So here is goes...
Our story starts long before he was "born"(The quotations will make sense later...). My husband and I made a deal that on our one year wedding anniversary that I would be done with birth control for life. If we got preg then we got preg. If we didn't then that was ok too... That really only works in theory. When our first anniversary rolled around I stopped using all forms of birth control. First month pasted ... nothing.. Second month... Third month... At about the 6th month I was about to go nuts. So I emailed my Dr and started Temping.
My pregnancy was awesome! I can count the amount of times I had morning sickness on two hands... yeah my sis hates me for that.. :) Although.. a giant vat of movie popcorn is not one of the things you want to have morning sickness with.. ick. I loved being preg.
My husband had to leave his job and we moved in with my parents. He ended up moving to OK to get a job there (His mother is in OK) I stayed with my parents for the last two months of my pregnancy. At 25 weeks I got some cramps and laid on the couch all Saturday. The following Monday I went to the dentist and my blood pressure was high.. about 140/90. I knew pregnancy would make your blood pressure go up, so I chalked it up to that and didn't think much else of it. On Wednesday my fingers began to swell. I took off my rings, a process which took a lot of soap, cold water and about 30 min. I decided to email my Dr about what all was going on. She emailed me back the following morning to come in.. but didn't tell me when. It was paper day, so I had to build the paper. I had my feet propped up and my legs leaning on my desk. Around noon I noticed that my leg had little circles (about the size of a quarter all over the side of one of my legs. Apparently I had been fidgeting & the drawer pull on my desk left intentions on my leg. I called my sister, who had preeclampsia with her first pregnancy and worked it the same office, in to look at my leg. She poked at my leg and agreed that it looked like PreE. So I called my Dr's office and told her nurse what all was going on. She told me to come in that day. I got one of the other graphic artists to take over the paper and my sister, myself and our mother headed to the Dr.
She took my blood pressure & it was borderline PreE. She sent me to do a 24hour urine & told us to take my blood pressure frequently. If my blood pressure went over 160 for the high or 100 for the low to come to the hospital.
I spent the next day at home doing the 24 hour urine test. The following morning I was sitting in the recliner in the living room and my mother asked if I had checked my blood pressure yet. When I told her no she handed me the little monitor & I sat there waiting on it to finish. 170/90 something... My mom spent the next few minutes walking around the kitchen saying "we don't need this I need to clean for the baby shower next weekend!" "Ok.. calm down.. your just freaked... we'll check it again in 30 minutes".. 30 minutes later 168/90 something.. So we called the hospital. The Dr on call told me to wait 30 minutes and check it again. If it was still high then I needed to come in just so they could see. Well we had to bring back the 24 urine anyway... so mom & my baby brother gathered somethings up and we headed for the hospital 45 minutes away.
|18w U/S before we knew anything was wrong.|
The next morning MY Dr came in. I was SOOO happy to see her. She told me that Christopher has a heart condition and is running 4 WEEKS to SMALL!! No one had told me this before! She said "I've been through all this with you. We have put so much work into getting this baby.. and If I was in your condition I would want to be at the State University Hospital (2 hours away) so I'm sending you there" So a few hours later.. I was loaded up and rushed via ambulance there.
Once at the hospital they brought me to the Labor & Delivery floor and started me on a magnesium drip. Now if you have never been on Mag.. I hope your never have to experience it.. It is AWWFUL. Your entire body heats up. I'm normally comfortable at 90°F+.. my mom, who stayed with me, is happy around 70°F.. I kept making them turn down the A/C until the nurse told me... "we have it on 50°.. it doesn't go any lower.." My mother was huddled in a hoodie and a blanket.. possibly more. I was trying to be uncovered as much as possible. It feels kind of simmilar to a bad sunburn. A bolus (where they give you a bunch at once) feels like your on FIRE. It is completely awful.
While I was on L&D I met alot of Drs. I had one Dr (not sure the specialty) come in and tell me that they had a previous resident who did a study on babies born there under 700g (Christopher was around 500g) and none of them survived more than 2 weeks. I had a choice... I could have a C-section to get him out.. and the type that they would have to do would mean I would never be able to have a VBAC or I could have a V-Delivery.. which he would have a very slim chance of surviving. If I had the V-Delivery and IF he had a heartbeat when he was born they would try to see if they could do anything for him. I told him to "Do whatever gives him the best chance of survival" He looked at me like I'm an idiot.
|On Maternity Purgatory|
I stayed on the L&D floor for a few days. I was on Mag, light sensitive, and not allowed to eat or get out of bed for those few days. My husband is still in OK at this point. On the day he is flying in they move me to "Maternity Purgatory", if you have ever been in one.. you know that is the perfect name for the floor. I was ssooo happy. I got to eat and take a shower and get rid of the cath bag! I wasn't there for long... my blood pressure spiked (over 200 I think) and they moved me back down to L&D.
During this time I was getting daily U/S. They do a test called a "Dopplar" to check my sons blood flow in his brain and umbilical cord. These U/S are where they found out that he has Double Outlet Right Verntrical. Basically Tetralogy of Fallot without the thickening of the wall. He also had a weak placenta and umbilical cord which is what led to the growth restriction.
On the following Friday I went down to the daily U/S. One of the Drs came in and told me that it looked like "We will be able to keep you pregnant until Monday" On Monday a neonatal heart specialist was going to do a special ultrasound to get a good look at his heart. He leaves and comes back 5 minutes later... "We just got your urinalysis results from this morning... your protein levels are to high. We are going to have to deliver today, but we will let you have your U/S today anyway." He failed his Dopplar that day. So either way.. that was going to be his birthday.
My family all rushed up from our hometown.. your only supposed to have 2 visitors in L&D rooms... I had 10. My sister started the "Prayers for Christopher" Facebook group before she left and there were over 70 member by the time she got there.
They told us that it would be 2 hours.. until they found out I had had breakfast.. They kept telling us.. 5 more minutes... 5 more minutes.. 9 hours later.. they finally brought me back into the operating room. The epidural made my leg twitch. I just kind of laid there while I felt my toes, then calves, then knees, then legs, then belly go numb. They put up the curtain, cleaned my belly with iodine, covered my belly with what felt like a GIANT piece of tape. They called in my hubby who sat beside my head. I could hear alot and I felt them kind of pushing on me. When they removed him it felt like they were poping a giant pimple. A lot of pressure and then it was suddenly released. A nurse ran past me with a giant bundle of towels in her arms, I realized that that was my son. They worked on sewing me back up and took my hubby back to go with him.
|My first time seeing him over 17 hours after delivery.|
They asked my hubby if I wanted to see him. He told them to "do what is best for him" I didn't get to see him till the next afternoon.
Christopher was born at 7:05 at 1lb 4oz or .59kg and 12" long. He is currently 5lb 13 oz as of this morning and 4 months old. He is still in the NICU. He was one the ventilator for 2.5 months. We have only been able to hold him whenever for about a week. It has been and still is a very scary ride.
If you would like to have the earliest and most detailed updates just see his Facebook group.
|My favourite NICU picture|
Christopher left the NICU on September 7, 2010. Had open heart surgery to repair the ToF (heart condition) on December 7, 2010.
Today I am 30weeks pregnant with his little sister, who after a target U/S and a fetal echo by the specialist who was supposed to see me on that Monday, has a "Perfect" heart. I have had no Pre-E, my BP has actually been "embarrassingly low". I am still hoping to do a trial of labor and attempt a VBAC but have accepted that I could end up in surgery. Unfortunately the Dr that I loved moved out of state before Christopher came home, so I can't use her and have been having to make due with another local Dr. I still don't feel like Christopher was truly "born" but surgically removed. All during the 1st and 2nd trimester I kept having flashbacks, horrible dreams and frequently was crying myself to sleep. Now that I'm well into (for me) the third trimester, I'm much more relaxed and much more confidant about attempting a VBAC.. Even if those around me are against it.
Update: Little Sister's Birth Story