Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Don't Think That's Going to be a Problem

Celie's Story

Friday, February 22, 3:45 am

Sarah officially thinks that her water has broken. She went to the restroom to see if what she thought to be true really was. From all she knows, it is true and her water is now all over the place. She wakes me up around 5:30. At this point, we're not in a major hurry. No contractions have happened and Sarah's not in any discomfort (not that discomfort means labor, but you know). We get up and get ready and strangely head to work. We had a Drs. appointment that morning anyway and assumed that they could confirm that it was her water.

We leave for work as usual and are anticipating the Dr.'s appt. (which is at 11:00). As we leave from work and head to the appointment, Sarah's cell rings and it's the Dr. Our appointment is cancelled - of course. As Sarah tells them that she assumes her water is broken, the receptionist freaks out and insists we go straight to the hospital. So we head that way. We check into the hospital and they take us into triage (which, by the way, feels like you're in a third world country in a "pretend" hospital.) to perform a paper test to see if it's actually Sarah's water. That test comes back negative - ugh. They ask us to wait around because they want to do another exam just to make sure because the nurse wasn't 100% sure that it wasn't amniotic fluid. So after exam number two is performed, they tell us to hang out in Panama City for a while to see what type of fluid is released. They give us two scenarios. If we find Type A fluid...we go home. If we find Type B fluid...we go back to the hospital. We find Type A so we head home.

We arrive home around 9:30 pm. Sarah's back is hurting (red flag) so she gets into the bath. She hangs out in there for a while to relieve her back pain. When she gets out, she has a pretty serious contraction - not uncommon at this point. She gets into bed and starts having them pretty quickly but not in any sort of pattern. Per our doula's recommendation, Sarah takes extra measures to hydrate herself and to stand/sit in different positions. Nothing seems to work. We then decide to head back to the hospital (keep in mind, it's horrible weather...I mean horrible and I'm driving like 90 miles per hour on wet roads). Once we get back to the hospital Sarah is in a lot of pain - A LOT. We go back to triage again and she's 4 centimeters. She's a keeper!!! We're then admitted into a room.

Let me also mention that we've been taking Lamaze classes this entire time too. This is where you learn to be a real woman and birth the baby naturally without the use of medicine. 3:30 am.....Sarah requests an epidural.

As soon as epidural is given, all is well with the world and Sarah feels great. Labor persists and gets stronger and it becomes time to push. It's 12:00 and they tell Sarah to start pushing. Let me just say that she pushes like a champ. I guess all those years of constipation really paid off. So I'm helping Sarah during labor and I'm all up in the delivery - looking around etc. The baby's head crowns (which is amazing) and all of a sudden this brown liquid comes out (note to any expecting mother - this is not good). I read the look on the midwife's face as she silently communicates with our doula. I know something is wrong but no one is telling me what. Almost immediately, Celie comes bursting out, the cord is wrapped around her neck a couple times and she's not crying.....actually she's a little blue. I cut the cord and immediately the respiratory nurses come in. Celie is still not crying and not moving any of her limbs. At this point, I'm completely terrified and I have no idea what's going on. Apparently, Celie pooped in the womb and swallowed it and it has stuck to her lungs. The midwife told me to go get our parents. I walk out into the waiting room and I guess my face says it all. My mom starts crying because she knows something is wrong. They all come down to see Sarah and Celie.

Celie is immediately wisked away to NICU and we're left standing (and laying) there to wonder what's happening with our baby. Meanwhile, I hear more commotion at Sarah's bedside. Apparently her uterus is not contracting back - which can sometimes result in death. She has bled out a lot and they're getting concerned. Sarah looks so pale and almost wilted. Finally they give her something to help begin contractions back in her uterus, which was successful. They clean her up and they all leave the room. Sarah's parents were visibly upset and left soon after. My parents stayed around while we wondered what was happening with Celie.

An hour later, the Neonatologist comes in. He tells us that everything is ok with Celie. She was able to cough up the blockage in her lungs and as oxygen began to freely flow throughout her body, all her little limbs began to move just fine. All I could do was cry because I was so relieved. Poor Sarah was still in shock from all of it.

Celie was hooked to IV's in the NICU - a sad sight let me tell you. They examined her lungs and also found a neothorax which is some trapped air outside the lung. They told us that they were putting her on a oxyhood and by morning it should be gone. With this "thorax" also comes the scare of having a renal problem so they also had to do a sonogram of her kidneys. So, yes, we're stressed out at this point.

Honestly, all I'm doing is praying - not out loud but every breath I breathe I'm asking for the Lord to help Celie. I've never felt so helpless in my entire life. It's like, everything you have waited for could soon be the complete opposite of what you expected or worse, even over.

Things aren't looking that great for Celie at this point. Her white blood cell count is very elevated which makes them think she has an infection. That translates into her having to stay in NICU for an entire week without us. The thought of that actually makes me sick to my stomach. All we can do is wait and pray.

So at this point, it's Sunday. We're in the NICU pretty much all day. The nurses have prepared us not to expect to take her home with us on Monday when we would be discharged - which I appreciated - no false expectations. Sunday afternoon is essentially uneventful except that our good friends from church came over after lunch for a quick visit. Hours passed and we went back to the NICU to hang with our girl. That evening was especially entertaining because our dear friends Patrick and Yvette came by for an extended visit. It was so nice to have some friends come by just to talk. That's all we did, just hung out and talked (thanks guys!).

Monday morning rolled around and I found myself becoming more and more anxious of what news we would hear later. You see, we were waiting for 1:30 for her 48 hour blood culture to come back - the same one that showed her elevated white blood cell count. Celie was doing great. She had a great night and was eating and everything. I had officially prepared myself to leave her in NICU as we were discharged. As we walked in the NICU Dr. asked us if we were ready to go home. "Yes" we replied. Then he asked, "Are you ready to take your baby girl home too?"......I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I thought to myself, "Dr. if this is hypothetical, I could possibly jump over this 3 pound preemie and kill you." It was strange because Sarah and I both answered in unison and very slowly, "yes". He gave us a wink and said, "I don't think that's going to be a problem". More joyous words have never been spoken. Turns out, every test came back perfect!! Celie is perfect!!!!

At 5:00 on Monday, we all left the hospital.....together......on our way to our home!!!

Thank you to everyone who said a prayer for our little (well, big) girl. I don't know how many times I have uttered the phrase, "Thank you God", but I don't think it was enough.

Celie and mommy are both home and doing well.