What a long
On June 17th, after a routine ultrasound, it was determined that my amniotic fluid was too low, and the baby didn't show any fetal breathing in the 30 minutes in which the ultrasound took place. The u/s technician called my doctor, who had me go take a nonstress test (NST). After being hooked up to the monitors, the doctor came in and said everything looked great. Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later he came back into the room and stated that he wanted to induce me. I'll never forget the look on his face.
The crazy part about all of this is that my husband and I were closing on our first home the following day. My doctor knew this, and was willing to put off the induction until later that night or the following afternoon, after we'd completed the closing. He told me the baby was doing well enough to wait that extra bit if needed. I was determined to see if dh and I could complete the paperwork for the closing that day, so we wouldn't need to be there the following day, and then proceed with being induced that evening. Everything seemed to be going well (though a bit crazy running around and trying to finalize some last minute things). We went to sign the paperwork, but our real estate attorney said that someone had to be present the next day to verify the signatures. So, dh and I went to the hospital that night for another NST, and we decided to hold off the induction until the next day (I didn't want dh to miss the birth while he was at the closing). My doctor examined me (no progress) and sent me home.
His exam must have triggered contractions because about an hour after we returned home (10pm), I was having a lot of pain. I timed it, and the contractions were 5 minutes apart. Needless to say, I was up all night. I called the doctor in the wee hours of the morning, and he thought my body was just reacting to the exam, and that the contractions would soon diminish.
By morning, I was still having contractions. I showered and got ready, heading to the hospital for another NST at 7am, which intentions of going to our closing and then going back to the hospital to "be induced." Instead, with how frequent my contractions were, the pain I was in, and now being 2 cm dilated, I opted to stay at the hospital. Ernie ended up going to our walk through and closing, and coming back to the hospital mid-afternoon, just as I was about to have my epidural.
By 8pm I was pushing. I pushed for two hours before the doctor determined the baby was not making progress. (Count that - 22 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing). I was put on oxygen for the baby's sake, and the doctor gave me two choices - help the process by using a vacuum to get her out, or a c-section. In the end, it was determined that a c/s would be the safest for the baby.
The operating room was a whirlwind of activity. I truly think there was a rush to get in there and get Katie out. Because of this, I don't think enough time went by before the meds fully kicked in and they started the c-section procedure. I had been assured they would "test" me before they started cutting to be sure I didn't feel anything. This was never done. I remember asking, "why does it hurt?" over and over, and not receiving an answer. Imagine my shock, surprise, sadness, and anger when I awoke sometime later to someone wishing me congratulations on my daughter, who apparently was born while I was completely out. Yes, the anesthesiologist put me completely out. I felt robbed. Though, I cried tears of joy when I finally got to see my gorgeous daughter for the first time...she was in the nursery, cradled in Daddy's big arms. What a blessing to have this as my first memory of her.
And could these be any bigger, more cheesy and proud grins from Mom and Dad??
Katie had "failure to descend," and according to my doctor, she was stuck "like a cork in a wine bottle." Because of this, she had a very large cephalohematoma (bruise) on the right side of her head.
In the wee hours of the morning, Daddy and I awoke to Katie gagging, which was normal considering that she had some amniotic fluid in her tummy still. We called in the nurse anyway, who took Katie to the nursery. She came back to our room and told us she wanted to keep Katie in the nursery for a bit under the warmer, as her body temperature was low. She was also going to do some routine blood work on her.
The next afternoon, the pediatrician came to see us, and the results of Katie's blood work were available - her white blood count was high. Repeated blood work showed an even higher white blood count, and this concerned the doctors and nurses. Two different doctors came in to examine Katie that evening, and both determined that she seemed very healthy - but based on the blood work, they wanted to treat her with antibiotics for a possible infection. However, Katie was slightly dehydrated, thus an IV could not be established to administer the medications. Because of this, Katie needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital with a special NICU.
One of the most vivid and emotional memories that I have of my sweet girl is of her being wheeled into my room in a special transportation crib unit...she was lying there on her side, in her soft pink knitted hat, seemingly looking at me as I was looking at her. I still get tears in my eyes remembering.
What I will tell you is that no mother should be separated from her newborn baby like that. That was one of the most difficult moments for me. I could not go because I wasn't discharged, and the possibility of me being transferred to her hospital would not happen until the next day. My poor husband was torn. He didn't want to leave me, but at the same time someone needed to be with Katie. I told him the best thing he could do for me was to be there watching over our girl.
Katie had a cat scan of her head the following morning (Saturday). Her doctors wanted to rule out a skull fracture or worse. Thankfully, everything appeared normal for a cephalohematoma. Regardless, the doctors wanted to keep treating her for a possible infection - a seven day treatment, which meant my little girl would spend her first week of life in the hospital.
I was able to be transferred to her hospital, and continued my stay and recovery in the women's ward. Unfortunately, I had to be discharged on Tuesday. Katie wasn't to be discharged until Friday. I can't even begin to tell you what it is like to leave your daughter in the hospital, without you. I took her soft pink baby hat home with me, and slept with it for the next few nights. During the days, I traveled to the hospital to spend as much time with Katie as possible.
In the end, the doctors and nurses all agree that they don't think Katie was suffering from an infection after all (even though her white blood count was high, blood cultures showed nothing), but rather trauma from her birth. In the meantime, both baby girl and her parents went through a lot - Katie was pricked and prodded so much during that first week, for blood work, and to get IV lines into her (the original blew out). In her first week of life, she had a cat scan, and an ultrasound (she had a "dimple" above her bottom that her doctor wanted to make sure wasn't adversely affecting her spine). In the end, she came home, happy and healthy, which is all a Mom could ask for.