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Anna Camille was born 4/11/13 at 4:48 am, weighing 5lbs 11.5oz, 19 inches.
On April 9th, I started having strong contractions at work...they were time-able and regular for a while, but not too close together. But it really made me think that I should get done whatever I really needed to get done at work and at home. I had a productive day at work, turned in the form to daycare that would allow my sister and MIL to pick up Grace if necessary, and then came home and got more things done. I still didn't necessarily think anything would happen, but wanted to be as prepared as I could be, just in case. I was very crampy/back-achy that night.
Around 3am on the 10th, I got up to pee, and I seriously thought I peed my pants, although my bladder was still full. It crossed my mind that it could have been my water breaking, but I thought I'd lay back down for another hour or so and see what happened. When I got up to start getting ready for work, it happened again, and after I used the restroom, it continued to leak out. So I got DH up and I arranged for someone else to open the pharmacy for me, and we started getting things together to go to L&D to be checked. Dropped Grace off at daycare, and headed to the hospital. At this point, I was having contractions about 5-6 minutes apart.
The doctor who checked me at L&D said I was 2-3 cm, 50%, and she did not see any pooling of fluid. She did a swab, and said she saw no amniotic fluid on the microscope. I think she thought I just peed my pants. Fair enough...so we left and DH and I went out for breakfast, did some shopping/walking, and then went home to see if my contractions picked up or if my fluid kept leaking. It did keep leaking, and my contractions did get stronger, so eventually we did go back in.
It was probably around 7:30 or 8:00 when the doctor (same doctor) came in to check me again (L&D was super busy that night). She said I was a solid 3, 75%, and she STILL saw no pooling of fluid, but she did a swab anyway, and did see ferning, so she decided to admit me and do an ultrasound. U/s showed almost no fluid...she said, "So most likely you did rupture early this morning." No kidding! Anyway, since membranes had been ruptured for so long already, they were going to give me pitocin to speed things along. And since I was going to get pitocin, I went ahead and got the epidural as soon as anesthesia could get there. Placing the epidural catheter did not go as smoothly this time as it did with Grace, but it wasn't terrible.
After that, I tried to get some rest. DH went to sleep, so I thought I'd try as well. From there, it was sort of one thing after another that kept me up all night. I was comfortable for a while, but got really nauseated at one point and had to have some Zofran. Then Anna's heart rate kept dropping periodically, and was variable through contractions, so they were suspecting cord compression, and since fluid levels were practically non-existent, she couldn't move off of it. They put in a fetal scalp monitor just to better be able to monitor, and after trying different positions, they finally decided to give me an amnio infusion so that she'd have some fluid to help her move around. Luckily, that did the trick, and after that, her heart rate was perfect. I was so relieved that it worked...I think the next step would have been c-section. Then my blood pressure started dropping, and anesthesia had to come back in and give me some ephedrine, which, helped. After that, I had a little bit of peace, and got about an hour of sleep. Around 3:30, I woke up due to strong contractions and pressure. My epidural had sort of worn off because I hadn't been awake to press the button for any extra bolus doses. I had about 30 minutes of super strong contractions, and slowly my epidural started working again. The doctor came in around 4:00 to check me, and she said I was complete and ready to push, and she couldn't believe how calm I was LOL. So everyone came in to get set up, and I got ready to push.
I can't remember what time I started pushing, but I know I pushed through several contractions. I could feel enough to know when to push, but it actually wasn't too painful anymore. My nurse was coaching me through the pushes, and finally told me to stop pushing, and she called in the doctors. It was another couple of pushes after that, and she was out! That was 4:48am. She cried right away, and they took her over to do whatever they needed to do, and I delivered the placenta. Luckily NO tears/stitches, so that was good.
They pretty quickly started to be concerned with her breathing. Her nostrils were flaring, and her chest was really laboring. Her oxygen saturation levels were in the 60's. They did CPAP and she responded well, with her sats up in the mid 90's. They continued to get her cleaned up, and they suctioned her lungs, thinking that might be enough to help, but they were concerned with infection, since my membranes had been ruptured over 24 hours. At that point, they decided she needed to go to NICU, and they put nasal cannula on her. It was sort of scary to look around at all of the OBs and pediatricians and nurses and see so many concerned faces.
They FINALLY let me hold her, just before they took her to the NICU. I couldn't nurse, though, because of her breathing. That was the hardest thing in the world. I wasn't exactly scared--I felt confident that she would be getting the very best care, and that she would be ok, but I was so emotional that I just broke down after they took her away. DH went with her to the NICU to see where she was going to be, and I pretty much just laid there waiting for my epidural to wear off so that I could be transferred to the mother/baby unit...without my baby. DH came back, and eventually the feeling came back in my legs well enough to stand, so I got cleaned up and moved upstairs to get settled into my room. As soon as I could, we went back to the NICU to see her. Poor thing had monitors all over, and an IV. She was on antibiotics just in case, until her cultures came back, as well as IV fluids since she couldn't feed. She had nasal cannula, an OG tube to let some of the air out of her belly, cardiac monitors, and a pulse ox monitor. All we could do at that point was put our hands in and touch her. We went back several times that night to check on her.
I went back to my room, and since we couldn't breastfeed, I started pumping every 3 hours. My recovery was a breeze this time. And luckily I was discharged the next day. We packed up, and then went back to visit Anna. At that point, they had been working on weaning her off oxygen, and she was at 2L room air mix. We decided to go home and re-pack, and then we were going to settle into her room in the NICU. On the drive home, her nurse called me to say that she had been taken off oxygen, which meant that we could try to start BF! We were very happy, and as soon as we could, we went back up there. She latched on pretty much right away, and had a very strong suck. I was beyond relieved! At that point, I felt like everything was going to be ok. She had actually pulled her own nasal cannula and OG tube out. The doctor had been going to reduce her oxygen one more time, but when she realized that her O2 sats were at 100 with the cannula out, she figured it was fine to stop completely.
The next hurdles were making sure feeding went well...we had to have six good feeds before they would stop her IV fluids completely...getting her adjusted to room temp air, making sure her cultures were negative so we could stop IV antibiotics, and making sure her O2 sats stayed up. All of that went VERY well, and by the next morning, her IV was out, she was feeding well, and we were just waiting for discharge orders. HOWEVER...her heart rate kept dropping periodically, and because of the episodes of bradycardia, they wanted to keep her another day for observation. We were beyond disappointed, but wanted to make sure that she was completely ok, so it was understandable. We spend that day just relaxing, BF, and cuddling. The next morning, one of the residents came in to say that she didn't think the attending physician would let her go, because she had still had some bradycardia episodes (though VERY brief, and only down to the high 70's). We were again very disappointed. But...when they came through on rounds with the attending, she decided to go ahead and let her go home, since everything was going so well, and the bradys were so brief and resolved on their own.
So, after all of that, we were finally able to go home on Sunday! Things have been just perfect since then. She's still in the sleepy baby stage, so we'll see how it is when she's more alert, but for now she's just a completely sweet little cuddle bug, and we couldn't be happier to have her home, and to have our family all together. Grace is in love with her, and is so cute interacting with her. And Anna really responds to Grace's voice. There's a strong sisterly bond there already.
We had her first check-up yesterday, and doctor said she looked great, and was gaining well. Her jaundice is mild, and he isn't concerned. She's nearly back to birth weight already. He doesn't want to see her again until 2 months.