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The birth of Cohen Rhys...(warning:c-section delivery pictures)


Forum: 2010 Playroom

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  #1  
August 24th, 2010, 03:31 PM
mt23hc's Avatar Melissa
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Andrews Air Force Base, MD
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Cohen Rhys Nauss
June 25, 2010 at 10:59am
2lbs 9oz & 14.5 inches
June 18th was when I first noticed some swelling…I thought it was normal pregnancy in the summer kind of swelling so I blew it off…then it was Father’s Day weekend and we were traveling to visit our families and I just didn’t feel well. I was swelling more and more and was very uncomfortable. I was doing my best to try to maintain some normalcy but my feet (and hands and face) got so swollen that no shoes would fit and they literally looked like they would burst open.
On June 21st, after the holiday weekend, I called my OB and they asked me to come into labor and delivery and be checked out due to my history of severe pre-eclampsia with Hayden. During the visit they monitored my blood pressure which was slightly elevated and did urine and blood cultures. The urine culture came back with extremely high levels of protein so the doctor said they needed to do a 24-hour urine collection for a more accurate reading of the protein. She wanted to keep me in the hospital on bed rest, but since we have Hayden at home, I begged her to allow me to come home. She released me at that time on strict bed rest with bathroom privileges only. Hayden and I spent the day curled up on the couch watching movies and I’m so glad I had that time with him. We brought the urine back to the hospital and I was supposed to follow up with the doctors that Thursday.
On June 23rd, I was getting concerned because I had not heard from the doctor’s office so I called them and they said sometimes the results take a little longer than expected and to be patient that “no news is good news”. Around 5:00pm, I received a call from a frantic nurse asking if I had received a voicemail from the doctor, I said no and she explained that the protein in my urine was much higher than before and that I needed to “get to the hospital immediately for steroid injections and delivery of the baby.” I started bawling…I truly lost it…at 29 weeks pregnant, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I’d be delivering my sweet boy that I felt I had barely been pregnant with.
I got to the hospital around 6:00pm on June 23rd and was given my first steroid injection in the thigh…that thing was BRUTAL! They hooked me up to the fetal heart monitors and contraction monitors and advised me to rest. My blood pressure was taken every 15 minutes and steadily rose throughout the night. The following day I had an appointment with the Maternal/Fetal Medicine (high-risk) doctors for an ultrasound to decide the “plan of action”. I was hoping for a few more weeks…
On June 24th, we had an ultrasound with Maternal/Fetal Medicine…the doctor had a small ultrasound machine that he brought into the room and I couldn’t see the screen but from the look on his face, I just felt that something was wrong. He wouldn’t tell us anything while he performed the ultrasound because of his need to focus intently but once he finished he told us that unfortunately he had “absent end-diastolic flow”, meaning he had no blood flow through the umbilical cord, which caused Inter-Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and that Cohen was measuring two weeks behind growth wise (28 weeks) and was estimated to be only 2.3-2.7 pounds. The doctor said delivery was eminent but he would discuss how soon with my OB and they would let me know. At 6pm, I received the second dose of steroids and prayed that he could stay baking for 24 more hours to receive maximum benefit from the steroids. The neonatologist came in and met with us and explained the risks of delivering so early and about the NICU and what we should expect with Cohen. No amount of “counseling” could have prepared us for what was to come.
On June 25th, the doctor woke me at 5am to tell me that my protein was now extremely high and that my platelets were low and my liver enzymes were elevated (I now had severe pre-eclampsia and mild HELLP Syndrome) and that we couldn’t wait until 6pm to deliver the baby, that he would be delivered around 10am. I was so upset, stressed and worried.
At 10am the nurse came in and I was hysterical..she advised me that she had found someone to cover her other patients and that if I wanted her to, that she would stay with me for the c-section. I was so grateful. She knew I was extremely nervous because of my near-death experience with Hayden’s birth so I asked her to please stay with me and to reassure me through the surgery that I was okay and of everything they were doing. She shaved my abdomen and groin and gave me a “shot” of an antacid (it was gross!) and then they wheeled the bed to the OR.
Once in the OR, with my husband by my side the entire time, they asked me to bed forward so they could administer the spinal block. I sat there while they attempted to fit the needle between my vertebrae and the pain was unbearable. I began feeling light-headed and dry-heaving and thought for sure that I was going to pass out. They had me lay down and regroup then had me lay on my side for the anesthesiologist to attempt to place the spinal again. He explained that in pregnancy, your ligaments and spine loosens to allow natural birth but because I was so early in the pregnancy, the ligaments were still very tight and he was having difficulty fitting the needle between the vertebrae. He finally placed it after several attempts and they let it “kick in”. Dr. Hayes then pinched me “as hard as she could” (her words!) and I couldn’t feel it so they began the c-section. My nurse and husband stayed by my side the entire time and reassured me that I was doing great and the doctor did an excellent job. She was so patient and understanding of my nervousness and anxiety. They warned me that I wouldn’t hear Cohen cry so once they said he was out, I couldn’t see but I heard him cry and it was the most miraculous sound I have ever heard. They whisked him quickly off to a special warmer and began resuscitation and other efforts to sustain his breathing/oxygen and keep his heart beating. The sound of his crying was keeping me going and he was the only thing on my mind. They let AJ go with him and meet our new baby boy. His APGAR scores were 7/8. After he was cleaned up and relatively stable they brought him to meet me for a brief second before taking him to the NICU. I couldn’t believe how tiny and precious he was. He was 2 pounds 9 ounces and 14.5 inches long. Our tiny little miracle.
In the NICU they put Cohen on oxygen and monitors, placed an IV, and drew his blood and placed him in an incubator to keep him warm and stable. They finished stitching me up and took me to recovery. In the recovery room they gave me a warm blanket and monitored my vitals and bleeding closely and once I was stable they moved me back to the “ICU labor and delivery room” to receive magnesium to prevent seizures (eclampsia). They forewarned us that I would be extremely hot (side effect of the mag) and lowered the temperature in the room and began the magnesium for 24 hours. I mostly slept during that time, while waking every 3 hours to pump so Cohen could receive my milk.
When I tried to get up on my own for the first time I had a scary experience. AJ was helping me and I began to feel like I was going to pass out and he went to get a nurse and I passed out in the chair. The nurse came in and put the “salt” under my nose and it didn’t wake me so she began screaming in the hallway that she needed help…tons of nurses came running and they moved me into the bed and I eventually “came to” and saw my bed surrounded by nurses. Once I was stable, I was shaken, but okay. I think it scared AJ more than anything as he stood watching the whole event unravel.
On June 26th, at 4am, I woke to pump and realized I couldn’t see! This was one of the scariest moments of my life (after Hayden’s birth and delivering Cohen early…)… I told AJ and he called the nurse and they said it was probably just a side-effect of the magnesium and told me to rest. I was so upset…I was blind and so scared I’d never see my sons faces again. I had only seen Cohen for a brief second and now I was blind and so scared I could never see him.
I spent the next few days recovering and my vision was the worst part. I finally got to visit Cohen on the evening of the 26th after the magnesium was finished. I remember being so nervous and scared to touch him. I couldn’t really see him but they let me hold him and I could feel just how tiny he was. I spent the time in the hospital pumping, resting, and visiting Cohen two hours per day. I was discharged on June 29th and it was SO hard leaving Cohen but I knew he was in the best hands. Over the next month I visited the NICU twice per day from noon til three and from eight til eleven…I pumped and brought breast milk for him and spent those days snuggling him and encouraging him with love and mommy’s touch to grow and thrive. He came home on July 30th after only five weeks in the NICU which is almost unheard of for a preemie his size and age.
Today is August 24, 2010 and tomorrow he will be two months old…it’s hard to believe that it has been two months since he was born and that he really should still be in my belly right now. He is growing and thriving and is a little over five and a half pounds now. He is such an easy and happy baby, he loves to be held all the time and is just the biggest joy to us. His big brother adores him and our family is now complete.


Pictures of his first few days:
My last pregnancy pictures




Cohen's delivery






DH with him after delivery before NICU





Mommy meeting Cohen for the first time



Daddy with Cohen in the NICU while Mommy recovered






Mommy with Cohen on June 28th



June 29th (notice the difference in my facial swelling just a few days later)

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  #2  
August 24th, 2010, 05:28 PM
irish luck's Avatar *Callie*
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what a story Melissa... he is a real miracle and a super cutie!! i am so glad that both of you are strong and doing great now!!
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  #3  
August 24th, 2010, 05:51 PM
scunch's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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His birth story is amazing. So glad he is thriving and getting so strong.
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  #4  
August 25th, 2010, 07:49 AM
amonstersmomma's Avatar Coetta Dawn
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What an amazing little guy!
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  #5  
August 25th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for sharing all that, Melissa! I can not believe that he is already 2 months old! You were all troopers through your ordeal! Glad he is doing so well.
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  #6  
August 25th, 2010, 06:38 PM
~Constance~
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Thanks for sharing your story, Melissa. You and Cohen are just absolutely amazing!! You've been through so much and are such an inspiration to me! ((hug))
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  #7  
August 26th, 2010, 06:54 AM
~SavedbyGrace~'s Avatar ~Nichole~
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So glad everything is going so well now! Thanks for sharing your story and pictures!! So adorable!!
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  #8  
August 26th, 2010, 03:33 PM
sassysarah's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm so glad everything turned out ok! Cohen is such a cute little guy.
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  #9  
August 27th, 2010, 07:01 PM
lexicon's Avatar formerly SarahRenee
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Cohen is just amazing Definitely a miracle baby! I teared up reading your story.
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  #10  
August 27th, 2010, 08:35 PM
Super Mommy
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So amazing. So happy to hear he is doing so well. Congrats!
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  #11  
August 28th, 2010, 02:40 PM
*Amie*
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one word - AMAZING
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  #12  
August 28th, 2010, 09:19 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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Incredible! What an amazing story! Both of you are so strong and brave!
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  #13  
August 29th, 2010, 03:54 AM
mrsdaiwa24's Avatar Amy, soon-to-be-mama of 2
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What a blessed little miracle! I cannot imagine what you went through in those days leading up to delivery -- you and your little Cohen are definitely strong individuals!!! So glad to see that he's doing well and getting bigger every day.
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  #14  
August 29th, 2010, 07:14 AM
lovely_serendipity's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Congrats!!! He was so tiny!!!
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  #15  
August 30th, 2010, 10:10 AM
C&J's Mom's Avatar Stacy
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Congrats, Melissa. You are so strong and so is your little Cohen. What an amazing story. So glad that you are both doing so well and Cohen is thriving and growing!
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  #16  
September 4th, 2010, 09:41 AM
MariaL's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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What an amazing story! I'm so glad that he is thriving and getting stronger! Congratulations!
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  #17  
September 9th, 2010, 01:15 PM
wild&free's Avatar My name is Kelli :)
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What a scary and emotional journey that you and your family went through!!! Cohen is definitely a little fighter Congratulations Melissa!
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  #18  
September 10th, 2010, 01:11 PM
alethia's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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what an amazing story!! Great job mama and Cohen!!
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