Thursday, July 23, 2009

Caleb Orion

Well, at my last post, I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of my little boy. Man, I need to be careful what I wish for, or more specific in my prayers--because I paid in getting him here. I've not written about it yet partly because we've been up to our ears in dirty diapers, every 3 hour feedings, nighttime madness, and parenting follies. The other part is that I don't know how much justice I can do in putting it all into words, but I guess I'll try my best.

So, on July 13th, I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment--my 40 week appointment. I figured we'd go in, say "Ok, well...when do you want this baby?!?" and then go home, get our bags, and be on our way to a planned induction for whatever day we chose. WRONG! I got there and my blood pressure was 160/100 (!) and my urine had 3+ protein in it (read--badness, even in the setting of how concentrated my urine was). So, I was pretty much diagnosed with preeclampsia. Really, I wasn't too surprised. I'd ballooned in the last few weeks, my blood pressure had gone from the usual 110s/60-70s to 130-140/80s in the last 2 appointments. The doctor sent us over to labor and delivery straight from the office. She said she would try to spare me the aweful magnesium drip usually prescribed for women with preeclampsia--I was thankful.

We went to L&D (we hadn't brought any of our baby-bags to the appointment--I sent Ryan later to get them). They started pitocin to cause contractions and we were on our way. The contractions started coming every 1-2 minutes but they weren't lasting long and weren't too strong. We went from 11 am-6 pm like that, me having moderate pain that was like strong period cramps, but I was holding my own without any pain medicine. My blood pressure stayed up, so they started the magnesium--but they started it slowly, and I really didn't have the bad effects of it.

At 6 pm, my doctor came in and we decided to break my water. I've seen this done, and I was in complete agreement with that decision, because I still wasn't in a great labor pattern. The breaking of the water wasn't very comfortable, but I knew it wouldn't last long. The doctor and I chatted while we were waiting for all of the amniotic fluid to come out.

And then....all hell broke loose (pardon the expression). I hadn't been paying attention to the heart rate monitor for the baby, but his heart beat went down to the 80s. When the nurse asked me to get on my side, and started getting the oxygen mask out, I knew what was about to happen. I didn't panic, I think I was in too much disbelief. The doctor told the nurse to turn of the pitocin. They had me lie on my other side. They called for terbutaline (to stop contractions). I told Ryan to go into the hall and tell my parents to go to the waiting room. Then they had me get on my hands and knees, butt up in the air in an attempt to relieve what was causing the baby distress. I saw the train wreck coming. Ryan didn't know we were going to have an emergent C-Section until the nurse called somebody else and told them we needed an OR "NOW!" So, they wheeled me down the hall, butt up in the air, to the OR.
We got back to the OR and they took off my home-made birthing clothes (yes, I actually thought I'd get to use them--I'd jinxed myself from the beginning...) and put the monitors over my belly. Heart rate still low. I didn't have any anesthesia up to this point, so they had to quickly do a spinal. They'd discussed putting me to sleep versus doing the spinal, I was telling them the whole time --"I don't care! Just do what you need to do!" In retrospect, I'm thankful that they were able to do the spinal, so I was able to hear the first cries of my precious baby boy. I was calm until they put the sheet up while getting me prepped. After the sheet went up, I started freaking out because it felt like forever since they'd checked the baby's heart rate, and I just wanted them to start the C-Section. They brought Ryan into the room at about the time I was crying, and I was blessed to have him there.

"Feeling" the C-Section was so weird. I was waiting to hear the words that would give me some relief- "uterine," meaning they'd cut into my uterus--usually they get the baby out quickly after this. I could tell they'd gotten him out by the relief of pressure off of my abdomen--it felt SOOO GOOD to have him out of my belly! He didn't cry immediately and they took him back to the warmer to be assessed. I finally heard his gruff, hoarse, low cry and I was just so happy to know at least he could do that. Turns out his APGARS were 4 and 8, and he wasn't breathing at first--he needed CPAP for about a minute to get him going.

It wasn't long before Ryan was able to hold him and bring him back to me to see his little face. I thought he looked pale...but beautiful. It was so surreal and strange to finally see the life that had been growing inside me.

I'm so thankful that I didn't have my water break at home. Caleb's umbilical cord was wrapped from one shoulder across his belly to the opposite hip. I really don't see how that would have fixed itself, or how he would have been successful in navigating the birth canal without impinging on the cord. I fully believe that God's hand was at work through the whole thing-- the pre-eclampsia leading to induction, the induction needing to be augmented by the doctor breaking my water, and the doctor standing right there when his heart rate went down. I'm sure some would say "Well, if you'd done things naturally without all this intervention, then it wouldn't have happened." But I'd like for them to tell me how an umbilical cord at 40 weeks can just magically unwrap from around a baby's body. Praise God.

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. --1 Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


My due date is less than a week away...and I want this little boy to come out! I swore I wouldn't complain at all during this pregnancy, but I really really need to, now! My feet are so swollen, I have carpal tunnel, I'm waking up pretty much every 1-2 hours to pee, I waddle, and I'm huge! I'm ready to get my prize now!

We've tried a couple of things to get this to move along...membrane stripping and something I'm not going to divulge on the internet. My mother and my mother-in-law keep saying "Go walk, go walk!" Um, hello, I swear, by the end of the day, I have edema into my thighs, so, no thanks! Last night was even a full moon, so I thought the moon's gravitational pull might do the trick- NOPE! I was hoping maybe for him to be born today, so that his birthday would be 07-08-09 (that would be a cool birthdate!) But I'm not holding my breath.

My due date is actually the 13th...I have an appointment that day, I'm thinking maybe we'll discuss the "I" word (induction)--hopefully. If that's true, then maybe we can try for a delivery on 7-15, which will be our 3rd wedding anniversary...wouldn't that be a great anniversary present?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Missing the Boat

So, I've not talked much about my plans for having my baby and residency on here, but I think that I have referenced it some. Normally, residency starts for everybody July 1. Since my little guy is due July 13th, I'm going to be starting October 1. Before we had to enter our "Rank Order List" for residency--this is where you put in the places you want to go in order--I called my #1 choice and told them about being pregnant and asked if I could start October 1. They were very accepting and willing to work with me, further confirming that it was the residency for me.

Our residency had orientation though, from June 8-June 30th, which was a little anxiety-provoking for me, because they wanted me to be up there to finish orientation which consisted of multiple certifications in medical stuff and lots of sitting around. I was worried because the new city is around 4 hours away from my current if I'd have gone into labor there, panic would have ensued. Thank God though, I did not. So anyhow, we've been back and forth from residency city to our city, and are finally in our city awaiting the birth of the baby boy.

Yesterday was July 1 though. And up until yesterday, I felt included, like I was doing the "new intern" stuff. But, I sat at home yesterday. While all of my friends started seeing patients for the first time as doctors, REAL DOCTORS. No more of the, "HI, I'm so and so, a medical student working with Dr. _______" They got to say, "HI, I'm Dr. _________ . I'll be taking care of you while you're with us."

I must admit, I feel as though I have missed the boat. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to have the luxury of taking time off and the blessing of having a baby soon (and a bit scared to death too)...but I just know it's not going to be the same starting October 1st. The nurses and other doctors won't necessarily know that I'm the same as a July 1 intern, my fellow interns will probably be settled in and comfortable with much of the day-to-day operations of the hospital and clinic, and then there will be doctor, new mom, terrified person.