Friday, August 19, 2011

Introducing Hailey Jo {Part 2: Recovery}

See Part 1: Labor & Delivery HERE if you haven't yet.

Sunday, 6/26/2011...continued

In the next few minutes after she was pulled out, I didn't hear her cry at all. I knew that wasn't uncommon from the different birthing shows I had watched on TV. I asked Wayne what was going on and bless his heart, he reassured me that she was fine and they were just cleaning her off and getting her settled. He didn't want to alarm me at that moment because I couldn't move and was getting stitched up. I didn't find out until later not only how serious it was, but that he hadn't cut the cord because she hadn't been breathing when they pulled her out and they just cut it and rushed to get her breathing.  

She actually had to be resuscitated.

When I found that out much later on I started crying because I had no idea how close we actually were to losing her. I thanked god (as I did many times in the following days and do everyday since then) that she was OK.

I finally heard her cry briefly and after a few more minutes of waiting, they finally said Daddy could come over to see her. He came back only a few short minutes later and showed me these pictures:

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Since she was having trouble breathing on her own, she needed assistance with a CPAP. As you can see above, she was also really blue. Wayne says these pictures don't even do it justice how blue she really was. A lot of babies swallow amniotic fluid, but apparently she swallowed a lot more than normal. They didn't bring her over to me at all, they took her straight to the NICU when she was stabilized.

3:15 pm - My C-section was complete and I was all stitched up; I headed back to our labor & delivery room to be monitored for an hour; Hailey was already in the NICU. She had been born an hour ago and I still hadn't seen her yet.

Once we arrived back in the room, my nurse told us that the NICU Dr would be coming to talk to us about Hailey. That made me extremely nervous, but I just kept my faith in God, that nothing would happen to my little girl. The Dr ended up not coming to talk to us while I was recovering, what we didn't know at that time yet, was that they were performing x-rays and found out she had Pneumothorax.

To put it simply she had air bubbles in her lungs. There was one large one on each side. One specifically that they were most worried about was in between her heart and lung and if it had gotten any bigger it could have been fatal. It's like putting a sticker down with air bubbles and as they breathe the air bubbles slowly come out. Sometimes though with breathing the bubbles can get larger instead of smaller and so that is why it can be fatal and why she needed monitoring.

At about 4:15 pm my blood pressure was good to go and I was considered stable from the surgery. I was headed to my Mommy & Baby room, with a pit-stop at the NICU to meet my little girl for the first time. Now it had been 2 hours since she had been born.

At 4:30 pm I finally saw her with my own eyes. Even though she looked rough to me, they said that she was doing so much better than when she was first born. She had come a long way in those first 2 hours. As you can see in the pictures, her color was coming in more and more and she was actually breathing on her own. The nurses assured us that was really great news. They also informed us that even though she was doing much better, that they were unsure when she would be released from the NICU and she could be in there for up to a week or more. I was so disappointed, but optimistic and hopeful about her recovery.

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Look at all that hair! After I visited with her for a few minutes and talked briefly to the nurses I was taken to my room at 4:45 pm. My family trickled in and visited for awhile. I was so tired and out of it though, all I wanted to do was sleep. Good luck with that one.  

Since I couldn't go see her, Wayne kept me updated on how she was doing. He was kind of like the tour guide those first 24 hours. The only way anyone could go see her was with Wayne and he could bring up to 3 people with him each time. Our family started taking turns to go meet her. Each time Wayne or someone would come back they updated me on how she was doing or what she was doing.

This was just one of many pictures that my sister, Kate took. Wayne also took several pictures and videos of her over our 5 day stay. I will post the video montage that he put together as well.

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I had several people tell me that she was very alert and she definitely knew her Daddy's voice. As soon as he started talking to her, she would look for him and grasp onto his finger. That comforted me that at least one of us could be with her. He is so sweet.  

With that said I want to give him a shout-out for NEVER leaving my side throughout the whole day. He stayed by me throughout the whole labor and delivery. He held my hand and helped me breath and focus. He was truly a godsend, especially with the epidural not working. He was so strong with everything that was going on with Hailey and really had to take the reins and not only be there for me, but also our babygirl. I can't imagine going through this with anyone else and I can honestly say he is my rock. I think having Hailey and experiencing what we did made us stronger as a couple.

After getting settled into my room they started me on a drug that's like morphine, but not. It is given to you in the first 12 hours after a c-section to help with the pain. It didn't agree with me and made me puke. Now mind you I hadn't had anything to eat other than ice chips thus far and my system was still cleared out from puking the night before, so I was literally puking nothing but water. We ended up not realizing that it was the culprit until about 9:30 pm. I was then switched to a different drug and that seemed better. Because I had puked up so much liquids and couldn't keep anything down for those first hours, they decided to keep me on IV fluids until that next morning.

Monday, 6/27/2011

They wouldn't let me get out of bed for 12 hours after the c-section, so the earliest I would have been able to get up is 2:13 am. They informed me that at that point I could get up and go in the wheel-chair down to the NICU and visit Hailey if I wanted to. At 8:00 am my nurse came in to get me up out of bed, but it was clear to her that I was definitely not ready. I was really tired and so dizzy that when I tried standing up, I literally swayed back and forth. We determined that I would continue to rest for awhile until the Dr came. The lab also came early that morning and took blood to check my hemoglobin.
Later that afternoon at about 1:00 pm, the Dr stopped by to inform me that my Hemoglobin was REALLY low. Apparently I had lost more blood than a normal c-section patient and was on the border of having to have a blood transfusion. SCARY! A normal persons hemoglobin is 12.6, with a vaginal birth it is usually either a 10 or 11, with a c-section it is usually a 9. Well, mine was a 7.2. That explained why I was so dizzy, pale and really, really out of it.

I also still had my IV fluids and catheter and inquired about both. The Dr determined since my pee was still bloody (I know TMI, but it's the truth), they decided to keep me on the IV fluids as well as the catheter until it returned to a normal yellow-ish color. The Dr also said it was attributed to my kidneys and that most likely they hadn't bounced back fully from the surgery, but that they should recover in the next day or so.

Also, since I was not able to get out of bed yet, the catheter would continue to assist me in that department. I spent the majority of the day sleeping, resting, and attempting to eat.

Finally, by that afternoon I was getting so anxious to go see my peanut, that I pretty much forced myself to get out of bed. Each step took me awhile because I was still so dizzy and in some pain, but I didn't care how long it took me to get to the NICU, I was determined to finally see and hold my little girl. 

At about 5:30 pm I finally made it to the NICU in the wheel chair. Wayne and I decided to go just the two of us and have some special family time. This is me holding her for the first time:

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You can see how swollen and pale I am. I also still have the IV's in me.

This is Wayne holding her for the first time. I know everyone says they have the best Husband ever, but I know I really do. Throughout the day when he was visiting her, several of the nurses had asked him if he wanted to hold her and he refused, telling them that he wanted ME to be the first to hold her as her Mama. He also said that it was something he felt like we should do as a family.

Can't get any better than that.

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They did an x-ray each morning and night to monitor it. These were a couple x-rays from that Monday.

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The whole chest area is supposed to be white and hazy. Well, you can see it's obviously not.

Tuesday, 6/28/2011

Both of us were doing better. My pee was finally clear of blood, so after 3 extra bags of fluids and almost 48 hours post-surgery I was taken off the IV's and the catheter was removed. YAY! Even though I was still so swollen from all the fluids and so bruised from the surgery, I managed to get out of bed several times that day and actually take a shower that afternoon. I took the wheelchair down to see her throughout the day. Although Hailey's x-rays were looking better and better each time, she was still on IV's and being monitored.

Wayne had talked to the Dr that night and she said that Hailey was recovering fabulously and could possibly be released out of the NICU the next day. Great news!

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Wednesday, 6/29/2011

I was so excited when I woke up and looking forward to her hopefully being released from the NICU. I had went down early that morning at about 8:00 am to visit her and the nurse had told me that she had a slight yellow tinge to her skin, but didn't think it would progress any further and Hailey would most likely be released mid-day when the Dr got around to her. Wayne got to the hospital around 10:30 am and headed down to NICU to check in with the nurses and see Hailey. He came back and informed me that she was not being released because she was diagnosed with jaundice. My heart sank. I was so disappointed. It was just another hurdle.

At 1:00 pm Wayne went back to check on her again. He then came back with great news! Since jaundice wasn't a NICU issue and her pnuemothorax was looking great she was being released from the NICU to our room.

She still had jaundice and had to be under the lights for most of the time, but at least she could be in our room with us and our family. This is us in our room having our first skin on skin time waiting for them to bring in the light bed.

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Here she is under the lights in our room.

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The rest of Wednesday afternoon and evening was spent in and out of the lights. When we took her out to feed her or change her diaper there was a family member or friend waiting to hold her for the first time. It was so fun to finally see her with everyone.

Thursday, 6/30/2010

With her being out of the NICU and people coming and going I didn't get much rest during the day (Wednesday) and so that night because I was so wiped out we ended up sending Hailey to the nursery at about 2:00 am. Wayne asked me if I felt bad because it was her first night with us and we were sending her off, but I knew that if I didn't get some sleep and rest that the next day was going to be really rough and long. Plus, that's what we were paying the nurses to do was to take care of us and we definitely needed that.

We woke that morning ready to go home. Hailey's Dr came and informed us that her bilirubin numbers looked great and didn't need to be under the lights anymore. Then my Dr came and gave me the final OK. At about 11:00 am the hospital photographer came by and took some photos. This is just one:

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Not even 4 days old and already smiling. Love.

It was so hot the day we were discharged.

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Nestled in her seat ready to go home. We left the hospital at about 4:00 pm.

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Daddy carrying her out to the car to head home. She looks so small.

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Now the adventure of parenthood begins!

Leah