Saturday, August 13, 2011

Daddy Daycare....

Now that I'm back at work, my husband is watching the baby during the day.  I know it sounds kinda funny to say, but we are very lucky that he's unemployed at the moment and gets to watch her.  Neither of us wanted to send her to daycare (or could really even afford it) and his mother could only watch her in the afternoon. So for now, Olivia and her Daddy get to hang out all day, while he tries to work on building up clientele for his firm. 
I thought it would be fun to hear about the baby from Hubs' point of view, since she acts so differently for him then she does for me.  I asked if he would want write a post for the blog every other week.  At first, he was kinda skeptical, and said he wouldn't know what to write, but I convinced him it would be great.  So, from now on, every other Saturday will be another installment from Darren.  We're going to call it Daddy Daycare for now....until we think of something more clever.  

For his first installment Hubs decided to tell Olivia's birth story from his point of view.  It's incredibly sweet, so make sure you have some tissues close by........

About 3 days after we finished our last natural childbirth class, Margie was placed on bed rest for pre-eclampsia. After about 10 days on bed rest it looked like she was going to be able to return to work. Her blood pressure was back to well within normal range and there was no longer any protein in her pee. I remember joking with her on the ride home from the doctor that I was afraid this was the calm before the storm. I had no idea how right I would be. This was Thursday, May 6th.

Friday, May 7th: Margie wakes me up and asks me to get her something to eat. I roll out of bed and throw a bowl of cereal together and then promptly fall back asleep. As the day progresses she keeps complaining of not feeling right. Around 1 in the afternoon she tells me about a pain in her upper right abdomen. I remember reading about pre-eclampsia and I know that is not a good sign. I tell her to call the doctor. When she got off the phone she tells me that they want her to come in right away. We jump in the car and head on over to her doctor’s office. The office is a block from Fenway Park and all I can think is “Oh Sh*t.” The Sox had a 1:35 game against the Angels the day before (They lost 0-11. Disgusting, I know!) I could not remember for the life of me if they had an afternoon game that day, but if they did I knew it could make the normal 15 minute drive into an hour-plus trek. (They actually did have a game, but it was 7:10 vs the Twins. They lost again 2-9, but as you’ll see, I didn’t get to watch.)

We arrive at Margie’s Doctor around 1:30 and they immediately draw a bunch of blood and hand her a brown grocery bag. I couldn’t fathom what was inside. Turns out that it was the tools needed to take a 24 hour pee test. We never ended up needing it, but I could not tell you what happened to it.  Anyway, they then examined Marge and hooked her up to the fetal heart monitor. At this point several hours have passed, but at no point did I think I’d be meeting my daughter in a few hours.

Anyone who knows me knows that I turn into a miserable human being when I don’t eat. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast that morning and it’s now 4:30. I can’t imagine how awful my mood actually was, but Marge said I was doing good. The plan was to grab something at t Panera after her appointment. Well, the lab results weren’t back and the office was going to close at 5:00. Margie’s doctor said she wanted us to go to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and have them re-run the tests. So,as we are walking to the car I ask Margie if she wants to get some food and she tells me she isn’t feeling well. So, like the jackass that I am, I ask if she wants to wait in the car while I go get food. That went over like a lead balloon. So, we jumped into the car and headed to Brigham.

By the time we drove over there and parked it was about 5:15, even though it’s less than a mile from her doctor’s office. Boston traffic on Friday with the Sox home is a level of hell that Dante was not capable of comprehending! Anyway, we cannot find the check-in for labor and delivery. Turns out it’s hidden under an escalator as you first walk into the main entrance. They took us up to labor and delivery and put us into a triage/pre-labor room. Well turns out Marge was having regular contractions on her own. Not a good sign! They ran the blood work and it came back that her liver enzymes were elevated. The results, coupled with her pain, was a good indication that her pre-eclampsia had progressed from manageable to severe.

Allow me to digress from the story and jump on my soap box for a few lines. We had planned a natural childbirth (no meds, no pitocin, etc.) There were visions of birth balls and birth tubs dancing through our heads. I had read Penny Simpkin’s “The Birth Partner.” I had even begun to think that home birth was absolutely the best way to go. I still believe that that it is a great option for many situations, but when things go wrong then they go wrong incredibly fast. Every nurse I spoke with afterwards said the same thing. They all had horror stories about home births coming in because something had gone seriously wrong. I just feel incredibly lucky that we live in Boston and that our local hospitals are considered the best in the world.

Back to the events. Margie’s pre-eclampsia had gotten really bad. Her liver was swollen, but she was actually having regular contractions as well (Despite the due date being 5 weeks away). So at this point we all thought it best if we try to induce labor. We had been in the triage room for about 2 hours at this point. Once the decision was made they moved us into a Labor and Delivery room. They gave Marge pitocin and magnesium sulphate. They warned her that she may vomit and sure enough she did. So after they gave her the drugs then Marge and I decided that I should go home. I needed to let Guinness out, grab her hospital bag, and finally eat.

We checked with the doctor about me leaving for a few hours and she told us that Margie would most likely be in labor from then until Monday or Tuesday. That was an incredible shock, but I thought that I’d take it one step at a time. I left and immediately went to get food. I won’t even tell you what I ate, because I was starving and stress eating. I got home at about 9. I finished packing Marge’s hospital bag and took care of Guinness. Then I hopped back into the car and headed back to the hospital. I got back there at about 10:30 or 11:00.

At this point they had run another set of labs and Margie’s liver enzymes had gotten worse. The doctor wasn’t sure if we should keep trying to induce or if we should do a c-section. She called in a doctor who specialized in maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) for a second opinion. The MFM doctor made it an extremely easy decision for us. The baby needed to be born in the next 4 hours and it would take at least 24 more hours to induce. At midnight we decided to go forward with the c-section. I should mention Margie’s nurse at this point. She was absolutely AMAZING! I was so impressed with all of the nurses at the Brigham, but Margie’s initial labor and delivery nurse was incredible.

The decision has been made they immediately started prepping Marge. It helped that she hadn’t eaten anything since the previous morning! They got me all set up in scrubs and brought her into the OR. I had to wait in a hallway while they got her spinal going. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. Finally, when I was completely freaked out that they had forgotten me, a nurse came out and brought me in. They had started the c-section and Margie had already thrown up a couple more times.

At 12:50 on the Morning of May 7, 2011 Olivia Barbara was born. She weighed 4lbs 5oz and measured 16 inches long. I was in love.

She didn’t cry immediately and I was so scared. But, finally she made some noise and I was able to breathe again. I couldn’t go to her immediately because the doctors and nurses from the NICU were working on her. It seemed like an eternity, but they finally let me go to her. I cried. She was so beautiful. I now had a three-way tie for the happiest moment of my life (Our wedding day, the day we found out we were having Olivia, and Olivia’s birth).

The doctor’s told me that she needed to go to the NICU because she was having trouble breathing. I went back to Margie and told her what was going on. She told me to go with Olivia, but before we left they brought her over to meet her mommy. I then left with Olivia and we went up to the NICU. They brought her to the triage room and ran some tests. She was having difficulty breathing because there was liquid in her little lungs. She held my finger the whole time they were working on her. My heart was breaking. They told me their plan for her and then I went back down to check on Margie.

I got back down to Margie’s room and the scares kept rolling. She was having the most violent shaking fit I had ever seen. Imagine shivering on the coldest morning times 10! I made up an excuse to leave the room and checked with her nurse. She told me it was totally normal and that I shouldn’t be worried. After she had stopped shaking I went back up to Olivia. She was still in triage. They were waiting for a spot to open up for her in the NICU.

The next 24 hours are a blur. Margie’s liver was still bad and they were still worried about her. Olivia was in the NICU with a CPAP machine helping her breathe. I was so naive. I thought Olivia would only be up there for a few hours. I was in for a surprise. Margie was able to briefly hold Olivia at some point in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Marge couldn’t leave the labor and delivery floor, however, because her blood pressure wasn’t going down and neither were her liver enzymes. At some point before her Doctor’s shift ended she stopped by to check on us. Her visit confirmed that we made the right decision. The placenta had begun to abrupt and it was only a short while before I would have been in the awful position of choosing between my wife and daughter. God was looking out for me that night because I didn’t have to make that horrible decision.

I spent the entirety of Saturday going back and forth between Margie and Olivia. They kept checking Margie and she was slowly starting to recover. At some point on Saturday they took Olivia off of the CPAP and she was breathing room air without any assistance. Finally, 5 minutes before the Kentucky Derby was starting (we LOVE Derby Day), Marge was cleared to be moved to a recovery room. I started the process of bringing all of her stuff up to the room (thus missing the fastest two minutes in sports). On the way up they allowed her to see Olivia again.

Marge was a recovery Champion. If she wanted to see Olivia (without it being a massive hassle) then she needed to get walking. She was up and walking around by Sunday morning. We spent the next few days at the hospital. We were able to handle most of Olivia’s feedings which was really nice.

Then our discharge day came. A couple were in the room next door to us, the day before we left and had just had their baby. I remember being so mad at them. How could they be so selfish!?! They left their room door open and were oohing and aahing over their little bundle of joy while our baby was sitting in an isolette all by herself. I know it’s completely irrational, but shut the door! I got really annoyed later when I walked by and they had made up their own do not disturb sign for their now-closed door. When I think about it in retrospect I realize that I only reacted this way because I was dealing with leaving the hospital without our daughter.

Olivia spent 19 days in the NICU. The entire 19 days were a roller coaster of emotions. Sadness and anger, happiness when we were with her, worry when we were away from her, and so many others. Everyday was the same. We would get up around 9 or 10 and call to check how she had done over night. We’d eat breakfast and take care of stuff around the house. We’d eat lunch and then leave for the hospital at 1:30. We’d arrive at the hospital around 2:15 and stay for at least 2 feedings. Sometimes three or four. We’d leave the hospital between 7-Midnight. We’d get home and fall asleep on the couch. We woke up and did it all over again.

On May 26th, our prayers were answered and Olivia got to come home.
I felt like a piece of my heart was missing while she was in the NICU, but since May 26th it's been complete.


Post a Comment


Blog Template by - Header Frame by Pixels and Ice Cream
Sponsored by Free Web Space