Thursday, June 3, 2010

Calina's Birth Story

We went into the hospital very early in the morning on Friday, May 21st to induce labor.  I had prepared for a long day because I was only 1 cm dialated when we went into the hospital.  The day was pretty long because I couldn't eat anything, but I really didn't have much pain.  Finally, around 4:30 the doctor came in and broke my water.  Things picked up a little bit after that.  I got the epidural because the pain was getting pretty bad.  It took the guy 20 minutes to get it in.  I swear he poked me 7-8 times trying to get it in the right spot.  Around midnight I was about 7 cm dialated.  The nurse decided to drain my bladder.  After that things started moving very quickly.  I basically went from 7 cm to fully dialated and wanting to push.  They made me hang on the 30 minutes it took for the doctor to get back to the hospital.  Then I pushed with about 4 contractions, all of 10 minutes and Calina Jean came flying into the world.  Labor was so much quicker and easier than it was with Fiona.
Calina weighed 6 pounds 10.4 ounces and was 20 inches long.  She has the longest skinny little legs and feet.  I think she is going to be tall like her Daddy.  She was pretty smooshed and bruised from her quick entrance into the world though.
They did all the normal stuff after she was born.  We snuggled and tried to nurse, but she wasn't interested at all.  Later we realized that she wasn't interested because she was having to work too hard on breathing to worry about eating.
After about an hour and half, they were going to give her a bath, so I jumped in the shower.  When I got out of the shower, Nathan and the nurses were all gathered around Calina in the warmer bed looking serious.  They had her hooked up to monitors for her heart and breathing.  She was breathing really quickly and making little grunting sounds.  The NICU team came up and looked at her and then decided that she needed to go down for observation.  Nathan and I walked over with the transport team so we could see what was going on.  It was one of the worst moments of my life.  I was scared for my baby and I had no idea what was going on.
The nurses seemed to think that she would probably only need to be there for observation for a couple of hours and then would be back up with us.  Nathan decided he wanted to stay down there, so he wheeled me back up to our room and then went back to be with Calina.  I tried to do some sleeping in our room, but I pretty much just sat up there and cried.  I finally gave up on sleep and got up around 7.  I called Nathan and he was really upset.  He came to get me and we went back to the NICU.  Calina had not gotten better over the couple hours I had been gone.  They had run some bloodwork and done a chest x-ray.  She was just having to work so hard to breath and her breathing was so fast.
That whole day is pretty much a blur.  At one point they put in a feeding tube to get her some nourishment, since she couldn't eat because her breathing was too fast.  Things just seemed to keep getting worse and we didn't feel like anyone was bothering to keep us in the loop.  My parents came up to the hospital and brought Fiona to meet her baby sister.  Fiona was pretty unimpressed.  She was much more interested in running around and exploring.

Her face just says it all.
That night it looked like she was still doing okay.  They still hadn't decided what was really wrong with her.  When we got up Sunday morning and went down the NICU she had gotten worse.  Her oxygen levels had dropped significantly, so they had to put her on a CPAP to help force her lungs open a little and get her some more oxygen.  Since they had that in her nose they had to put a tube in her mouth to suck the air and stuff out of her tummy.  Because she didn't have a feeding tube anymore they had to start an IV to get her fluids.  Then on top of that her bilirubin levels were high, so they put her under the lights.  It was so hard to show up and see my beautiful baby girl covered in wires/tubes/cords.  She looked so uncomfortable and I couldn't really do anything to help her.  It was a really long day not being able to hold her at all.  Finally, late in the evening on Sunday they checked her bilirubin again and it was a little bit lower, so they took her out and let me hold her for a couple of minutes.  It was so nerve racking holding her with all the "stuff" on her, but it was the best feeling ever to be able to hold my little girl. 
Sunday was definitely the worst day of the week.  They had decided that most likely she had "Respiratory Distress Syndrome", which usually clears up on its own after about 3 days.  However, her chest xrays looked wet, so they were worried that it could potentially be pneumonia.  Before babies are born their lungs produce fluid.  Sometime during the birth process their lungs switch and start sucking up fluid.  In babies with Respiratory Distress Syndrome their lungs don't switch over right away.  It takes a couple of days for their bodies to figure out that they have been born.  It is more common in c-section babies because they don't get squeezed in the birth canal.  Since Calina was born so quickly she wasn't squeezed much either, so her lungs didn't get the message that they needed so start sucking up fluid.
Anyway that catches up her birth story and I'll write another post about the rest of the week in the NICU.

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