I woke up early on May 19 and I knew it would not be a good day. I took an Ambien the night before and my nurse woke me up at 6, then a new nurse at about 7:15 with her name badge in my face. I’m assuming she was letting me know her name and that she would be my nurse for the day. She then took my vitals and such and I went back to my Ambien coma. Then Dr. Huish came in just after 8 to check on me, and she came in shortly after to let me know she would be giving me another steroid shot in the butt, and those my friends, hurt. like. hell. I decided I would just be up for the day and she put me right on the monitor for the NST that they do twice a day. I usually don’t do this until about 10 but this nurse let me know she was the boss and we would be doing things on her time. So that’s what we did. This is one of my least favorite parts of the day because it takes so long! This baby moves and wiggles her way off the monitor and they need 20 minutes of tape before they can be done. She had so much room in there, my amniotic fluid was measuring 24.8 (Normal is 5-24.8, 25+ is considered dangerous). On top of that you have to have two accelerations in the baby’s heart rate before you can come off the monitors. I knew she would just be lazy because I was still in Ambien coma, she most definitely would be too! Sure enough, about 2 hours later I was able to get off the monitor after falling asleep and being woken up 10 million times and she finally took me off. She never really gave me a report on how she did, but I just assumed her heart rate stayed around 135 where it always had.
After all of that I really was awake for the day! Amanda and Cooper came to see me, and Nixon and my mom came down as well. To say that this was the highlight would be an understatement! In all honesty, being in the hospital is hard, but I’ve had such such such good nurses that they made it completely doable! But after having the morning I had I just wanted my family and friends and wanted to go home. Monday they had told me I was allowed to go on walks too so that’s what we did. It did make me feel better, but I was just feeling homesick.
That night Jim was able to bring Nixon down and bring me dinner. It was so good to see my little family, and this is where things started to go even further south. When my night nurse came in she was the same one I had the night before, and to say she wasn’t my favorite was an understatement. That’s 3 shifts in a row where I didn’t like my nurses. Up to this point the night nurses had been so fun! They would just come in and hang out with me and chit chat and I loved them. So when I saw Toni I wasn’t happy. She then told me we had to change my IV, and draw blood. This I knew wasn’t true. They said I could keep it for 5 days as long as it flushed good and there was no infection. It was in a good place, it didn’t hurt when it went in and I certainly did not want to get another one! After much back and forth about it only being day 4 I finally gave in and let her give me a new one. Huge mistake. With no warning whatsoever she poked me real good in the right wrist and it was instant tears, and the pain continued. I obviously didn’t watch any of it and she didn’t sound too happy about what went down. She asked what the most painful part was and I said when she drew the blood back out of it. She then said that my vein collapsed when she tried to draw the blood, but it flushed good so we would keep it, but she would have to draw my blood from somewhere else. The IV itself felt like it was just rubbing against the bone in my wrist!! I kept crying and then she had to find a new vein to get the blood from. So she poked me again and went passed the vein and then couldn’t get anything out of it. More tears. It was horrible. She had to go get another nurse at this point, who happens to be a friend of a friend and wouldn’t you know it, no tears and she got it first try. I almost asked if they could trade positions but I had planned on taking another Ambien and when I woke up she would be gone and there’s no way she would be my nurse again after that. Jim and I weren’t happy with Toni, and even when I wasn’t trying to be rude I couldn’t help it. There was just no niceness left in my body, plus I was so tired!
Jim and Nixon left shortly after that, it was about 9 at that point. Toni came in and tried to redeem herself and it wasn’t working but it was time for another NST. She said I could have the Ambien as soon as we were done with that just to make sure baby would stay awake and active and it wouldn’t take too long. After 90 minutes she still hadn’t had any accelerations. During the NST you can have them “buzz” your belly twice with this flash light thing that the babies do not like. They tend to squirm away and that causes them to have their accelerations. She didn’t care at all and she usually HATES it. They called Dr. Huish and asked if it was ok because it matched the one from the morning. He decided we would do a BBP (I think that’s what it’s called. It’s a timed ultrasound). We had done one Monday evening and she had scored 6/8. The score is based on 4 things, fetal breathing (hiccups or swallows, but she was still pretty young for that), Amniotic fluid, fine motor, and gross motor. After 30+ minutes she had wiggled her little fingers a little bit, and my amniotic fluid was now a 25 so she scored 4/8. The in-charge nurse had come to watch the last 10 minutes of this stubborn baby and had kind of warned me that with scores like that she wouldn’t be surprised if we would be meeting this baby in the next few days. She said she didn’t think it would be in the morning, but maybe Wednesday night or even Thursday. The ultrasound tech had to write up the report, get it to the radiologist, then to Dr. Huish. By this point it was about 12:30 and I called Jim just to give him a heads up on the situation.
About an hour later the charge nurse came in and said “We are having this baby right now. Let’s get your husband here” and just like that my world was turned upside down. I called Jim and he came right down. As they were prepping me for yet another IV and blood to be drawn one of the nurses asked if I was getting my tubes tied. I said “Yes!” and she looked at me kind of like I was crazy. She asked if how old I was, if I had talked to my husband and informed me that if I wanted one they would do it after the c-section. I thought she was joking! I thought she meant more like “You’ve had a rough pregnancy, you should probably tie your tubes to avoid this”. So no, I didn’t get my tubes tied and I learned that this was not a time for jokes. Shortly after Jim walked in and go figure, I was getting yet ANOTHER IV in my other arm (they wanted 2 just in case I needed blood during surgery) and they had to draw more blood. Luckily Toni was not the one doing it, but Rachel wasn’t either. 7 pokes later and I have two IV’s, lots of bruising, and just enough blood for a “purple top and yellow top”, whatever that means. Everything was going so fast around me and I remember just laying there on my bed probably white as a ghost trying not to cry or have any emotions because I was EXHAUSTED and so overwhelmed. (After everything Jim asked if they had given me any drugs before hand because I was just not myself. The answer is sadly no, I could have really used some with all the poking!) Jim gathered all of my stuff on a cart and got himself dressed and it wasn’t 15 minutes later that we were in the OR. I was terrified. Everything I read said your husband wouldn’t be with you for most of the scary stuff that happens during a C section and it wasn’t a lie! I was alone with a few doctors, a million nurses, and a bunch of specialists. Because of the previa I had been well prepped for any worst case scenario that could possibly happen and that’s all that was running through my mind. If something went remotely wrong they would have to get me blood and hope that both baby and I would pull through! Once the spinal was in (the best thing ever!) I was shocked at how fast it worked. Before I was even laying down I had absolutely no feeling in my legs and within a minute, no feeling in my chest! They had told me if I was ever curious about what was happening to look in the lights and you could see the reflection and I’m so happy I knew that! I didn’t want to see anything! Especially since they laid me down and made my legs into a frog and that catheter went right in. I may have seen that and I’m scarred just from that!
Jim came in and I was almost calmed down. The drugs had made me so so shakey and I knew once he came in that things were going to start. Jim was up by my head along with the head anesthesiologist and the guy that works with him, Kenneth, that did the actual spinal. I was so happy to have them there because they were so distracting. They were talking about cell phones and 401k’s and all sorts of random stuff. It was also kind of weird because I was getting cut open. I’m not completely sure what time the surgery officially started, but I think it was between 2:05-2:10. During the first part of the surgery Jim peeked over the curtain a few times and looked down at me and said “Well, your insides look good” I couldn’t believe he looked! If I were in his position there is no way I would have looked! At 2:17 a bunch of people yelled “OUT” and just like that our baby was here. I listened so closely for cries of screams and didn’t hear anything. The nurse brought her over and showed her to us and she was blue and purple. I asked if she was ok over and over and she said “We are going to revive her right now” and just like that she was whisked away to the other side of the room. She came out breech (We expected that) and the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, just once, but that would be why she wasn’t having her accelerations. From the outside of the uterus you can’t tell where the previa is so it’s just a guessing game. Dr. Huish cut right into the thickest part of it. This is extremely scary because that’s what can cause people to bleed out. They were prepped for it but Dr. Huish moved fast, got the baby out safely, even with the cord around her, and got the placenta out ASAP. The head anesthesiologist would occasionally poke his head over and give me a time line update on what was going on. He said he was shocked at how little bleeding there was from that. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better team in there. He also knew I was panicking about the baby because Jim was now over in the corner with her, and I couldn't hear any cries. He said she was doing so good, and her color was so good and they had an oxygen mask on her so her cries were muffled. That’s when I heard those tiny little cries. It was so comforting! I then heard one of the nurses ask Jim if this baby had a name and he said “Yes, Rowe”. That was one of the happiest moments of my life. More on her name later.
Jim took some pictures and showed me and she weighed in at 3lbs 14oz and I was so happy! I wanted her to be 4lbs and 34 weeks but for 32 weeks and 6 (by 2 hours) days I felt really really good about it. They had a tube in her throat right away to make sure she didn’t have too much gas or anything in her belly. I think she was only in the OR with us for about 10 minutes and they brought her over to let me kiss her and then she went to the NICU with Jim. The rest of the surgery went well from what I understand. The anesthesiologist kept me informed and he and Dr. Huish started talking about doctors that they used to work with. I just can’t wrap my head around being so comfortable performing a surgery but also just chit chatting at the same time. I know he does it all the time and it’s probably second nature to him but it’s just crazy to me. Towards the end I heard a staple gun and that was so weird. No one believed me afterwards because I don’t have staples showing and he just glued me up! I asked him later and he said they are under the skin and dissolve! I knew I wasn’t crazy.
They called end of surgery at 2:48 and wheeled me into recovery. Jim came back shortly after 3 and said that she was doing well. We sat in recovery for about an hour and a half and chatted with one of the nicest nurses ever. She was actually the one that admitted us 13 days earlier. I was shaking so bad and it was causing my shoulders to hurt. It was horrible. Jim also fed me ice chips and they would occasionally come and push on my stomach and check the incision. I think this is when things started to set in. I couldn’t believe how fast everything had changed! Within 45 minutes of calling Jim we had a fresh baby straight from heaven. There is nothing sweeter than the spirit of a brand new baby. Around maybe 5 AM they were able to wheel me into the NICU and I was able to see my sweet sleeping baby for the first time. It was hard to see her from my rolling bed, and I was in pain but I could have sat there all day and stared at her. She was exhausted, and I don’t blame her! She has had a traumatic start to this life, but it has made her so feisty and strong. I’m so proud of her, and she is just doing so well. It’s hard to see her in her incubator, and hardly be able to touch her, let alone even hold her but I know she is in the best hands and she’s just young! She just has to struggle a little to thrive.
I know I have said it before, but I can’t stop saying it. We have been so blessed. So so blessed. Dr. Huish has been amazing and I am completely confident in the decisions he has made that led us to where we are. Had I not been in the hospital, chances are we wouldn’t have noticed her moving less and less. The more fluid you have, the less you feel them anyway. We are all so happy that it didn’t come to the third bleed and emergency c-section that made her come right away, she was just done in there. She was ready to be here. While yes, she is so early, 7 weeks, we have all been prepped for this and knew exactly what could happen. We are so blessed that Rowe hasn’t needed anything more than a little oxygen (31 when she was born, we breath 21, but she’s been overall most comfortable around 28). There are so many unknown and scary things that can happen in babies of her age and the neonatal Doctor keeps telling me “The end result is a healthy baby. When she goes home, she will be completely healthy” and that’s because she is doing so well now. She’s been on a little caffeine to fight infant apnea and that’s not uncommon for her age. She also had a little irregular heart beat the first night but after the neonatal oncologist looked at it he said it’s nothing to worry about, and again, it’s common for her age. Overall, she’s doing really well. She has her little set-backs, but it’s like 5 steps forward and 1 step back. That’s what they expect. It’s just hard to watch that as a mother. We were visiting with a doctor by her bed and he turned her from 27 to 23 when she was just over 24 hours old and it scared me. Her monitors started going off and she started to look uncomfortable. Everyone saw the panic our faces, specifically mine and he had to remind me that she can’t become completely dependent on the oxygen. She needs to fight a little and struggle to make her stronger. I feel completely helpless in situations like that. We have been blessed by such good friends and family that have been there every step of the way. We’ve received countless phone calls and texts from everyone and they have all been greatly appreciated. I can’t thank everyone enough for coming to visit us, bringing by treats and just checking in on us. So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.