Thursday, September 11, 2008

The hospital

I'm using this as my little journal. I wasn't even going to post it, just keep it for myself but then I didn't know if any of the info would help anyone else so here it is. Please feel no obligation to read my ramblings.

The nurses!! Aside from all of them commenting that I was just made to have babies and need to keep at it, they were amazing. They listened to me about my needs. Since I was so far along when I got there, I never had any time to get off the monitors, but they did offer at one point; too bad that was when the doc walked in and I was at 10 and it was time to break my water and start the pushing. I only had one nurse, over at the maternity side of it, who wasn't super impressive. And while I'm sure she was good, everyone else just went so far above and beyond my expectations, she ranked a little low.

So much of her actual delivery is a blur to me I need to get it out while I still have a chance of remembering. Such an amazing experience. Overall, I am just so glad I picked a great doc that I trusted. He was so calming in the room, and his personality combined with knowing what he was doing kept me calm and comfortable. Even though the delivery ended up requiring more interventions than either of us wanted (one of the reasons I selected him (aside from the glowing recommendation from my RE that I absolutely loved) was that he rarely used vacuum, forceps, or does an episiotomy), I completely trust that it was the right thing to do to get Sweetness here. Her heart rate was becoming more variable throughout the monster contractions and she needed to get the heck out of there. Plus, after 2+ hours of pushing, I was really fading. What I love the most is that before I actually needed the vacuum, he prepped and talked to me about it as a possibility during one of the loooong pauses I had between contractions, so I was able to process it. It wasn't suggested at the height of the pain or when there was no other alternative. I just love docs that actually listen to you. As for the episiotomy, I was tearing too unevenly and at that point her heart rate was getting into more trouble. No real prep time for that but I didn't really care--I wanted the kiddo OUT!

Mr H. did get to cut the cord and she was immediately put onto my stomach. She didn't get to stay there as long as I would have liked but given all of the heart issues and her general blue-purple hue, they needed to take her over to the warmers. I fortunately had no problems delivering the placenta and tried to donate the cord blood to the public bank but the sample wasn't large enough. And because of my super contractions, my uterus was ahead of the game and shrinking super fast so I got spared the p.ictocin that most people get automatically to deliver the placenta and after labor. I had no idea that was a typical intervention and I was glad my doc told the nurses to hold off because he thought I wouldn't need it. Sweetness was back in just a few, tried to nurse but all she wanted to do was sleep (she was that way for the first 36 hours or so--she's still a super sleepy baby).

Friday night we had a little scare. They came in to check both our vitals around 8:30 and the nurse said she couldn't really hear well with all the commotion in the hall (the people must have thought that were at a frat party or something for the weekend). About 1/2 hr later one of the assistants popped in and said that were just listening to her heart. I took that to mean that the nursery had gotten busy and she'd be back in a few. 15 minutes later, I sent Mr H down to check on things. 10 minutes later I called him. Her heart rate was again really variable, dipping down into the low 80's (should be 120-ish), sometimes jumping into the 140-160 range and occasionally skipping a beat. But that I shouldn't just don't get it. So I bawled and wailed for about a minute, then shuffled my way down to the nursery where the sight of my little girl hooked up to all those monitors with them beeping and 3 nurses standing over her put me over the edge. They had called into the NICU and the doctor was on his way down. I seriously have no idea how all of the NICU mommies manage it. I was a wreck. They brought me a nice comfy chair and I just sat next to her, talking to her with tears streaming down my cheeks. What scared me was that they closed the blinds and stopped letting other parents in. Now I get that it was to respect our privacy but I at the time I was just so sure it meant that something horrible was about to happen. The charge nurse kept telling me that babies get murmurs and arrhythmias all the time and she'd be fine--that since all of her other vital checks had been fine, they probably just caught a little fluke and now wanted to follow through with it. The NICU doc took that I thought to be an insanely long time to get there but it probably wasn't. And just like when you take your car to the mechanic, her heart rate was stable and fine while he was there. He did listen to everything for a long time and did what seemed to me to be a very thorough assessment. Ended up saying that she has a good little ticker and didn't think she needed any other tests or assessment. We decided that since she was spending her nights in the nursery regardless (they were just bringing her to me every 3 hours to feed), they'd hook her up to the monitor every hour or so to double check. She was fine the rest of the night and the pediatrician gave her a full work up that morning before discharging her so all is well but dear god--I don't ever want to feel fear like that ever again. But again, our nurse and the charge nurse were amazing. They tried to calm me (nothing short of a horse tranquilizer would have though) and took great care of Sweetness. They kept saying they probably just caught a little blip that everyone has occasionally. Despite the fear, I am so glad they followed up on it and called in the doctor.

The only negative about the hospital was that I let one nurse talk me into briefly giving her a pacifier. The girl likes to suck for sure and was using me as one...causing a ton of nasty bleeding but her feedings took a big nose dive after the paci. I knew I didn't want one but I let her convince me that it wouldn't mess anything up. And she sure did like it. But it's gone for now...maybe once we get this whole breastfeeding thing a little more established or something I'll bring it back for her. And it will be easier to fade out then all the sucking she does on her little fingers.

I know there is more I want to remember but I just can't recall it now. I did manage to put on my big girl panties and tell both my parents (in the middle of a divorce) that I did not care how they managed their time at the hospital but that I had waited FAR too long for this moment and if at any point either of them were taking away from my happiness, they'd both be kicked out of the room. I did feel like crap for saying it (my mom is so sensitive right now). But they managed it so neither was there at the same time. It did make me sad that my dad wasn't there right away (he moved back North). I have (had) a very close family and I always imagined everyone there after the birth, me showing off my little baby, etc. My dad was really sad too. He just cried the whole time he was at the hospital, especially when I had mentioned that my brother and his wife brought in food for all of us and how we just hung out all night.

Don't want to go into that all right now, much more family drama on the horizon that thankfully my dad did not mention the weekend she was born (so he did listen to my rules I guess)

anyway, if you read this, you are a true friend ;)


battynurse said...

Wow. Sounds like a lot happened really quickly. Glad it's all ok and that sweetness is home with you.

Jen said...

I love all the details!

And when do we get more cute baby pictures to look at?

Leah said...

I already knew I was a true friend, but now I'm sure since I hung on every word until the end. :-)

What a scary day with little Sweetness, I'm so happy that everything is fine.

Pacifiers are the devil, but we readily supply them to our kids. Their sucking reflexes are so strong that they would have hoovered the paint off the walls if given no other option. In fact, Megan didn't give hers up completely until she was 3 1/2 years old! Liam will be parting with his much, much sooner -- after we manage to get him to sleep through the night at least a few times!

Can't wait to see the little angel, I'll be responding to your email to set up a time to come by once you are all settled in and ready for visitors.

Morrisa said...

What a beautiful story. Glad all worked out okay. About Pacis, I have also heard that they hinder breastfeeding but everyone I talk to insists that the baby will need one...a lot to think about.

Jendeis said...

Loved reading the story and so glad that everything is OK.

sarah23 said...

Thanks for sharing all of that. Every birth is so dramatic!