Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Saga

Hunker down folks, it's gonna be a long one......

Alright, I made it my goal today to get this tale told, and everyone is sleeping now, so here I go.

I got induced on Friday at about noon. Progress was slow, I was counting on a fast labor as my first one was fast (for a first one), so I guess I set myself up for frustration. The main problem I think was that I still wasn't fully effaced. For hours I sat there in labor and mostly all that happened is that Elinor kept getting lower and lower and knocking her head against my still unready cervix. At one point the nurse checked me and left and brought back another nurse to feel what she felt (scare #1) it turned out to be the baby's head was trying to squeeze through and getting a nub on top because I wasn't quite there yet. It apparently felt very strange to my nurse and she called the doctor. The other nurse told her that it was ok, but my baby will probably have an unsightly cone head at birth and maybe a hematoma of sorts, but it will heal and she'll be fine. (She didn't by the way, so I was pleased with that). Anyway I was stuck in 3 1/2 ville for most of the afternoon and I started getting sick. I got an epidural at some point and this was another moment where we expected magic (with Scout I was a 4 when I got my epidural and when they finished installing it, they checked me again and I was a 10). No magic this time for me, I stayed where I was, but felt better. My nurse was getting off shift and checked me one more time and I had achieved 4. I was disappointed, but she was overjoyed. I figured out later that she was worried I was going to be stuck there forever, running into c section territory. So, she left knowing I was progressing. My next nurse was one of those great nurses that are so attentive (I have nothing to complain about with the first nurse, but as things unraveled I felt really blessed to have the nurse I did for the last half of my labor and birth). She really took what she did seriously and watched my numbers with a very sharp eye and quickly noticed that the baby's heart rate was dropping with the contractions, which is normal, but would stay low after the contraction was over, which isn't a good sign. She started moving me around and slightly adjusting my position and then watching closely through a contraction. I was turned, propped, was quite downhill once, and all manner of interesting positions. She found one position that she said that the baby liked and it cut down on the heart rate drop thing. She figured that there was a pinching of cord somehow, and not to be alarmed, the baby was fine. I (in my epidural haze) was happy with this and totally at ease. By the way, the epidural at first had a happy gas like effect on me where I could not stop giggling and was so embarrassed all I wanted was for the nurse and anesthesiologist to leave so I could just giggle all day. Anyway, she kept me happily in the dark while she worried. Apparently my doctor (Winky -remember him?) was outside watching the monitor in the nurses station the whole time concerned too. She decided to put me on oxygen and the baby perked up a little with that too. They made me wear the oxygen mask until the cord was cut. They also turned off the pictosin saying the baby needed a rest from it and maybe could use a little nap.
Anyway, they left Rob and I for a while (I was about a 7 I believe at this point). The nurse came into the room about 45 minutes later because the heart was doing some really concerning things (I later find out that Rob was listening to the monitor and was getting scared too, he noticed periods where he didn't hear her heart at all). He kept me unaware of that too. I was battling nausea again, so was in my own world. The nurse said she was going to check me because sometimes this pattern happens when the baby is really ready to come out and maybe we could start pushing. Sure enough, it was time and she ran to get the doctor. He came back and said there was a midwife in training that was wondering if I would mind it if she delivered the baby. I said sure knowing ol Winky would be coaching her through and be right there. She was a nice girl that only had a week left until she was all done and a full fledged midwife. It was kind of cool having a midwife AND a doctor present, I got the best of both worlds. Anyway, in one push, her little head was there, then one more and they made me go really easy, I didn't know why, but obeyed. Once the head was totally out they had me stop, they did some stuff, then had me finish the job. There was baby Elinor! I couldn't believe her, I couldn't stop just going, oh! oh! Look! I just couldn't believe she was right there and that she existed and was mine. The midwife laid her on my belly and she was blue blue blue, moving a little, but no sounds. Three people swarmed over to us and were rubbing her all over and the midwife started to ask Rob if he wanted to cut the cord, changed her mind and said, we need to do this now, and cut it and away swooped Elinor by the mass of people and she was being rubbed and sucked out and we finally got a tiny little noise from her. Yay! It turned out that the "stuff they did" after her head was out was remove a very tightly wound cord from around her neck. Her first Apgar score was a pitiful 4. They prepared me for the second one by saying that most babies with a 4, score no better then a 7 next time, but she'll be fine. Well, my little Elinor scored a 9. Winky said something cute about her being a little fighter and sure was determined, I wish I remember what it was. Maybe Rob does. So that was that, she was great, a tiny little 7 lbs 8 oz and 19 inches. I never thought I would have a baby that small. She nursed a little in that first hour and all was great. I sent Rob to his dad's house where Scout was sleeping (Ells was born at 8:30 and Scout had checked out at 8 and we told Dale not to wake her or she'll never go back to sleep).
Tiny E and I had a good first night, she was really calm and nursed pretty good once or twice, but mostly just slept and slept. The next morning I had a new nurse and she thought it was time I nursed Ells. Ells wouldn't consider it. She just wanted to sleep. The nurse left me alone saying to try again in an hour. Scout and Rob came that morning to meet the sister and Scout adored her and was very happy to see mommy. She and dad had a very rough night of missing mom. Rob took Scout to go visit Lola and I tried nursing again and she still wasn't interested. That is when my nurse started threatening me with testing her glucose levels. Then she proceeded to try to shove a VERY reluctant Elinor to me to nurse and Ells was fending herself from the onslaught. She simply was not going to nurse and this lady tried to force her for a solid half hour- rubbing her neck, jaw, cheeks, prying her mouth open and literally forcing her head into my -uh, bosom. Finally, I was so distraught and sick of it I asked her to test her blood sugar to just see if she was ok, if not we could do the IV, and then try again in a few hours when maybe she would be more interested. So she tested her, and what do you know, her level was totally fine. I swear she was disappointed to be proven wrong that my baby wasn't dying of low blood sugar. This was about 2:00 in the afternoon. The afternoon turned into a series of gradually dropping blood sugar, me attempting to wake her up long enough to give it another go, no success, calling in the special blood sugar guy that has a more sensitive test. Her levels dropped, but never to IV status, always stayed borderline. The nurse suggested we try formula. Ells REALLY hated that. Rob, bless him, took her from my gradually more distressed arms and would pour a little in her mouth and blow in her face until she swallowed. The poor little thing obviously just didn't want it. They tested her blood after that and it went up slightly, so they left us alone for a while. Scout at this point had toys everywhere, was jumping on the chairs and pretty much bored out of her mind and bouncing off the walls. She went potty in my bathroom and while in there a nurse came in asking what we needed. It turned out that Scout was in there pulling the emergency "help I've fallen and I can't get up" cord. We all laughed and she came over to my bed and asked, "is this the baby that won't eat?" I nodded and I guess she was trying to help and said, "sometimes they swallow a little amniotic fluid and it is full of proteins and they aren't hungry for a while-- but I've never seen a baby go this long!" Then she left me with my freak baby that doesn't need food. Shortly after that, Rob yelled at Scout for something annoying she was doing and that was my last frayed nerve and they went to the store to get out of my hair and I sat with Elinor in my bed and I thought about my little anomaly and I cried as I came up with a theory that the noose cord had given her brain damage in the eating part of her brain. It made a lot of sense alone there with Elinor after the traumatizing day we had had. During this time my evil nurse must have gotten off shift and my new nurse came in to find me crying and she sad down and assured me that they didn't think anything was seriously wrong with her at this time. I had gotten Elinor to suck for a total of about 30 seconds in little 5 second intervals (which I was proud of, but disappointed my old nurse). My new nurse checked the blood level and it had gone up a bit. Rob and Scout came back and we kept trying and trying, and we didn't have success. I asked Rob to ask his dad t0 come help him give her a blessing (it was about 10:00). Dale came and they gave her a blessing and then Rob insisted I get one too. Then everyone went home and it was just me and the babes again. I felt quite a bit better and I was exhausted, so we went to sleep. She woke up crying about 2 and she ate for about 20 minutes!!! I was so overjoyed. So was my nurse when she saw my notes, she spared us both a glucose test. She made me wake up at 7 to try again and she ate again. It was such a relief! I took a picture of Elinor eating on my phone and sent it to Rob captioned, "good girl". He called and was relieved of the progress.
The pediatrician came in about 8 and gave her a clean bill of health and released her. I mentioned the lack of eating and he was like, "she was less then 24 hours old?" I was like yeah, and he gives me this gesture like, "well, that is totally normal". OK, I REALLY COULD HAVE USED THAT GUY YESTERDAY. You know George Castanza and the thing on his lip? All he wanted his doctor to do was look at it and go, "Cancer? Get out of here!" That is what her doctor did, just a day too late.
When I got home, I looked in my baby books and read that baby's don't require any food the first 24 to 48 hours, also I read that many babies are too tired to eat the first day, especially after a traumatizing birth. My instincts told me this on Saturday, she just seemed so tired and I figured she would get hungry when she got hungry and eat. I let the nurse(s) get me all concerned about it with their concern and hell bent need to have her eat, and their, "I've never seen a baby go this long before". I let myself get talked into freaking out about it and go against my instincts. They see a million babies and are the experts right? I mean, what do I know against these professionals?
Anyway, we had a rocky start, but Elinor is awesome. She is so content and sweet and we love her so much. We have taken to calling her "the puddle" she really likes to have her legs up to her belly and is just a little puddle of baby. She has great hair, and her sister's monkey toes. She sleeps a lot, calmly watches us and takes us in, sneezes like an old man, frequently blows air out of her mouth like a horse, poops a lot and yes, is starting to eat a lot. She was a pretty sluggish little eater the first few days this week and I usually would have to wake her up thinking she better eat, cause she will sleep right through most meals. The last day or two, she has really started to gulp it down. So, no brain damage in the eating part of her brain. That's good.

The stand out of the blessing Rob gave her was that he said that we will never know the extent of the miracle that having her here is. (Of course it was said much more eloquently in the blessing, but my 1:30 brain can't pull out the exact words.) Rob and his dad talked about it after wards when they got home, and I thought about it the next day a lot. I don't know if that has to do with actually getting pregnant, or the cord around the neck. We all kind of wondered about that cord and what it could have meant. I was totally against being induced my whole pregnancy unless I went a week late. Then all of a sudden I was totally bent on getting induced the week she was due. At the time I chalked it up to being pregnant for so long, I was ready to try anything, but now I wonder. She was born a day before her due date and with the cord around her neck, perhaps another week of growth would have had a devastating effect on that situation. Guess we'll never know, but we feel so blessed things happened how they did and she is here safe at last.

I picked this song to play because (I've never explained it, but this is why it has always been on my blog playlist) for the last few years, it has had the power to make me cry every time. It gave me hope and sadness while struggling with trying to fill the void I was left with, with the loss of my twins. It was hard to lose a pregnancy, but I found the biggest hardship was being helpless to move on and have a baby to hold in my arms again. I kept hoping that someday I could hear this song and be on the other side of it, instead of just thinking about "someday". I'm sure troubles aren't going to just melt like lemon drops, and I am under no illusion that the clouds are far behind me, but we are off to a great start.....

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Oh, mama loves you, babes.

13 comments:

Pops said...

Oh, Elinor, welcome to the family, you cute thing. The scares she gives you just makes her more precious. Nice writing, Ems. Very informitive, interesting and griping. You are a truly great mom to your two girls and I love you much. Dad

Haley said...

Man, what a scare! It felt like deja vu reading that...until the part where you actually did get to a 10! The first part is eerily similar to what happened with me. Except as soon as they noticed distress, I was getting strapped to an operating table within 10 minutes. Scary but it all worked out. I can't believe the cord was around her neck, it's scary to think about what could have happened. I think all births are miracles, it's amazing that any of them make it through that. I don't know why nurses freak out when the babies won't eat. If they are hungry, they will eat!!! If they are tired, they will sleep!!! They did that to poor Allison too, they stripped her down so she was cold and made her eat and kept rubbing her. I felt so bad for her. Then the opposite happened, she got really hungry and I didn't have enough for her to eat yet so we were forced to give her formula because she was starving, poor babes! Anyway, Ells is so dang cute. Love the picture of her little legs sticking in the air, so cute! Glad all is well and she is finally here. I have to say I am quite weary of inductions now....

Ami said...

What a story, Emily! So glad that baby Elinor is here, and healthy! I LOVE this song, too - always brings me to tears and was somehow 'important' to me following my molar pregnancy. In fact, right after I got my positive hpt with 'Scotch,' I saw several rainbows on a significant day, and somehow knew that things would be ok. :)

I'm so sorry about the hospital stress as far as the eating situation. We had a very similar experience with Scotch not wanting to eat while in the hospital. She lost weight, had low sodium (I think) blood levels, etc. The doctor who was overseeing her care was a total bitch (not a term I use lightly) and basically forced us to supplement with formula while we were there. Then she wouldn't discharge the baby in the morning when I was discharged - we had to spend the whole freakin' day in the hospital force-feeding a baby who wasn't hungry (but had latched on right away and seemed perfectly healthy). She (bitch doctor) did more evil stuff before letting us leave - and insisted that we continue to supplement and take the baby to our pediatrician 2 days later. We agreed b/c we wanted to get out of there, but have never given her another drop of formula. And, have you seen her thighs now?!?! Yeah, I'd say she's fine, and I'm sure Elinor is as well!

Again, I'm just SO happy for you and your family! Can't wait to 'watch' Scout and Elinor grow up together. :)

Cat said...

I really want to send an anonomous tip to the hospital regarding the absolutely unnecessary scare they put you through. They should seriously be reprimanded for that. I never knew about the cord around the neck. I think you're very lucky on that one. Haley's right; it's a miracle that birth's happen successfully at all. Really a sweet and informative post, Em. Thanks for that. It was wonderful seeing her and her sticking out legs again tonight. Love you guys.

megandjon said...

oh thanks for sharing your story sweetie! I'm glad it all worked out. I have to say, that despite the fact that I did manage to have 2 whole nice nurses, the rest of them have made my hospital stay pretty darn awful too. I try really hard not to be bitter and angry about it, but sometimes it's hard. A lot of the same, bullying about ridiculous stuff, never leaving us alone to just rest, all this awful stuff, and then when the pediatrician finally shows up in the morning he just laughs off all their craziness and does not know what they were so worked up about. meanwhile baby and i just had a night of living hell. ugh.

i feel bad. i know there are lots of good nurses. sounds like you had a couple of really great ones. i guess we take the good with the bad! anyway, happy day! welcome tiny E, we are so happy you are here! You definitely had me in tears there, in your story Emily! Childbirth is such a miracle!

Pops said...

I need more pictures of Lola when you can get around to it.

Amy said...

It was so fun to see and hold little Tiny E. She is so sweet and adorable. You are such a wonderful, calm mother. Thanks for sharing the details and sorry for all of the trauma.

Eliza said...

Geesh Em, your story made me cry. I don't know if the tears were more for the touching birth or the fact that I have to do this in 5 weeks! Now I'm a little freaked out. Congratulations- she is adorable. That one picture with her eyebrows raised looks like Scout to me (not that I've ever actually seen her). I hope she keeps being a sweet little baby and that you are getting some rest.

Matt said...

I am so glad you posted this Em. It was so uplifting to me today. I am so glad I drove down there to see her. I didn't realize I was holding such a little miracle puddle! I am so glad she gets to have the honor of being raised by such wonderful parents. B and I look up to you and Rob so much, and are so happy for you guys.

Neaners said...

Oh Emily thanks for sharing. I sure wished u would have texted or called me because I KNOW it is normal for babies to not want to eat or need it for up to 48 hours. I worked in Post partum and would always reassure and never tell moms to force formula. I can't remember how many times I told them when they panicked. Think of all the babies born in the olden days when formula wasn't available. They didn't starve. Oh well. Hugs and glad tiny E is doing well now.

Amy said...

Haley had a lot of fetal distress, too and didn't wake up or eat hardly at all for 3 to 4 days even. She was so tired. I got a little of the nurse-pressure, but they were nice. Once we got home she was totally normal and hungry. Mom just told me that she's eat when she was hungry and she did.

Emily said...

Thanks for all the comments and support everyone. Rob and I (and Scout -for the most part-) are enjoying Tiny E so much.
So I hear all your stories and gather that a baby that doesn't eat well the first day isn't quite the anomaly Elinor was made out to be by my nurses. So why the bip did they make her out to be such a special case?? Especially Miss I've never seen a baby go this long before-- that was the very worst thing she could have said to me at that time. And boy Jeanine, how I wish I would have thought to call you -or Amy- or anyone! I just got caught up in their vortex and didn't even think of getting a second opinion by someone I trusted. Lame. I also never would have even thought to panic about the way she was acting, I only started panicking when I saw what a big deal they were making out of it all. My evil nurse stressed me out beyond reason with the forcing of the baby and Ells reaction to the forcing (crying, gagging, etc.) Also the formula forcing was horrible to watch too. I was thinking we were going to scar my baby into hating to eat. Anyway, it was miserable, but is only a distant memory as Tiny E and I have put it all behind us. It did cause us to miss the wedding reception of my friend I was trying to go to that night. If none of that would have happened, we would have been released that afternoon. I was sad to miss it, but certainly had a good excuse. I was not excited about spending an extra night in the hospital (neither was Rob or Scout).
Haley- I am sure that when my nurse came into my room that last time, if I hadn't been a 10, I would have gone immediately into a c section too. I feel fortunate I was able to deliver the baby, mostly because the recovery is more difficult. Did they ever find out what was causing Allison's distress?

Childbirth is such a miracle, that was brought to my attention a few years ago when I lost my pregnancy and less then 2 months later a mom in my ward died in childbirth from a really rare complication -something about amniotic fluid entering her blood stream (I'm sorry Liza -I don't want to freak you out even more-!) This was like a one in a million complication, but after what I had been through (I was still going through weekly blood test screening, checking for cancer at the time), childbirth became suddenly very scary. But by the time I got pregnant again, my biggest worry was being nauseous while in labor, which I was, but life goes on. I didn't count on cords around my baby's neck, but even then, doctors are so attentive these days, they get you though it and devastating things happening because of these things is so rare now.
Also, E does look a lot like Scout in many ways, but is definitely her own person. They will look like sisters, but have their own looks. I can't wait to see how she ends up looking like! It's so fun having two.

Haley said...

Allison's stress was caused just by the fact that I was in labor so long, on full blast pitosin, and I was only a 3 but my body was trying to push the baby out even though it wasn't ready. I could feel every contraction pushing her down. I could feel her little head being shoved down there but there was nowhere for it to go. So because of that she was born with a very swollen forehead, a completely flattened nose and three cuts by her right eye. She was so beat up, it was so sad. As far as we know, that's what her stress was from. It really is a miracle. I'm so glad I live in a time that they can act fast and do a c-section. If I lived back before that time, we both would have died probably. So grateful! Glad Tiny E is doing great, can't wait to see you guys on Sunday!

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