Monday, April 23, 2012

911, a little bird and the scariest day of my life

You probably remember my quick post a while back saying that I had my baby. Now with a few minutes to spare, I wanted to share her story...well her story so far, that is.

This is our newest little one. She was 7 pounds 6 ounces at birth, and 19 inches long. We call her Birdie because she has stick-up feathery hair and she makes little bird claws with her hands. :)
On March 31st, my water broke at 5 in the morning. I was 37 weeks 5 days. I went to the hospital right away, though I wasn't really having bad contractions. They said I had to go in because my water was already broken. In admitting, I explained that I wanted to vbac. I already vbac'ed once before with my surrogate pregnancy, so I knew the drill. But this time, they said I had to stay in the bed because there was a risk of a prolapsed cord. I was worried I wouldn't progress in bed, but there was no reason to worry. I arrived at the hospital at 8, and she was born around 2 pm that same day. I'm proud to say, she was my 3rd birth without pain meds of any kind. Natural birth is so empowering; but it is so intense as well.

Birdie appeared healthy after she was born. The nurses did monitor her oxygen saturation in the hours after her birth because in their opinion her lips seemed somewhat blue. But it was normal and they stopped monitoring it after just a few minutes. In our post partum room, Birdie kept spitting up some junk, and the nurses said it was amniotic fluid, and nothing to worry about. We took her home the next day.

On April 2nd, I sent my husband to the grocery store, my kids to the pool with their grandparents, and I stayed home with our foster baby (8 months) and Birdie. I put our foster baby down for a nap, and fed Birdie. Then I laid her on my bed to change and swaddle her. As I swaddled her, she spit up some. So I stopped to wipe it off and then resumed swaddling her. She spit up again and then instead of choking the spit up out, she just stopped moving, her mouth wide open, but no sound coming out. At first, I didn't even notice, but she became very still and I turned her and panicking, I said, "Are you breathing???".

In that moment I realized she was not. The area around her mouth was turning blue. I flipped her onto her tummy, over top my arm and I started firmly patting her back and crying, screaming, "Someone help me!". She became even more blue. I laid her on the bed and started using the bulb syrnge to clear her throat, alternating patting with sucking out her mouth. By now, her whole face was blue and she became stiff in my arms. I grabbed my phone, and dialed 911. Screaming and crying I gave them my address and they promised to send people to help.

After being on the phone for a little bit and continuing to pat her and suck out her mouth, she recovered and began breathing again. By the time the paramedics came, she was breathing normally.

Still, we went to the hospital. We stayed for 4 or 5 days (it's all a blur now). My husband needed to be with my older kids, so I was on my own most of the time there. We had a wonderful team of doctors and nurses caring for her. They felt, based on my story that she needed to be tested for apnea and reflux. So she underwent both a ph (reflux) study, and a sleep study on the same night.

The ph study involves taking a tube and inserting it through the nose and into the stomach to measure stomach acidity. The tube was connected to a box which had buttons on it for eating and not eating, lying flat and sitting up. Each time I moved her or fed her, I was to record it on the machine. She was not allowed to eat more than once in a three hour time period, and not for more than 30 minutes at a time. This study would last 24 hours.

The sleep study was more involved. I thank God I had my husband with me that night or I may have had a breakdown. This is what she looked like during the sleep study. Actually, this was only the half of it. I don't have a picture of the full amount of cords she had glued to her body. It was 6 hours long (through the night).

The sleep study involves connecting her to wires which allow the doctors to monitor all kinds of information regarding her sleep. Birdie had 30 wires connected her to head, and 13 connected to her chest, legs and feet. Her head was wrapped in gauze to prevent the wires from moving. Another wire was strung underneath her nose and abover her mouth. The sleep people needed 6 hours of recording time, 4 of which needed to be of her, sleeping in a crib, untouched by me (as I could disturb the monitors). This was extremely challenging, both logistically and emotionally.

We were realeased a couple days after Little Bean's 7th birthday. Yes, I missed my son's birthday.
:( Birdie came home on a home cardiac and respiratory monitor that she wears 24 hours a day. It's a little box that is connected to wires (yes, more wires) that are connected to her chest. If she stops breathing for more than 20 seconds it sounds an alarm. If her heart rate is too high, it sounds, too low, it sounds. So far, it has only gone off once, for apnea.

We took her to her two week check up a week ago. The doctor told us the sleep study was normal for her age. The ph study had not sent her any results yet. So we are still waiting on that. But, the doctor heard a murmur when listening to Birdie's heart. So tomorrow, we go back. Hopefully to hear the results of the ph study, but also to have an echocardiogram done on her. She may have a hole in her heart.

The doctor said that 30 percent of babies have holes and many grow out of them. But some don't. And given that she has had an ALTE (Apparantly Life Threatening Event) we are walking on the safe side and will see what the echo reveals.

So that's my story. We'll see where it leads from here.

1 comment:

Janani said...

I can understand how scary it might have been... Pray a lot and speak good soothing words near your baby.. let all positive vibes help her get better...

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