Saturday, November 1, 2008

Welcoming Carolina

Here's a quick rundown of the events leading up to Carolina's birth and the period after her delivery.

Thursday (35 weeks 1 day): Our doctor wants to deliver due to the leaking and sends us for an amniocentesis to determine lung maturity. We prepare everything at home (bags packed, Clay's stuff ready) for a delivery the next day.

Friday (35 weeks 2 days): The nurse calls and tells us that the amnio showed very immature lungs. The perinatologist suggests we wait until 38.5- 39 weeks for delivery. I'm glad we did the amnio and didn't take any risks which would have surely meant a NICU stay. I prepare myself for a couple more weeks of pregnancy and feel good knowing I am keeping Carolina in longer to help her get stronger lungs.

Thursday early afternoon (36 weeks 1 day): Mike's mom (Nana) arrives to watch Clay so Mike and I can attend our second ultrasound and OB appointment for the week. She'll help me stay off my feet for the weekend and keep Carolina in.

Thursday late afternoon: The ultrasound goes well but the OB appointment shows I have high blood pressure for the first time in the pregnancy. As we get ready to leave to be admitted to the hospital they discover I have the two other hallmarks of preeclampsia (extreme swelling and protein in my urine (TMI?)).

Mama in the hospital waiting for Carolina

Thursday night and Friday morning: The high blood pressure continues. Mike goes to work to conserve his time off.

Friday afternoon (36 weeks 2 days): Nana and Clay come to have lunch just as I start getting very nauseated. After I finished getting sick and reported my nice little headache to the nurse, she decided to call my doctor. My doctor instructs me to call Mike. It was "go time" and the doc was already prepping for a c-section.

Later Friday afternoon: The nurses begin talk of "mag" or magnesium sulfate. I had heard of it before and that it wasn't pretty. It is a common treatment for preeclampsia to avoid problems during or complications after birth. I start trying to talk the nurses out of it (my head was feeling a lot better after getting sick) but to no avail. They were determined.

Labor and Delivery: They start IV's. The same nurse I had seen a couple of weeks before and had failed at my IV twice was at it again. I warned her nicely that she hadn't really liked me last time but she blew veins twice again this time. They called in the people from anesthesia for the final product.

I begin peppering them with questions about worst case scenarios for the mag and what the NICU will be like while I throw up every couple of minutes. The nurse tells me the Mag will make me feel like crap and some people complain of burning eyes. I can't wait.

I begin to get nervous about it all and start crying every time someone mentions the NICU. They administer the mag and I start hearing ringing and my vision gets blurry between times of throwing up. I hear the nurse tell Mike, "We're going to lose her for a second but we'll get her back." I stick around just to see what will happen. (It was gettin' good.)

The Anesthesiologist comes and administers my epidural. He seems to have a little trouble which (again) makes me nervous.

They wheel me back to the OR and I greet my doctor. Everything is pretty fuzzy from there. I threw up several times and they brought Carolina over for just a second when she got cleaned up.

Newborn Carolina

Early Friday evening: I am back in Labor and Delivery and they are checking me out. Mike is with Carolina in the NICU. The nurse (young and a little nervous) calls her charge nurse in because she thinks my stomach is swollen. It's been just a few hours since delivery.

The nurses keep pushing on my uterus trying to get it back in shape. I start wincing and they remind me that I have to move around to feel better. (*After Clay was born the nurses told Mike I was one of the Top 10 for getting up and moving around after a c-section. Also my doctor had continually warned my hospital nurses to strap me down if they had to because I was a "jumpy" one.)

I start crying and trying to explain that I understand I have to move around and have my uterus put back in shape but they were being TOO rough. I kept asking to see Mike and for them to call my doctor because I never experienced this much pain from the "uterus pushing" after Clay.

Finally, Mike comes in and they continue (while I have a washcloth in my mouth to muffle the screaming and tears stream down my face). After they decide enough is enough the charge nurse asks me if I work out. What?? I tell her no. Duh. I was pregnant a couple of hours before, lady. My stomach muscles got really tight when she pushed on me, she says. Wow. Could it be that I was in screaming pain??

They decide to call the doctor on call who proceeds to tell them that all of this is unnecessary. They then check the epidural and discover it isn't in place anymore. It hadn't been working at all. Surprise, surprise. The original nurse comes in and tells us how her charge nurse has the tendency to be "dramatic" with her procedures. Really??

Late Friday Evening: Carolina is in the NICU for fluid on her lungs. Mike and I attempt to get a good night's rest (with a nurse coming in every hour to check my vitals).

Saturday: Carolina is doing well. Mike comes in to tell me she is hungry so the NICU was feeding her formula (despite my instructions that she was a breast fed baby). I get ready to formally meet our little girl.

Carolina and her monitors in the NICU

NICU: I get to go in and feed Carolina and she does really well. Mike also gets to hold her for the first time. She looks great and the nurses say she might get to room in with us that night or the next morning.

Carolina's NICU suite

Saturday night: Carolina is not quite ready to come be with us but we go down to the NICU every three hours to feed her through the night.

Sunday morning: Carolina gets discharged from the NICU. Mike and I are thrilled.

Sweet girl

Tuesday morning: It's Mike's birthday and we get to go home with our healthy daughter. Thank God!

Carolina Blair

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

What a whirlwind pregnancy this has been! I'm so glad you are both getting healthy and now you have that beautiful girl out of your belly and in your arms. Funny how they make it all worthwhile once they are here. Congratulations Mama!