk someone coming in our room and taking Addy. Reluctantly, I let Addy go to the nursery. As the nurse took her out, she was still sounding "wet" but no one else had been concerned with her breathing. About 30 minutes after she left the room, my nurse came and told me they had taken Addy to the NICU. She told us they would let us know when we could go back and see her. I almost lost my mind in the hour we waited. Jake was so calm and reassuring. We prayed and read in James. Once again, I felt like I had taken my focus off of the Lord. Jake helped me to regain my focus and when they called for us to see Addy, I was at peace. Addy is a gift from God, she belongs to Him, no matter what His plans are for her life, we have to be at peace with them. I am so thankful we have a loving God who shows us his mercy and grace. He was with us through every moment of Addy's birth and is with us everyday.

 Thursday morning in the NICU.

Addy's diagnosis was respiratory distress with stridor, most likely caused from multiple suctionings. She had to have oxygen through a nasal cannula to help dry up her secretions. The NICU drew labs, and by the morning they were worried because she hadn't had a wet diaper. I knew she had multiple diapers for me the day before, but they didn't see them, so they didn't count. As frustrating as it was, I have worked on their side and I know their rationale. I was ready to take our baby home and having someone else make those decisions for us was difficult. She was still breastfeeding great, but they wanted to give her an IV to boost her volume. I felt this was unneccessary, but whatever we have to do to get her home. After the bolus of fluids, she still hadn't had a wet diaper, so they wanted to supplement formula. I initially said, OK, but everything in me said no. This could have been the end of our breastfeeding relationship and it had just started. With everything else that had already happened, I would definitely need therapy if I couldn't nurse my baby.

She looks so comfy, too bad she's not in our arms!
Her siblings first visit with her in the NICU, they were so glad to know she was OK.

I pleaded my case to Addy's nurse and she called the Dr.... New plan: instead of supplementing formula, Addy can have a continuous IV until my milk comes in. So I breastfed, then pumped, every 2 hours. (I am now paying for it!) Not much sleep, but by Friday morning, she was able to be weaned off of the IV and oxygen and we were discharged on Saturday morning. We are so grateful for the care we received!

 Friday afternoon in our rooming-in room before Addy's discharge.

Let me just say, it would be easy to see how everything went wrong. Initially I felt this way. So I want to focus on the things that went right.

1) We made it to the hospital in time.
2) We had IV access, (because of the GBS I had been so concerned about).
3) The doctor was at the delivery.
4) I had wonderful, attentive nurses.
5) We sent Addy to the nursery, (what would have happened to her if she stayed in our room?)
6) The nurses and Drs. listened to us and worked with us.
7) We had church family and friends praying for us.
8) We have four blessings from God.

and the list is endless....

All dressed up and ready for home. This was the outfit I wore home from the hospital almost 27 years ago! Ava also wore it home, and we all three wore it our first Sunday in church.

I know it was God's plan. Not mine, I am not in control. For whatever reason, God saw fit for this trial to happen in our lives and I am thankful.
 "My brethen, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." James1:2-3 

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