Thursday, June 12, 2014

Harper Madden - Birth Story

I walked to labor & delivery from my doctor’s office and got settled in my room.  We still had about 2 hours until we were scheduled to go back into the operating room.  It was uneventful – they asked me a bunch of questions, monitored baby, put the IV in, and then prepped me for surgery. Daniel was there and both of our parents came to see the new Harris addition.  I wasn't nervous at all for the surgery part, but I was for baby girl.  She was 36 weeks and the NICU was going to be present for the birth just in case she needed any help.  I was comforted in the fact that when I had my kidney stone surgery, they gave me steroid shots to help her lungs mature a bit.  I just wanted her to come out crying and strong – I didn't want her to have to stay in the NICU and me lose those first hours of her life with her.
It was finally time! I remember being surprised I had to walk myself into the OR.  The other times, I was in labor and had already been given an epidural so they had wheeled me back in the bed.  This time, I was going to be given a spinal.  The anesthesiologist did great.  Medicine kicked in, my doctors (there were 2 present) started doing their thing, and Daniel finally walked in to be by my side.  I felt TONS of pressure this time with a sharp pain in my right side.  Apparently, she was stubborn coming out so they had to work a little harder.  Afterwards I was told they had to use the vacuum to help her out.  Thankfully I wasn't aware, because the thought of that makes me freak a bit.  My doctor had asked if I wanted to see her come out by pulling down the curtain – um…yes!!  So, they pulled down the curtain for us me to see her being delivered.  It was pretty neat since I wasn't given that option with the other girls.  Daniel turned his head until my stomach parts weren't in his view (he doesn't handle that stuff well).  We had a beautiful CRYING baby girl!! The most amazing sound – what a relief!  Harper Madden was here! They took her to do all of the assessments they needed to do, and she was perfect – no NICU stay J  Unfortunately, I didn't do the initial skin to skin in the OR because I had this horrid throbbing pain in my neck.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist started pumping me with additional meds and it took care of it.  Daniel went to be with Harper while the doctors finished with me (at my request).  She passed her initial tests with a 7 out of 9 (immediate results) and then 9 out of 9 (5 minute results).
I got back to the room and Harper was in the nursery getting additional tests done and they wanted to watch her for a bit to make sure she was stable.  Because she was 36 weeks – she was considered pre-term and everything was taken with caution.  No bath until after 24 hours of life to make sure she could regulate her body temperature and nurses had to prick her heel to check her glucose before every feeding for the first 24 hours.  She also had to do an hour and a half car seat test to make sure she didn't have any problems sitting in the seat to go home.  Harper was a champ though and passed everything J 
As soon as they brought her to me, she immediately latched on to nurse! Woohoo!!  She was perfect and beautiful and had such light hair! Her sisters had dark, so it was a pleasant surprise to see.  For being a pre-term baby she was big – weighing in at 7 pounds 4 ounces.  Can you imagine how big she would've been if I waited another 4 weeks?! 

We are so lucky to have THREE healthy little girls – our family is complete! We knew we were finished having kids, but the aftermath of this delivery definitely confirmed that even more…

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

The end of my Third (and final) Pregnancy...

To say I was ready to not be pregnant anymore would be an understatement.  A LOT has happened since my last bump-date!! I ended up getting the surgery to remove the big kidney stone from my left side.  Surgery was successful and after a night in the hospital, I was discharged with a stent in me.  That damn stent was so uncomfortable and I could not wait to get it removed the following week.  Thankfully, after the stent was removed I started to feel much better.  I was so happy to not be in pain, but I was still itching – and not just minor itching – my entire body and mainly at night.  Annoying!  I mentioned the itching to the maternal fetal specialist, so she had some blood drawn.  Sure enough, I was diagnosed with Cholestasis – which is a liver disease while you’re pregnant.  I was put on antibiotics to help my acid levels and the medicine ended up working off and on.  I had to get ultrasounds, blood work, and stress tests done weekly to make sure baby girl was doing well.  She was perfect the entire time thankfully!  Having cholestasis is considered high risk, so we scheduled my C-section at 37 weeks. 
Itching continued to get worse, which was a little alarming to the doctors.  On May 1st, they decided to do amniocentesis to see how mature baby girl was.  If the fluid showed she had mature lungs, they were going to immediately deliver me.  Also, if she had meconium showing in the fluid they would have delivered me as well.  The test came back that she was mature, but it was border line.  Doctors made the decision to let her grow a little longer in me than risk her having some breathing issues.

The following Monday (May 5th), I went back to the doctor to have my normal tests done and baby girls bowels showed full.  Since this was a change from the last week they were going to start monitoring me twice a week.  No big deal.  The next morning (May 6th) I got a call to come in for an ultrasound and to not eat.  This was a little alarming, so I knew to bring my packed hospital bag…just in case.  The maternal fetal specialist was concerned about her bowels being full, me still itching, and the fact that I had to pump (and got 4 ounces) even though I was still pregnant.  She made the decision to go ahead and deliver me – even with risk of potential NICU stay.  The meconium, cholestasis, and still birth risks were higher than keeping her inside of me any longer.  We were going to be parents of THREE little girls by the end of the day!

Last belly picture taken - 36 weeks

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