Monthly Archives: March 2013

{NICU: Day 10}

Another uneventful day. We like these kind 🙂 Everyone is so impressed with how well he is doing. Keep the prayers coming – we want things to continue this direction! The only real “news” of the day is that his feeding tube has been moved to his nose – yay for a free mouth! Much easier to see all the smiles he keeps showing off!

This is not at all how we thought we’d spend our first baby’s first Easter, but this is a pretty darn good place to be.

20130330-223912.jpg

20130330-223920.jpg

Advertisements

{NICU: Day 9}

Just a quick update for tonight. Today is kind of a “no news is good news” kind of day.

Joey is up to 1730 grams, 50 more than yesterday and only 23 away from his birth weight!

And for those of you who think he looks so big now, here’s a little perspective of him in Andy’s hands tonight (sorry it’s so blurry!) 🙂

20130329-235253.jpg

Notice in these next couple pictures that his left hand is always up by his face. Always! It was right there my ultrasounds too! Too funny to see him doing what I know he was doing inside me too. It’s comforting to him!

20130329-235857.jpg

20130329-235941.jpg

And he is still loving holding Andy’s finger any time we’re there. I couldn’t get them both in the picture, but look at his little white knuckles from holding so hard, and his tiny eye looking up at his daddy. ❤

20130330-000044.jpg

Hodge Podge

I realized there are a lot of things I wanted to post about here, but they may not fit into another post, so they’re all going here 🙂

{his name}
Before Josiah’s birth, Andy and I literally had not discussed names once. We always joked that we had backup names – Andy and Sam (Andrea and Samuel) because we’d be the only ones who could use their nicknames. But that was the farthest the discussion ever went. We thought we had 9 more weeks. Ha! So he went most of his first day of life with no name. Just “baby Nelson”. We saw him a couple times, and still nothing came to us. Andy threw out there that he thought he looked like a Joey. That nickname had been on my list with a couple different full names. We didn’t want Joseph, but tossed around Jonas, Jonah, and Josiah. We played around with those names for a while late Thursday night. Then we looked up the meanings of those three names, and when we came to Josiah, we knew that was his name. “The Lord saves”. There couldn’t be a more fitting name for our boy.

20130329-123650.jpg
Mark is after his daddy. 🙂

{the miracle of it all}
We have been told in no uncertain terms by multiple people that had we not been in the hospital when my placenta abrupted we would have had a dead baby and a very sick mom. There is no possible way we could have gotten anywhere in time to do anything about it. That is both a terrifying and comforting thought all at the same time. I started out this pregnancy at a totally different doctor and hospital. I didn’t really like the way they did things – there were about 10 OBs and you see each one once. I didn’t know any of them, and they didn’t know me. I had to retell my story over and over and it just didn’t seem like a good fit for me. I was nervous about switching doctors so late in pregnancy, but a friend encouraged me to seek out a midwife around 24 weeks. I did. I loved them. Their practice is two midwives, and they work closely with an OB. It ended up being the absolutely best decision I ever could have made. I am so grateful to my midwife for using her judgement to pass me off to the OB when she felt I was beyond her realm of care, and for passing me of to the best OB in Kansas City. I hadn’t met Dr. Schwartz until the day I was admitted to the hospital. Every nurse I had my entire stay when they asked who my doctor was just gushed about how lucky I was when I told them Schwartz was my OB. Little did I know just how true that was. The NICU doctor on call the night Joey was born was talking to us a couple days after his birth. She said she had gone over my whole story, and said “you need to know this baby is an absolute miracle”. What a humbling place to be. I can’t say enough about the amazing care both Joey and I have/had at the hospital. But we know it wasn’t all in the doctors hands. No way. It’s amazing to look back and see all the ways this should have gone wrong. But Someone greater than us was and is writing this story, and He’s not finished yet. I just can’t wait to see the next few chapters. 🙂

{daddy}
I need to just brag on this guy for a few minutes —>

20130329-125112.jpg
He has been so amazing through this whole thing. From doing everything to take care of the dogs and house while I was on hospital bedrest, working his butt off long hours at his brand new job, and still finding time to come sit with me… and that’s all before our son was born and his role was stepped up even higher. He wasn’t at the hospital when Joey was born. He arrived and the front desk person said “oh, they just took your wife to the OR”, and he was told he could go sit in my room. He walked in to a complete disaster in the room. There were literally instruments and such just strewn about – it was clear something major had happened. But he held it together like only he can. He had an agonizing wait until someone could come tell him what was going on. I don’t think I’ll ever forget waking up for the first time in my recovery room and seeing him… I had never been so glad to have my best friend by my side. He showed me pictures of our baby boy and then sat with me for hours while I recovered. This first week has not been easy on him. He has has to experience things I never had a chance to warn him about (haha!). But he’s taken it all in stride and never once complained. He helps me get up all through the night now that were home, continues to work full time, and spends his entire evening loving on our son. I couldn’t be more proud. ❤

20130329-130032.jpg

20130329-130047.jpg
(this is hands down my favorite picture ever. He is so in love.)

{a few more brags}
My mom has been here all week helping care for me, take care of the house, making every meal, and driving me up to the hospital. This help has been so, so wonderful. Not sure how I would have done this week without her!
My sister also came down for a few days and helped my mom shop for, plan, and prepare a ton of meals. It was so good to have her here!
Andy’s parents came and got our first babies (the pups) and I know they’re having a wonderful time being spoiled at Grandma and Grandpas.
All the friends and family who have sent us flowers, cards, gifts… You know who you are and we are so thankful for you. Thank you for thinking of us!
And then our Kansas City friends who have taken us under their wings and come around to support us in this crazy time while we’re far from family – thank you! It means more to us than you know.

Progress

Sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday – it was a BIG day and I needed to soak it all in. I had no words. Here’s where the last two days have taken us.

{NICU: Day 7}

I had way overdone everything the last couple days, and made a choice to yay in bed all day and not go up to the hospital until evening. It was hard, but I’m so glad I did as I felt infinitely better! We got there to discover no more cpap!! He had been transitioned to a nasal cannula (just two little plastic tubes in his nose) with a high flow of room air. This is another huge leap as they thought he’d be on cpap a while longer. This boy is stopping for no one now!

It was just about time for him to eat while we were there, and his nurse let me do the honors. He is still fed through his feeding tube in his mouth (this will eventually be moved to his nose) with expressed breast milk in a syringe hooked to the end. It’s as close to feeding him as I can come right now and it was awesome! He is up to 6ml feeds every 3 hours and they will up that by 2ml every 12 hours until he gets up to a full feed of 33ml. He is still receiving extra nutrients in his IV for now.

20130329-000009.jpg

As you can see, he had to go back under the bilirubin lights because his levels went back up. No big deal, and he doesn’t mind chilling under the lights with his cool glasses on 🙂

He was ALL about holding daddy’s hand last night. The whole night! So sweet to see his little fingers wrapped around Andy’s finger that is the size of Joey’s whole arm!

20130329-000224.jpg

20130329-000236.jpg

He gained a little weight – up to 1680 grams (about 3lb 11oz). As his feeds increase I’m guessing this will be a new trend! Grow baby grow!

The very best part of the night? He was ready to be held! He could only come off his bili lights for 30 minutes, and we had to wait for his body temp to come up a little as he was a little cold, but that was ok! I don’t think I can quite describe the moment. I have held lots of babies in my life. Lots. And I honestly loved every second with every one of those babies. But I have been waiting since I was a very little girl to hold MY baby. I can’t remember a time in life where that wasn’t in my mind and heart. This day has been 25 years in the making in my heart, and it was amazing to finally reach that day. We each held him for a bit before he had to go back in his isolette. Seeing Andy hold him for the first time was another moment in itself – I know this day has been a long time coming in his heart too, and to see just how little Joey is in the crook of his arm was absolutely precious. I can’t wait to see their relationship develop – there’s something special about a dad and his son and I intend to encourage that in any way I can. It helps that we’re dealing with the best dad and son you could ever imagine. I’m a lucky girl to get to be a part of the lives of these two guys.

20130329-001024.jpg

20130329-001040.jpg

20130329-001050.jpg

Before we left, I also got to change his diaper!! This is another thing I have done a lot of times in my life. But never for my baby. And never a tarry meconium poo! Ha! I feel like I really got to be Josiah’s mama last night. Diapers, feeds, cuddles. Best day ever.

20130329-001251.jpg

Somehow a whole week has passed. As we were getting ready to go, we were reminiscing that a week ago, we had NO idea we’d have a baby right now. It’s all still so surreal, and yet so amazing. I’m excited to watch the rest of this story unfold.

{NICU: Day 8}
I went up to see Joey for a while during the day today. I got to talk to the NICU doctor and get an update on how he’s doing.

He is doing very well with the nasal cannula and they are ready to turn it down to “low flow” sometime today. They may need to add a bit of oxygen through the transition just to help him a little, but that is only temporary.

He is very anemic. I’m not surprised, because I was VERY anemic after delivery and they left my IV in until just before I was discharged just in case they would need to do another transfusion. They didn’t need to because I was never symptomatic, but they watched me close. A normal iron level is 12-14, and most people have symptoms below that (lightheaded, dizzy). Usually once people get in to the 7s, a transfusion is necessary. My level was 6.8 the day I was discharged! They are hoping to avoid a transfusion for Josiah, but are watching him closely too.

He was still under his bili lights when we arrived, but his levels were stable so he was able to come off them while we were there. Yay!

Other than that, she said he is doing very well! Just going to continue to increase feeds and watch him continue to get better!

I got to change his diaper again this morning, and take his temperature. I also got to do his feed again (10ml now) and they had me have him suck on his pacifier while I did to try to get him to eventually associate sucking with eating.

After some rest this afternoon, Andy and I went back up this evening. He’s still doing very well and was so snuggled in taking a great nap when we arrived. This meant when he did wake up he was very alert and wide awake! So fun to see.

After they got his weight (holding steady at 1680 grams) and changed his diaper, I was able to have some skin to skin time with him. Last night when I held him he was all wrapped up in a blanket and I couldn’t get a good feel for his size. But tonight bare chest to chest, he is TINY. And oh, so perfect. 🙂

20130329-002803.jpg

I think that’s all I have for you tonight. Please continue to pray for this amazing little guy. He is working so hard to get better and making progress each day. We are so blessed to be his mom and dad and walk this road with him! (but please pray for us too – we are TIRED. Haha!)

{NICU: Day 6}

Wanted to give you all an update on today. I also wanted to just add a note that as you read this blog, remember that this journey will have times where it is two steps forward, one step back, etc, for quite a while. Totally normal for a NICU babe! Don’t let it discourage you!

I went up to see Joey with my mom and sister earlier today. He is still just content as can be with that stupid tube out of his mouth :). He can even take a pacifier now! While I was in there with my mom we were talking. If she was talking, he laid there content, but the moment I opened my mouth and started talking, he opened his eyes to look for me. I would stop and he would close them, start again and he would look for me. This is the first time he’s done anything like this (last night was actually he first time I had ever seen a peek of his eyes!), and it was such an amazing thing for me to see. He knows I am his mama. This boy made me a mama. I’m speechless. Then while I was in with my sister I had my hand resting on his back while we were in there. He was so peaceful, just snoozin’. We got up to leave and I removed my hand. He started crying. Once again, he knows his mama, and needed my touch. Man, I love this kid. At one point while with my mom, we could swear he smiled, though its hard to tell by the picture. I’ll take it, though. 🙂

20130326-190132.jpg

I was able to talk to his doctor while we were there. There are 8 NICU doctors who rotate between 5 hospitals, so this is the third he has had so far. They are all amazing. She let me know they did a head ultrasound yesterday. This is standard for any baby born before 32 weeks. They are looking for 3 things:
– any bleeding in the brain
– they measure the echoes (ultrasound is just sound, so basically they are measuring how it bounces back) all around the outside of the brain
– measure the organs (this was her words, but I was unaware there were organs inside the brain!) in the brain

He does not have any bleeding in his brain which is a great thing. His echoes are a little higher than they would like them to be. One of the organs in the brain is called the choroid, that is where spinal fluid is produced. She thinks he has a little bleed in one of them (there are 2 in everyone’s brain). The radiologist didn’t even pick up the bleed, but she caught it when going back over the scan. Neither of these things are major, or something to worry about now, and both are simply due to being premature and are likely to clear up on their own. He will have this scan repeated next Monday to see if there has been any change. She said staying the same or getting better are both good things, we just don’t want either issue to get worse. But we’ll discuss all of that more if that is something we’re dealing with.

He was off the bulirubin light when we saw him last jight. His jaundice levels are back up a little today, you can really see the yellow in his skin. He may go back under the lights tomorrow, but this is all still very normal. He just likes to get his tan on!

When we went in tonight, they had removed his umbilical line (yay!!!) and had no issues with it coming out. He does have to lay on his back for about 6 hours so they can make sure it doesn’t bleed. This is a huge, huge step towards getting to hold him. If he behaves tomorrow, it might be the day!! He doesn’t like being on his back much, so he was a little grumpier tonight, but still quite content to listen to us talk to him. I love watching the way he calms when he feels Andy’s big strong hand. They changed his diaper, his bedding, and weighed him while we were there. I had never seen him with his diaper off! His little butt is unbelievably tiny and cute. Andy got to hold him up while they changed his bedding!! He weighs 1630 grams, just a little over 3lb9oz. He’s lost 10 grams side yesterday (totally normal!). He still loves to hold things in his hands, tonight he was hanging on to the cpap machine. So sweet.

20130326-224911.jpg

Remember my amazing nurse the night he was born, Chanell? I still get to see her around the hospital when I’m in 🙂 she goes in and checks on Joey frequently, and I absolutely love that. Tonight she came in with me and scrubbed in so she could touch him, and then he was getting his diaper changed and she wasn’t able to again. He’s her little buddy and I hope she gets to touch him soon! I just can’t say enough about the amazing people at this hospital.

Tonight Joey’s NICU nurse from the night he was born was in there with us, and she said “he has come so far!” It was very cool to hear her perspective – she saw the condition he came out in and the circumstances he came out in, and she’s been able to watch all the progress he’s made. For her to be able to say 6 days later he’s come far means a lot.

I’ll leave you with a couple more pictures, just for fun. 🙂

20130326-225018.jpg

20130326-225030.jpg

20130326-225043.jpg

No more tube!

Josiah has been on the ventilator since he was born. He needed lots of help to breathe, since his lungs were so underdeveloped (right where they should be for 31 weeks gestation, but not ready for breathing!). The ventilator was the big tube down his throat. It gave him a certain number of breaths per minute, and he was able to breathe other than those. When he was born I believe he started on 30 breaths per minute, then they turned him down to 20, then he spent a couple days at 15 breaths per minute. They don’t want to leave babies on the vent for too long, because it puts pressure in their lungs which is not natural and can damage the lungs, but he just was not ready to come off. They did extubate him at one point (Friday I think?) but he didn’t do well at all and they put it back in. It’s a fine line for when to remove it because you don’t want it out too early obviously, but its definitely not a forever solution!

He was so agitated all the time up until now. He wanted that tube out bad. He knew right were it was and would get a good grip on it and even pull super hard. They actually wondered if he would take it out himself! (They would have let him, and seen how he did and re-intubated if necessary). Every time we went to see him he was upset. He would wiggle around, “cry” (no sounds come out when there’s a tube down your throat! But he made quite the facial expressions!), and his breathing was so rapid. We saw it up to 130+ breaths per minute! They wanted that number to be under 70. He hated being touched, it just made him more agitated. It was very hard to watch.

They told us last night that the fact that he was fighting it was a good thing – he was strong and alert enough to care. If he was just limp and tolerant, that would be no good.

When we arrived tonight his nurse (another AMAZING NURSE, Christine) asked if I had talked to anyone yet today. I told her no and she got a big smile on her face and said “no more tube!” 🙂 They removed it at some point today, and he is like a brand new kid. He still needs breathing support, so now he’s on a machine called cpap. It goes over his nose, and is basically like a sleep apnea machine. It’s just a constant flow to keep everything open.

20130326-005054.jpg

The best part about the cpap? He gets to wear an adorable hat!! Isn’t he cute?

The orange tube in his mouth is his feeding tube. Eventually when he transitions off the cpap to the nasal canula, they will put it down his nose, but the cpap can push air in their bellies, so they like to use the larger tube a little longer. He is so happy to be able to close his lips, though! He lets the cpap fill his cheek with air, then blows bubbles to let it out. So, so cute.

He is overall just a much happier baby now that that tube is gone! He loves to be touched now (although, only firm touch. No stroking, etc. His nervous system is still developing and anything other than firm touch is too much. This is a hard thing to learn as your natural instinct is to stroke a baby’s sweet skin!). He can cry now, and his little squeaks melt my heart. When he does cry though, he loves a firm hand on his back (he was laying on his belly tonight), especially from his daddy.

This is all a huge step forward for him. We still cannot hold him because he has his arterial line in his umbilical cord and it is very fragile, but they’re hoping to remove that tomorrow.

He is a strong and feisty one! He needs to not bend an flail around his arm with his PICC line in it, but he does, so they have his arm taped to a board (still somewhat flexible). He wants it free so bad! He has ripped the tape off multiple times today! Stinker!

Also, he was under the bilirubin lights for jaundice yesterday. They thought he’d have 2-3 more days but when we arrived tonight he was off! His levels may still go up, but his nurse yesterday said they usually level off around 7 days old.

It is quite surreal to think that at this time a week ago, I had NO idea all of this was about to happen. I checked into the hospital the next day, and you all know the story from there. What a week. I’m beyond thankful for the ways I’ve been cared for – both overall by a God who always knew this would be my story and orchestrated it all perfectly, to the physical care of the nurses, doctors, friends and family around me. We are so incredibly blessed.

Josiah Mark

The last few days have marked our lives forever. Our sweet boy came into the world very early Thursday morning in a traumatic way, but we couldn’t be more glad he’s here, and more thankful for all the ways God’s hand was so evidently paving the way for his birth.

Lots of people have asked the story, so I’m going to post it here. Fair warning: some of this may be major TMI. If you’re freaked out already by me saying placenta, uterus, gushing blood, throwing up, catheter… Stop now! The rest of you, read on. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I was around 29 weeks pregnant when my blood pressure started to rise. It wasn’t super dangerously high, but they definitely started keeping a close eye on it. One night when I was 30 weeks, it had been super high all day, and I couldn’t get it to read below 140/90 (when you start treading in dangerous territory). I made a call to my midwife around 10pm and she had me lay down and it did come down to an “ok” level. She had me come in for labs the next day (Thursday, Mar 14) and an appointment Friday. They were getting concerned about preeclampsia, “a life-threatening disorder that occurs only during the pregnancy and postpartum period. Preeclampsia and related disorders such as HELLP syndrome and eclampsia are most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and/or the baby.” At my appointment Friday, I learned that my labs showed an issue with my kidneys, but they weren’t too worried at this point. I had planned to go to MN for my second baby shower that weekend, and the midwife said I was ok to go, but I needed to come in on Monday. We did go up to MN (and thank you for the amazing shower, girls!), but I didn’t feel great all weekend. I saw the midwife first thing Monday morning, and my BP was still high and even after lying down it wasn’t coming down. She wanted me to try a couple herbal supplements, and see if we could lower my blood pressure that way, since they really weren’t concerned about the kidneys at that point. She scheduled me for weekly appointments every Monday from there on out and weekly non-stress tests every Friday to monitor the baby. She wanted to repeat my labs that Thursday, to see how they had changed in a week. But then at the end of the appointment, it almost seemed like a mistake at the time, she asked me to do labs quick before I left. I gave them more of my blood and headed on my way with my list of herbs. I picked them up at the natural food store on the way home. I was emailing with my midwife that night and the next morning, because I wasn’t sure if one of what I had gotten was quite right. She told me to hold off, she had just gotten my labs and was waiting for a call back from the OB they work with, because one of them was concerning. She finally called me that afternoon (Tuesday, Mar 19), and said she hadn’t talked to Dr. Schwartz yet, but that I needed to pack a hospital bag, because she just knew he was going to have me admitted. I was NOT expecting any of that! I somewhat frantically packed myself a bag for my indefinite hospital stay, and packed a few things for the baby (we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl!) juuuust in case I didn’t come home before the baby came (I thought it was a long shot, but didn’t want to have to try to explain to Andy where and what everything was if I did need him to bring it at some point. We even laughed about it as we left the house “well that’s a weird thought that we wouldn’t make it back before the baby’s born” …ha!

We got to the hospital around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon and they admitted me, had me on bed rest on my left side, and had me start a 24 hour urine sample to check for protein which can indicate preeclampsia. I was BORED, but everything seemed fine. Andy was here with me for some of the evening, then went to pick up the dogs (Torq had actually had a couple of teeth pulled that day!), and then he did come back for a bit that evening again. He went home and slept for the night and I tried to get sleep in my uncomfortable hospital bed, with nurses coming in every couple hours and 2 monitors strapped to my belly to monitor the baby.

Wednesday was another long, boring day. They repeated my PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) labs, and I continued bedrest and my 24 hour urine. I was really feeling quite “fine” the whole day. They asked me to rate my pain each time they came in the room, and my answer was always zero.

The nurses change shifts at 7 and 7, and my new nurse came in sometime between 7:30-8 to meet me that night. She was amazing, and absolute gift from God. Honestly, I couldn’t have made it through what transpired over her 12 hour shift so well without her. I need to figure out a good gift for her. She came in and asked a bunch of questions, and I was the only patient she had at the time, so she stayed to chat for about an hour. We talked about Minnesota, Kansas City, the crazy hot summer we had here, her pregnancies, her kiddos, just everything. I felt like I was talking to a friend. Andy had a super long day at work (he has been an absolute rock star taking care of EVERYTHING for us this whole week!!), and didn’t make it down to the hospital until about 8:30. He was exhausted, so we just played a hand of cards (which I lost, boo!). He headed home for the night shortly after 10.

I got ready for bed after he left (I was able to wear my own clothes while I was here which was nice!), and laid down to try to get comfy. That was just not happening. I figured it was from lying on my one hip for days on an uncomfortable bed, but I just could not get comfy. My nurse, Chanell, came in and checked on me around 11:30, and I told her I was just going to try to get some sleep.

The discomfort in my lower back and lower belly was getting worse. I knew they were going to need to come adjust the monitors, so I decided to let myself get into ANY comfortable position until they did. I remember kind of rolling back and forth, not sure if any of it was comfy, when all of a sudden I felt a HUGE GUSH. I thought my water had broken, but I couldn’t be sure. I wasn’t super concerned if that was the case, I knew enough to know that wasn’t the end of the world. There are lots of things they can do at that point to keep baby in and healthy. I called my nurse and let her know that something weird just happened, but did give her the disclaimer that I may have peed my pants. Lol. She told me to just stay calm and she’d be there in a minute. She brought in a kit to test what had come out to see if it was amniotic fluid. Another nurse and a resident OB had come with her as well. They asked me a bunch of questions, and the two nurses helped me pull my pants off. They were FULL of blood (the one nurse estimated about 300ccs). This was the first moment that bits of panic started to set in. I called Andy to let him know (that was at 11:50pm), but my doctor wasn’t even coming in at that point, so I didn’t think Andy needed to lose sleep and drive all the way here over something that could have been nothing. They kept asking if I knew my placenta placement, and I kept telling them it was anterior (in the front). Because I wasn’t in any pain (just discomfort/tightness), none of them believed this could be a placental abruption, they thought we were dealing with a previa (where the placenta is positioned over the cervix). They got the monitors situated again and baby’s heartbeat was fine and I wasn’t having contractions. I was still very uncomfortable, but they were placing my IV and getting the kit to start a catheter (even if it was just a previa bleed, I’d need to be on complete bed rest until delivery). They got orders from my doctor to start magnesium to try to lower my blood pressure, which was at 182/119 at this time. As soon as they started the magnesium, (pardon my language), shit hit the fan. I started throwing up and quickly filled two bags before my 8 huge heaves were over. I felt like absolute death. Then my body started to feel like it was 150
degrees, and I remember telling them ” I’m soooooooo hot!” Someone got me a cold washcloth for my forehead and that did help, but they assured me it was just from the medicine.

At some point in here I was able to call Andy back, that was at 12:23am. I’m pretty sure that was just after I threw up. At that point I wanted him here, but still didn’t want him to have a horrible night over me just being sick. I was trying to tell him that, and he was half asleep and not quite comprehending everything, and Chanell looked me in the eye and said “it would be a good idea for him to get here”. So I relayed that to him and hung up. When I threw up, it was so violent I had dislodged the monitors again so Chanell worked hard to get them back in place. I knew something really wasn’t ok when she called over one of the other nurses because she couldn’t get it and wanted her to try. They weren’t getting anything for his heartbeat, so someone went to grab a portable ultrasound machine. Everything is pretty much a blur for me because of the yucky magnesium, and the amount of blood that I had lost. My doctor arrived at the same time as the ultrasound machine and wheeled it to my far side. He sat down and placed the wand on my belly, and said very matter of factly, “we need to go. Now.” Next thing I knew, the sides of my bed were up, wheels unlocked, and everyone who had been in that room with me (lots of nurses and doctors!) all had a side of my bed and were RUNNING full boar through the halls of he hospital. I couldn’t even open my eyes because I felt so sick, but did open them when we got to the OR. I’ve never been in one before, and I remember it didn’t look how I expected! They worked frantically to get their tools ready (Dr. Schwartz yelled, “it doesn’t matter! Just throw everything on the table!!”), they doused my belly with iodine, inserted my catheter, placed a plastic cover over where the would cut, and tried to hang a “curtain” in front of my face (they had nothing to hang it with, so they were trying to wrap it around some poles). Wile they were all working on that, the anesthesiologist was up by my head trying to get ready to put me under. He could not get the machine to turn on that would monitor my heart rate, BP, oxygen, etc. Everyone in the room tried to push that power button, but the machine was not going to turn on. The finally unhooked it from all the hoses in the ceiling, and someone grabbed a new one. They got it hooked up, but THAT one wasn’t working either!! Dr. Schwartz was getting a little frantic at this point, he was shouting to the anesthesiologist that he needed me under like 5 minutes ago, and the anesthesiologist was shouting to someone else “I don’t care what but get me something to monitor her blood pressure, heart rate, etc!!” I was getting worried at this point that they were going to give up on a anesthesia and just slice me open. I remember asking my nurse if anyone was going to hurt me, and if I could please just have some warning if something was going to hurt. She assured me all was ok. I don’t know what they got, but finally there was a mask on my face and he said to me “ok, you’re going to go to sleep for a bit, we will see you soon.” I tearfully said thank you and I was out.

Josiah was born at 12:49am (just 26 minutes from my second phone call to Andy!). His first APGAR score was only 3 (it needs to be over 7), and he was very limp and pale. Because my placenta HAD in fact separated (abrupted), and the 1/3 that abrupted included his cord, Josiah was without support from me for a while, and that’s why they needed to get him out as fast as they possibly could. His heart rate was in the 80s while in my room, but was around 100 when he was born. To give perspective it hadn’t been under 140 my whole pregnancy, which is very normal. They didn’t need to resuscitate him at all when he was born, and he did try to breathe on his own when he came out. He wasn’t able to breathe enough, so they intubated him, and he is still intubated now. He was taken right to the NICU.

In a surgery like mine that is such an emergency, they don’t take the time to count all of their tools, sponges, etc. What they do is just do the surgery, close me up, and take me for an X-ray to see if anything is still inside. Unfortunately they found a sponge the had left behind, so they had to open me back up. The were planning to leave me under the whole time, but as they pushed on my belly I woke up. I was intubated at the time, and pulled the tube out while a couple nurses tried to hold me down. Then I started throwing up again (yes, while still lying flat on my back on the bed with an oxygen mask over my face. That was not pleasant. My nurse said to me, “you look a little green” – and I felt really green! Sometime during this awake time I asked Chanell if the baby was ok, and if I was ok and she said yes, and told me it was a baby BOY! They got me cleaned up, put me back under, and reintubated me to finish the surgery. Next thing I knew I was waking up in my recovery room, and I finally got to see Andy (who had pictures of our baby boy for me!). I was still very out of it for many hours. My amazing nurse said I could have been transferred to post partum, but I was her only patient and she wanted to keep me with her until she went home for the day. I seriously can’t say enough about her – she was an absolute godsend. She sat with me in that recovery room for hours and each time I woke up she got me a sip of water or anything else I needed.

Once I got settled in my post partum room, around 10:30am, they got me a wheelchair and I was able to go meet Josiah for the first time. He was just precious!

20130323-232124.jpg

20130323-232205.jpg

20130323-232225.jpg

We’ve both got a long road of healing ahead of us, and as hard as it is to be separated from him – there’s a peace that comes with knowing he’s in amazing hands and I can heal. We are both doing as well as can be expected.

Apparently being intubated does quite the number on your throat, so 3 days later I’m still struggling to speak. It’s getting better each day, but they said it will still be a few more days until that’s back to normal. I apologize to those who have wanted to talk to me who I’ve had to turn down. It just takes too much exertion, which puts a lot of pain on my incision too.

I will continue to update this blog with updates about my recovery and about Joey as he continues to develop and grow, and as we eventually bring him home one day. He wasn’t due until May 19, and likely wont come home until about then.

I’ve got lots of updates even as we’ve been here. I will work on those tomorrow. 🙂