Sunday, September 5, 2010

A new appreciation for 9-02-10

Have I mentioned I loved the series 90210? So much so that when I was on bedrest with Sabrina I watched the entire series - twice - in repeats?

Also, I love the name Dylan.

Maybe I should have named my son Dylan. But we didn't. We named him Travis Paul, and he was born on 9-02-10 (aka, 90210 Day. Really, Google it. It was real).

The all important stats:
Born on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 at 1:46am. Weighing in at a whopping (for me) 8lbs., 3 ounces and measuring 21 inches long.

Oh, what? The oxygen and IV in his head? Let me get to that. You didn't think just because I had an easy, non-eventful pregnancy with this one that delivery would be a breeze, did you? Quite the opposite...

I had an OB appointment on Wednesday morning where she declared me 4cm dilated and now 100% effaced. I could go any second, or hang on for a couple more weeks. Just in case she scheduled the induction for the following Tuesday when I would be 41 weeks, 1 day. I had hoped they'd schedule it by Friday so I could enjoy a beer on Labor Day, but clearly that wasn't in their priority list.

Early Wednesday evening, Sabrina and I were watching a movie. I noticed a contraction that hurt like a bitch and thought, "seriously? straight to active labor AGAIN?" and started timing them. They were coming about every 5-7 minutes and hurt like hell. I wasn't sure it was time, but because I've had active labor contractions I knew these were no joke so I called L&D after one hour and they said to come on in. We got Sabrina all ready and took off for my mother in law's, who was watching Sabrina for us. My goal was to have the kiddo as soon as possible and be home the next day by dinner. This was my first night ever way from Sabrina (I know, super healthy but really we haven't had anywhere we needed to go and who wants to go on an adults only vacation when you can't even drink? Not me.) and I was more anxious about that then labor. Besides, this time the epidural was going to work. This time wasn't going to be an involuntary natural childbirth. This time, I was going to be pain free.

We got checked in and once again I was dying by the time we got there. I seriously have issues with timing. I was still 4cm and 100%, and my water hadn't broken. After finally being checked by the midwife, I was admitted and they could order the epidural.

I was excited.

After what seemed like an eternity, the anesthesiologist arrived and I got my wonderful friend, epi. This one took a little longer to start working, but eventually I got relief. Except on one side, so they turned me on my side to get that flowing a bit better and wouldn't you know it, Travis HATED it. He got pissed and somehow managed to slow his heart rate down enough that they rolled me back over and then he was fine. I have to admit he wasn't scoring any points right then.

A little while later, he crashed again. But this time it wasn't my position and this time it was much worse. The nurse ran out of the room to get the doctor and on her way out said, "You might be having a c-section."

Now, if you know me, you know I didn't want a c-section. Not because I care about the birth experience, because I don't. I think being knocked out completely should still be an option. Those that want a natural childbirth, go for it. Those that want to be knocked out should have the same opportunity, no? At any rate, I have never wanted a c-section because I hate staying in the hospital, and I hate recovery. Also I do know that a vaginal birth is preferable for the baby if it's possible. However the number one goal is to get the baby out healthy so if a c-section is necessary, I'm more than willing.

The doctor watched the monitors for a bit, saw that Travis had recovered and said we should wait until I'm fully dilated (I was at 8cm at this point) and try and push for a while. The nurse and midwife both gave her the side-eye for that, and I saw it - and honestly, my nurse was so amazing and wonderful that when I saw her reaction, I felt like the c-section was the right thing to do. But, we all went with what the doctor wanted and continued to push on.

Then guess what happened? The epidural wore off. Again. Motherfucker, why does this keep happening to me?

They bring the anesthesiologist back because at this point, I'm completely whining, writhing in pain and being a total asshole. He gives me what they called a bolster. I'm sure I'm not spelling that correctly, I'm not even sure what it is except it was like an additional dose or something.

It worked. It worked so well I couldn't move or feel my legs at all. You could have amputated them and I wouldn't have known. Which means I also wasn't feeling the contraction pain, so I was just fine with that.

For one hour. Then? Gone. Slowly I felt the feeling in my feet come back. Then my legs. Then the really strong contractions were breaking through. Then every single bit of pain. All back with a vengeance. And they figured out that for some reason my body metablolizes the epidural at lightening speed. I've never had a problem with general anesthesia but clearly epidurals and me do not mix. Not exactly something you want to learn while you're in labor.

At this point the pain truly was unbearable. I went through this with Sabrina and while it was so bad with her I never, ever wanted to go through anything like it again, with Travis it was that times 100. Something was different. Something wasn't right.

Because Travis continued to have heart decelerations, the doctor wanted me to try and push and see if he made any progress because he wasn't moving down much. I pushed a couple times, nearly passed out, and glared at the doctor when nothing happened. She mentioned he had gone from a zero station back to -1...he was moving backwards. It was then that I decided this was going to stop.

I honestly could not do it. I couldn't push. I started throwing up from the pain and knew something was not right and I simply couldn't do it. I'm not much of a quitter, but I quit labor right then. I also knew Travis was quite a bit bigger than Sabrina, and that his head had consistently measured 2-3 weeks bigger than the rest of his body. At that point I felt he wasn't ever going to come out vaginally and I wasn't going to kill myself trying. I also did not like the heart decelerations one bit and felt just because he recovered before didn't mean he would continue to.

I demanded a c-section. I said I could not do it any more, wouldn't do it anymore, and wanted the c-section now.

Doctor said no. Felt I was making the decision based on the pain.

Um, yes. As a matter of fact it is a contributing factor.

She said she'd come back when I was more comfortable.

Because labor gets easier? This was very unclear.

The nurse was my biggest advocate. After the doctor left the room she asked me what I wanted.I said I wanted all of this to end right this second and to have a c-section right now. Something wasn't right, something was different, he was never going to come out, I couldn't do it, please. Help me. She did. This woman I met hours before fought the fight I couldn't myself. She fought for me like I was her daughter. I adore this nurse. And, the doctor complied.

Within a few minutes we were going over risks, consents and getting the OR set up. It was now about 1:30am.

They finally rolled me into the OR, and the anesthesiologist gave me the mother of all epidurals to get me through the surgery. At this point I was kind of out of it from the pain so it gets a little hazy. I remember answering questions if I could feel this or that, and suddenly everything changed and I heard, "I'm cutting NOW."

Chris was nowhere to be found. I asked if my husband was there and the anesthesiologist (who had become my BFF and was also a huge advocate for me) ran and got him. Chris walked in right as Travis was being yanked out. I had no idea he was out because he didn't make a sound.

What we didn't realize, was right as they wheeled me into the OR, Travis crashed again. Really bad this time. And what was started out as a c-section because the baby was stuck (which is what they were calling it, which I guess is nicer than 'mom pussed out') became a very emergency c-section.

Travis was resuscitated, and while his original APGAR was 3, his 5 minute score was 9. Neither Chris or I were too worried since Sabrina had a similar entrance to the world and she's fine.

The pediatric nurse in the room took Travis and Chris to the nursery to get him cleaned up and ready. I assumed the next step for me would be to get stitched up and get on to recovery. And for the pain to stop.

But the pain was still there (Goddamn my inability to have an epidural that works!). And suddenly there were a lot more people in the room, including another OB. And someone was talking about a laceration, and blood and someone started talking about going back in and I was all, uh, I can feel that people! Hello, yes I feel that! So the anesthesiologist yelled at them to wait, told me he was putting me completely under and under I went.

I woke up in recovery knowing nothing. The nurse with me wasn't my nurse. She didn't seem to know a whole lot, either. All I knew was my throat was killing me and I was dying of thirst.

Chris arrived, and said Travis was doing good. He's just come from seeing him. I looked at the clock and noticed it was 4:30am. Seems like 3 hours is rather excessive for stitching up a c-section. Chris said he was told I lost a lot of blood, and there was a laceration but everything was okay. My throat hurt because I'd been incubated.

Not long after we started talking, a nurse came to get Chris and off he went. I was in and out of it at that point and didn't really notice what was going on. Apparently everyone involved in my case was in a debriefing for a long time, so it was a while before my nurse came back. Once she did, she told me what happened.

Like I said earlier, Travis crashed big time. She said thank God you followed your gut instinct and pushed for it, because had we been trying to push like the doctor wanted and this happened, it would have been bad. It was that dire. There may not have been time to get to the OR and get prepped. Shortly after he was born, they noticed I was bleeding heavily. They couldn't really determine where the blood was coming from. Another OB was called in to assist the surgery, and I was put completely under. After they did that, my uterus relaxed enough (it was apparently in what they call a tantric contraction, basically stuck) that they could see where the bleeding was coming from. I had torn my cervix and my uterine artery was ruptured or severed. It's not clear whether these happened during labor (although the nurse said the torn cervix would have contributed to the pain I was having earlier) or during the emergency c-section. It took them a few hours to get me stitched up and put back together. I lost about 2.5 pints of blood, but they decided not to transfuse during the surgery because I was doing okay at that point. I was pretty sure I needed blood though because I could not keep my eyes open. But, it was done and I was going to recover (albeit probably slowly) and we could start our life as a family of four.

Oh, but wait. Remember the nurse coming to get Chris?

Travis wasn't doing well and was put on oxygen and IV antibiotics. He wasn't breathing well on his own, and his heart rate was dipping into the 70's and 80's. He was going to stay in the NICU until his 48 hours of antibiotics was done and his breathing was fine.

I ended up getting a blood transfusion the next afternoon because my blood pressure was so low and my labs showed I basically had no blood. Plus, I was paler than normal and that's saying a lot for an Irish girl.

I still hadn't held my baby.

In fact, it was over 24 hours before I got to hold him. The first day I was so out of it from the lack of blood I faded in and out of consciousness for most of the day. By the afternoon they started my blood transfusions and by 8pm that night, I was feeling much better. But I hadn't moved all day and I was in a lot of pain from the c-section and other surgery. Travis couldn't come to me because he couldn't leave the NICU, and I couldn't come to him because I was incapacitated myself. Chris had to go home to Sabrina to keep her life somewhat routine during all of this. It was anything but routine.

I finally met Travis at 6am on Friday, September 3rd. He's adorable, looks nothing like his sister. He has light brown, almost blondish hair, blonde eye lashes and no eyebrows. He has big feet but slender hands. Blue eyes, but a lighter blue than Sabrina's. He's sweet and cuddly. And he's still there.

I was discharged on Saturday. Travis was not. While he was off the oxygen within 24 hours, he was having episodes where his oxygen saturation level dipped to dangerously low levels, and his lips and mouth turned gray/blue so he had to be given oxygen. Right now we don't have a diagnosis, and obviously there is a lot more to his story which I will give a separate post since this one has turned into War and Peace. There's so much I have to say, but so little time. So much about how painfully heartbreaking it is to leave your child, your newborn, in the hospital. How difficult it is to try and maintain a normal life for your toddler who doesn't understand why you disappeared for days, or why you keep leaving for several hours a day. So much about how painful a c-section recovery is, and questions like what kind of fucking underwear am I supposed to wear because every pair I have cuts right into the incision? Things like that.

So much more to come, when I have a moment. Right now Chris and I are trying to balance caring for Travis, only getting to see him for a couple hours a day, and trying to care for Sabrina. Oh, and maybe ourselves, too. This is a very, very hard time. So hard.


Ava said...

Congrats momma of 2!

Oh, Katie! What an ordeal. I really hope Travis will get a clean bill of health and will come home to you guys soon.

In terms of the panties, might I suggest the granny panties that come up almost to your belly button? If you can stand them, they'll get past the c/s scar.

I'm wishing YOU a speedy recovery too.

Amy Ramos said...

Congrats on your new arrival!
I hope Travis will get better and come home ASAP to be with his family.
I am thinking of all of you and when the time is right, I will buy a beer.
hugs to you.
Amy (abvernon from the bump)

Lizz said...

Huge, huge hugs for you and Chris! Your NICU nurses are your friends; don't be afraid to use them! Ask them questions, they'll give you a shoulder if you need it. (And so will I, if you need a BTDT Mama) Congrats on your beautiful boy! He'll be home before you know it, and these days will soon be a distant memory!

~M~ said...

I am mildly hyperventilating right now - I'm needing to calm myself down after reading this.
I hope Travis' stay in NICU is over very soon.
Congratulations on your beautiful son!

Stephanie C. said...

congrats on your little boy and I hope he's home with you soon!

Ariella said...

Congrats on your little boy! I love the name Travis! I am so sorry about your tramatic birth of Travis but am glad it has a happy ending despite him still being in the NICU. I hope he is given a clean bill of health and is home in your arms soon! Congrats again Katie!

Amanda (DandaLion) said...

Congrats on your little boy! I am hoping Travis gets to come home to you all soon! As a fellow emergency C-section mom, I completely understand the pain, whirlwing confusion, and stress(best undies are the biggest granny panties you can find in 1 size bigger than normal. They sure aren't cute, but they are definitely more comfy than anything touching the incision. I sent my mom for them the day I got home because I had the same problem.)Hang in there, and lots of come home soon Travis dust headed your way!

SwishDesigns said...

Oh my. I'm sobbing - both from the emotional birth, the scary surgery and that Travis wasn't able to come home with you ... yet. He will - and in the meantime - lots of T&Ps!

Amelia said...

Congrats but holy crap - big hugs! What craziness. Wishing you a speedy recovery and hoping for a fast pass out of the NICU for Travis! Hang in there. And ditto the granny panties suggestion. Not pretty but who cares when we are talking about incision pain? Take care if yourself! Amelia (amygrace)

Kelly said...

Congrats Katie, Chris and Sabrina.
And huge hugs, I can't imagine how hard it would be to leave a baby at the hospital, I'm thinking good thoughts for him and hope he gets to come home soon!

Bekah said...

First, CONGRATS on the birth of your beautiful boy! Second, wow. What the heck? Third, I dont know if you are religious, but I am praying for all of you, for your pain, emotional and physical, and for the health of your dear little guy!

Lesley said...

Congratulations! What a traumatic birth story. I hope Travis will be coming home to you soon!

Lauren said...

I so love you right now. I hope it gets better, hugs. congratulations on your son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brakes and Gas said...

Katie, I am so in awe of your strength, intincts, and your ability to advocate for yourself and your child (who is a complete darling, by the way!)! Travis is going to love hearing about the dramatic way he entered the world one day- I was a very traumatic birth and I never tire of the tale. Take care of yourself and I am sending good vibes for the whole clan! Congratulations again!
PS: It is so not fair that you are all glam and gorgeous so soon after birth!

Alison said...

Welcome to the world beautiful Travis!! I'll be thinking about you all Katie!!

Faith, the Authoress said...

Congratulations, Katie, he is gorgeous. I really hope he gets to come home soon so all 4 of you can begin to relax a bit.

KK @ Running Through Life said...

First off, congrats Katie!! And welcome to the world Travis!!!

Yikes Katie! What a story! I hope Travis comes home soon and your recovery goes smoothly!

sara said...

Congrats he is beautiful! I am so sorry about what a bumpy ride it has been! Nothing is ever quiet or smooth, huh? I am hoping you are all home very soon as a family and as you are cuddling him with sabrina by your side those other bumpy moments will be just a blip in the radar and it's smooth sailing ahead. ((Hugs))

minivan soapbox said...

What a scary ordeal! Congratulations on the new arrival - and here's praying that everything turns right very very soon.