Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jordan's Birth & NICU

As a soon-to-be mother, I took in as much information as my brain would take (of course relating many facts to Justin). I read a few books and articles but the largest part of my knowledge came from taking The Bradley Birthing Method with Justin. My aunt and uncle told us about an awesome childbirth class that gives so much information that Dr's don't tell you. Justin and I drove to Ashland (45 min. from Grants Pass) every week for 10 wks. I was shocked at how much info. and proof there was about how natural childbirth was how our bodies were meant to bring a child into our arms. Justin was great at retaining the info. and won the quizzes. We practiced breathing, relaxing, and ways of movement, but we had no idea we would need them so soon.

I was very sick throughout the pregnancy almost going to the hospital a few times since I couldn't keep water down. I lost 10 lbs. and was 6 months pregnant when I broke even. I was forced to quit work and school while laying on the couch feeling like crap. Justin took over my bills and his until we got married and moved in together. We moved from Beaverton to Grants Pass 6 wks. after the wedding because Justin got a better paying job at the mill. We stayed in a motorhome at Justin's aunt & uncles property for a couple months. We moved a month before Jordan was born.

While in Salem for my baby shower, we stayed at my in-laws house in their 5th wheel. I was 35 weeks, 5 days when I went into their house to do my daily "ritual" of puking. I laid back down in the 5th wheel. I felt like I was peeing myself so I stood up and water bag gushed out as I flew off the bed towards the toilet. Justin thought I was falling and didn't believe me when I told him my water broke. As I continued to leak I went inside the house and called my friend immediately. She was a head labor & delivery nurse at the silverton hospital and she told me to head to the silverton hospital, not the Salem. My O.B. in Grants Pass said not to drive home and head to the hospital asap since I was also 5wks. early.

Justin grabbed a banana and some toast to eat once we arrived at Silverton Birth Center, but the nurse told me I couldn't eat it. (An absolutely stupid thing and the only reason is to protect their butt if you end up needing a c-section and you may throw-up under anesthesia. The c-section rate is 33% in the U.S. currently in 2009). I was freaking out because I was worried about Jordan at 5 wks. early, not having anything w/us since it I wasn't planning on having a baby so early, and being in a hospital and OB I knew nothing about.

PROM (pre-rupture of membranes) was at 9am and I wasn't in labor for around 18 hrs. I was lucky it was through the night or I'm sure the OB would have issued pitocin for me. Everyone came to the hospital while we were walking for hrs. trying to get labor started. I was so hungry and tired and worried but Jordan seemed to be doing just fine. I leaned on Justin when the contractions were ruff. It was around 4 am when I started having to breathe thru the contractions. As Bradley had taught us the progress and how to relax, I just swayed my hips, closed my eyes, and wanted it quiet so I could concentrate. Family and friends took turns walking w/me. Sometimes Justin would have to tell others to be quiet so I could focus.

I used the birthing ball and wanted music, darkness, and quiet but wasn't really getting that. My back continued to hurt excruciatingly and learned that Jordan was posterior (his head was hitting my spinal nerves every time during a contraction). We did learn about pressure and positions to help with this but I didn't think about it at the time and the nurses didn't suggest anything. Next was the jet tub, which helped my back tremendously. Justin stayed in the bathroom w/me to help me relax. Justin's aunt, so graciously, brought up the carseat and other items from breaking in our house and just arrived. Justin came back asking me if she could be in the room during delivery and she really wanted to see a natural birth since she had never seen one. I was in serious pain so I said, "Justin, I can't deal w/this right now." He said okay and allowed her to be in the corner when time came. I was very upset about it later. THen the nurse came in and I was telling her how I couldn't feel my face, I was tingling all over, and I couldn't really talk. My face and mouth were dropping and going numb as I was saying this. The nurse suggested I get out so I did immediately. It was quite scary, but I felt so much better and cooled off once I got into the bed. I still have no idea why this happened and everyone's best guess is that I was the water was too hot.

It was from this moment that labor really picked up. My mom was putting pressure on my back while Justin was looking into my eyes encouraging me to moan deeper. I was moaning and he was doing it w/me to keep me focused on relaxation, not on the pain. Justin and my mom switched so he could go cry to his mother. He was so upset about not being able to take the pain away.

The nurse checked me and I was dilated to 4 cm, still 100% effaced, and baby was at 0 station. "They" say once you get to 4 cm, it takes about 1 cm per hr. until you get to 10cm so I thought I was going to die. My back hurt worse than the contractions 10 fold. (Later I realized my back hurt 10x worse than the pushing and labor of all my 3 children). I continued to moan w/Justin's help and started to tremble and cry. I thought if I had another 6+ hrs. of this and it would get worse that I couldn't do it. Justin's aunt suggested an epidural. Previously, I was so adamant about not having interventions, especially an epidural, that I was crying and Justin was trying to encourage me since he knew I really didn't want one. (This was the main reason I was later upset about the aunt in the room because you need people to support your decisions/wants during such a trying time). I told Justin, "You just don't understand, I can't do this for another 6+ hrs. My back hurts so bad." I gave in and the anesthesiologist was on his way. The nurse checked me and I was 9 1/2 cm. dilated. At that moment I was so happy. I said, "Yes, Praise the Lord." I knew it was almost over and I wouldn't need the epidural now. Again, the pain of my next two children was nothing like this back pain.

I dilated from 4 to 10 in 10-20 minutes (I think). A couple of minutes later I felt like I needed to push so badly but they wouldn't let me since I had a "lip" of cervix still to dilate. The pressure was incredible so the nurse pushed my cervix "lip" to the side so I could push thru. Nothing was happening and she didn't want my cervix to get swollen so I was told to use all the pushing energy into squeezing Justin's hand. I did, but it still didn't take the pressure away. (Since then, I would not recommend doing this from what I've learned).

Finally, the "lip" was gone and I was able to push. The on-call doctor arrived and I pulled my legs back, held my breath, and pushed through each contraction. It felt so good to push. It was almost like the contractions and back pain went away. At some point, I remember the OB saying I would need an episiotomy (later I found out he was an OB that liked to do routine episiotomies and I wouldn't have needed one). Justin was great at encouraging me and was at my head the whole time and kept checking on the baby coming out. I pushed for 50 minutes until Jordan was born. Since I had a local anesthetic for the episiotomy, I didn't feel the ring of fire. I only knew his head was out because of the heat around my legs and the people said his head was out. Justin was crying and I was tearing up. Jordan was placed on my chest immediately and I kept saying, "Oh my baby, oh my baby" while kissing his head. He was crying, but needed a little help breathing so they took him and put him in a heater bed. Jordan was born 1/16/06 at 5:51pm weighing
6 lb. 6 1/2 oz. and was 18 3/4 inches.

Everyone was surrounding Jordan and I was so tired and completely oblivious. It was like a daze (lack of energy from no food and low blood sugar). They told me Jordan was fine now, but had an amniotic band around his big left toe. His toe was the size of 1/2 my thumb and was black/purple. Everything became a blur at that point. Doctors and surgeons and family and friends all surrounding Jordan and at some point I held him again. Not eating or having anything to raise my blood sugar for 48 hrs. really depleted my body and mind. Justin was amazed by Jordan and continued to cry at times. It was amazing the amount of love one person can have in an instant. We chose to let the plastic surgeon try to clip the amniotic band to see if we could save his toe. It didn't work and they had to send Jordan to OHSU NICU by ambulance. He would have to have his toe amputated immediately because they weren't sure how dead it was, where the toe could be infected and be life threatening.

Jordan got a chance to breastfeed and eventually latched on properly. He then had to be taken so Justin went with him in the ambulance. I stayed the night to sleep and left in the morning. It was a completely different world having Jordan in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit). The locked doors allowed only authorized people to come thru by video surveillance. Once entered, you sing your name by the baby you are visiting, and wash your hands up to your arms by scrubbing. THere were many rooms, which had 2-10 babies in each room. Jordan was fortunate to only have 4-5 other babies in his room. He was also the healthiest baby. My precious baby was hooked up to multiple wires and machines. He had wires connected by his chest, nose, and foot. He was beginning to hold his body temperature so they were going to remove that one soon, but there was an oxygen machine and heart rate machine stating his levels. Justin was already a pro at how all the machines worked. I was determined to breastfeed and it was not going well at all since they had given him some water in a bottle, besides the lack of "suck, swallow, breathe" concept from being early. He would choke and not know when to breathe, but we kept at it.

By this time I was in severe pain from the episiotomy and constantly needed pain medicine. I couldn't sit or stand without hurting, for days.

Jordan's amputation only lasted around 1 hr. but we were waiting so impatiently with family. It felt like forever. Jordan's surgery went well and doc. said he would be able to compensate and walk just fine. I was pumping to save my milk and didnt' realize I had the wrong nipple size until a few days later. My breasts were in excruciating pain and I was pumping 8-10 oz. of milk every 3 hrs. once my milk came in. It was decided Jordan would drink my milk from a bottle because he would fall asleep right away from it taking more energy to nurse. He was on so much pain medication from the surgery that he just wanted to sleep.

The first night the nurse suggested I skip one feeding and she would feed him so I could get some sleep. Justin agreed because I was in so much pain and an emotional mess. Crying all the time. When I went in for an early feeding the morning, the nurse said she just got Jordan to stop crying and fall asleep. The nurse didn't realize he needed more pain medication and I began to weep. My poor baby was crying all night form the pain and I wasn't there to help him or comfort him. It was my job to protect him. He knew nothing but the sound of my heart beat for 8 months and then was exposed to so much struggle. I just wanted him to be okay and go home. Throughout the next few days it was a struggle to get Jordan to eat. We learned every trick to get him to eat and burp so it wouldn't come up. We were begging him to drink 1 more milliliter but all he did was sleep.

At one point the doc/nurses said we shouldn't hold him anymore so he could sleep and just hold him while feeding. Small babies get disturbed sleep when being touched and don't get enough deep rest. This broke my heart and if I would have known what I know now, I would have demanded to hold him skin to skin with little movement and peace.

Premature babies get jaundiced easily and Jordan was very yellow. He had to be under the bilirubin lights for 3 days because it was so bad. Slowly he progressed once he ate more. It was always one more day. We stayed in the hospital since we were so far from home and I wanted to be w/Jordan as much has possible. This was such an emotional roller coaster waiting day after day for your baby to make small improvements. I cried from the pain in my bottom, the pain from engorgement, the pain from multiple blisters on my nipples, pain from wanting my helpless baby to just eat 1 more milliliter.

As Jordan got better, I was able to nurse him using a nipple shield for awhile. It was a pain, but I was so ecstatic he was even taking to the breast. I was able to provide his life source. He slowly gained weight, kept his heat in, liver was working properly, and was already breathing fine. It's a big event any time a baby leaves the NICU so we were congratulated everywhere as we left the enormous hospital. We were finally able to go home on day 6. A long 5 hr. drive, but we were on our way to our future with our brand new, healthy baby. God is good and my prayers go out to anyone dealing w/the same struggles or are in the NICU. Life is so previous. I learned a lot of how to stand up to Dr.s and nurses for what I think is best for my baby and my body. Maybe it's knowledge, maybe it's mothers intuition, or maybe it's the way God has designed us perfectly.

No comments:

Post a Comment