Monday, January 6, 2014

The Big Day

It was finally here. The morning of December 21st... and Dovey and I were very nervous. Yes the csection had been planned for months, but we didn't realize how jittery we would be until the night before. We watched a tv show together and when it was time to go to sleep, we both sat and enjoyed the silence one last time before we would be parents. 
We woke up an hour before the alarm went off and nervously prepared... and checked... and double checked that we had everything - and then we headed over to the hospital. 
We arrived before business hours so we had to enter thru the ER. Funnily enough their computer system went down right as we were checking in and so for the first hour that we were there I had to wear a bracelet that said I was born in the year "179." And we sent my bloodwork with handwritten stickers! Thankfully it came back up before the surgery and our nurse Mary was able to properly document everything.
It all happened so fast! I was wheeled in... they gave me the medicine, did all the verbal confirmations of equipment and names of those in the OR.
They went out to get Dovey (who was nervous... His face was all red and he was trying to distract me. He asked what I wanted to do when it was done and I said "eat sushi." Everyone in the OR laughed.) And then the doctor started. It seemed only a moment passed and the baby cried! Then Dovey was take to tend to her and oversee the measurements and clip the cord.
I heard them call out "8 lbs 5 ozs" and "20 and 3/4 inches" and "8:42am."
They set her next to my face for a moment but I wasn't able to hold her yet. I only saw her for a moment and they took jeremy and her off to the nursery so they could finish me up.
Overall the surgery went well. My anesthesiologist was really nice and was listening closely to me every step of the way. I barely whispered things I thought were strange and he jumped to fix them. Dr. Medrano put me at ease but kept his no nonsense doctor hat on right up until he was sewing me up and made jokes that he couldn't find his keys and other silliness. :) He then told me everything was great and I may be out in 2 days instead of 3! Then they wheeled me off to recovery until the feeling in my legs came back.
It was only 45 minutes or so but it felt like forever before they told Dovey that he and the baby could come back. They set her next to me again while I was wheeled upstairs. (not in my arms... awkwardly sitting up beside me. I still couldn't properly see her face or snuggle her.)
Finally we made it to my room and almost immediately my mother and father in law arrived. Debbie held the baby first, and then finally it was my turn. I was going to try to feed her... and then she started hyperventilating and coughing... and she sounded like she was under water. I asked the nurse if that was normal and she called my attending who rushed in, swooped up the baby and whisked her over to the nursery.
While she was there my brother and sister came, and my friend Alicia. I told everyone that the baby was sick and they had to take her away. Jeremy kept running back and forth updating me and they contacted her doctor who recommended she go down to NICU. Jeremy and I still didn't know what was going on, just that she was having trouble breathing and that they pumped her lungs to remove the fluid... and that she didn't have enough blood oxygenation so they had to monitor her.
I waited patiently in my room. Jeremy went with the baby and all the visitors left after a bit. I kept asking the nurse if I could go to the NICU but they told me I had to wait until they could remove the IV and the cathedar. It was 9 pm before they were allowed to do that and jeremy took me straight down to see her.
I didn't understand how something that looked so perfect could be in the NICU. She was beautiful... and not nearly as tiny as the babies on either side. I looked at the monitor but couldn't see the problem. Her heart was good...  she just hyperventilated a bit. The nurses let me hold her and she seemed pretty stabile to me. We stayed for 2 hours before they decided I needed to go and sleep. Of course I didn't want to leave, it was very strange to have the tiny person who spent the last 9 months inside me not even in the same room as me.
The next morning I was up every few hours when the nurses would check on me. They said I could go see the baby whenever I wanted, just to call them for a wheelchair. I waited for Dovey to wake up and called the nurses.
When we got downstairs to the NICU the doctor was making their rounds and so we waited to talk to them while spending time with Violette.  The doctor said she still needed to stay, though she was able to regulate her blood oxygen by her own hyperventilating, they noticed additional irregularities in her heart beat and needed to order an ekg.
The next morning we met with the cardiologist.  He said she had a hole in her heart (that would possibly mend itself) and a heart murmur that we needed to check on when she was one month old. He seemed optimistic though and said the baby would be released to our room the next morning.
I was sad that I hadn't been alone with my husband and my baby at all and she was already a few days old! I told Dovey that I didn't want any visitors on the third day. NONE. I just wanted to spend time with the baby without interruptions.
When she finally came back to the room with us we were so relieved. We would finally be able to spend time getting to know her.
Everything was going well until about 9pm. She had been doing great! I had fed her three times and we noticed only that when she spit up after burping that it was formula. (The NICU had given her formula because they said I wasn't pumping enough milk.) The nurse came in to meet her patients at the shift change and she examined my wound and then the baby. When she checked the baby's tummy she spit up again.. and then it was everywhere! Next thing we knew she was whisked off to the nursery again to get her little stomach pumped. They had given her too much formula at the NICU and her tummy was overfilled. :( Seriously.
Needless to say I was DONE with this hospital stay and wanted to take my baby home. I was not going to let them put her back in the NICU after that. We were told that NICU babies have different protocol and are treated differently... even when they are full term. It just took one nurse to not read the chart to make that mistake. Seems we had that nurse.
Sidenote. The nurses in the nicu are all VERY young... at most 23 years old. Though many seemed pretty good at their jobs Dovey and I spotted about 2 that were way too immature or innept for it. Grrr.
The next morning both my doctor and hers came to check on us and we were both released. We didn't actually get to go home until 1pm on Christmas Eve, but we were sooooo ready!
Finally! A fresh start with our baby girl. Welcome home Violette Elora!