Monday, February 10, 2014

Scariest Weekend Yet

Now, I must let it be known that I am not a worrywart parent.  I understand that babies cry, sometimes for no reason, just when you think they are starting to show signs of a pattern they throw it out the window, and that things don't go as planned.

However, what I didn't expect to do was practically fall asleep on the edge of her pack'n'play listening to the sound of her breathing and purposely stimulating her reflex to make sure she's still ok.

I'm already learning what her different cries mean and about the time when things will happen (like a steamy diaper an hour after eating), which is why when she let out a blood-curdling scream Friday around 12:30 pm I knew that something was wrong.

She was running a slight fever, wasn't going down for her usual naps, and seemed to be in pain when any kind of pressure was placed on her tummy.  My mom and I had even mentioned that her belly seemed really big lately and I had noticed that she seemed extra gassy.  She's a pretty easy baby usually so this type of behavior was not normal.

We called the doctor and he fit us in within an hour.  After examining her he suggested that we head to the ER since she is so young.  That is when I started to get more and more nervous.  We headed straight there with me crying the whole way there while sitting in the backseat with her.  I ran through a whole range of emotions most of which revolved around the fear that I had done something wrong that resulted in her getting sick.

While in the ER she continued to cry inconsolably.  We were seen by an intern first who didn't seem too worried.  Then, the doctor on duty (whom we had actually met before, thank goodness) came in and just observed her while asking us a few questions.  Right away he told us that he was going to admit her for testing because she was not acting like a healthy baby.

Doesn't that little gown just rip your heart out?

The doctor ordered blood work and a spinal tap.  The spinal tap sent me over the edge.  I called my mom, who was in the waiting room, and asked for my dad to come in.  They weren't going to let him come back at first but I pushed her to have him tell them he was my pastor (which is the truth).  That worked.  

 I was so scared for our girl.  They tested for bacteria in the blood and meningitis.  Both cultures had to sit for 48 hours before anything could be determined.  X-rays of her chest came back normal, but her belly was VERY distended and full of gas.  She was started on antibiotics immediately.

So, in the hospital we stayed.  It felt kind of like we had never left in the first place since we were back 3 weeks after we left the first time.  She was so exhausted that I had to wake her (rather meanly) for a few feedings.  However, she roused on her own for her 7 am feeding which was a sign that she was starting to feel like herself again.  

Saturday and Sunday brought about the return of our Charliebabe.  She was acting like herself again and not showing any signs of the distress she was displaying on Friday.  All of her tests came back negative.  They discontinued her antibiotics Sunday afternoon so they could observe her for any signs of her fever returning.  

We are in the clear!  Her IV line is going to be removed any time now and we are going to head home.  I am so excited to get my Charliebabe home but still very nervous and even more cautious than I was before.

No parent should have to see their baby (of any age) hooked up to monitors and machines, but I'm so grateful for the amazing care and attention we have received from the nurses, doctors and other staff.

Life as a parent is never dull, huh?


**Coincidentally enough, the intern who saw Charliebabe first at the doctor's office was the same intern who did the ultrasound that determined she was breech and then sat in on her delivery.  Small world!  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Charliebabe's Grand Entrance

Oh, my sweet Charliebabe.  You have definitely entered our hearts and lives with a bang.  Here's the story of her entrance.

To begin, I had dreams she was a girl during my pregnancy and I could not, for the life of me, picture a boy!  I was also fascinated with reading c-section delivery stories and had a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I would end up having one.  I had dream Tuesday, January 7th she was breech, asked doctor the next day at an appointment, but she said the baby was head down because of heartbeat location.

I started maternity leave a week early even though I had only returned to work on Thursday due to snow/cold days.  I realized just how tired I was while working on Thursday and luckily had a meeting with my long-term sub that afternoon.  I woke up on Friday feeling like I was getting a cold and decided to pull the trigger and declare myself dunzo.  Thank heavens I have an awesome principal who trusted my judgement and allowed me to make said decisions on my own.  My mom and I went to get pedicures on Saturday so that I could have pretty feet and also to rub my ridiculously swollen feet and ankles.  On Monday I upgraded Matt and my phones (Is that correct grammar??  That sounds funky...), bought a new freezer, cleaned the garage, organized my laundry, and helped Matt cook dinner.  I even told Matt that I thought I might be nesting.

My water broke at 7:15 pm Monday, January 13, 2014.  It wasn't quite like the movies, but it was definitely a surprise!  It felt a bit like I had peed my pants.  I was more concerned with whether I got any in the bed because I REALLY didn't feel like changing the sheets for the second day in a row...oh the things that pass through your head. 

I took a shower to ease the "gross factor" and to be clean for the day or two ahead since I didn't know how long everything would take.  Once I had done that I called the doctor who told me to come in right away since I had tested positive for Group B Strep.  I was admitted to the hospital at 8:45 and in triage until 11:00 pm.  I was dilated to 2 cm when they checked me in triage.

They had me labor through the night to see if I would start contracting regularly on own.  Nope.  So, I tried to get some sleep.  I noticed that the baby passed meconium sometime during the night.  I was hopeful that it wouldn't be a problem since my water had broken so long before.

They started me on pitocin at 8:00 am and I was still 2 cm.  I climbed into the tub and spent the next few hours in the dark bathroom trying to take my mind off of the time and the pain.  I kept draining some of the water and filling the tub back up with fresh hot water.  The nurse joked that I was going to be completely pruned by the time I delivered since I stayed in for so long.  

I thought I was dying around 10/10:15.  I knew in the back of my mind that I was in transition and most likely very close to delivery.  The nurse told me that I would have to get out of the tub for her to check me which prompted me to tell her that if she didn't want to carry me she would have to get me something to take the edge off the pain.  My contractions were so close together that I barely had time to get from the tub to the bed without being in the throes of one. 

I changed my mind and begged for an epidural at 10:15/10:30.  Sitting still while dealing with contractions was HORRIFIC.  It's a good thing that Matt was right there with me or I probably would have screamed my head off at the effort.  I may or may not have told the anesthesiologist that I loved him...a few times.

Once I was comfortable (which was pretty dang quickly...epidurals are awesome) I got checked and was dilated to 10 cm.  No wonder I thought I was dying.  Then, the nurse checked me for the first time since being in triage.  (They don't check continually if you water has already broken to keep from introducing bacteria.)  While getting checked nurse exclaimed in a very surprised tone, "Oh!"  I grimly said, "The baby's breech, isn't it?"  To which she replied that she thought she stuck her finger in an ear, a mouth, or a rectum.  My dream from the week before was confirmed when an intern did an ultrasound.  (Funny enough, he plays a role in a couple of weeks as well...small world.)

I was able to say goodbye to mom, dad, MIL, and FIL and got a chance to pray with my dad before they took me in.  They brought into OR at 1:00.  I was shaking so badly and crying so hard they warned me they could slip and give me a bad incision if I didn't calm down.  They began and Matt wasn't there yet which really freaked me out.  Matt arrived and began talking to me about school to keep me calm.  HE WAS AMAZING.  He watched the whole surgery, even the part where the doctor showed him my insides.  I kind of forced him into that since I wanted him to be the one to tell me what gender the baby was.  

Charliebabe (Charlotte Josephine) arrived at 1:12 pm crying like a banshee.  We all realized after the fact that it would have been cool if the doctor had waited two more minutes and delivered her at 1:14 on 1-14-14.  The doctor said my uterus is heart-shaped which might have affected her ability to turn.  From the shape of her head we can determine that she was NEVER head down. 

She looks just like the baby I saw in my head, hair and all.  It's amazing how that works.   

We adore our girl.