Friday, November 21, 2008

Asa James, born 11/17/08

On arriving up to the L&D floor, we were settled in by our very nice nurse, Mary. Andrew was busy calling his folks, my Mom and Betsy, and one of our friends who had planned on being present at our previously thought to be uncomplicated birth. After a few minutes a resident came in to talk to us and let us know that the plan was a C section as the perinatologists felt it was most beneficial to get the baby out, rather than in. A neonatologist came and talked to us. Nobody was really able to tell us what was going on with the babys heart, just that there was a significant abnormality. Anesthesia came by and placed the epidural. I am pretty sure he gave me some morphine, and thank God, because by that point it I actually had to think about not screaming to make sure that I did not. Our physician arrived, and I was taken back.

I think that it was 19:52 when Asa was born, weighing 6lbs 9ozs, 18 inches long. The neonatologist, NPs and RT went to work on him. He was given some supplemental oxygen, but was not intubated. His apgars were 8/8. Shortly there after, Andrew and I were able to give him a kiss on his way to the NICU. I think that he was all swaddled, and maybe had a hat.

Eventually, I was taken to recovery. Andrew was with me at this point. Andrew kept going back and forth between me and Asa. His parents had arrived, they came back to meet Asa and stopped to say hi to me.

The pediatric cardiologist came in and did an echo. He came back to talk to me and told be about Asa's heart defect. Asa had tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary artresia and an AV canal. He asked if we had a preference in children's hospitals, we said no, so a recommendation was made. The following morning, Asa was to be moved.

On my way upstairs, they rolled my gurney into the NICU and I was able to give Asa some sugar and take some pictures.

I ended up on the Women's Health floor, as moms with babies in the NICU don't go to the other floors. Andrew stayed with me that night and I kept sending him downstairs to check on Asa.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

39 week appointment

On Monday, November 19th, Andrew and I got up early to go see Betsy, Jason and the kids. We met up at the Kolache Factory, lamented the absence of our baby, gave hugs and kisses and sent them on their way. On arriving home, I laid down to nap before our 2:30 doctors appointment, and after a few requests for Andrew to come snuggle, he finally laid down and we rested until our appointment.

We got up and went to our appointment. Certain that nothing was happening, I prepared for a possible conversation about inductions if I went late, and other possible interventions. On arrival, my blood pressure was slightly elevated, and I was asked if I wanted to listen to the baby with a Doppler or see the baby with an ultrasound. We were in a different room than we were usually in and the ultrasound looked a little more modern, so I said look. He took a look at the baby and said some variation on this, "Head is down, here is the heart, about 140 BPM, here is the stomach, hands, feet etc... it looks to me that your amniotic fluid is low, I know you were planning natural childbirth and are trying to avoid an induction, lets get a second opinion, I am going to send you to the perinatal center at St Johns, they are expecting you."

So when we got to the car, I told Andrew to stop at Bread Company because they were going to end up inducing me and were not going to let me eat. Fast forward a bagel and fruit cup, we arrive at the perinatal center, fill out the paper work, wait our turn and get escorted back for a non-stress test. After a few minutes on the monitor, a nurse came back and started holding the monitor in place. She asked if anyone had told us if that the baby had an arrhythmia? " No, we're here for suspected low amniotic fluid." So she said a few times that today was a good day to have a baby. All along in my head I am thinking up ways to get out of being induced.

We then wait about an hour for an ultrasound tech to become available, and have a second ultrasound performed with a more sophisticated machine. The tech left and the doctor came back in, after a few minutes of looking, he made a few statements. This is all I really remember: "hypertrophy, communication between right and left side of the heart, possible chromosomal anomalies. We're going to send you upstairs and monitor you overnight and probably induce you in the morning. The pediatric cardiologist will either be by tonight or tomorrow morning first thing." Needless to say, there was lots of crying, and a wheel chair ride upstairs. I guess this is where we will end our 39 week check up and start our birth story.