Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ward's Birth Story

I suppose Ward's story actually begins the day Audrey was born.  You might recall I was pretty vocal during my pregnancy with Audrey that it would probably be my last.  Then, Audrey was born.  She was perfect and sweet, and accompanied by a spirit that she would not be my last.  The second she was born Audrey wanted me to know that I couldn't forget her baby brother.  I seriously told Eric while we were still in the hospital that we needed to have another baby.  He took it in stride ;)  The feeling was permanently cemented into my heart two days later when we brought Audrey home.  I'll never forget the feeling as I sat at our kitchen table looking at the amazing family Eric and I created together. 

Fast forward almost two years to Monday, August 13th.  I was 37 weeks pregnant with Ward, and it had been a long and strenuous 9 months.  It wasn't a glamorous or enjoyable experience by any means, but those feelings I felt when Audrey was born got me through.  That and unisom.  This pregnancy brought a frustrating and annoying gestational diabetes diagnosis that would prove to be a miracle.  The ultrasound that led to the discovery that my water had ruptured never would have taken place if I hadn't needed to be monitored for gestational diabetes.  At best, Ward and I would have unknowingly grown very, very sick.

I've tried to write this out in paragraph form, but it's not translating, so I am going to give bullet points a shot...

Monday, August 13, 9:00 a.m.
  • I had a regular, weekly check-up with my OB.  Everything looked great.  I was measuring normally, blood pressure and heart beat were fine.
Monday, August 13, 1:00 p.m.
  • I had an ultrasound with the perinatologist to monitor my gestational diabetes.  We took the kids, because they love seeing "brother baby."  Here, they noticed I had low amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios).  My fluids were at 3 cm, so pretty much nonexistent.  At one point, the ultrasound tech, said, "I am sorry, I can't get a good picture of his face, but I think it'll be ok, because you're going to be seeing him soon anyway."  Eric was still thinking they meant an induction in a couple days ;)
  • They immediately administered a non-stress test to make sure I was safe to travel to Orem Community Hospital (we were at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center).  We passed the stress test.
  • Meanwhile, Eric called Dave to come get the kids, since the doctor said we did not have time to go home.  Eric was now on board that this was happening NOW.
Monday, August 13, 2:30 p.m.
  • Eric and I traveled by suburban to Orem Community Hospital.  We checked in and I immediately got an iv.  We lovingly referred to my IV tower as the "IV tree of life" for the remainder of my hospital stay.  It turned into a funny thing to us, and an annoying thing to all of my nurses who had to change all of my antibiotics over the next 30+ hours.  I counted 10 bags of stuff hanging from it at one point.  One of the nurses mentioned I had all but one thing running.
    • On my IV tower:
      • Epidural (holla!)
      • Insulin for gestational diabetes
      • Penicilin for Group B Strep
      • Antiobiotics x2 (no idea what they were called?), plus fluids to chase them.
      • Fluids for replacing lost amniotic fluid.  Ward wasn't a fan of being beached.
      • Pitocin to induce labor (i.e. to get the show on the road).
  • Our nurse was a neighbor from our Provo house.  She was also there when I had Amos.  It was really nice to see a familiar face.
  • My OB came to check in with us.  He was as surprised as anyone that my water was broken.
Monday, August 13, 5:00 p.m.-11:59 p.m.
  • We were "locked and loaded," as Eric put it, and there was nothing to do but wait.  And wait.  
  • The nurses traded shifts and our new nurse was Kilee (remember that name, she's a key player). 
  • No progress, I stayed dilated to a 5 and nothing was moving.  I did, however, throw up and developed a fever (reason for the extra antibiotics in my IV). The signs of infection were probably from how long my water had been broken (which is still and will always be a mystery).
  • There were talks of a c-section becoming a possibility during this time.  We weren't sure how long he had been in there without amniotic fluid, and if he didn't come soon, it wouldn't be safe to leave him in there any longer.
Tuesday, August 14, 12:30 a.m.
  •  I gave up trying to wait for Ward and went to sleep.  As much as one can sleep like that.
 Tuesday, August 14, 2:33 a.m.
  • I woke up to Kilee telling me she was going to check me.  Eric was right there.  I saw her move my leg, and then I saw Ward's head!  Kilee said something impressively 'g' rated and caught him right then and there.  Not one single push, and half-consciousness at best on my part.
  • Eric kept saying over and over how good he looked.  His first apgar score was an "8."
  • They took him over to the checking station and suddenly were saying things like "he's not breathing."  (Not at all helpful.  Thank heavens I still wasn't totally awake).  
  • They took him away for more tests and I don't think I ever heard a second apgar score.  And it was hours before I heard his height or weight.
  • My doctor, who was sleeping down the hall on a couch so he was sure not to miss it, came in and finished up with me.  He was really sad to have missed it despite best efforts not to.  He said for the next one he's using the couch in our room.
  • Eric went with Ward, and I am not really sure what I did.  It was pretty clear right away that he was having trouble breathing and had an infection (there were so many present, good grief!).  I don't really remember worrying that it wouldn't be ok.  Not in an ignorant way, but I just wasn't worried I guess.  I totally still cried, but I cry during advil commercials.  
  • Once my epidural wore off I went down to the nursery to be with Ward.  I slept/spent time with him until they decided to transfer him to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.  Yes, the very place I stood in the day before finding out I was going to have an emergency induction.
Ready to transfer.

I think that about wraps up Ward's birth story.  A little wilder than the other ones.  I always said if I had a tough one I'd quit...

Getting dressed (in a premie outfit) to go home.

Ready to roll.

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