Saturday, June 4, 2011

Olivia's Arrival

I've been absent, again, for a few weeks.  This time, though, it was for a good reason.  I had my baby!  Her arrival was early (5 weeks) and quite a surprise.  Now that everyone is happy and healthy and at home it's time for me to tell the tale of her arrival. It's a long one, so grab a cup of coffee before you start reading :)
Miss Olivia Barbara :)
The Thursday of my second week of bed rest I went to the doctors for my twice weekly checkup and Non Stress Test and got a nearly clean bill of health.  The midwife thought that my blood pressure had gone down a good amount, my swelling was much better, and there was no longer protein in my urine.  She even talked about maybe sending me back to work (which honestly made me incredibly nervous).  Everything seemed good, so that night I actually let myself get up off the couch to help Hubs prepare dinner. It seemed like maybe I was going to be able to make it to June before I had the baby after all.

Friday morning I woke up and was absolutely STARVING.  I woke Hubs up and asked him if he would make me something  (he was absolutely INCREDIBLE while I was on bed rest and waited on me completely.  I am a such lucky girl).  He made me some cereal (I <3 cereal) .  I scarfed it down and then went back to sleep.  When I woke up again I had a weird pain on the right side of my upper abdomen, but I figured it was just heartburn.  I kinda took it easy all morning, but the "heartburn" got worse.  The more it started to hurt, the less I began to believe that it was actually heartburn.  Up till this point, I hadn't mentioned anything to Hubs.  When I did, he wanted me to call the doctor just to make sure.  So, I did call the doctor, and they wanted me to come in right away.  I was scared.  I had Googled upper abdomen pain, and it wasn't sounding good for someone who already had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.   As I was getting dressed to go to the doctors I noticed that my stomach was feeling kinda weird and was really really hard, but since I was basically having a panic attack I didn't think much of it. There was way too much on my mind at that point anyways.

At the doctors I was poked and prodded and then told to go to the hospital for more tests.  Since it was Friday afternoon, the labs at the office were taking a while to come back, so my OB wanted me to go to the hospital to have them run again.  I absolutely didn't want to go to the hospital.  Bed rest at home was bad enough, I did NOT want to have to go on bed rest at the hospital.  Nowhere in my mind did I think that I was going to the hospital to deliver a baby.  At this point the pain in my upper abdomen was making it hard to breathe, and my stomach was still feeling weird.  I was worried about the upper abdomen pain, but the stomachache I thought was just cause I was hungry.  I hadn't eaten since breakfast (thank God Hubs had made me eat an English muffin with scrambled eggs for second breakfast around ten).   

Hubs and I had agonized over where we should have the baby.  We had initially planned on having her at Brigham and Women's, and then switched to Newton Wellesley.  Unfortunately, now none of that mattered.  Since I was only 34 weeks 6 days we had to go to Brigham and Women's.  Newton Wellesley didn't deliver babies that early.    The hospital was absolutely huge, and I was still trying to convince myself that everything was okay.

We went to registration, and then upstairs to labor and delivery.  I was taken to triage where they did their workup and tried to decide what to do with me.  My blood pressure was high, liver enzymes elevated (which meant that the pain in my upper abdomen was probably a swollen liver), and I was having regular contractions (the stomachache). The doctor on call decided that my pre-eclampsia had gotten severe, and it was time to induce.  Only then did it hit me that I was actually going to have the baby.  

They got me settled in my room, started me on pitocin and magnesium sulfate (to keep me from having seizures).  The nurse had mentioned that some people get nauseous from the magnesium.  This may have been an understatement.  It made me throw up A LOT.  What I didn't know then, was that this was just my first bout of throwing up for the evening.  There would be much more.

About four hours passed before the doctor checked me again.  As far as my "labor" was going I had progressed nowhere.  I was still having regular contractions, but I couldn't even feel them.  My labs however were progressing for the worse.  Both my liver enzymes and blood pressure were going up, and my platelet count was slowly dropping.  The doctor suggested abandoning the induction and doing a c-section.  I really, really didn't want a c-section, but the fetal monitor was showing that the baby was still doing really well.  Both Hubs, the doctor and I, thought it was best to do the c-section while the baby was still doing well, instead of continuing the induction until both the baby and I were in distress. 

So much for my medication and intervention free birth! 

At fifty minutes past midnight, on May 7th, my baby girl, Olivia, was born.   I was exactly 35 weeks pregnant.  Since she was so early, there was a team of medical specialists waiting for her arrival to access her (pediatrician, neonatologist, respiratory therapist..etc.).   She didn't cry right away, which made for the most terrifying couple seconds.  Hubs left my side and went over to see her and make sure she was okay.  Our daughter clocked in at just a mere 4 lbs 5ozs and 16 inches.  Hubs snapped a bunch of pictures of her and brought them over to me to see (since I hadn't seen her yet).  Olivia had some fluid in her lungs and needed to go to the NICU, but before her team left with her, they pulled aside my curtain so that I could meet her.  All through my pregnancy I had imagined how happy I would be after delivery when they first placed the baby on my chest.  Though it didn't happen exactly as I had imagined, the happiness I felt the moment I first saw my daughter was indescribable.  I fell in love with her instantly.

I stayed in the hospital recovering for four days and Olivia stayed for nineteen.  Those nineteen days she spent in the NICU were the hardest, most emotional days of my life.  Leaving the hospital without her was excruciating.  It absolutely broke my heart.  I started crying the day before I left and didn't really stop until she got home.  I can't imagine how hard it must be for the parents of babies that need to stay for months and months before coming home. She came home the Thursday before last and has been sucking down bottles like a champ since then.  I'm so glad to have her home, that I could care less about the sleepless nights and countless diaper changes.

In summary, Olivia's arrival was a rough ride for all three of us (Me, Her and Hubs), but we're all healthy and happy and can't imagine life without one another.


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