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I'm going to warn you now, this is going to be very detailed. I'm writing this as much for me to remember everything that happened as to share it, and I want to remember every little thing. Also it includes a bit about what happened after the birth, not just the birth itself.
Before we left for the hospital, I made sure we had all of our bags together and had everything we would need, and then of course I had to get one last belly picture. I had no clue how much I'd miss this.
We were told to be at the hospital for 6am and we got there about 5:45. The nurse took us back to our room and did the usual pee in a cup, check temperature, etc. She hooked me up to the monitors and gave me that little button to press every time I felt movement.
I think between this time and the time when they took me back to the c-section room (around 8:10), we only saw her twice, maybe three times. My c-section was scheduled for 8:00am so the closer it got to that time, the more anxious I got. Finally around 8:10 or 8:15 they came in to get us to walk to the c-section room, which was really close to the room that we were in. They told Matt to wait in the hall, and took me inside. I think him having to wait out there and not be inside with me was the hardest part of the entire thing. I wasn't too scared that morning until I went inside that room. Once I was in there I think it hit me what was about to happen, and then I was terrified. They had me sit on the table while they got their things together and they kept talking to each other and checking something but I can't remember what, it was just a blur. I must have had a weird look on my face because I remember the one nursed looked at me if I was bored. I tried to say no, but instead I just started crying. The next thing I remember they had me curl over as much as I could and the nurse was holding me, pretty much giving me a bear hug. The anestesiologist was about to put in the needle to freeze the area and told me to relax and that I was going to feel a big pinch. I didn't. Then she said that she was about to put the next needle in. I didn't feel it at all at the beginning, but I did feel it once she got in a bit more. No pain or even discomfort, but I felt it. This was such a relief because the spinal was one of my biggest fears going into it. After she was done it was the weirdest feeling. It felt like warmness was being poured down my body, and then numbness. They had me lay down quickly. They tested me to make sure that it was working, first with an ice cube and then poking me with something, can't remember what. I felt nothing. After that, I can't really remember what happened. I remember waiting for them to tell me that they were starting, but they never did. Matt was sitting beside me and he told me to tell him when they started because he wanted to get a picture as she was coming out and he wanted to cut the cord. I remember waiting to feel something to indicate that they had started and then before I knew it I heard her cry. I always said that I wouldn't be one of those people who cries when their baby cries. I didn't understand what made people cry. I get it now, I cried. He quickly jumped up to get a picture.
It wasn't of her coming out, but it was immediately after. Good enough for me. He never did get to cut the cord. My doctor held her up over the curtain so I could see her for the first time, which just made me cry even more.
My first thought was she is so small! I definitely didn't expect something like that to be my first thought the first time I saw my baby, but at all of my recent OB appointments, my doctor kept telling me that I am going to have a "very large" baby and that she thinks that Olivia might be one of her biggest deliveries, yadda yadda. So naturally when I see a baby the size that she was come out, I was just a little bit surprised. They took her over to clean her up, and Matt sat back down beside me until I told him to go be with Olivia, and I think I told him fifty times to make sure he took a lot of pictures. He did.
I'm not sure why or how, but I knew that something was wrong. Her cry sounded far different than I expected, but other than that I really didn't have a reason to think that anything was wrong, I just knew. I kept asking the nurse if something was wrong with her and if she was okay. Her response was always "she's perfect." After she was all cleaned up, the nurse gave her to Matt and he came back and sat down beside me with her in his arms. Going into the c-section, I was honestly pretty upset that he would get to hold her before I would. I know that sounds selfish and it is, but that's how I felt. It didn't happen at all though. Seeing him hold our baby for the first time was a feeling that I will never, ever forget. It was amazing. I don't remember saying it at all, but he told me that from the time they showed me her over the curtain to the time they took her away, all I kept saying was that she is so beautiful and that she was so perfect. While Matt was holding her, someone (I have no idea who) took her from Matt and placed her on my chest.
That was one of the greatest moments of my life. I'll never forget that. I really have no idea what happened or how anyone realized anything was wrong. She was obviously okay because they let Matt hold her and put her on my chest, but then they took her from my chest pretty quickly and rushed her out of the room. Again, I told Matt to go with. That would be the last time I would see him for a little bit. They finished closing me back up, and I went off to recovery. After I'd been in there for a little while, he came back. I knew something was wrong just by the look on his face. He didn't tell me at the time, but later on he told me that while he was gone, he saw four doctors rush into the constant care nursery (where she was) and all four were working on her but no one said anything to him, he just watched. I can't imagine how he was feeling in that moment. After I spent about an hour to an hour and a half in recovery, the nurse said I was ready to get moved to my room because I could move my legs a bit and my vitals looked good. She warned me that when I saw my baby, she would have an oxygen tube under her nose. They said that they would push my bed to the CCN so I could see her really quick before going to my room. Matt came back right before they took me down (he was with Olivia again), and I told him I was going to get to see her and I remember him saying "you know she has a tube down her throat, right?" I'll never forget those words. I just started crying. I had no clue what was going on or why she needed a tube or why no one told me my baby was having problems, I just cried and cried. They did, and it was really quick. They basically wheeled me in, I saw her, and then they said we had to go. I got to my room, and still didn't find anything out. I kept asking questions, but got no answers. The only answers I got were from Matt but that's only based on what he could see, he said that nurses and doctors wouldn't tell him anything either. Around 2 or 3pm I stood up for the first time. They wouldn't let me walk, just stand up and march where I was standing. That felt great - no pain or discomfort whatsoever. Then I had to lay back in bed. All day I kept bugging the nurses telling them I wanted to go see Olivia. Looking back I realize why I couldn't, but at the time I didn't think of anything except take me to my baby. Finally around 7pm they came back and let me stand up again, which was good again. So they brought in a wheel chair and finally took me to see Olivia. I must have gone at a bad time, because I went in and she was purple/blue. They took me out right away. Matt stayed down there. He wasn't allowed in the CCN, but he stayed in the hall and peeked through the curtains. A few days later when he and I were talking about this I told him how scary it was to see her that colour, and he said that was actually good compared to what she was. He said that at one point she was the colour of the sidewalks. I got back to my room and nurses kept talking about her blood levels, but that was all they mentioned. They said they measure the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, and that all day hers have been okay but that suddenly the amount of oxygen went way down and carbon dioxide went way up. They said that it could be a false reading since it was so sudden so they were going to test again, and the second results came back the same, so they determined that it was accurate. After that I didn't hear much, and then a nurse came back and said that Olivia was stable so I could go see her again. So they brought back a wheelchair and Matt pushed me down to see her and she looked much better than the last time that I saw her, but the nurses were talking to me (finally!) and said that her blood gases still weren't looking good, but said nothing other than that. They said that the doctor would be at the hospital shortly and that he would come to my room and let me know what was going on after he examined her, but he walked into the room as soon as they said that. He looked at Olivia and then he told me he was going to have to put a breathing tube in her. I didn't understand so I asked why (though probably not near quite so calmly) and I remember him saying "go to your room, I'll talk to you later." A nurse later apologized for him being so cold, saying that he's a great doctor but that his bedside manner is crap. You can say that again. So he came in and finally explained about the wet lung. I had heard nothing about her lungs until this point, but he explained that due to having no contractions and due to not pushing her out, there was too much fluid in her lungs that didn't get out. He said that it makes it hard for Olivia to breathe because the lungs are sticky. He also explained that she had a tube in her lung to keep it inflated. He said that with the wet lung if it were to close, it would be hard to keep it open again so that's why they do this. He them explained that since she was being put on the ventilator, she had to transfer hospitals. He said that it's just protocol, as soon as a baby needs that, they are automatically sent to a bigger, better hospital in the big city over, and then he left the room. A while later a nurse came in and I told her that if my baby was going to another hospital, I was too. She explained that Olivia had to but that I couldn't. She explained that they put people on antibiotics after a c-section as a preventative measure but that the hospital where Olivia was going didn't do antibiotics so I had to stay there to finish them. I remember telling her that they could give me the antibiotics in pill form and I'd take it myself, or I would sign myself out and go to Hamilton to be with Olivia. She said that one of the nurses working works at this hospital and at the one she was being transferred to, so she would talk to her. That nurse talked to a different doctor that I hadn't yet seen, and that doctor managed to find me a room at the hospital she was being transferred to. Some time around 1am the transport team came for Olivia. They brought her in my room in their little portable incubator so I could see her one last time before she left. I saw her, and then they took her to go. At that time I started packing up my stuff and we left too. By the time we got to my hospital room, Matt said he was going to check on her in the NICU and for me to go to sleep, which I did real fast. I had gotten little sleep the night before my c-section and no sleep the day of so I was exhausted. The new hospital she was at was AMAZING. Every baby has their own nurse right beside their bed at all times. The day after she got there she was taken off the ventilator. From there, everything slowly got better and she was slowly taken off of more and more things. Finally on her third day of life, I got to hold her.
While she was in that hospital, I also got to bathe her, and "practice breastfeeding". They gave me a pump and I was pumping every three hours to take it down to her. By the 20th, she was off of everything (except the monitors) and they said there was no reason for her to be there anymore. She was on a seven day treatment of antibiotics though so we had to be transferred back to the hospital in my city for her to finish that up. We stayed at home but went back to see ehr all the time. On the nights of the 23rd and 24th I got to stay in the hospital with her and have her room in with me. They like parents to do this to get an idea of what it will be like but still be in the hospital. She was supposed to be discharged on the 24th but she had lost more weight so they wouldn't let her go. On the morning of the 25th the doctor came in to see me and she explained that Olivia had still lost weight again, though a small amount. I told her I wanted Olivia home. She asked if I was comfortable taking her home even though she wasn't gaining, and I said yes. I figured that both she and I would be more comfortable in our home and that would help her gain weight. The doctor said she would agree to that as long as we went to see her one week after we were discharged. I agreed.
So finally after a very long, very scary nine days, we got to bring our baby girl home!
She is such a good baby and I could not be more in love with her. Everyone always comments on how lucky we are - she always sleeps! Thanks for reading her story.
Last edited by Ashl3y; June 19th, 2011 at 11:31 AM.
How scary, Ashley!! I can't imagine going through that and to not have anyone answer any questions would make it worse!! I'm so, SO very happy Olivia is home and healthy!! She's beautiful!
Mom to 4 beautiful kids! 3 on Earth and 1 in heaven. Our little girl, Matilda Hope had Down Syndrome. She was born with TMD, a disease that is like leukemia. She fought that and beat it. Then, she had liver failure. She beat that, too. On October 17, 2014 she had NEC, necrotizing enterocolitis. My baby went to Heaven on October 19, 2014. She lived exactly one month.
I cant believe they left you in the dark so much and didnt talk to you! Talk about scary. How sad that Matt didnt get to cut the cord to! Amazing little fighter you have on your hands! Congrats on her doing so well now!