Monday, November 29, 2010

Miss M's Birthday Story

Let's start with the day before - on Thursday I went into the OB...

- I went into the OB's office for a Non-Stress Test. Miss M was terribly agitated and kept kicking up a storm. For a full hour she kicked and fussed in there. So much, that the NST results were invalid. Who knew you could be TOO active on that test?
- The odd NST results meant that my OB was required to do a biophysical profile, to rule out any issues. Their US lab was full, so I did the ultrasound at my Perinatologist's office (in the same building).
- The Peri's tech found that she had 'Low Fluid', which led to questions about when I ate last. YOU KNOW when they ask that question that things are headed downhill pretty fast... My Peri's office had measured my fluid levels on Monday at ~12 cm, and on Thursday they were 2.5 cm. That's a HUGE drop - anything below 5 is considered bad. It was discussed whether I had a rupture, or if my Lovenox wasn't doing the job anymore and the placenta was failing. Either way, baby was now better out than in.
- "Severe Oligohydramnios" aka "Low Fluid" led to me sitting in L&D getting assigned to a room by 2:30 PM.
- C-section was scheduled for 7AM the following morning!
Note: if it weren't for the Lovenox, I'd have had the C-section that very night. Seriously.

Friday: OR Prep 5 AM
After a sleepless night, waking every hour on the hour thinking "it's time!", I finally was relieved to see it REALLY WAS 5AM. I got up, refreshed myself a bit, and met a shocked nurse coming through my door with a wheelchair. I think she was surprised I was up. :)

They wheeled me over to a teensy-tiny room in the OR/C-Section prep area, where I was poked and prodded a bit more for fun. Hubby arrived about that time...

BTW - did you know they have started shaving people again prior to a C? Yep. I bitched about it the whole time too - the nurse bitched right along with me! After about the 3rd time I got pinched by the clippers I told her to bugger off, and if anyone complained to tell them I refused treatment. :) She liked the idea, so I only got a mini-shave. Ha!

The Epidural:
The anesthesiologist and the NA showed up - that makes 5 in the tiny room...

The Epidural prep was going well until he put in the fluid... Suddenly I felt like I was drowning, but it was on the inside. My ears were stopped up, and the pressure in my head was incredible. I couldn't think straight. I thought I was dying. Really. I told those gathered what was going on, but everyone just stood there watching me, saying "It will be over in 2 seconds", over and over for what seemed like an eternity. I started crying, I really thought I was going to die. This went on for several minutes, I don't really know how many.

During this fiasco my OB's partner (the one doing my C-Section was someone else from her practice, I hadn't met him). He walks in, takes in the situation, and excuses himself saying that the room is too crowded. I remember moaning something about the "clown car being full".

At some point the pressure subsided some, and I tried to get an answer from the Anesthesiologist about what the FUCK had just happened. He didn't have an answer, just kept telling me I'd be fine. I even explained that I wanted a scientific discussion, it's then that I realized he wasn't simply being patronizing, "There, there Sweetie, It's OK", he really didn't know. HOW is it he didn't know? I think I might have scared him. He made a pretty quick exit about then.

Stitches vs. Staples:
When the drama was over the OB came back in - we'll call him Dick M. He introduced himself around, asked me if I had any questions... I asked him if he'd use Stitches vs. Staples to close me. He asked why, and I said, "They did a study...", which is where he rudely cut me off, told me "NO! There is no study. THEY have done no study!" I sat there dumfounded while he agreed to do stiches if he had an assistant that was trained. Then he left. WTF?

Luckily, I don't need to like the man, I just have to know that he can do the job. I knew he could, and happen to know someone else that had him do their C-Section too. Ugh.

They wheeled me into the OR, prepped me. Everything went well until they extracted Miss M. She cried a short cry. They took her past my head to another part of the room, but they didn't show her to me. Because she was turning blue. Note the blue-ish cast in this photo...

She wasn't able to breathe, and her lungs collapsed if they weren't bagging her. She was put on C-Pap and quickly took on a normal pink hue. Then she couldn't cry due to the C-Pap pressure. The room was way too quiet - everyone was tense.

My husband went to her - he took several photos... He kept telling me, "They are working on her, but she's OK." I couldn't quite see her, just the movement of people around her out of the corner of my eye. It was so hard.

People started talking about NICU vs. Transition - the two types of nurseries. I knew with her being early that this was very likely, but hadn't planned on the 'not breathing' part. I wanted so much to see her, but it was taking FOREVR - my heart was sinking - I only knew that they were saying they were "helping her breathe".

C-Section The Pain:
Somewhere around this time I started feeling pain from the C-Section in progress. The pain was raidiating up into my back and shoulders. It was getting worse. I was grunting and breathing hard.

The Nurse Anesthesia lady told me she needed to give me a shot in the arm. To which I replied, "I'm numb from the chest down! Can't you find a spot that's numb?". This got me reprimanded from the OB, and I quote, "You are having a C-Section and you are worried about a little stick?". To which I replied, "I can't do anything about the C-Section, so I'm entitled to whing about SOMETHING!". We didn't get on, can you tell?

I can hear you all now... WTF - Dawn, did you actually argue with the man that had cut you open? Yep. I sure did. While still open. I'm fiesty, maybe not brite, but I'm fiesty. HA!

SO, she stuck me in the arm. Fuckin' A Dude - that hurt.

The pain didn't decrease, it got way worse. More Epidural was applied... no use. More - the full syringe (9 unit) to be exact. No help. The pain was unending and growing stronger so that I came up off the table . Something was added to my IV and I suddenly became cross-eyed and couldn't focus. Didn't help the pain... Just F'ed up my vision.

Unfortunately, that was the EXACT moment they chose to bring Miss M for me to see for the 1st and only time for 12 hours. I couldn't see her.

Damn. Still makes me cry.

I panicked a bit... I couldn't focus my eyes. I could only squint and close one eye to stop the double-vision. Doing this I could just make out a hat, a small pink-ish chin, a C-Pap, and a blanket. I couldn't see my baby's face. I started repeating louder and louder that I couldn't see her... I could touch her, so I knew she was there, but I think it will haunt me forever that I was affraid I'd never see her alive again - I thought I could be missing my one chance.

I'm sitting here in tears, just remembering.

They took her away after waiting for a minute to see if my vision would clear... It didn't, and they had to get her to better life support soon. A mask was put over my face...

I woke up from a nice little dream... I didn't remember where I was for a few minutes... I was still in the OR, but it was much quiter - just a few people were there finishing up my stitches.

I felt odly at peace for a few moments. I thanked the NA for knocking me out. I had been so wound up with fear and pain and stress that I needed the brain break she gave me. Can't say enough nice things about that. Oh, and Bonus! Dr Dick M. was gone too...

They wheeled me in to the Recovery Room alone. Hubby and Miss M were off to the NICU and I was totally alone.

Before this, I had felt that with Jim's C-Section delivery that I'd missed out on a lot. I could see him in the warmer next to my bed in recovery, but didn't get to try to nurse him, I didn't get to hold him, the nurse essentially kept him occupied with this and that until it was time to be wheeled to our room. There was no bonding, but could see him.

This was so much worse... I wasn't sure where exactly they'd taken her. I wasn't sure how bad off she was. I hadn't seen her. I couldn't hold her. And yet, on this special level of hell... I could hear and see all 3 of the other ladies in recovery as they ooh'd and ahh'd over their new little ones. I could see their partners hover and coo.

I cried off and on most of the time I was in recovery. My nurse was rotated between the 3 patients... She kept coming by asking me, "Why are you crying, are you in pain?". I told her finally, and I sobbed harder. She pulled my privacy curtains, but I could still hear the first breastfeeding instructions being given to each Mom. I got to hear each major and many minor celebrations of new life.

I had no-one, and I was deeply depressed.

Sometime later my husband arrived - he was torn about what to do. He needed to be with M, they needed parental consent for some procedures. But he was super-worried about me. I kept crying, and I kept refusing to look at the pictures of Miss M.

Thinking about it later, I realized he probably thought I was scared to see her, and he was thinking that the pictures would help. He didn't understand that I couldn't look. It hurt too much to think about her. Just when I'd stop crying I'd remember that she was missing and I'd start all over again. I left my husband with no way to help, and I'm sorry for that. I didn't have any way to help me either...

Hubby left again and quickly came back with the Neonatologist in tow. I was given a rundown of Miss M's situation. Her condition was stable, but that she was suffering from Respiratory Distress - she was on C-Pap and a small amount of oxygen. He said that when they tried to take her off her lung would collapse. They were going to do X-Rays because she was breathing too hard and too fast - they needed to check for other lung complications.

A side note here to tell you that the Neonatologist was surprised that I didn't look scared, and I seemed to have some pretty detailed questions about her care. It is directly a credit to you all... for sharing all of the stories of all the NICU experiences. You guys shared your reality, and by putting it out there you helped me immensely... I knew what we were up against. I had facts, I wasn't terrified of the unknown - I knew something about the possible paths this would take.

A short while later, while I was still in recovery, the Neonatologist came back to tell us that her X-Rays were clear but her CO2 was 80% - way too high. High is 50%, and she was at dangerous levels. She was going into Repsiratory Failure.

He wanted to do an umbilical line to get a blood gas, which is a more acurate measure of Co2. Also, the umbilical line would provide them much-needed access to her. The X-Rays also needed to be repeated soon to watch for air collecting outside her lungs.

I sent hubby off to be with her - they would need authorization for some of the tests.

I cried more... I broke down and asked for my mother, but I was refused. I was told that Security concerns limited the number of persons allowed in recovery. It didn't matter that my support person wasn't there. My mother was within yelling distance, but she might as well have been on the moon. I cried quietly like a little lost child - secretly hoping that my Mommy would come find me.

A short time later I managed to move my legs and feet - aparently this is the ticket out of recovery. I was never so glad to leave a recovery room.

My reunion with my Mom was hard though... I wanted so much to tell her how I'd missed her. I wanted to cry and cry and have her hold me. I also knew that she wouldn't understand. She hadn't lived that hell with me. For her there had only been a couple of hours before she could see me - not a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon.

So, I delt with all the comings and goings and questions of nurses... I carried on bravely. It was distracting... It was passing time... I only had to make it 10 more hours before I could see my little girl. One day maybe I'll share this with my Mom... I wonder how she'll take it.

To be continued...

General Updates

Wow, It's been a MONTH! And MAN has it been a month...

I realized I've not posted any pics of our new girl, nor have I told our story in full. If you don't know me enough to have emailed me direct, you likely missed the details. Sigh.

SO, here's my attempt to relay where we are today, and in another post I'll recap Miss M's Birth story.

Today Miss M very clearly stopped fussing because she saw and heard me! YAY! She stopped, turned her head, and looked right in my eyes. She looked pleased, although she didn't smile. Kinda makes my heart warm just thinking about it.

I've been able to breastfeed, after a fashion. I'm only putting her on to feed every so often, which makes me happy... don't want to do that job full time. Unfortunately, it also means my milk supply isn't huge, which means she's not getting enough to eat that way. So, I let her get what she can, then I give her a bottle. This plan seems to be making us both happy, so I'm going with it.

I'm having to pay some pretty close attention to a slightly-flat spot on M's head. She CAN sleep the other direction (no torticolis) but she doesn't prefer to. Right now I'm just repositioning her head after she goes to sleep. She's started switching it back lately though, so I'm going to have to talk to the Dr about what I can do to keep her head turned.

Last night I took M for her sleep study. It appears she has the same type of breathing issue that her brother Jim had at birth. It is either A) immature nervous system, so that breathing isn't regulated correctly during sleep or B) reflux induced sleep disturbance accompanied by a decrease in blood-oxygen levels. I am giving 2 options because they don't know exactly what caused Jim's issues, and we won't find out for a couple of days what has caused M's. Likely we won't ever know really, but they'll treat her conservitavly until we get a positive sleep study. This is the same we did with Jim. Sigh.

I'm sighing because I know what it's like to have baby hooked up to oxygen 24/7, feeling like baby is on a 'leash', having the heart monitor go off by accident all the freakin' time, not being able to travel for more than 2 1/2 hrs, having to lug heavy O2 tanks around when I go to the store, etc. It isn't my fav.

Then again, I like having my kid alive, so I'll do what it takes. Doesn't mean I won't sigh about it though.

My family was here over the weekend - both brothers, my parents, my SIL and Neice (the other SIL and Nephew couldn't make the journey). We had a GREAT time! Jim latched onto my brothers like there was no tomorrow. Both Uncles were a HUGE hit. Jim made them go outside to play ball every chance he got - it didn't matter that it was freezing. He couldn't wait to 'play ball' again. I have to say, I was terribly happy to see him beem with pride while they played catch with him. I don't think I've ever seen him so animated.

At dinner Jim took a seat at the big table and instructed that each uncle would sit beside him. For once he didn't claim "I'm done!" after every bite. Frankly, I think dinner could have lasted all night and he'd have been OK with it. :)

I was sad to see my family leave, and I was a little worried that Jim would be heartbroken. I think he was, a bit, but he didn't cry or throw a fit. He seemed to accept it. All he said was, "We gonna go to Cene-see soon." Sweet thing.

At present I'm trying to figure out what everyone is getting for Christmas. I've got to plan for myself, Miss M, Jim, and my gifts to hubby. I also have to orchestrate what's coming in from extended family - we are already buried in toys, so I think I'm going to have to cull some stuff to make room for the new stuff. How do you guys handle this? Do you try to suggest appropriate toys or just see what turns up? Do you cull their old toys in advance? Do you cull them while they aren't home?

Challenge being, with 2nd baby here now, I need to cull but KEEP this stuff - no reason to re-buy these toys in a year. I've given away most of our infant toys, but they are scheduled to re-arrive soon-ish from my friend DD. My Den will simply implode like a toy-centered black hole if I don't do something soon.

How do you guys organize your kid's current toys? Do you use toyboxes, shelves, or build an annex to your house?

Jim seems to be coming down a bit from his terriblness. He still needs some managment help from time to time, but he's getting better. He has started being truly jealous of Miss M though. You should SEE the dark looks he gives her and anyone that dares hold her. Sheesh. We are trying to make sure he gets plenty of attention, while balancing it with reality. Tough to do sometimes.

Miss M is still sleeping lots, which makes the sleep study results pretty pertinent. She's spending about 2 to 3 hours awake per day, well, other than the time it takes to down a bottle and get a diaper change every 3 to 4 hrs. I have a fear that she's suddenly going to decide she's done sleeping for the next year! Ha!

Day before yesterday was Miss M's official due date. Hard to believe really. She reached 7.1 lbs last Tuesday, so I'm guessing she would have been a whopper if she'd stayed in to bake. Yikes.

It's funny some of the looks I get when I go shopping with her. People think I've brought a newborn, 2 day old, to the store. She's so tiny and cute. I can't make much progress without getting stopped for questions and peaks and people's stories. It's kinda fun, but also kinda tiring to tell it again and again.

I think I'm rambling... Let's see... What haven't I covered...

I think I'll move on to Miss M's birth story. See you at that post!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
I wish for my newborn baby girl's sleep study to go well on Sunday, so that she won't have to spend her 1st Christmas on oxygen. Looks like she has the same breathing issue Jim did, so we are doing a sleep study to see what breathing support she needs. Also, I wish for my son to enjoy his 1st year with a little sister. The transition is going to be hard, but I wish for it to go as easily as possible for him.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
We spend Christmas at my parents' home. We wake up to the smell of homemade sausage balls and Christmas Dinner's ham cooking. When the sausage balls are done it's TIME to OPEN presents! We always do the stockings last, since that is where my Mom puts the "extras" like batteries or accessory parts. Ha!

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
I would wish for a trip to Ireland for 10 days, and an offer from a trustworthy family member to keep my kiddos while I'm away.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
Our family was hit hard last year economically, so we had a Recycled White Elephant gift exchange. All of the gifts had to be either bought at a consignment shop or be a former gift to you that needed recycling. It was GREAT fun, and most people got something they really wanted out of the bargin.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
My brothers and I played computer games together, as a family we played Rook and Spades. One brother and I played D&D, which has lead to my love of RPG games on the computer.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
Our Christmas was always about sharing time with our extended family. So I always make the needed effort to be with my extended family for the holidays. I've travelled great distances to make it happen, but I think it is more than worth it.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
One year I would like to travel to Boise, ID to have Christmas with my brother and his family.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
1. XBox 360 with Kinect - I'd love to have the dancing game. I think my family would LOVE to play this together.

2. RockBand 3 Game - I love playing this game, but don't have it at our house yet.

3. Instruments for RockBand

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Today Was The Day!

Today WAS the day that Miss M was supposed to be born via C-Section. Wow. She's still not 'due' until next Saturday. Seems a bit odd, huh?

Oddder still... Odder, I don't think it's a word, but I feel like going with it. ...She decided that TODAY would be the day she would wake up an greet the world for a few hours.

What do I mean? Ah, I can see you haven't had the joy of preemie sleep. She's essentially been asleep since we brought her home, until today. Sure, she has been awake off and on for feedings every 3 to 4 hours, but then she's gone right back to sleep. Really. I've spent a number of hours holding her, but very few of those included time where she was awake.

Today that all changed... I realized at about Midnight that she'd been awake for an hour. By 3 AM she was just starting to get a little sleepy. Then she awoke for her 10 AM feed and stayed awake until 1 PM. That is the very longest she's ever been awake. Really.

So, I got to know my little one a bit today. It's been nice.

Also had a GREAT afternoon out with Jim. We drove out to DD's house for her twins' 1st birthday party. They had a great turnout, and everyone seemed to have a good time, including the babies. There was lots of food, fun, and catching up with old friends and making new ones. We had a good time overall.

Jim won the hearts of several of the party-goers. He lost one though, when she realized he still isn't fully potty-trained. She was kinda rude about it, but I'm not sure she's not right. He's almost 3 - it really is time to get the potty training finished. It simply hasn't been my priority, and I told her so. She agreed that made sense after hearing my recent PG/Delivery story. :)

Updates on recent topics:
Heebie Geebies - all gone as far as I can tell. I've not had any real anxiety for non-real concerns for several days. In other words... there are SOME things that SHOULD make you nervous, that is just life. I've not had any unexplained anxiety though for many days.

C-Section Healing: Yeah, I was doing good until a couple of days ago. I think I hurt myself. I need to take it easy for a couple of days to make sure I don't end up really, really injured. I'm not showing any signs of infection, internal bleeding, etc. I just have a bit of pain where I didn't, and I'm pretty stiff in my midsection after I've been in one position too long.

Terrible Two Tantrums: We are taking this day-by-day and trying to work through our son's agressions vs. quite so much punishing. We have set some rules about what will and won't be tolerated, and we are doing our best to stick to it. It's kinda like some weird Jekel and Hide thing though - I never know which kid I'm going to get.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What exactly was that?

Over the last few weeks, even before Miss M arrived, Jim has been acting out in what I think the typical 2 year old fashion. I say I think, because he's never really acted like a normal two year old. He is usually very calm and pretty easy to handle.

Lately though he's been a bit of the Terror, he's been screaming, crying, yelling no, demanding his way, and throwing tantrums. Do know, when I say lately I don't mean since Miss M has been home, I mean for the last month or more.

Last night was something else alltogether though... We hit  an all-time new high in terrible.

We had all of the normal hoo-ha of late, with an extra helping of inconsolable tantrum. Finally I figured out he was simply way-the-hell over-tired, so I encouraged his crying, and was rewarded with a boy that collapsed into sleep, on the floor, totally exhausted. We were very happy to let him sleep.

When he woke up... It was as if a hurricane had passed through, and  all of that dark emotion was swept clean.

The end of the evening found me humming the Twighlight Zone theme. ;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

13 Days and a haircut

Miss M is now 13 days old... Wow.

I got my driving privileges back at my post-op appt. Yay me! So right now I'm sitting, waiting to get my hair done.

My Mom is leaving for her home tomorrow, she thinks she's done, but I could stand another 2 wks. ;p  She doesn't live close, so I'm on my own from here until we setup a visit at Christmas.  :(

Hubby will be home with me next week, not sure how that will go. I should probably make a list of to do's so i can get some much-needed tasks accomplished. Hmmm.

Miss M is now up to 5lb 8oz, she has a bit more to gain before she's back to birth weight, bit she's doing good. We are doing feedings every three hours - not bad so far, but that's with multiple people caring for her. I'll have to update next week on how it's going with less help.

I got out a brand new piece of baby gear today-a Fisher Price sleep and play rocker (think that's the name). It is basically a rocking hammock. Looks very comfy and seems to have passed the Miss M happy test for now.

Gotta sign-off, hair must get done!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Home and the Heebie Geebies

Hey guys! I'm back!! Note: at the bottom of this post I've asked for some info from you guys to help me with the Heebie Geebies.

I'm sorry I didn't post more while in the hospital... I was having a hard time making everything come together. Thanks VERY much to Stacie for doing some interim updates for us!

Miss M. came home with me on Tuesday! She was released at 5 lbs 4 oz.

I stayed a total of 4 days after the c-section to give us more time to get to know her. She stayed in room with us for 2 days, but both nights I sent her to the nursury becuase I wasn't comfortable that she wouldn't be monitored by someone for several hours. I was certainly affraid of her having a downturn and us not hearing her distress.

We've been home now for a few days. She is sleeping really well - about 3 hrs at a time after her feedings. She has at least 1 wakeful period each night, for a couple of hours, but mostly she is still doing the preemie sleepies. I expect she'll wake up in a week or so.

About me... There's phyisical pain and emotional pain...

Physical... My c-section pain just wasn't that bad this time! I had about 2 days where I really needed nar.cotic meds, but then I switched to Motrin/Tylenol for 2 days, and then was done. My back hurts if I stand/walk too long, but overall I'm not taking anything other than Advil and that's only if the pain gets out of control.

I've been doing some pumping of breastmilk, but I've pretty much decided I don't want to be a milk cow. She won't latch yet (probably because there isn't enough milk) and I keep avoiding pumping, even when I know I should. I just don't think I have it in me to do this part. I also don't want to get full of milk just in time to stop BF when I go back to work. I have no interest in lugging a machine to and fro. I just don't see it happening.

Mental... I've got a full-on case of anxiety. Pretty much any time I think of the baby or my son I get anxious and have stomach cramps, a hard time breathing, and generally am too petrified to move. This isn't good when you have 2 kids and need to learn to juggle caring for both. Sigh.

My Mom and Hubby are helping me with it - I'm talking with them and explaining how it feels inside. They have both been very good to talk it through with me and keep me moving. I find for me that is the key - once I get moving on a task I stop being freaked out.

Anyone else out there have this kind of anxiety thing? How long did it last? What did you do to combat it? I'm looking for clues about how to get my life back on track and start handling this thing better.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Re: Miss M: progress

Note: This update is from Sunday....

Apparently, Miss M is more of a go-getter than even we imagined... They called earlier to say she might be released to our room tonight! All she has to do is have one more uneventful feeding of 1oz (no choking or resp distress) and we'll be able to keep her with us!

Wow, huh? On Friday we are talking about ventilation options and co2, and on Sunday we are looking at which car to put the baby seat in!

I have to admit, as small as she is, I'm a little nervous of her, but I'm also able to see she's clearly more alert and more interactive. When we saw her and fed her at Noon, It was clear she was hungry and also very clear when she was full.

The whole thing is a bit surreal...

I'm doing fine... This is day 2, and my pain is tolerable on just motrin and tylenol. I'm still easily exhausted, but I'm coping pretty well.

Jim is going to TorT with Daddy and either Nana or Patpat. The non-Jim person will come to the hospital with me.