Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Birth story - part two

(I have been working on this for an eternity, but alas!!!  Part two of Emily's birth story!)

After I left the recovery room following my c-section, Emily was taken to the nursery for a bath. In retrospect, we should have just refused it at that time, knowing some family was already in the waiting room and others were on their way. We didn't think much of it at the time, because after all, how long does it take to bathe a baby.

Emily went to have her bath and I was moved to my mother-baby room. We anxiously awaited Emily's return, and looked so forward to introducing her to Noah and the rest of the family. And that's not to mention the rest of the world who knew my surgery was at 9am awaiting text and Facebook announcements!! We waited. And we waited. And we waited. Three times I sent Ben to the nursery to check on her. Turns out she was still having difficulty regulating her temp, and after her bath, they decided to put her under the heat lamp.

Finally after a freaking eternity, they brought me my baby girl!!!! Looking back at Facebook, I posted at 1:51pm "Me and baby girl are doing great! Details to come after she meets the fam! :) she's perfect!!" And then at 3:05 "Thanks for being patient everyone! All is well, details ASAP!" Finally at 4:11, after meeting the whole family, the details went public "Emily Reese koechling. Born 10:24am, 6lb 7oz, 19in. She's perfect!" That goes to show how long she was in the nursery.

First Noah met Emily, with only grandpa and auntie Julie there to document the moment. It was exactly as I'd hoped. He was so sweet and so enthralled with her. Here is the video of their first meeting. :)

Then Julie and Grandpa left.  Our family of four alone, together.  Perfect.  Noah was quite excited to play with the present from the baby, his new Bruder trailer that hitched to his Jeep.

Lastly, Gaga, Julie, Grandma, Grandpa, Katie & Samuel came to meet the baby.  We introduced miss Emily to the family, and gave them all the stats.  Everyone oohed and ahed of course, and I'm pretty sure she was worth the wait.

Despite my having asked the OB before she was even born about check her hemoglobin and bilirubin levels ASAP, the nurses were unconcerned.  It wasn't until the next day when she started looking yellow, and the ped came in and said yeah, I ordered those labs yesterday.... ugh!  I was practically begging them to do bloodwork, and the order was supposed to be in the system!  (apparently, the "system" was brand new, as the hospital had just merged with another one and i guess that meant new computer system)  anyways, once labs were done, it was determined that she did in fact have elevated bilirubin counts.  she was put in a different sort of bilibed than noah had.  it was completely open air, just her, naked, under the lights, and she HATED it.  after a day, maybe a day and a half, i asked the nurses if we could use the kind noah had, and use the little bili "blanket" for when i took her out to nurse.  they switched her and all was good with the world.  where noah was in the bed until the morning we were released, i think emily was in from mid-weds to early friday.  (she was born tuesday and we went home saturday.)  her jaundice was much milder than noah's but of course it indicated to us that she also had the same blood disorder noah and i share, hereditary spherocytosis, or HS.  At some point during her time under the lights, the doctors encouraged us to supplement with formula, as babies pee their jaundice out.  The idea is the more she drinks, the more she pees.  So I think I maybe gave her formula once, and because I just really didn't feel right about it, supplemented with pumped milk a couple times.  Other that that, she was a rockstar at breastfeeding.

I think it was the morning of day 3 (Thursday), when I came out of the bathroom to my find that my nurse that day was Mitchie.  I burst into tears and told her that she surely didn't know me, but she was my nurse with Noah and that she had held a special place in my heart for being so great when he was so sick and was the one who told me the morning I was being discharged that he was going to be able to go home too.  I'll never forget that as long as I live.  That time was so scary, and when she told me that, I burst into tear, sat bolt upright in bed, and gave her a giant hug.  I was so hopeful she would be my nurse again this time, and there she was, both Thursday and Friday!

**warning: the following is somewhat graphic.**

I remember when I was in recovery after my c-section there was talk about blood loss or clots... well something was definitely off that week.  People kept telling me how pale I looked, and I just thought post-op, whatever.  But then I got up one day to go to the bathroom (I think Thursday), and sitting there on the toilet, something felt really weird.  And then it hurt.  A lot.  And then.... I felt something that I'd never felt before come out of me and plop in the toilet.  It was terrifying.  I pulled the emergency cord in the bath room, and in seconds, three nurses were there.  I was hysterically crying, gown around my waist, trying to tell them i just passed something large.  They helped me back to bed and assured me everything was okay.  I was shaken but okay.


Later that day, while Ben's parents were visiting with Noah, I again went to the bathroom, and again, the same thing happened.  There must've been terror in my voice when I called for Ben, because his parents scurried Noah out of the room, and Ben called the nurses in.

Blood work was ordered, and my hemoglobin was 6.1.  On Friday morning, we talked to the OB, and he was not concerned about the blood clots or my low hemoglobin.  In fact, he said low hemoglobin can be normal after a c-section.  I talked to my mom and Ben, and decided to call the OB and request a blood transfusion.  My concern was that I was going to be discharged the next day, and either feel like crap for the next few weeks, home with a newborn through the holidays, or wind up back in the hospital just in time for Christmas. 

I got two units of blood Friday afternoon, and my angel nurse Mitchie even stayed past the end of her shift to make sure I was doing alright.  I definitely felt much better after getting the blood and my count was up a few points. 

The next morning, we got our walking papers, and what started the week as a family of three, went home as a family of four.  <3 br="">

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