Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Birth Story of Amie Grace King

The Birth Story of Amie Grace King

June 28th 2014, 12:35 PM, 7 lbs, 13 oz, 19 inches long.

Sorry folks, there is no long-story-short here J With a 31 hour labor & a 7 day hospital stay, how could there be?!

My doctor had offered to induce me on my due date (6/27) or wait until the following Thursday (I would have been 40 weeks 6 days). She was opening the dialogue about induction because I had consistently measured a week ahead (or more at times). She did not think our baby would be too big but she was concerned about an aging placenta. Apparently new overwhelming evidence have come out in studies against waiting too long past due dates for this exact issue, her nurse offered the literature to me if I was interested. My dilation and effacement was favorable for an induction, although not the best. I had been at 1 cm and 80 % since 35 weeks. It concerned her that even after a vigorous sweep, I hadn’t made any progress. I went back and forth on this decision quite a bit.  After speaking with a few of my L&D friends I decided to just go ahead with the induction on my due date. I am not here to defend my decision (I shouldn’t have to, women do this everyday!) but I was concerned I hadn’t progressed and all the walking, etc. in the world hadn’t changed that. I felt like my body wasn’t doing what it was supposed to.

Travis and I did not sleep a wink the night before the induction. I had even taken benedryl to sleep and nothing… At 330 AM we went and ate IHOP. Thank goodness we did because it would turn out to be a really long time without food. BTW- future moms please eat a fairly large meal before induction. All the nurses were so pleased I had done so, they said women come in and say they had some “toast” and they almost don’t make it through delivery.

We arrived at Gwinnett Medical at 5 AM (well actually 430 but we had to wait until 5 to be admitted). I was concerned that they were not doing anything to treat my cervix before hand but all the medical staff said that I wouldn’t need it. They started the Pitocin at 6 AM sharp. After intense contractions (actually they weren’t as bad as I was expecting) for a couple hours, I had made no progress. My doctor chose to perform a foley bulb procedure and let me just tell you… it BROUGHT the pain. When she did it Travis jumped up out of his chair because I was in so much pain. I don’t recommend this. Over eight hours went by and I still had not dilated to 4 cm. The Pitocin was almost maxed out (they had been cranking it up every 30 minutes). The hospital brought by some lovely broth and jello while our family waited tirelessly in the waiting room. Luckily I convinced Travis to venture out for lunch. Oh & who knew that the foley bulb thing could cause murder scene bleeding? (Sorry TMI but after all you are reading a birth story) It happened when my non-medical-procedure-liking mom was in the room & Travis was at lunch. She ran into the hallway calling for a nurse, but hey, apparently that is completely normal (one of the many shocking realizations of the strangeness of childbirth).

So after 10 hours (12 hours on Pitocin) I was only barely to 4 cm. During this exam my doctor discovered that I had a significant amount of scar tissue on my cervix (from a cancer surgery I had) that was preventing my cervix from dilating. She tried to break it up but she was afraid she wouldn’t be very successful. Amie’s heartbeat remained AMAZING through this entire labor so we just kept going! My doctor came in, broke my water and offered the epidural. After she promised it wouldn’t slow labor, I took it. Well it did slow labor. And so had the pain medicine they gave me earlier in the day. The nurses came in upset soon after. Apparently the Pitocin was causing me to have a constant, non-productive contraction. My body wasn’t reacting well and they were concerned my uterus might erupt or tear from the pressure. They made the decision to stop the Pitocin for an hour and then start all over at the lowest dosage.

So this was after dinnertime & we were starting all over. At 8 pm they came back in and started the Pitocin again, upping it every 30 minutes. It made for a LONG night for the nurses and myself (and Travis & family). At 230 AM my doctor came in after having delivered like 5 babies (jealousy!) and I had only progressed to 5 cm. That scar tissue was still resisting change. She gave me the C Section look and honestly at 20 hours in to this thing, I was growing to be in favor of that decision. She said she would return at 8 AM and we would go from there. The last of our 19 person cheering section left the waiting room and went home for rest. Travis & I barely dozed.

I reflected that night on the decision ahead as I watched the contractions on the monitor. They weren’t very strong and I became ok with the decision to have a C Section. Amie’s health was top priority. Her heart rate remained amazing hour after hour.

At 730 the nurse came in and did an exam. She said, “Ok I need to be really sure because I don’t want you to get excited but you are 7 cm!” We were thrilled. Those little contractions had been doing exactly what my body needed (the big painful ones had been ineffective!). Later my nurses and doctor were actually shocked that the “small” contractions had been so productive. She also said the scar tissue had been broken up. My doctor came in around 8 discouraged until I told her the news; we were well on our way! Unfortunately, soon after my nurse came in and put me on oxygen because Amie’s heart rate, while good, wasn’t going up like it should be. She wasn’t stressed but she wasn’t happy. We kept a close eye on it.

Since early that morning I had been shivering and they kept saying that it was normal. This was INTENSE shivering. By 10 AM I had spiked a 102 degree fever, that explains a good bit of the shivering. At 11 AM I was 9 ½-10 cm and we were ready to get the show on the road!

Our LAST picture as just two!

I pushed for a total of an hour and 10 minutes, I know it doesn’t sound like much but my epidural had completely stopped and worn off hours before pushing. My doctor used the vacuum to help Amie down some and it popped off of her head and left a huge gash (she later had a scab the size of a half dollar). Poor baby! The pushing was intense. Amie crowned for 45 minutes of it. At one point my doctor said, “I can feel your tail bone and I think it might break.” Not 10 minutes later we all heard a big pop and I said, “Yep it broke!” That has been a FUN part of recovery… Near the end I just cried and begged the doctor to get the baby out. After 31 hours of no food and even longer without sleep I was having a rough time. My mom & Travis had hoped to be by my head but they ended up having to hold my legs. My mom kept leaving my side trying to find other things to do. She was getting me cold wash cloths in between contractions. Boy was she good at counting to ten! At one point I opened my eyes and there were like 20 people in the room! Apparently a large amount of the people were part of a nurses training course, so glad I could be the guinea pig! There were some FUNNY moments during the pushing stage, see below!

-       -During a push my MIL Kathy called out to Travis, “Hey Rebekah wants to know if you want anything from Jimmy Johns?” I yelled, “Number 12 Beach Club!”
-     -  During the grueling amount of crowning my doctor asked if I wanted to touch her hair. I did and yelled “eww!”
-       -She kept playing with Amie’s hair and asked Travis and my mom if they wanted to see it. Travis hesitantly looked & my mom said “NO!”
-      = Once the head was visible my doctor said, “Uh oh Ramona, I didn’t think this was going to be a big baby but yeah it looks like this is going to be a big baby, sorry!”
-       -The doctor asked my mom & Travis if they wanted to look down and see the baby’s hair (as the doctor played with it… awkward) and my mom said, “No thank you I don’t do medical procedures well!” There was all this laughter. This is when I looked up and noticed over 20 people in the room. I said, “Who the hell are all these people?!”

Amie came out and we did not hear a cry. When she did cry it sounded like a sad little kitten sound. They were all working on her fast and everyone in the room froze. She was very stressed. They got her steady and whisked her away to the NICU, I didn’t get to really see or hold her. Travis went up with her and the first good look I got at my baby was in an iPhone picture. I was not in a good place mentally. I had worked so hard and I was robbed of my joyous experience. They made me stay put for 2 hours before I could go see her. That was NOT my plan. What happened to the kangaroo care I had looked forward to for months?

That was the worst Number 12 Beach Club from Jimmy Johns I had ever eaten, I barely ate half. After multiple uncomfortable belly messages and 2 hours they wheeled me up to see my girl for the first time. The picture shows how intense that moment was. When we entered the NICU I heard the saddest cry I had ever heard and I knew it was her. As soon as they wheeled me up to her I started talking saying, “Hey my girl.” She stopped crying immediately and just looked straight at me. I will never forget this moment or the look in her eyes for the rest of my life. I wasn’t able to hold her and I could only stay for less than five minutes. She looked fine! They ended up giving her formula, which did not thrill me, but luckily it has turned out OK.

 Our NICU baby. The largest & the newest.

The moment my world stopped.

After shift change they brought her to our room around 8 pm. I got to hold her for the first time but for some reason I don’t remember it. :/ It had been a long day. We had a good night and we had lots of visitors the next day (Sunday). I have never seen a newborn with such beautiful skin! Her head quickly began to heal and lose the cone head shape. The big gash looked awful for a while… poor baby!

 Dad's first time holding her

 Such a beautiful face on the day of delivery!

 Mommy's first time holding her!

What a beautiful sight to wake up to! (At the end of my bed!)

They finished my antibiotics that day and neither baby nor I had a fever past delivery. Amie continued to have an IV and antibiotics. They would come in multiple times a day and prick and drain blood from her heals, it was HEARTBREAKING! The pediatrician came in and told us that because her C Reactive Proteins were elevated, they would need to keep her 7 days on antibiotics in the NICU as a CDC mandated precaution. The pediatrician did tell us that that number could be elevated simply because her head was so swollen. She had no fever or signs of infection.

 1 Day old

 Proud grandparents

 Auntie Becki

Such a beauty!

Quickly the nurses let us know that if they had an open room, we could stay in the hospital with her kind of like a hotel (without the amenities lol). We prayed for this.

Monday afternoon they discharged me and gave us a high-risk pregnancy room because the Mother & Baby floor had never been so full! Of course they had 20 births going on at one time! They let Amie room in with us which was awesome. I just did not feel right about leaving her. Three times a day they administered antibiotics through her IV and multiple times a day they did vital checks, it seemed non-stop! Because the NICU was so full of actual sick babies, they were fine with us staying and her rooming with us.
Pictures from rooming in:

 Long fingernails! (And IV bandages)

Happy Family

On Wednesday morning a nurse rushed in saying they needed us to leave because they needed the room. Travis went and pleaded to the NICU supervisor who happily found us a room on a floor down. It was a triage room. Talk about uncomfortable and awful. We had to share a bathroom with a room next to us. BUT we were happy nomads and were just blessed we could stay. It was a true test of endurance and survival with no comforts of home and just a bassinet for the baby. We all three learned how to cope with each other fast!

Her CRP number had been in the normal range for two days now and we knew we would have to stay until Saturday morning for her final hearing test (her last dose was Friday night and there were no hearing techs on shift and antibiotics pose a risk to hearing abilities).

It was super hard to recover in an extremely uncomfortable triage bed and Travis had the worst recliner to sleep in but we were determined! The broken tailbone was really not feeling too good. No matter how much I tried to get Travis to go home and sleep, he wouldn’t leave us.

They had to redo her IV a few times and kept blowing them out each time. This Momma couldn’t take it! Finally they just decided to finish the last few dosages via shot. Bless her heart. She was a pincushion. But she was a trooper through all of this, such a good baby!

We eked by until Saturday. The depression hit Travis and I hard on Wednesday night, we were in a bad place. We just wanted to be home and for her to be OK and not stuck with needles anymore. We had some great nurses who kept her on Thursday so we could go to Longhorn for lunch. I hadn’t been able to eat for days and I made myself. It made all the difference in the world. All of my crazy swelling was gone within hours.

Saturday came and we headed to Woodstock! Hallelujah! We felt free!

Our last picture in the triage room hotel!

Since then Amie has been great. She really is an awesome baby. She binge eats for an hour at a time and then goes about 3-3 ½ hours before her next meal. She doesn’t sleep much during the day but she is great at night! Her pediatrician is super excited about all of her weight gain, she is up from 7lb 13 ounces at birth to 8lb 5 ounces at two weeks old. (Now 9lb 1 oz at one month old) The doctor said she has the best coloring of any newborn she has seen and we are so blessed by how healthy and happy she is. She is a crazy spit upper but we aren’t concerned, it seems she just overeats.  She is so strong too. She can turn on her side and almost roll over, didn’t expect this so soon! She reactively smiles at times and does an awesome job at holding her head up and turning it. She also holds her pacifier in her mouth at 2 weeks old!  Ok, end proud mommy brag session J

Regrets? I don’t know. I would do every second of the delivery and week after again but I am glad I don’t have to. My cervix would not have progressed without intervention but I wish I waited to see if I went in to labor on my own a few more days. I don’t know though, I can’t regret any of it. What I do wish is that my doctor had educated me on the risks of a prolonged labor vs. a c section. I would have had a c section without doubt before having her so stressed and in the NICU on antibiotics because of my fever. Honestly no one talked to me about anything. We just kept going. And I would have also demanded to see literature on the week long antibiotic regiment. She never showed signs of infection and her CRP was within a normal range within 24 hours, at which point they should have sent us home. Honestly as soon as the swelling in her head was down, her CRP was normal. But for some reason they diagnosed her as septic (which they never even told me that, our pediatrician saw it on her discharge sheet) even though she never had a fever or elevated white blood cell count. I think they were trying to cover their own butts for the delivery and her head injury. In speaking with several L&D friends, they have never heard of treating a baby with antibiotics for 7 days after delivery for JUST preventative measures, esp. after her levels were within a normal range in the 48-hour window. I don’t know. I just feel like we weren’t adequately educated (though I did my own research, I felt like we didn’t have a choice in anything). Now she is happy, healthy and we are all just fine! I can’t dwell on the regrets. For future deliveries… I hope that this helped my cervix to be able to do what it needs to in the future. If not, I will have them treat my cervix only. I will wait until 42 weeks before Pitocin even crosses my mind. I will consider a cervical induction if there is a medical need. The only true regret is that I didn’t know the risks of prolonged labor and that she had to stay for a week because of it.

We love our sweet girl very much & every day is a gift from God! Sing Praise!

Our goofy :)

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