Sunday, January 27, 2013

1 month

Miss Saylor Rae is 1 month old. Time flies!!

At one month she is:

.gaining weight like a champ. As of Thursday she was 9 lbs 12 oz (up from 7.15)
.a fairly decent sleeper. She goes down anywhere from 9:30-11 and sleeps until 4ish, eats, and sleeps until about 7:45-9
.loves to be held. Which can be a little exhausting when I try to put her down for naps
.gets the hiccups multiple times daily
.nurses like a champ. Seriously. She loves it.
.likes warmer baths, none of this luke warm stuff.
.makes the cutest little cooing sound mid cry/before a sneeze/before crying. We love it (the coo, not the cry)
.loves her moby wrap. She typically falls asleep within a few minutes
.loves sleeping with mom and dad in their bed each night
.hates her binky. Blah!
.has a perfectly round little face with perfectly chubby cheeks

We lover her so much!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saylor Rae Spann...the Birth Story (long)

This is a long post...but I know I enjoy reading how my friends bring their little babes into the world. So if you are like me in that sense...enjoy. It also explains a little more of why baby girl was in the nicu for 5 days....enjoy.

Saylor Rae Spann
December 27, 2012
11:26 pm
7 lbs 15.5 ounces
21 inches long

Four weeks ago today I was lying in a hospital bed, my water had been broken 45 minutes earlier, and we were eagerly awaiting her arrival. My mom had flown in from CA the night before and the three of us, Chris, mom and I were in the throes of a waiting game.

It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this all out because for one, I’m in the new mom adjustment period of no sleep, constant nursing, and sleeping when she sleeps. And second, the night Saylor was born was hands down one of the most intense and scariest nights of my entire life.

Saylor was due December 18th. Leading up to my due date, I had not made much progress. My cervix was thinning but my body was not dilating and there were discussions of induction and possible c section if things didn’t progress after an induction. I had no predetermined birth plan and felt that as long as we were all healthy and well I didn’t care exactly how she got here. I figured it was best not to have any huge expectations because those can let you down sometimes. December 18th rolled around and she wasn’t here. And there were no signs of her coming. Expected. We had already set up an induction to take place starting on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and one week and one day after my due date.

My induction would look something like this: arrive at the hospital at 5:15 am (we were late, as we got lost wondering the halls looking for labor and delivery…oops haha), start a medicine called Cytotec to help dilate my cervix (something I was really really anxious and nervous about), take a dose every 4 hours for 24 hours if progress hadn’t been made with previous dosages, start Pitocin the morning of the 27th to help get contractions going, labor, get epidural, have baby. Everyone is happy.

For the most part, that is what happened. We got to the hospital, finally checked in after wanting to punch each other out of tiredness and frustration for the labor and delivery floor not being where it was supposed to be, and got changed into the gown and all that jazz. At about 7 am on the 26th, I was given my first round of Cytotec and hooked up to the iv’s. This is when the waiting game really began. We tried to sleep as much as possible, connect to the wifi when it would let us, watched some sports, avoided eating hospital food, chowed on mcdonalds instead, and just hung out. I feel a need to say that being hooked to an iv and being pregnant is pure torture. I literally had to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes and because I was hooked up to all sorts of machines to monitor my blood pressure, and Saylor’s heartbeat, I had to call a nurse in every.single.time. I had to go to the bathroom. We had to unhook the machines, and walk into the bathroom, gown a flapping in the wind, iv stand in hand, and pee into a little white hat type thing to measure how much I let out. Only the beginning to the glamorous process we call child birth.

We had a few visitors (Chris’s mom and aunt) but really, nothing was happening. Every four hours my nurse came in and would give me more medicine and we were back to waiting. As the day progressed I started to have a few minor pains, mostly just period cramp like. My mom got into town at about 6 pm and I was one happy girl. Everything was now right with the world! For the rest of the evening it was much of the same, getting up to go pee, and hanging out. I was offered an Ambien to help me sleep (yes please!!) and we all settled in for the night. Chris went home to be with the pup, and my mom stayed with me at the hospital.

The next morning I got my last round of Cytotec, which seemed to help me progress a little, and they started Pitocin. At one o’clock, the dr came in and checked my cervix and broke my water. At this point, the Pitocin wasn’t that bad and I wasn’t having any major contractions, still just the minor cramps. My nurse would come in every 20 minutes and up the dosage that flowed through my IV. She quickly became my least favorite site. As the afternoon progressed, things got a little crazy. The funny thing about your first baby is you have no idea what to expect. I was in pain, but I didn’t know if my pain was like real pain, or just annoying pain. As much as I wanted an epidural to just make it all go away, I didn’t want to get it too early if my pain wasn’t really that bad. I felt like I had no way to gage how bad my pain was because I didn’t know how much worse it would potentially get. Does that even make sense? I didn’t want to be the wimp that got an epidural right at the beginning and have everyone be like, uhh this chick is crazy because her contractions aren’t even that bad. Turns out I was crazy for even caring about this. Ha! And at one point during these contractions I looked at my nurse and said “If Snooki can freaking do this, so can I”. She just looked at me kinda funny and said “Yes you can”. Maybe she doesn’t know who Snooki is….

Sometime that evening, probably about 5 or 6 if I had to guess, I decided that I finally wanted my epidural. They had to pump the remaining IV fluids through me and then we would be good to go for the epidural. They got me all situated on the bed, Chris and my nurse sitting in front of me, and in strolls this little old man in golf shoes. Literally about 87 years old or so. I’m not kidding. My mom passed him on her way out of the room and she thought maybe he was the volunteer candy striper wheeling in the cart for the anesthesiologist. Wrong. He WAS the anesthesiologist. Chris said as he was opening things up and epiduraling me up he would just throw packages and miss the trash can and dripped blood and everything. Haha I’m sure it was quite the sight. Getting the epidural wasn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. Once it kicked in, it felt mostly like that feeling of hot and cool that runs through your body before you are going to pass out, but just constantly flowing through your lower half. And turns out, 87 year old anesthesiologist’s give REALLY good epidurals. That bad boy made me a completely different person!

Because I had an epidural at this point, I couldn’t feel much by way of the baby or contractions, obviously. But I was starting to feel a little bit of pressure and just thought that Saylor had maybe moved to sitting more on my left hip. The nurse decided that maybe we should check my progress and go from there. I had been at 4 cm’s dilated not too long before she checked, so when she said I was fully dilated and ready to push at about 7:30 or so, we were all a little shocked. They called the dr, who had to make her way back to the hospital, and they got me ready to start pushing.

This is when things got to be not so much fun. Keep in mind that I really was convinced that I was going to need to have a c section. I would have preferred a c section (you might think I’m crazy, but my gut told me that a c section was going to be the way things were going to happen). My slow progression had made my dr think that I was going to have a c section (she had stated earlier after breaking my water that if I wasn’t dilated to a 4 by about 3 pm or so, we were more than likely going to have to section the baby out). When I wasn’t dilated to a 4 by 3, she pushed it back more and kept saying, lets just see what happens. We were all convinced that a c section was going to take place.

My nurse had me start pushing sometime around 8 or so (I think. Time had no meaning to me at this point). After that first push or two, she had me hold off on pushing because Saylor’s heartbeat dropped down significantly and she didn’t want anything to happen without the dr there to make any necessary emergencies calls. When the dr walked in she looked at me and said “sorry, I really thought we could make this happen. Looks like we are going to have to section her out.” At that moment I started having a contraction and she wanted me to push again to “See what happens”. When I pushed, Saylor’s heartbeat didn’t drop and seemed to be ok. So she had me keep pushing. For three plus hours. I kept looking at my mom, and she seemed worried. I could tell she kept looking at the monitor to see Saylor’s heartbeat and where it was. She tried to make it seem like she wasn’t worried, but I could tell. My heart of hearts wondered why I was still pushing. Nothing was really happening, I was exhausted, and it just didn’t feel right to me. But with each contraction I kept pushing. It was so tiring. I remember closing my eyes and almost dosing off to sleep in between contractions, and would listen for the queue to push. I felt like my brain was going to erupt and my eyes were going to explode. I could feel pressure from her just sitting in the birth canal, in the same spot, not really moving. I wanted them to shove her back up and take her out a different way.

At 11:26 pm on December 27th, I gave my last push and out popped my little Saylor. Except it wasn’t how it was supposed to be when they show you her face and wipe her off and immediately put her on your chest. Instead I heard “come on baby girl, breathe. BREATHE!” “Come on Saylor, you can do it” “make some noise baby girl, you can do it, just breathe”. A nurse went to the left of my head and made a call asking for NICU back up, Chris quickly cut her cord, and Saylor was taken to the little incubator area and in rushed about 8 nurses all working and moving really fast. I could hear faint little cries coming from her direction. I felt so so helpless. I kept looking at my mom asking if Saylor was ok. She obviously didn’t know, but did what every mother would do and kept saying “she’s ok, she’s breathing.” I was completely numb, literally. I couldn’t do anything. I sat there while my dr fixed me up and looked across the room to see if I could get a glance of my baby. Chris sat down in the chair next to my bed while my mom came over and grabbed my hand. She told me he sat down to say a prayer. We were both so scared. And helpless. I remember I just kept saying in my head “please let her be ok Heavenly Father. Please”. I have never experienced such heaviness in a room before. It was like a dark cloud of worry just hung, ready to be cut with a knife.

Within minutes of her being born, she was whisked out of the room. The flurry of nurses came in, and just as quickly they were gone, with my baby. My baby that I had not even had the chance to get a glimpse of. If my mom hadn’t gone over to take a picture, I would not have known what she looked like until hours later.
We sat in that delivery room for two whole hours. Waiting. Just waiting. My nurse came in to check on me every now and then and every time we would ask if they knew anything. All she could say was that they were running some chest x rays on her because she had aspirated some meconium and that as soon as they knew anything they would come talk to us. So we sat. My mom, Chris, and I. Just waiting. They relocated me to a recovery room down the hall and I remember passing the family waiting area and with tears streaming down my face, seeing a complete stranger smile and then realize my tears only to think what I imagined to be something like “that poor girl”. Then I saw some of Chris’s family and had to look away because I was far too emotional.

Once we were in the recovery room and my new nurses started helping me get all changed and cleaned up, the dr that had been working with Saylor finally came in. About 2.5 hours after delivery. And I was sitting on the toilet. Glamorous. But I didn’t even care. She told us that Saylor had a partially collapsed lung, called pneumothorax, because she had essentially inhaled poop into her lungs right before she popped out of me. That poop had clogged her airway and resulted in a collapsed lung. She was hooked up to oxygen and in stable condition. We asked if Chris and his dad could go in and give her a priesthood blessing. They said they would call us when it was ok to go down there.

Shortly after, we went to the NICU, Chris, his dad, and I and I finally got to see my baby girl. Seeing her all hooked up with oxygen and IV’s was so heartbreaking. We could touch her but that was it. She was perfect with a head full of hair and it made me so frustrated that she was in the NICU, all hooked up to big beeping machines. They gave her a blessing as we huddled around her little bed and the nurses stood in the background. To this day, I wonder what they were thinking. We were only in there for a couple of minutes and then went back to our recovery room to get some sleep. Not likely. It was a long night with lots of tears.

The next morning my dr came in and asked how I was feeling and said she had been in the NICU and that Saylor was doing good and was feisty and they were slowly weaning her off of the oxygen and that we would be able to go see her in a little bit. We finally got the call to go down there and rushed in. Her nurse’s name was Bev, and she is a real life angel. I will forever be grateful for this wonderful woman. While we were in visiting, Saylor had a little seizure. It was terrifying, mainly because I thought everything was ok except for her lung, but that would clear up on its own. Now we had to worry about seizures?! We were then told that she had had one other seizure earlier that morning and that this was her second one. What the?! How were we just hearing about this? Her Dr., Dr Fizzacootie (that’s a phonetic spelling) explained to us that seizures are pretty common in babies and that it just means something is wrong and that it is their queue to go figure out what it is. They were going to do a ct scan and spinal tap to figure out what caused the seizure. Her ct scan came back stating that she had a small bleed on the right side of her brain (not in, on) and that because the right side is already more susceptible to seizures (or something like that), the bleed manifested itself in the form of seizures. She said about 10-15% of babies are actually born with this little bleed from stress of labor but because it doesn’t manifest itself, they never know that they have it because they aren’t looking for it. She said that if it was her own baby that was having seizures, that she would want this to be the reason because it was totally treatable and would heal itself in about 6 weeks or so. Until then, they were going to give her phenobarbital, an anti-seizure medicine to ensure that she didn’t have any more. She would need to stay in the NICU for a couple more days while they observed her. While I was relieved to finally have an answer to what was going on, I was so sad because Saylor would likely be in the NICU the entire time my mom was in town. She would possibly not even be able to hold her (nicu rules).

On Saturday morning, Bev called down to our room and told us that Saylor was completely off oxygen and breathing on her own and that we were more than welcome to come down and hold her for the first time. I was SO excited. We rushed down there and held our baby girl for the first time. Heaven on earth. She was perfect. PERFECT. And so little and snuggly. And she knew our voices. I was so worried that she wouldn’t know who we were because we hadn’t been able to hold her or be with her from the beginning. But she knew. It really was heavenly.

I was released from the hospital that evening. It was hard leaving the hospital without my baby, but I knew that she was in good hands so it made it a little easier. For the next couple of days we would go back to the hospital every three hours or so to be there for her feedings. Slowly I was able to feed her more and more and she was able to be taken off of her feeding line. Her dr told us if everything checked out, she could come home on Tuesday. YES!!

Not much different happened in those next couple of days. I spent a lot of time at the hospital just holding her and staring at her. Loving her. On Tuesday morning she had one more ct scan to make sure that everything was resolving itself (it was, thankfully), we were given the anti-seizure medicine that I would have to give her myself twice a day, and by about 4 pm on January 1st, we were on our way home with our baby girl. Happy New Year indeed.

I still look back on the whole experience and wonder if things had been done differently if there would have been different results; if Saylor would have had such a hard time. But knowing that she is healthy now is all that matters. And throughout the entire experience that night she was delivered, I never had that feeling that things were really drastically wrong. Sure I was scared and worried but I had a peaceful feeling confirming to me that she would be ok. That it was ok to be scared and worried but that she would come out of it all ok. And that helped me feel better. I am eternally grateful for good dr’s and nurses who take the time to comfort and explain and help parents understand over and over again what is happening, how they are going to help, and what the end result will look like. As scary as the NICU is, and as much as I never expected to be the girl with her baby in the NICU hooked up to all of those machines, I know that this experience has strengthened my testimony of the priesthood and confirmed to me even more the truthfulness of the gospel. We have a Heavenly Father who knows us and is with us. Saylor is perfect and I love having a little slice of heaven in our home.