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


Anonymous said...

that is amazing. I totally agree with you, God was in control the whole time. Not sure what kind of acrobats poor little Caleb would have had to do to accomplish that Houdini act! Thank goodness for modern medicine! Congrats on a beautiful little one.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I caught that expression on his precious face. It's turned out to be a popular picture! Love you guys.