Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yes, still going...Part 4

I spent the next hour getting stitched up and then x-rayed.  They had not had time to count the instruments and had to make sure nothing was left inside of me.  As they finished up the surgery they also came around and attached my patient bracelet.  Things had gone so fast that from Dr. Wasserman’s check to your actual birth was only 32 minutes!  I was taken over to recovery and spent almost 3 hours there, some of the time with Debby.  She and Kim were able to talk me through some of what happened and checked on you for me.  Daddy and Nancy came down to give me an update and let me know that you were doing great.  You had an IV, lots of monitors and were getting a little oxygen to help.  Quickly you were off the oxygen and just had room air being blown to help you breathe deep enough.  Daddy had some pictures and videos which I loved seeing as well.  I finally found out you were 9 lbs, 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long.  You were also B-, which meant no Rhogam for me and other than a rough start things were looking really good.  The worst news I got in recovery was that you were under a nothing by mouth order for the night.  I was furious that I wouldn’t get to nurse you even after I left recovery.  They wanted you to just be relaxed and stable before we tried anything, which is why you had an IV.  Kim and Debby and Nancy all explained it, but it didn’t make it any easier to hear.

After I was ready to move Kim and Lindsey took me to my room, but not without a stop in your NICU room!  You were actually the first baby to use the room as they had just opened their new NICU on Monday.  They had to do a lot of finagling to get my bed in your room with your isolet, but they did it.  I reached in to touch you and just started crying.  I mumbled something about not having even held you yet and Laura, your nurse said that we should change that.  A whole lot more maneuvering and they were able to get you out and into my arms, even with both of our crazy IVs, monitors, pain med dispensers and everything.  Daddy and I had our first pictures together with you and I was pretty much ready to stay there all night.  You were very quiet and relaxed which was good to see after such a stressful event just a few hours earlier.  After a time that seemed just too short I headed down to my room to pump and rest and you and Daddy spent the night together in your room.

Around 7am I called up to your room and was told that you were doing great.  You and Daddy were doing skin to skin and you had spent a bunch of time sucking on his fingers.  You were hungry and I was ready to feed you!  We were told a Dr. would be seeing you after 8 and we should be nursing sometime that morning.  Since you were such a healthy boy you were kind of pushed to the back burner and I had to throw a fit to get a Dr. in to see you.  When I was holding you you were bobbing and rooting and screaming at me to eat.  One of the hardest things I’ve done (and something I really kind of regret) was following the order to not feed you when you wanted it and I wanted to give it to you.  It was around noon when they pulled the cannulas out of your nose and then we had to wait to see how you would do with no help.  It was about 5:30 before we finally had the go ahead to nurse.  You were a total champ and latched on right away.  You wouldn’t make eye contact with me and I have no doubt that you did not understand why I had not cared for you earlier. 

We nursed all night long, every 4 hours or so.  Each time you’d feed for at least a half hour and everything looked good.  We met with the lactation consultant, Deanne and she had some great tips as well as noticed that you were tongue tied.  Your IV was off (we knocked it out during one of the feedings) and you were passing your blood sugar checks with flying colors.  You had your first bath that night and while we had planned to be there it was done while we got a quick hour and a half nap.  You also got moved to a regular crib and Kathy (one of your night nurses on Friday) was all on board with us to get you looking as normal and healthy as possible so they would release you to my room.  Dr. Bob was the neonatologist on that night and he was a character.  As morning came he let me know that he had planned to release you before he left at 8 am, but you had just a few times when your oxygen level dropped to 90 and they wanted you to be monitored a little longer.  Our next nurse told us that most babies are expected to stay at 90 or above, but for some reason they had you set to stay above 92.  I guess they just wanted you to be an overachiever from the very beginning!  The best news later Saturday morning was that you were continuing to do great and hadn’t had any more issues with your oxygen levels.  Just before noon we were told that you could come to my room as soon as the paperwork and such was done!  And right as we were told that Dr. Wasserman came up to the NICU and told me that he thought I was doing fine and he wanted to release me that night as well.  That way if you were ready we could maybe be home still Saturday night, but if they wanted you to stay in the hospital overnight then I could stay as a guest in your room, which was really my room on the Mom/Baby floor.  I was one grateful Mommy to have such good news from two doctors at the same time!

Daddy and I went down to have lunch while we waited for you to be ready to transfer.  It turned out that they were swamped and it took a few hours longer then expected, as did everything it seemed.  During the wait Grandma Schneider came to the hospital and got to hold you for the first time upstairs in your NICU room.  You and I kept up our nursing schedule and kept working on getting your latch to improve.  We were really excited when we finally got to ride down the elevator with you and settle into our room. 

Because Dr. Zukowski couldn’t come to St. Mary’s, Dr. Claudia Koch (whose office ordered the ultrasound for us) was going to be your fill in pediatrician.  Of course, she was not on that weekend, so the doctor covering for her told the neonatologists that they should discharge you when they felt you were ready using their instructions.  And Dr. Mario was not going to discharge you when he had just released you from the NICU.  We decided that Daddy would go home to see Garrett and Kelby and let Grandma Fuerniss take the van to come and meet her newest grandson.  I ordered our celebration dinner and Grandma helped me eat it when she got there.  We didn’t want to celebrate until you were in my room and then Daddy was already home!  Grandma and I talked for a long time about everything and then she headed home as well. You had a busy night as you had to pass a car seat test, have your hearing test and we were up nursing a lot as well.  I was one tired Mommy come morning, but was so glad when Dr. Bob came into our room and told me that you were ready to go whenever I wanted to head home.  I called Daddy (who was getting ready to come over already) and we all rejoiced that you were going home!  Even with your challenging beginning we were still in the hospital less time than Garrett and I were!

You were home around 12:30 on Sunday and met Garrett and Kelby who were still eating lunch.  Kelby took a nap and you and Daddy and Garrett all watched the Packer game while I napped on the couch.  It was great to be home and to have you be safe and sound in our arms!  Your entire story is not what we would have ever expected, but we are so grateful that things worked out well for you Evan Otto Schneider.  We are so happy to have you in our family!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Part 3

As we got the labor and delivery floor we meet Kim our nurse.  She knew we had a transverse baby and that Dr. Wasserman was either on his way or was in the hospital for us.  We got into our triage room right around 10 and she monitored you to make sure things were good.  We were going through the registration questions and just chatting until the chief OB resident came in to do an ultrasound.  As she did we discovered that you were back to a single footling breech position.  You foot was down, you bottom was jamming down into my pelvis and your head was bent down to your bottom.  Your spine laid on my right side and you were as squished down into yourself as you could possibly be.  The ultrasound hurt as she jammed it low to get a good reading on your foot, but I just figured it was because she was working hard to see things.  Turns out that was an indicator that things were moving along.  Dr. Wasserman came in to meet us and discuss our options.  His opinion was that we could do the version right there and then if it worked we could induce with a Foley or we could go home to try for a birth center birth.  Or we could try and wait until tomorrow and do the version then in a better environment.  Or we could just do a c-section right then or wait and do one in the morning (when Debby thought he’d be more optimal).  The version had risks that he explained, things like uterine rupture or placental abruption and if those happened we’d be going right into surgery.  I made it clear that I’d like to try for the version and try for a vaginal delivery if at all possible, but they gave us a minute for Daddy and I to talk about it with Debby and Coral while they stepped out.

I headed to the bathroom and had another strong contraction with pressure in my bottom.  Debby wanted me to get on the bed because she thought it would go away, but it was one that bothered me more than most had been.  As we talked it became obvious we needed to find out if I was moving into labor because if I was all options were off the table and we would be having surgery.  When Dr. Wasserman came in we told him to check me so that we’d know what options we had available to us.  They got me a sheet and he checked me.  I’ll never forget his mouth falling open as he said “She’s 9+ and I’ve got a foot.”  He turned to run and then turned back and told us that things were going to get crazy and move fast.  I just told them to go faster as I knew my body would be pushing in no time and I couldn’t do that to you without really hurting you.  I had a contraction right away and Debby climbed up on the bed and talked in my ear to get me to blow it off. Coral was at my feet telling me to “hehehehe” and Daddy came over to my side.  Kim announced “Everything off” and Coral grabbed my socks off in one motion, I took off my shirt and Debby took off my bra.  Your Daddy tried to lighten the mood by announcing that he was pretty fast at getting my bra off and we all just gave him a look and a “Michael!” as I was shocked that he’d think of something like that at the time!

The OB resident was yelling questions at me about previous pregnancies and Kim was asking about allergies and I just wanted to get moving faster.  I had to sign a consent form in the middle of a contraction and they yelled at me to just make an ‘x.’  I did sign my first name, but I doubt anyone could read it and they grabbed it before I could even try and sign my last name.  I know that as we rolled to the surgery suite the anesthesiologist’s assistant came and asked me about allergies and such as well.  I asked her a question that I don’t remember and she just looked me in the eye and said “All we are worried about right now is your safety and your baby’s safety.”  I remember having only two thoughts about everything happening, that I could NOT PUSH because I was afraid it would kill you and that I wanted them to GO FASTER because I still wanted to be awake so that Daddy and I could be there for your birth.  I knew there was a big possibility that I’d be put under and if that happened Daddy wouldn’t be allowed there either.  We had made a list of things we’d like to have if we did have a c-section and all those things were out the window when he discovered I was in full blown labor and we had no time to spare.

Daddy gave me a kiss as they rolled me through the doors and he waited and got dressed for surgery.  They got me onto the surgery table and as I sat up for the spinal my water broke and I had a really hard pushing contraction.  There was meconium in the water and they were now having to rush all over and not slip in the huge puddle on the floor.  I’m sure they thought I was crazy, but I was blowing like mad and yelling at myself to not push.  As soon as it passed I was taking long breathes for you and Dr. Habibi  was working quickly to get the spinal in.  I had one more big contraction and was trying so hard to hold still for him to work, blow off all the pushing urges and was yelling that I was pushing and not to push.  It was a crazy couple of minutes and I just wanted them to get Daddy in there and you out so that I knew you were okay. 

Before that contraction was even totally over I was down on the table and they were putting IVs in, blood pressure cuff on and bringing in Daddy and the woman who needed to draw labs.  She was a bit concerned because she didn’t know where to get a vein since they had so many things on me already and asked if she should come back later.  They got her to the side so that she could get a draw and they were opening me by the time she left.  Your actual birth was something that we didn’t see, although I swear I heard the tiniest noise from you as they brought you out at 11:12 pm.  They didn’t lower the drape as we had hoped because you were not in good shape once they saw you.  Dr. Wasserman had told me that he would bring you to me before you went to get checked out and he did, although very, very quickly.  As you were coming out he told me that he was going to brush my hand with you and he literally did just that.  I didn’t see your face, but got a glimpse of your trunk and legs, enough to think that I maybe saw something.  As you were over being attended to I kept saying “Did I see something?  Is it a boy?”  Finally someone answered that it was a boy and we announced that you were Evan Otto Schneider.  I wanted Daddy to go to you as had been planned, but they told him to stay by me.  I couldn’t see you at all, but knew that they must be working on you because you were not making any noise and they didn’t let Daddy come over. 

It turned out that they had to deep suction your lungs (they got out about 3 ccs of bloody mucous) and then intubate you.  They bagged you for 5 minutes and once they removed the tube you let us know that you were NOT happy with how things had been going.  Those angry cries were one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard!  During the entire time they were helping you I kept saying your name and trying to let you know that we were there.  I kept telling Daddy to talk to you too and he did, but he was also able to see what was happening and didn’t want to let me know all that he was seeing.  We both knew that it would work out okay, it just had to!  And we knew that you were in very capable hands.  Daddy says that he had a lot of confidence that you were okay because you were moving and fighting as they were helping you breathe. He did hear them say something about transport and that worried him, but then he realized you were just going upstairs, not to another hospital.  What a change to go from a perfectly normal, healthy pregnancy to an emergency delivery and a baby that wasn’t breathing in such a short time. 

After you were wrapped up and ready to head up the NICU they brought you over to me.  You were perfect!  No tubes or anything, just a little burrito baby held in the arms of a wonderful nurse named Nancy.  She took you and Daddy and you all headed out.  I have no doubt that we were where we needed to be and you had the team around you that was necessary, but I will always miss that you and I didn’t get those first precious moments together, sweet Evan. 

Things we learned later…the surgery suite we used was one that was no longer in use because of the huge remodel of the hospital.  It probably was cause for some of the crazed running around, but also meant that we had one that was open, was only steps from my triage room and didn’t mean a trip on the elevators to a different floor.  Every minute mattered.  Dr. Habibi was the best in the hospital (top 10% in the country according to Dr. Wasserman) and any other anesthesiologist would have put me under.  He took a lot of pride that he was able to keep me awake and still be so fast.  Dr. Wasserman told me he had to use ‘unusual maneuvers’ to get you out and Kim told us that you required a lot of pulling and force to come out.  I did my best to not push you out, but obviously my body was fighting me on that.  The stress of those contractions added to your distress and lack of oxygen and if we had not been where we were you probably would have not made it.  Your cord pH was 7.19 which is headed into dangerous territory.  Your apgar scores were 5 and 8.  When the surgeons heard those numbers the comment I overheard is that they expected the first set to be about a 2…you were much stronger than they expected!  The what ifs of the night scare me so much and I am so grateful that things turned out as they did and that you had such an amazing team there for you.  The prayers from around the country were heard and answered and for that we are so thankful!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Part 2

That weekend was really rough emotionally because I felt such a let down.  I wanted to meet you, was anxious to be done with labor and just couldn’t believe that everything faded away.  On Monday we saw Debby and I walked in and started crying…I hadn’t been very fun for Daddy to live with that weekend either.  She checked me right away so we could see where things were at.  I was 2 cm dilated and she worked on stripping my membranes to see if that would help things move along, which stretched me to a 3.  The only thing that made me hesitate at all was that Grandma Fuerniss was coming on Wednesday and I knew she’d be so disappointed to miss your birth by only a day.  We just decided to go with it and see what would happen.  That afternoon and evening I had lots of discomfort and contractions, but in the night they faded away and nothing happened. 

On Wednesday Daddy picked up Grandma and after she was settled with Garrett and Kelby we headed to Debby’s to have her strip my membranes again.  We were pretty relaxed and did a quick stop at Target to buy hand sanitizer for after you were born.  She was relieved to see me laughing and we were all hopeful that we’d be having a baby very soon if things worked out like they did with Kelby.  As she examined me her whole demeanor changed and you were moving really low into my cervix with sharp jabs.  I made a comment about a little hand grabbing her and she said that a hand would be fine.  That is when she told us that she felt like she was feeling a foot and your bottom and that we needed to get an ultrasound to confirm if you had turned breech.  Talk about a shock to our systems!  We knew if you were breech we’d be looking at a possible c-section if you wouldn’t turn back around and that time was of the essence since you could be ready to come at any time.

We were sent home with orders to keep me really calm, drink some wine, lay on the couch and not do anything to stimulate labor.  I was so grateful that contractions calmed down that night and I was able to sleep.  As the morning came the contractions were still very mild and almost non-existent.  Every time I’d have one I’d just pray for God to take it away and was so grateful when He did!  We had breakfast, spent the morning with Garrett, Kelby and Grandma and headed out to have an ultrasound mid-morning. 

Debby met us at the hospital and it turned out we were in the wrong area.  After getting where we needed to be we were taken in for the test right on time at 12:30.  Stephanie was a student so we were told that another tech would join us at some point.  When things got started she saw what she thought (and we all did too) was a hand down towards my cervix.  I started crying like crazy because we were pretty sure that you were head down if it was a hand.  I even told her she could be your fairy God princess!  Unfortunately as she kept going it became clear that you were not head down.  There was confusion as to exactly what position you were in…like an arched cat with head on one side and bottom on the other, spine up…like an upside down cat with spine on the bottom…total breech.  It was getting harder to figure out your position.  She got another tech in and she was able to get a few better readings on your position, but as she did you changed once again.  You started as a single footling breech and ended the ultrasound in the transverse position.  You are a mobile little guy, even as you were measuring big!  We saw that you had some hair and got a few pictures of you, but basically we knew we had to get things figured out quickly as you were not in an optimal position.

Debby, Daddy and I talked before we headed out.  We decided we wanted to do a version and needed it done ASAP.  Debby texted Dr. Wasserman who was in surgery all day and he said he’d let us know when he could do one the next day.  We talked about other options like just scheduling surgery, doing the version and inducing, doing the version and trying for a birth center birth and also the importance of keeping things very quiet until we knew what was going to happen. She also suggested taking Pulsitilla to help with unstable position so Daddy and I headed to Beans and Barley and then Outpost to get some.

When we got home we told Grandma what was happening and I laid down on the couch again.  We got the call that the version was scheduled for noon the next day and I just prayed we could hang on until then.  As the evening went on I was bothered by more and more contractions so I had some more wine.  After not drinking for so long I felt like a lush the last two days of pregnancy, even just having a couple of ounces!  After we ate dinner (really good lasagna out of the freezer) we put Garrett and Kelby to bed.  I gave them special big hugs and kisses and told them there was a chance that Mommy and Daddy could be gone to have the baby when they woke up.  I was bothered enough by the contractions that we called Debby and she told us to start timing them.  They weren’t coming that often (roughly 10 minutes apart) and most of them were only 30-45 seconds.  I’d have longer ones when I got up to use the bathroom, but Debby wasn’t concerned about those since they were caused by movement.  During the hour and half that we timed and kept checking in she talked to Dr. Wasserman and he told her that if I came in to call as he would join us at the hospital.  We were glad to hear that since he had yet to meet us and was not on call that night. 

After having two contractions that were further apart (about 15 minutes) but stronger and wrapped more around my lower back I was just not comfortable staying home.  I didn’t feel like this was it, but I didn’t want things to start moving along and for us to be on the road having you or for things to get really emergent since you were not in a good position.  I told Daddy to get my shoes and we called Debby to tell her we were heading in.  I specifically asked her if there was a reason to not go in and she said I should trust my feelings and she was heading in to be with us.  Fairly quickly we were on the road and I was laying in the back of the van as we headed to St. Mary’s.  I had two contractions on the way and one right as we got there, but none were terrible and I just kept hoping things would stay calm.  I called Coral on the way and she decided to come over as she thought she’d beat Debby there.  After not sleeping for over 24 hours we were surprised and grateful that she was willing to come over!  We had to go in the Emergency Room entrance as we got there just before 10 pm and I waited in a wheel chair as Daddy parked the van.  The guys were giving me a hard time that he had bailed on me because he took so long to get back to where we were waiting.  Gratefully, he came in the doors with our bag over his shoulder!  And Debby came in shortly behind him with Coral finding us once we were in our triage room.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yes, it has been a year! And now Baby is 1

In honor our our littlest turning one I thought I'd break my year of silence and start posting his birth story.  It is totally fitting to do this over Thanksgiving because I am most thankful that things turned out so well.  He is a happy, healthy, walking, but not sleeping one year old!

My sweet boy what a wild ride you’ve given us!  Your birth story is one that will take a long time to fully absorb and it is not the story we would have wanted for you, but it is the one that is yours and we are so grateful that things happened as they did.

Our pregnancy was fairly uneventful other than a few physical things that bothered me.  I had to deal with carpel tunnel that got pretty bad as the pregnancy went on and there was an issue around week 35 when I suddenly could barley walk because of pelvic and hip pain.  But we dealt with these things and I started seeing a chiropractor and overall we just kept soldiering on towards meeting our newest family member.  You were due on November 8th, but for some reason I really felt that you would be joining us in October.  There was no reason to believe that since Garrett was born the day before his due date and Kelby went 9 days past hers.  I think I wanted you to have your own birth month like everyone else in the family did and I didn’t want you to have to share it with me, our anniversary and Thanksgiving too.  When Halloween came and went we knew our little one had plans of their own and I resigned myself to the fact that you probably would cook well beyond your due date just like your sister!

As we crept through November I became more and more anxious to meet you.  We were having to make decisions about band jobs since Daddy didn’t want to get too far away in case anything happened.  He ended up giving up 3 jobs once we were past your due date because we just knew it could be any time.  And since things moved quickly with your sister Deb and Coral both wanted us to be prepared for a very quick labor and to be on our toes if contractions really got started.  Just after your due date (40 weeks, 2 day) we had an evening where I felt like the contractions were more rhythmic and like maybe something was brewing.  I always hesitate to make the call, but we finally decided to call Debby since she had made it clear that we should contact her at the first sign of anything.  I struggle to know exactly when things change from just the typical Braxton Hicks contractions that I have for months to something that might be more ‘real’ and mean baby is working on joining us. 

After we chatted she asked me to start timing things and just let her know if anything changed.  She also said we should put the kids to bed (just a bit early) and to get the van packed in case we needed to grab sleeping kids in the middle of the night.  As we got everything packed and ready to go the contractions got closer and were about every 15 minutes apart so she instructed me to head to bed and just rest in case I had a night of labor ahead of me.  We called Coral who was teaching a class and she was ready to head the birth center and spend the night in case we were headed in later.  However after an hour or so of resting the contractions all faded away and we ended up calling everyone and telling them to just go home and go to sleep.  You were parked for a while longer.