Friday, July 23, 2010

First 48 Hours

Day 1

Ruth's first day went better than I could have ever imagined.  After I was deemed stable enough to leave the c-section recovery, my kind nurse wheeled me in the gurny to see her.  I held her hand and enjoyed those precious moments with her. My MIL had been standing guard by her bed most of the day ready to report any and everything back to me. 

After leaving her bedside in the ICN (intensive care nursery), I went back to my room to recover and wait for Matt to arrive, since his plane left shortly after she was born.  My MIL continued to stay vigilantly by her bedside.  She still required no breathing help, not even a nasal cannula!

Shortly before Matt arrived, they moved me to a "postpartum" room closer to the ICN, so I wouldn't have as far to go to visit her.  I was still hooked up to many things, and after Matt arrived a nurse helped me into my wheelchair and we headed down there.  We took photos of her, talked to her, and held her tiny hands.  We weren't able to hold her at this point until she was released by her doctors.  She is just perfect!  Dark blue eyes, the best we can tell.  Blonde hair (surprise!).  We are not sure which one of her sisters she looks like just yet, but she definitely looks like them!

They had her prenatal surgery scar covered with a bandage, until released by the pediatric neurosurgeon.  We hadn't gotten to see it at this point, but were told by everyone it looked really good.

We spent the day going back and forth, and towards the end of the day they let us hold her, and let me try to breastfeed.  I didn't expect too much from her in that area as little as she is, but she impressed everyone!

Medical stuff - they did a head ultrasound and kidney ultrasound on her.  The head ultrasound shows stable ventricles, same as her last prenatal sono.  The Kidney ultrasound showed her kidneys were slightly swollen, so they will continue to cath her to make sure she empties her bladder completely.   This is a really common thing with spina bifida, and we were prepared for that. 

She does have club feet as expected.  They don't seem extremely stiff, but I imagine once we get back home they will straighten them out with a series of castings.  Not a huge thing to fix, and this is one thing that can be "fixed".

Matt was exhausted and slept most of the night, but everytime I got up to pump breastmilk I called the nurse to take me to see her.  I would try to breastfeed, and she latched on well one of the trips down there.  Around 3 or 4 in the morning I went to see her and was turned away, another baby with serious problems was being admitted in the bed next to hers.  I broke down in tears, there's those hormones working!  The nurse felt sorry for me and got me in to see her for about 15 minutes before they had me leave again.

Day 2

Day 2 meant less wires for me, and a lot more walking.  I spent as much time as I could handle by her bedside. 

They slowly started moving her from IV nutrition to momma's milk via an ng tube (tube down from her nose to her stomach).  She is also getting really good at breastfeeding, so much we have to stop when she starts swallowing the milk, as she is so little we have to take it easy to see how her system handles it.

They released her to remove the bandage from her back.  She is still on some restriction, when sleeping or being held she isn't suppose to have pressure on her back.  She seems to like being on her side.  I did finally get to see the scar, it has healed so much since the photos they gave me of her prenatal surgery!

We are just absolutely in love with our baby girl, and can't wait to bring her home to meet her sisters.  Please keep praying for her growth and health, through both the premature issues and the spina bifida issues.


Ruth's Birth

The magnesium had done a good job of slowing down my contractions, but they hadn't stopped. Around 11 PM my water broke, and even after increasing the magnesium to the max, my contractions became very intense and close together. At this point, I was up at the hospital by myself, with Matt not coming until Saturday, and my MIL already gone back to the family house to sleep. I was left alone for a suspicious 30 minutes or so, and had a feeling they were planning my c-section. Since I had prenatal surgery, I had a fairly fresh scar on my uterus, and with every contraction I knew I was getting close to rupturing my uterus (which would be very dangerous for both me and baby). Sometime after midnight, doctors and nurses came in and said it was decided by the fetal treatment team, the best course of action was a c-section now. By now, Matt had rescheduled his flights for first thing in the morning, and I tried to see if we could wait until he got in. No, it was too dangerous. I was given enough time to call Matt and my MIL, and rushed off to prep.

The hospital chaplin, a very nice man named Kevin, came in and kept me company. It was decided I would have a spinal for pain. The spinal did not cover the entire area it needed to. They offered to put me to sleep completely (general), but then my MIL wouldn't be allowed in, and I knew I needed someone to watch over Ruth and tell me what happens here. I was then given the option to add a small dose of pain medicine to my IV, and nitrous oxide. I said I would try that. I asked Kevin to stay in the OR and pray. I remember them letting my MIL in after a while, and she was wonderful in being my advocate. I remember hearing a beautiful sound, my wonderful baby's cries.

The next thing I was in the recovery room. I sent my MIL to Ruth, I was desparate to know how she was doing. No photos were taken in the OR.

My MIL stayed by Ruth's side, coming back to show me photos and report on her status. She needed a little help getting going, but was breathing on her own. She weighed 3lb 15 oz, and was 16 inches long, a good size for 31 weeks. Her apgars were 5, 6, and 9. She is beautiful, and perfect.

I fully attribute how wonderful Ruth is doing to the team here, and will be forever grateful.

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers.

Much Love,