Monday, October 12, 2009

The story of Grace, part one

I have wanted to put some thought into this post for months but have not done it. I want to tell you the story of my precious Grace.Let me start by telling you how we got Grace, well you know how I got her, but what happened before hand. One night I walked into Michael's room to find him crying in bed.When I asked him what was wrong he said he thinks we need to have another baby and I reminded him that it was between God and daddy. He said but mom you do not understand you have dad and faith has hope but my baby brother died (i was 20 weeks pregnant). it is not fair. i again reminded him that the size of our family is up to daddy and God. I brought him into my room. he was still crying when rob came in. rob asked what was wrong after seeing that he was visibly upset. so we told him and he just rolled his eyes. then the wonderful wife i am said "honey, why don't you pray with you pray with us that God would tell us what is right for our family". Rob said no way and walked out of the room (honestly it was quite funny). two weeks later my cycle was late but the test came up negative. I am someone who does not get sick often but went to the doctor for allergies and when she said she was putting me on medicine with codeine i told her my cycle was late. So she did a blood test. I went home to wait on results but was not excited because I already had a negative test. within 10 minutes the phone rang. When they lady said I was pregnant I squealed and the lady asked if I was okay. she then told me her least favorite thing was calling people to say they are pregnant because no one is happy. that broke my heart, we have never done anything to stop us from having babies. the pregnancy went great and daily Michael prayed for a baby brother. We told Michael he could go with us at 20 weeks to find out if it was a boy or girl as long as he did not pitch a fit if it is a girl. I will never forget that day. the doctor (who I love and respect so much) put the wand on my stomach and instantly started saying SHE, all i could think was tell me what this baby is (surely he did not find out that quickly). finally Michael said to rob when is he going to say it is a boy and rob said, he already said it is a girl. the next sounds you heard were sobs, i could hear him sobbing into Rob's shirt. i felt so bad for him. so when the DR was done we sent him to the waiting room. when we walked out he was turned around in his seat sobbing. a lady in the waiting room looked at me and i said he is sad he is not getting a baby brother. she looked sad. i forgot i did not look pregnant. i said oh no, we are having a having a girl. she was so sweet, she said oh honey i always wanted a big brother to take care of me. with all the respect he could come up with he said, "I HAVE 2 SISTERS TO TAKE CARE OF ALREADY".
The next part is the part that most of you will remember. On Saturday September 2 I was 26 weeks pregnant. The girls and I went with our church to deliver things to the children's home in Decatur. I felt great and was doing great. I remember thinking all day how funny it was that I was with mostly elderly people who should not be lifting things but they refused to let me lift anything. we went to lunch and came home. I told rob i was going to take a nap. as i was laying in bed i thought i wet myself which was weird, so i got up and went to the bathroom, fixed the bed and went back to bed. a few minutes later i had to go to the bathroom again and as soon as i stood up i started gushing. i screamed for water that my water had broke. he took the kids to a neighbors and i called the Dr on the way to the hospital. so we get there and they hook me up to monitors and start asking what birth control we plan on using after delivery and if we have a car seat (which we did not because before we moved here we gave away EVERYTHING we had to a missions lady who visited our bible study). I was not contracting, they did the strip test and said my water had not broke and that i could go home. WHAT, WHAT and double WHAT. i said mam my water broke and she said no it did not, it is urine. I so knew better because every time i moved i was gushing fluid. she said it could last minutes or days. If it continues then the DR could give me meds for it. I thought they were nuts. so i went home and set cross legged on my couch, with towels under me. the next day (Sunday) i sent my family to church, thinking how in the world was i going to put up with this for 14 more weeks. So i went to the commissary wearing several pads. they must have thought i was nuts because every few seconds i would stop and cross my legs. the next morning i woke up and called the DR. he said come in that afternoon, now remember all he had been told was i came in thinking my water broke and that i was not contracting and the test came back negative. i got in that fun stir up position and he just looked and said OH your water broke. then proceeded to do a ultrasound. i think i was out of it. because he asked how my hub and was going to handle it and i said oh fine. then he said THE WORDS. he said you understand you are not going home until you have a baby. OOOH, OOOH, NOW IT IS SINKING IN. he called the hospital. the nurses were so nice to me. then they let me drive myself to the hospital (local people i was in the building by crest wood and drove to Huntsville). i kept it together all the way there, God was with me, i could fill it like he was setting there beside me. When i got out of the van I called my pastor and lost it, called rob again. i was so scared to go in and honest a little mad that they had sent me home 2 days earlier. So i went in and set in the waiting room waiting, i could not believe my water was broke and they were making me wait in the waiting room. while we were waiting we called my MIL. she assured us that she would be there the next day or 2. This i a God thing, see she had worked for 19 years at sears and was force able retired and had not found a job, so she was available to come down). they finally took us into labor and delivery. my pastor showed up and stayed the whole 2 hours it took them to get my IV. I had told them i was a hard stick but everyone says that. by the end the anestologist said if this blows and you are here tomorrow i will give you a PICC line. the next day they they moved me to antipartem. that morning my IV blew and they said I was going to get a PICC line. I was so excited to be getting out of the room, I guess I did not realize it would be flat on my back. When I was setting outside the x-ray room the DR came out to ask if i understood what they were going to do and I said yes. honestly i had no real idea, i just thought i did. That PICC line was amazing.
So for 2.5 weeks I layed in bed, almost flat on my back. I was allowed to get up once a day to go to the real restroom but otherwise i had a potty chair next to my bed. I never contracted. i felt good. My room had a microwave, TV/VCR and fridge. so when friends asked what to bring i said movies and mountain dew. but then i did not have the guts to ask the nurses to turn on movies or get me a mountain dew. with every meal i would order extra juice and pudding for my kids. they thought it was the best thing. after 2.5 weeks I went to the bathroom and realized i was bleeding, i was almost 29 weeks. so i called the nurse and are you ready to laugh. i took the extra three steps and walked over to the fridge opened a mountain dew took a big drink and put it back and got in bed. i still was not contracting. my doctor would come in everyday and check on me and when i would say what can i do he would say, pray and lay there. everyday they would tell me that for everyday that the baby is in me means 2 less days the baby would be in the NICU. my most exciting days would be when they took me downstairs for a ultrasound. or one night i got really excited because there was a tornado warning and they said i was moving to the hallway, i was so excited i was going to get to talk to other women. but before they got me moved it was over.
let me stop here and say that my kids loved to come and visit me, they loved it when i took a 5 minute shower because they would curl up in my bed and play with the remote. i had the best friend ever. my friend Janet arranged it so that i had friends who visited daily instead of having a bunch one day and then none. i can not express my thanks enough to everyone who visited me from my home school group and our church. i literally had daily visitors. i met new people like Becky who came because her son had a preemie.
on October 13Th at about 1am i woke up contracting and the nurse came in and put me on monitors and gave me something to stop labor. i called rob and assured him he did not need to come in. i was able to go back to sleep. about 5:30 i woke up contracting and i knew something was wrong. i called the nurse and called and called. she finally came in and put me on monitors and said i was not contracting. i should stop here and say there was a HUGE note on the front of my record that said would deliver fast (faith was nothing to post delivery in 1 hour, hope was not much to post delivery in 10 minutes). i called rob because i was scared. rob got there and i kept telling the nurse something was wrong, she disagreed (let me say this was the first time i had seen her and she had came in mid shift and well that is all i will say). i kept asking her to check me and she said she could not (for infection control which makes since). i finally demanded she check me. this is where rob says to be honest because he thinks it was funny. so she checks me and i ask her how far along i am and she says I CAN NOT TELL, I AM GETTING A LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSE. WHAT. so a labor and delivery nurse came in and checked me, that is when rob saw it. Grace's hand was sticking out. she immediately started prepping me for a c-section. i kept telling her the baby was coming. luckily my doctor came to my room instead of meeting me in the OR. i told him that she was coming and the nurse kept speaking over me saying that i had to have a c-section. have i said i love my doctor. he checked me and started screaming (this is the DR that all the nurses had said NEVER screams, is always poliete). so what he did was push her entire body back inside because you can not deliver hand first (wish we would have gotten a picture of that). things were going crazy there was nothing, i mean not a clamp for the cord or oxygen. the NICU got there and all i saw was them run out of the room with this red blob. then i started bleeding terribly. the dr said i needed a d&c but if i would take something for pain he may be able to get the placenta out in the room without going to the OR. i agreed and they gave me stay dul. i have to be honest and say this was the most painful thing i have ever had. again i wish i had a camera, i could literally see his hand at the top of my ribs, only on the inside. it looked like something from a alien movie. okay the funny part is the stay dul did not kick in until he was done. a new nurse came in and said she wanted to clean up my bed. so i got up and set on my potty chair next to the bed. the next thing i know the nurse was smacking my face, she thought i had passed out, she did not see i was on stay dul.
the NICU called and said she was holding her own and i could come and see her in a couple of hours. she weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces and was 14 inches long. she was breathing on her own. a couple of hours later rob rolled me to the NICU. she was so precious, so little. they had glued a little purple hair bow into her hair. they said do not touch her much because she does not need to be stimulated. rob got to change her diaper. i went back to my room and cried and cried. she was so little, and the NICU was so scary, there were so many sick babies. that night i went back to see her several times. the nurses asked if i wanted to be switched to a mother baby unit, i said no, there was no way i was changing rooms after 5.6 weeks. the next day i walked up to see her again, this time they had moved her to the next stage in the NICU. which made me feel safer but it was also sad because now she was in a enclosed bed and i could not touch her. but there was this little boy who was 5 days old next to her. i just kept staring at him, Grace's eyes were closed and while i knew she was real it was hard, but when i saw him and saw his open eyes, i knew this was all real. he was so precious. on Sunday morning they sent me home. i walked up to see grace this time and then left the hospital without a baby. this was not fair. no special after baby dinner, no baby, just a pump and empty arms. we stopped at the commissary (the kids were at church with my MIL). i was trying to pick up a few things for me and then walked down the baby aisle, i lost it, i was in tears and could hardly stand. it was my reality that i had no baby with me. i came home and pumped and then my MIL took me to kids market, i had never been there. by the time we got there it was the last hour they were open. i had never been and had no idea what i was doing but got a TON. came home and pumped and went back to the hospital, came home and pumped and ate dinner and went back to the hospital, came home and pumped and went to bed. i woke up at midnight and fell into the wall which i thought wa weird. walked into the bathroom and collapsed. i yelled for rob, i was so scared because i was not in pain but could not get up. he knew instantly that it was muscle failure. oh yeah i had been flat on my back for 6 weeks. so i pumped, called the hospital and went back to bed. from here iam going to just write what was in my journal
Oct 12 (the day before you were born) a week from today you will be here, Dr C said if you are not here in a week then he will induce because at 32 weeks it is safer for you to be out than in, i am excited and scared at the same time, as i lay here with this book on my lap i can feel your precious body moving inside of me. i even enjoy being on the monitors because i can hear your heart beat.
side note: this night as i took my shower i told rob, i do not think he will make it another day. i was feeling great, things just seemed different and i had not had that attitude at all.
October 14 yesterday morning you were born...... wonderfully you are still breathing on your own.... i can not hold you and that is breaking my heart.... i love you in a way i never knew was possible....i can not believe tomorrow i will be leaving this building without you.....
11:50am i just got back from seeing you, i got to try to give you a bottle for the first time.
Oct 17, we just got home from visiting you, today you weigh 2 pounds 10 ounces. they let daddy hold you. they told us they would not let you have a bottle for weeks but they are trying it since you are doing so well. my arm was shaking when i held you, you are so small and fragile. we go to see you at 9am, 3 and 8pm. i am constantly torn between being home with your siblings or being with you.
20 October you are doing well..... they took you out from under the blue lights..... they said you can go off your IV, you weight 2 pounds 7 ounces
21 October i feel like i got to bond with you today. when i got there you were awake and moving around. i love your nurse she said at 3 am you were angry so they gave you 11cc's to eat and at 9am you ate 12 and at 3pm you ate 14cc' s. they had stopped giving you bottles because it was taking longer than 30 minutes to eat. this time it only took 10 minutes. she said they would have probably start giving you one bottle a day. i am pumping every 2 hours and have really got a good supply for you.
22oct. i got to speak to the DR today he said you looked great, you can eat 15cc's at a time, they are going to put human fortifier in your milk, apparently i produce skim milk HA there is nothing skim about me. dad goes back to work tomorrow and i know he i going to miss you but now that i can drive he wants to save his time for when you come home.
24 oct your levels are down so they are taking you out from under the lights AGAIN. you have started to gain weight, last night you weighed 2.7. i get to feed you later and i can not wait they are doing a head ultrasound today to check for a brain bleed, i am so scared, Lord lay your hands on my precious baby and protect her and let her know how much I love her. He said you have a disorder called neutropenia and there is talk of moving you to Birmingham. i am a nervous wreck.. this means you are not able to fight infections
25 October you look great today. they moved you to the progressive side of the nursery. they said you will stay there until you go home. one step closer. the NICU is so scary, you see babies leave and are happy and sad for them. you see babies pass away. i hate this place, i want you home with me.......i want to be able to hold you without permission
26 Oct you lost weight last night, not alto but you lost. but it meant we were not allowed to hold you while we fed you, have i said how much i HATE this place. daddy did feed you, he just did not take you out of the bed.
29 October you are gaining lots of weight you weigh 2.12 today, almost up to birth weight. it is hopes birthday and tomorrow is daddy's. you did not finish your bottle on Thursday so the night nurse would not let you have a bottle. they started going over discharge paperwork with me, they said it was so we did not have as much to do when your ready but i do not care it made me feel good. by the way the freezer is almost completely full of breast milk. you are starting to stay awake more often, today you grabbed my hand and would not let go. i felt like you needed me. this morning after you were done with your tube feeding. the nurse said you were still hungry. my baby is hungry and there is nothing can do. i want you out of here. i am tired of looking at the meth babies or the stupid parents.
30 October today was stressful no more like emotional...... they let me try to give you a bottle and you did not do well. i got really upset. a nurse from across the room came over and said "are you sleeping?" i said yes and your daddy told them i am getting up every 2 hours to pump. they said to stop and only get up once a night. you are gaining weight and weigh 2.14
31October i love you sweet baby girl, the DR said your blood work look better. your color look better today. they raised your feeds to 25c's at a time and said to start giving you vitamins. it amazes me the difference a day makes. you did eat part of a bottle for me and then finished for the nurse.
1 November this morning i went in and guess what, the nurse had gotten you dressed. a onsie with a pink hair bow. she even put a pink blanket in there for you. that in itself made my day. the big news is you weigh 2.15.8. i really wanted you to weigh 3 pounds. so this morning when i went in the nurse said that the night nurse forgot to write down your weight and guess what you weighed 3.4 pounds. i can not wait to tell daddy.
November 5 today i got to kangaroo care with you. how wonderful, how amazing. skin to skin, you felt like you were mine, all mine. we just set there. it was wonderful. they let me hold you for 30 minutes. the new goal is to get you to drink from a bottle, you have not wanted to drink them the last couple of days. i am in tears at every feeding because you have to do 3 things to come home, weigh 4 pounds, take all feeds by mouth and maintain your own heat. today you weigh 3.3. the nurses assure me you will get it. faith and hope both got to see you this week.
Nov 7 you had a good weekend. your weight is up to 3.5. you took your whole bottle in 10 minutes. the nurse called tonight and said you only ate part of your bottle. they keep saying 1 step forward, 2 back. i hate this for you and for me.
9 november the house is so quiet, mommal took faith hope and michael to the library, i do not know what i would have done if she was not here. i am so glad that she is helping out so i can focus on her. today you started eating 3 bottles a day. you weigh 3.7. you look so beautiful with clothes on. this evening michael is going to see you
11 november. i did not get to go see you this morning because daddy is in a parade and we went to see him, i missed you terribly. you are doing great, you weight is 3.9. daddy says he thinks you will be home by thanksgiving.. yesturday a baby that is your age went home. it is not fair, i was so excited for them but jealoous. although i am scared of you coming home. last night the meth baby's dad was being rough with the baby and put him back in bed upside down and the mom was making excuses. DANG IT, i did everything right, why did this happen and why is this baby going home sooner than you. last night my homescool grooup gave us a baby shower. i got so many pretty things that i can not wait to use on you.
november 12, today is michael's birthday. last night you weighed 3.11 you are officially taking every other feed by bottle and guess what.. today i got to nurse you. we worked great together. then afterwards you took your bottle in 3 minutes. your nurse DEE said if you keep this up on monday they will move to taking 2 bottles in a row on monday.
14 november. the doctor said if you keep taking all your feeds this well you could be home in 10-14 days. i can see a end. i now bring clothes for you and am washing your clothes. you weighed 3.14 last night. less than 3 ounces and you will be 4 pounds. you are monitoring your own heat now. yesturday i nursed you but it did not go well. it was nice to have you close. they have inspections this week so i am hoping you get extra attention instead of my fear that they will be too busy for you. i am setting next to you as i write this.
18 november they said your blood work looks GREAT. so much has happened this week, your blood work look great. nursing is going ok, i can not wait to get you home and nurse without people watching. i just called and talked to nurse DEE she said you just ate 60 cc's. by morning you will be in a open crib. you could be home in 2 days. you weigh 4 pounds 1.8 ounces. this morning i put all your clothes in your dresser. i am trying to not get too excited
side note: nurse dee was our favorite nurse. even when she was not our nurse she would help me. she is the one who told me i had to sleep. she is the one who encouraged me to kangaroo care and breastfeed. she has seen me cry and laugh and is there no matter what. she never seems to care when i call a hundred times.
19 november. you weigh 4 pounds 5 ounces, and you may get to go home tomorrow.
25 november right now you are in your mommal arems. you are doing so well. you are not constantly nursing but you nursed for 18 minutes. oooh i forgot to tell you the good news. YOU ARE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you came home on the 20th. i have enjoyed every minute of it. michael faith and hope went home with mommal so i have had a couple days to just be alone with you. michael can not keep his hands off you. i have to admit i am constantly worried about you. you are eating 60-75 cc's at a time. you see the pediatrician on monday.
this was part one, i will continue the rest later


squeeli2 said...

Dee was one of our favorite nurses, too! I only actually remember the names of a couple. Liz was our first nurse and we loved her as well.

~bakinghomesteader~ said...

Wow...what a ride! Thanks for sharing your story. :)

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