Sunday, October 30, 2011

Premature Birth Plan Day 13 - 10 Week Early Preemie Day 1

So was anyone wondering why I didn't post last night?  The answer lies in this sweet little face...

October 29, 2011 our little tiny baby came bursting into the world.  At 29 weeks 5 days baby weighed in at a whooping three pounds even and took our family from a 2:3 ratio to a 1:2...that's right, baby is now officially known to be baby girl!  Mom and dad still need to come up with a name for this little sweetie but last night we were just to tired to think.  So how did this turn of events come to place...Friday I woke up and my back was aching.  I told my nurse and we decided it was probably from lying in this bed almost two weeks.  She brought me some heat packs and Tylenol.  I never felt good but I figured this was just one more sacrifice for the baby.  Then in triage that night I had a little scare when my heart rate was up a smidge as was the babies.  They did a CBC to make sure I didn't have elevated white blood cells, decided I was fine and sent me back to my room.  That night I didn't sleep well.  I felt like a ticking time bomb, the stress of trying to avoid something I couldn't control weighed heavily on my mind, and in spite of the medication and the hot packs my back would not stop hurting.  Saturday morning when Dr. J came to say his good mornings I was a wreck.  My back hurt, my abdominal muscles were hurting, I was tired, and stressed.  Dr. J rubbed my back, listened to my concerns and then decided to crash on my couch rather then go home.  We napped until almost noon when my nurse asked me if I was ready go to triage.  I said yes but that I needed to go to the bathroom first.  After I peed I looked in the toilet and thought, "um that's weird, but it looks a little like bloody show".  At triage they  hooked me up to the monitors and the first half hour was fine, but then the monitor started picking up decelerations in the baby's heart rate.  They moved me onto my side hoping that would get baby off the chord.  I called Dr. J and he rushed over from my room.  After the move, my belly started to really hurt every time the baby moved.  It felt like baby was scratching out my insides and I complained to Dr. J.  The OB came in and decided to check my cervix.  Nothing was happening.  The heart rate continued to decelerate in these regular intervals and that's when I realized that the pains I was having had turned into actual contractions of the uterus, and even though it wasn't being picked up on the monitor I was fairly certain these were real contractions and they were directly related to the deceleration of the baby's heart rate.  I called the OB back over and they had already decided they were going to move me to a labor room so they could monitor the baby more closely.  When we got in the room they set me up with an IV hoping fluids would help me stop contracting and the OB decided to check me again.  1:00 was when she first checked me.  At 1:30 when she checked me again I was now dilated to a 3, 50% effaced, and a -2.  It became glaring obvious to everyone in the room I was in labor, it was progressing fast and a plan needed to be made.  They brought an ultrasound machine in and took a peek.  Two Sunday's ago she was head down, by the next Monday she was breech, by the following Monday she was head down again, so it shouldn't have been a surprise when they announced she was breech again.  Because of her small size, the quick progression of my labor, and the decelerations with so little fluid we had to go with the original plan of the c-section.  I was terrified.  My baby was coming ten weeks early, I've never had/nor wanted a c-section, my body was pushing labor so quickly, and on top of trying to deal with all these issues I had the distraction of contractions.  I am 100% certain that the reason mothers are willing to do it again is that you quickly forget what contractions feel like.  Boy when they really started up I REMEMBERED!  When the OB was ready to go they wheeled me into the operating room and I got up on the table.  The anesthesiologist stood behind me and got ready to do the spinal tap.  A contraction hit and I grabbed my nurses' hands and started to cry.  The anesthesiologist asked if she was hurting me and my nurse who was so loving and kind said, "She's just overwhelmed.  Sweetie you are going to be ok.  Just squeeze my hands a little tighter."  Then I went numb.  They helped me lay down and the team got started on prepping me for surgery.  Dr. J walked in and grabbed my hand.  Then the ob's started their work.  Dr. J stood up and watched most of the surgery.  Between him and my anesthesiologist I got a step by step of what was going down.  When they got to the uterus, initially they started doing a small horizontal cut, but they couldn't get the baby out.  Apparently my uterus was exceptionally low.  Usually by 20 weeks your uterus is at least an inch above the belly button, here I was almost 30 weeks and mine was well below.  They had to start cutting a more classical up and down cut and they still couldn't get the baby out.  Baby's head was jammed up into the top of the uterus, feet jammed way into the bottom.  They had to cut up even higher.  Finally they were able to pull the baby out.  That's when Dr. J said, "It's a girl!"  What a surreal experience.  Our baby girl instantly was handed over to the NICU team and they started working on her.  She started breathing on her own and then I heard this little meow sound like a kitten.  It was our daughter.  After they stabilized her they wheeled her over for us to see.  She was a living baby doll.  At 3lbs she weighs 3 times some of the micro preemies' weights, but to Dr. J and I she is the smallest little thing we'd ever seen.  Then they rushed her off to NICU and I started to cry again.  It took another twenty or so minutes for the two OBs to stitch me up.  Dr. J and anesthesiologist tried to keep my spirits up.  Then Dr. J asked if I minded if he went to check on the baby.  I was like, "Heck yes!" because I wanted to know how she was doing as well.  The OB then gave me a rundown on the c-section.  The surgery went well although he found evidence of my previous surgery and bust appendix.  Apparently I'm no longer pretty on the inside.  Also the OB told me that he knows we aren't really thinking about having any more kids at this moment but if I do there is no VBAC possible for me.  He was really sorry and had tried to do the more conservative cuts but because of the abnormalities in the situation he ended up having to do some drastic cutting.  It is so crazy.  It seems like at every turn there was some kind of challenge. They then sent me to recovery where they kept me warm and drugged and I felt remarkably well, until I saw my poor husbands face.  In the ten years we've been together I have never seen him so shaken.  In some ways I think being in medicine is a curse, because it just opens your mind up to worry.  He told me her right lung was not filling, that while she could still breathe on her own her little body was struggling so much that they had to put her on oxygen and start surfactant.  He was so shaken he asked me to make the calls.  It is a humbling experience to see your husband like that, one that made me feel desperate to see the baby.  When the nurses decided I'd been in recovery long enough they rolled me down to the NICU and placed my bed right next to her incubator.  It was the first time since her birth I got a good look at my daughter.  The doctors asked Dr. J if he wanted to come back and look at her x-rays and stats.  I spent the time trying to memorize every little detail.  She has dark black hair that I'm sure had she been able to stay in the womb would have rivaled any of her siblings for longest and thickest.  It looks curly to me but we'll have to wait.  Her chin belongs to her father, just like all the other kids.  Her noses looks just like Gigi's.  The is just a tiny little button.  Her feet and hands the smallest I've ever seen.  She has a tube in her throat to help her breathe and IV lines in her chord to give her fluids, antibiotics, and food.  Her incubator keeps her nice and warm and while I was there they wrapped her up in a little bumper to keep her more confined feeling with special things to go under and around her head to try to keep her head from going too flat.  They essentially have built a special outside the body womb for her.  Dr J came back, slightly relieved after finding out that both her lungs had inflated.  We watched them wrap up our daughter and cover her up so she could stay warm.  The experience has been so surreal.  We still haven't had the opportunity to even touch our daughter and spend most of our time looking at her through glass.  We are worried and filled with anxiety, but we are grateful things are going as well as they are.  We ask for your continued prayers that baby girl will grow and develop in the best way possible, that momma will be able to deal with going home without baby,  and are so thankful for all the help we've received.  We will try to keep updates and pictures coming   

Typical I'm having a contraction face.  Counting slowly down from ten hoping it will end before I get  to 1.
Trying out some smiles.  I think I should wear a bra in my next pictures :)

Definitely not what I'd planned, but was grateful for all the great staff and thankful they left my arms free. 

Trying to get baby out...took lots of cutting and acrobatics.

Still working!

Baby parts finally making it out!

NICU staff hard at work.

Giving positive pressure to get her breathing.

Clearing lungs.

So tiny, look at those ribs.

I'm winking at you!

Breathe baby!

Deep breaths!

This is when she started to meow.

All bundled up.  A quick look at mom.

Baby leaving the room. I was actually crying at this point but I'm not sure if you can tell.

Being worked on in NICU

IV to umbilical cord added to give her fluids, medicine, and food.  Amazing to think they use the port that mom was using to take care of her just minutes before.

All my wires are attached, just waiting to be bundled up.

Look at my dark hair!

Baby doesn't look so small in these pictures but those little feet and hands are teeny!  Think baby doll feet.  Can't wait to get my hands on this little one, and when they finally let us kangaroo pouch her, that will be a good day!


  1. Wow Crystal! What a roller coaster ride. You are handling things so well. I am so glad she is healthy and doing well so far. I wish you lots of speed in your recovery and hope that this little baby will be able to meet her milestones and be home exceptionally soon! Lots of prayers and love coming your way! (PS, she is beautiful!)

  2. Congrats on meeting your baby girl! I'm sure she'll do great! She's in good hands! Prayers being sent your way! I hope you have a good recovery yourself! Doesn't sound like a fun C-section at all!

  3. Congrats! I am sure you have some much stress, and I think you are more than allowed. But, if anybody can handle this it is you.

  4. Congratulations! I will be praying for you and baby. Thanks for the update. I've been thinking about how you are doing and I'm glad to hear this good news.

  5. Congrats Crys! She is so pretty! I love her hair! I cried all through your post, it brought back so many memories. I love ya, girl and am praying for you and your sweet babe!

  6. Oh Crystal. What an ordeal that you will never forget. I know the Lord is watching over you and your family and will continue to carry you through it even though it might not feel like it sometimes. Congratulations on a beautiful healthy girl.

  7. Wow, Crystal. She is beautiful and so, so TINY. What and ordeal--seriously the price we pay to bring children into the world (and all the stress and worry they cause after they're here)...
    Prayers and best wishes being sent your way. We've been a bit sick around here and haven't wanted to share the germs with you, but hopefully soon we'll be ready to come and see you. Miss you!

  8. Amazing. You are amazing. What a pretty little girl. Congrats, you guys!

  9. Congratulations Crystal. I'm glad everything worked out so far. We've been praying for you. I hope things continue to go well. She is precious.!

  10. Congrats! I am so happy for you. She is beautiful and has such dark hair. Love you, Marilee

  11. Welcome to the world, Baby Slade - you have so many prayers being said on your behalf, and your momma too!

    Congratulations on your beautiful daughter, Crystal. You're in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that you can get some rest and relief from worry. Heavenly Father, I'm certain, is watching over this little one who was with him not long ago - and your wonderful family now taking care of her!

  12. We wondered when we didn't hear from you last night if Baby Slade had made it earthside.

    Congratulations on your beautiful, tiny daughter. You are all in our prayers!

    Lots of love,
    Kara and Jason

  13. Oh, my goodness! I haven't been on the computer all day! I was just thinking about popping over to your blog but then went into the kitchen to talk to Karen—to tell her my friend's brother on a mission in Fiji got hit by a truck (but he's relatively okay)—and she said, "Well, you heard Crystal had her baby..."

    I was like, "WHAT!?"

    Sorry things ended up so complicated. Hopefully they'll de-complicate as time goes on. I'll keep you in our prayers for sure!

  14. Thanks everyone! Nancy that cracks me up. I love that you heard from your mother-in-law first. The internet is awesome!

  15. Whoa, I totally missed this. You are a champ! Congrats to your family!

  16. Mazal tov! Try not to worry too much (I know, a tall order!) I was born sixteen weeks early on 28 October 1990.



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