Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elizabeth's Birth Story

I was checked into the hospital at 7:45 am on Sunday August 11, 2013.  We were put into a room in labor and delivery.  I changed into the hospital gown and the nurse (Toni) began doing my vitals and getting me hooked up to everything.  We had chosen to have Elizabeth be monitored because we felt that it would best for us this way.  8:15 Toni started my IV and at 8:30 my doctor arrived and broke my water.  Breaking of the water didn't hurt it was just like an exam where they check me.  My doctor (Ward) told me I was dilated to a 2 1/2 and 50%effaced.  So we knew it might take a little bit to get my body going.  At 8:50 we started the pitosin at a 4.  Elizabeth was doing well during all of this and her heart rate as the nurse said was "textbook where it was supposed to be".  My water breaking was a slow leak at first but at every contraction I was having I would feel more leak out.  At 8:55 one contraction was so strong that a lot leaked out.  I told my nurse that I think I needed something else to help absorb the water. She looked as was surprised to see that I soaked the entire bed and myself.  So we got me up and to the bathroom so she could change all the bedding and myself.  So there was a ton of fluid which we knew there would be but this was a lot.  I looked at my stomach in the bathroom after this and it was already half the size it was when we checked in.  It was so crazy to see.  The contractions started coming even more rapidly and where starting to hurt a little more so I decided that if I was already there why not get the epidural started to.  So we called the anesthesiologist to get it started.  He came in at 10:00.  He was a very talkative and informative doctor who was explaining everything. We really liked him and thought he was the most awake anesthesiologist we had had. At 10:45 the pediatrician on call came in to talk to us about some options we have after Elizabeth is born.  Neither myself or Jake really liked some of what she was asking and telling us.  She asked about what would like to  do after she was born like hep B shot and vitamin K and labs to see for infections and about antibiotics if she did. Also about what measures we wanted to assist with breathing if she was struggling.  We told her several times we just would need to see how she was when she was born but that we did not think we would do the shots or labs.  We wanted to do canal oxygen if needed. It was a lot of questions that we didn't feel was the time we could answer without seeing her and knowing what she might need. She was pushy and didn't seem to be hearing what we were saying so we didn't care that much for her then.  At 11:00 I received my catheter so I wouldn't pee myself.  At 11:55 the nurse came in and said that Elizabeth was having what they called deceleration of the heart during the contractions.  She didn't like what she was seeing on the monitor so she said Elizabeth did better without the pitocin so we turned it off for awhile. She checked me and I was still at a 2 1/2 and not much had change. She explained that the baby deceleration are normally a sign of distress during the contractions so she wanted to see what I would do without it.  At 12:20 nurse came in and said that she had spoken to Dr.  Ward and asking if we wanted to consider a c-section if Elizabeth continued to have the deceleration. Also told us we could turn of the monitors for her and only turn them on once in awhile.  She also said that another doctor on call had looked at our reading on the monitor and had said that it was pretty normal for a trisomy baby to have deceleration and that he would not offer a c-section. Nurse decided to turn back on the pitocin to a 1 to see how Elizabeth reacted.  Elizabeth's heart rate had returned to being pretty normal when I was taken off pitocin.  At 12:30 nurse came back in to check me and I was still about the same as previous but she also noticed that there was meconium, which means Elizabeth had a bowel movement during some of the time she was distressed. This can be dangerous but there are a lot of studies on it.  At 1:10pm Nurse came in because Elizabeth had a bad deceleration. So she called for another nurse to bring in an ultrasound machine.  Jake and myself didn't really know what was going on at the time but the nurse was trying to not seem nervous but we could tell something was wrong when she called for an ultrasound machine.  She was trying to find with the heartbeat monitor Elizabeth's heartbeat and was having trouble. At this same time my heartbeat was going up of course because I was scared.  So she couldn't distinguish mine from Elizabeth's.  She finally found Elizabeth's heart beat to what seemed like an eternity to me.  She still used the ultrasound machine to make sure and we could see her heart still beating.  That five minutes or whatever they were, were the worst in my life.  She asked if we had decided about the c-section.  We said yes we would be willing to do a c-section if needed especially after what we just experienced. We also said at the time she asked that we wanted Elizabeth monitored the whole time. The nurse left to call Dr. Ward to let him know our decision.  The pitocin was turned off again. I started to feel really sick and light headed all of a sudden.  So Jake called the nurse and my blood pressure had dropped way low and so they called in the anesthesiologist to give me something to bring up my blood pressure.  After he gave it to me I stared to feel better again.  It happened one more time right before doctor Ward showed up and they gave me the medicine again.  My parents showed up at 1:55 to be there with us.  I had called my mom at noon before we really knew what was going on and she had decided to come up. I was glad at this time she decided because everything started turn for the worse afterwards.  Jake had called his family and let them know we had decided to do the c-section so they could get there too.  2pm Dr ward shows up to start prepping me for the c-section.  My dad asked him about if the c-section was the best solution at this time.  He said Yes he felt it was.  They talked about c-sections now days and how you could still have a vaginal after one.  We asked the doctor to wait just a minute so we could see our kids because they were almost there.  The kids arrived with Jake's parents and Michael asked "where is Elizabeth?" He was looking around and was very anxious to meet his sister.  We told him mommy was going to go have her and that he could wait in the room with his grandparents.  The doctor told everyone that the procedure is about twenty minutes.  So I gave everyone a hug and told them I loved the,.  Jake suited up in his clothes and off we went.  The c-section was very interesting experience.  We got in there and everyone was very proficient and ready to begin. I was moved to the table, where my leg fell off and I looked at Jake because there was no way I could lift it back on. They noticed and lifted it back on and then tied it down so it wouldn't fall off again.  I started to feel them tug and the anesthesiologist talked me through everything that was going on.  It was so nice to have him talk me through what was happening.  I could feel them touching me but no pain.  At 2:25 our sweet angel Elizabeth was born.  They rushed her to the side of me, they didn't even show us her.  I was so lost on what was going on at this point because they said that the doctor would hold her up so I could see but he didn't.  They only had her for a few seconds before I heard my doctor say to get her to me so I could hold her.  They wrapped her and brought her to me so I could hold her.  They told us she was gone and there was nothing they could do.  I was so lost in the drugs and the news that I din't know what was going on.  I just looked at Jake with desperation and said there is nothing they can do.  As I was holding my sweet Elizabeth.  Jake asked the nurses and again the response was no.  So I had Jake take her so I could see her better and he held her next to my head so I could see how beautiful she was.  She took a gasp and I again was desperate for them to do something but they weren't.  She gasped a few more times and the anesthesiologist noticed and told the NICU nurses that she was breathing about 6-7 per minute.  He then took my oxygen and did what they called blow by blow to her.  She started to breath a little bit more. The anesthesiologist again told the NICU nurses this and said that they should do canula breathing for her.  I was so amazed at her and started to feel hope at that time that there was something we could do for my baby.  They took her and started the oxygen by canal.  The anesthesiologist once again talked me through everything because I didn't know what was happening.  I was about done getting sewn up and they placed back on me and we were ready to leave the OR room. Sometime during all this they had also mentioned that I had a placental abruption.  This is why they didn't hold her up for me because my doctor needed to get back to me to start get the bleeding in my uterus cleaned out and under control.  As they were wheeling me back to my room they said if we had waited five more minutes Elizabeth for sure would not have made it and I would be in a lot of danger myself with the placental abruption.  I know that all the prayers were being answered during this time.  We had angels watching over us this day and I can't thank all of my loved ones enough for their thoughts and prayers I believe they were answered in so many ways.  It was a miracle birth and even our doctor said it was a miracle not just a lucky save.

 1st time meeting mom. Not yet breathing.

Being cuddled by mom. Still not breathing

Being held by mom and dad together. Getting ready
to take her first breath 

 Receiving mom's oxygen to help with her breathing

Breathing more regularly with mom and dad.

Folding her arms waiting patiently to be given back to mom 

1st diaper and getting all cleaned up

getting wrapped up to give back to mommy

Being given back to mom after being cleaned up

 Arriving in labor room to meet brother and sister and

1 comment:

  1. Amber,
    I am one of Katie's friends in her ward and she has been updating us on Elizabeth's story that past few months. I am so so sorry about your beautiful little girl. I delivered my first baby stillborn and understand how heartbreaking it is to have to go through this. Know that I will be thinking about and praying for you. Elizabeth is lucky to be a part of your family. I can tell how much you guys love her and will always remember her. Again, I am so sorry and I admire that you have tried to stay optimistic despite how heartbroken you feel.
    Laura Cates