Luke and the NICU

I think I can write about this now. I feel like it will probably do me good, like writing out a birth story, it just helps to process things.
Luke was born 10:35 AM November 19th. That night he was having lots of tummy troubles,  but also wanting to eat hourly. It was just me and him in the hospital, as David needed to be with Leia. I was actually kind of looking forward to the hospital stay for one on one time with Luke before integrating everything else into the mix.
Though, there is not much less restful than a night in a maternity ward, how many people can come into your room and poke at you for different reasons or ask you questions in a 24 hour period? I know there are reasons for it and after all my blood pressure excitement pre birth I’m thankful for the concern just in case.
Anyway, I was not getting sleep. And didn’t get much during labor as you can imagine, so as luke refused to be laid down I was running on empty. I should have known that. Should have sent him to the nursery for a bit I suppose or had the lights on or something,  I just thought I was doing ok. When nurses would come in I was always coherent and polite. It was easy to wake, but also easy to drift off to sleep. It happened around 2 AM, my hospital bed was tilted up so I was sitting somewhat and just holding him upright against me in the burping position. I know that much, I was holding him like that because otherwise he would cry. The next thing I remember is hearing his cry and seeing him on the floor. Ok still hard to relive this. For days I really couldn’t get that sight from my mind. He was so tiny, not even a day old, a surge of adrenaline of course. I called the nurse in to look at him, hoping it would be nothing, but he had a bump and so she took him to special care and a ct scan. It was the longest night. I couldn’t sleep waiting. I was exhausted and terrified and appalled at what had happened. I was kind of frozen and in shock just waiting for news. I didn’t call David.  I didn’t hsve any answers and really couldn’t bring myself to talk about it at that point.
Finally, they told me he seemed ok but the pediatrician would talk with me in the morning about the results of the scan.
In the meantime they were to keep the baby in the nursery except for feedings. I knew I had to sleep but I felt ashamed and perceived as unfit then. Luke was monitored thru the night.
The next day the dr finally came in. I got the news they needed to transport him to the nicu at the children’s hospital for more scans and tests. That there was no sign yet of anything serious but there was a fracture and it could turn more serious.
I really was losing it.
Finally I talked to David. He kind of went into shock as well , he really didn’t listen to everything I was telling him.
My worst nightmare was to have a baby in the NICU, a new baby I couldn’t cuddle and keep near me. I felt guilty and helpless.  When they came to transport him it was awful he was in the biggest scariest incubator you can imagine, with all kinds of oxygen tanks and things. David called it Luke’s X wing.They took him by ambulance to dayton childrens.
Such a blur, the hospital quickly dismissed me so I could go. Though david made me take a nap at home while he went to be with luke first. Wise to be sure, but I felt horrible doing it.
I didn’t want to talk to anyone. The world just kind of stopped I felt so horrible, and totally in shock.  I mean I had just given birth and then all this, I just couldn’t process it.
Thankfully the fraction looked to be the type that would heal naturally on its own and Luke seemed fine. I cringe everytime I think of the fear and pain I may have caused him that night, but I’m thankful he’s a normal healthy baby and he only had one night in the NICU. I could see God’s hand in all kinds of details when I was going through those couple of days, and even though I was a wreck I know he was with us!
Mom’s rooming in with baby is great, but don’t be afraid to let the babe go to the nursery for a couple hours 🙂

Luke’s Birth

It has been one of the most tumultuous few days of my life.  So before getting into Luke’s fall and time in the NICU I want to try and record the happy story of his birth before it gets too far from my mind. It really was I think my ideal experience and I’m really thankful for it, despite all the craziness that would follow.
   We decided to induce on the 18th. My blood pressure was consistently high and I was feeling horrible and pretty stressed. I really think Luke would have come naturally right around then anyway. This allowed the luxury of avoiding a surprise middle of the night race to the hospital (had one of those the week before anyway) and I got to peacefully leave Leia with my Mom.
   We got there 8 pm, checked in to the lovely birthing suite ( Southview is a great facility, it’s small you pretty much park right by the door, no garage or anything, none of the big urban feel of the hospital Leia was born in-tho they had an excellent staff there as well!), and waited.
They started with a foley bulb. This is a more natural drug free induction method than the gels. I say this to score points with the imaginary crowd of judging natural childbirth advocates in my head. When they asked me if I wanted this over the gels,  I figured I could at least do one thing naturally right? I mean in every other way natural was pretty much the last thing I wanted. I was nervous about somehow missing my chance at an epi, or like last time getting one (which I got way way too late I see that now!) Only to have it run out and fail me at the worst time (see Leia’s birth story if you want to know my attempt at “natural” traumatized me).
Anyway, the foley bulb is a plastic balloon type thing that is meant to mimic babies head pushing the cervix open. It did its job, though for me I would still need hours of pitocin to get going.
Pitocin, the drug that nearly killed me last time. Pitocin was the end of natural for me. This time I wanted to be prepared.  Thanks to Dan the anesthesiologist I totally was!! I love labor and delivery nurses, they always seem so dedicated to me. I’ve only had good experiences with them and I always feel bad,  you just never see them again after all they do for you,  but Dan the anesthesiologist really really has my admiration.  Last time I guess I got a walking epidural, never again. Dan gave me the real deal. Hours and hours of contractions and I didn’t feel them!!! All that torment last time, the three hours of pushing,  the back labor, the puking, the walking, why what was it for? Sorry, I know some people love natural birth and even claim it doesn’t have to hurt, but I felt like I heard a lot more about that than what a good epidural is like, maybe because natural childbirth is the fashion now and there is a quiet judgment those of us that don’t succeed at having one feel? So this for me is what worked, and led me to have a much more meaningful birth experience,  why be ashamed?
Anyway, anesthesiologist Dan, you’re the man.
What I really appreciated this time was when Luke was actually born I was present.  Last time I was barely alive when Leia came. This time, while I felt some pain in the end, I had a sense of what I was doing. I felt the reward of the hard work of pushing.  Plus, unlike last time, the hard work actually worked! In about ten minutes of pushing and a roughly 24 hour labor alltogether, Luke was born!
David was sitting beside me encouraging me (sitting because we warned the staff he proved to be a fainter last time) the senior Dr that came in at the last minute (as doctors do, kind of makes you wonder why they get the big bucks?) was so funny. He was an older african american gentleman and he was like dancing during the pushing david said, saying things like “come on” and “amen”. It was joyful and great.

Where I’m at

Feel like I’ve been in a fog lately. This weekend I’ve just felt so tired, but no amount of napping and nothing I eat or drink seems to help. On friday the doctor said they wanted to see me again in 4 days due to high blood pressure continuing, and made it sound inducing would be the safest bet at that point. I actually checked it while at kroger yesterday,  felt really old using the blood pressure machine at the pharmacy, but it was still elevated.
I’m totally OK with inducing at this point. Very tired of feeling this way and wondering if all my discomforts could be scary preeclampsia setting in. Wondering when to call the dr etc.
This all really came out of left field, proving you just really never know with pregnancy and babies and making me really thankful I live in the age of modern medicine. I know lately the fashion is to be wary of all things medical, but 100 years ago childbirth was the most dangerous thing you could do as a woman. I for one am glad I’m being monitored, even if it is no fun, and glad we know what things like preeclampsia are and watch out for them. When you are fine in your pregnancy you may feel put out by all the precautions and constant peeing in cups, but I’d rather deal with this than not be there for my kids!
Another thing I’m grateful for, my husband. He’s really taken on a lot these past few days. Putting his business on hold, giving me all the rest he can. This stuff is stressful for him too, but he’s been a champ.
I’m also thankful for the schoolroom of life to teach me more about God’s sovereignty.  It’s so easy in our world to feel we are in control and become practical atheists,  though I’m so glad for the aid of modern medicine, this makes me hyper aware of who is really in control and who I trust no matter what.
Not to be too dramatic of course, in a week or two this will all probably be over and part of Lukes story and life will be consumed by newborn (and Leia) care.

38 weeks, the worst week…

The last mile is the hardest, that is certainly true with this pregnancy anyway!
Everything has been going normally, as with Leia’s pregnancy, but at my last appointment my blood pressure had skyrocketed. This meant I got to sit at Labor and delivery for several hours. They took blood and monitored my heartrate, which stayed elevated.  Then for extra fun, I had to collect a 24 hour urine sample. How crazy did I feel collecting my own urine and then driving it around in my car? I am so thankful I don’t work outside the home right now, because I couldn’t imagine having to do that at work! I kid you not the huge plastic jug they gave me was bright orange (why?) And on top of that it had to be kept cool. Would you put that in the shared breakroom fridge with people’s lunches?!
Anyway, it was very frustrating spending all that time in the maternity ward, not knowing what was going on, and then not walking out without a baby. I thought that would be it for a while. …
Then the next evening I started feeling horrible, with many of the symptoms they kept asking me if I had when trying to find out if I had preeclampsia.   When I started getting these horrible chills and shaking uncontrollably we went to the hospital.
Long story short we were there from like 11 pm to 4 AM to discover I have a stomach virus. I don’t remember the last time I had a virus like this, why now!!!!!?????
The one upside, I got a pair of scrubs. This happened because I got sick all over myself, but I have always envied medical professionals their scrubs,  I mean they wear pajamas to work? Why don’t we all?
Now I feel better, but still awful.  At least I feel well enough to not take phenegren, the anti nausea med that really really knocks you out! If i didn’t have Leia though I would love to slip into a phenegren  coma for a day or two honestly. My husband just came down with the bug, and I’m praying so hard Leia doesn’t, and I’m now nervous about going into labor post stomach bug with a sick family. I’m nervous about my next appointment,  I can’t handle anymore time in the hospital without a baby coming out! Definitely melting down here a bit. Hoping to feel normal tomorrow.  Hoping for an easy labor in return for all this drama now.

Waiting….

Week 36, almost to 37. Now it’s moving into the waiting and wondering phase. I’m sooo jealous of ladies who have those scheduled C-sections! At my most recent appointment they thought he might be breach,  and I thought for a second “oh maybe they’ll have to do a c-section, and a guilt free one at that!” Nope, he is head down and engaged, just perhaps a taller baby or in a weird position.
Am I nervous? Well my first labor was basically the most painful, difficult thing ever to happen to me. I went in positive and just came out surviving it (the story is in the archives, but it was 30 some hours, including 3 just for pushing yay). So in many ways I’m more nervous than I was the first time, but God has designed pregnancy so that you get so uncomfortable near the end you really just want to get on with it no matter what!!!! 
My daughter was a week early, and with the way things are feeling I’ll be really surprised if Luke is late at all. Bags are packed, car seats in car etc etc, he can vacate the premises!
I hope it isn’t so fast that it’s scary. Again for me a car or home birth are the stuff of nightmares for me. However, I really would prefer something under 30 hours this time too.
I’m also feeling impatient about just getting to meet my son and touch him. He’s so close, but still so far!