Thursday, September 4, 2014

Birth Story Week: Little James Part 1

Photo Credit DH Photography

Part 1
The birth of Little James was the most joyful, scary, and humbling experience my husband and I have experienced in our lives so far. I was reminded time and time again by experienced mommies to have a birth plan to know what you want but be prepared and know that anything could happen. So I decided to go into my labor with little man with just that. It started all on a calm day in October…
Friday, October 25th, 2013
I went in for a routine exam with my OB at 31 weeks and 5 days. I was running late that morning, so I took a fast shower, told our Bailee girl that I would be back in an hour. My husband, would be driving back from Altus, Oklahoma for the weekend, so I was glad to have this appointment to pass the time.
This was my third visit with my new OB. I had recently switched because the OB I had prior was moving and I wanted to get established with my new doctor. I went in and gave a urine sample and I sat down for them to take my blood pressure. It was pretty high for me, 160/40 something. This whole pregnancy my blood pressure had been pretty elevated but my old OB told me not to worry and that we would just watch it. The nurse did not seem to be pleased with my blood pressure so she was going to talk to my doctor and have her take it again later.
I was taken to a room thinking nothing of my blood pressure. It has been high but like I said, my old OB said its fine. As the doctor came in, I could tell she looked a little serious. She started off with, “How are you feeling?” I felt great and normal as usual. She then proceeded to tell me that my blood pressure didn’t please her and that I had some protein in my urine. She also wasn’t please that my old OB let me go so long without putting me on blood pressure medication since it has been on the rise since I was 20 weeks. With all that said, she wanted to take some extra precaution on things. First off, I had an appointment scheduled with a perinatal specialist to get a special ultrasound done to make sure baby wasn’t growth restricted and that he was growing properly. Second, she sent me to the hospital next door to do some non stress test on baby to make sure he was okay, do some extra blood work, take another urine sample, and then go home and do a 24 hour urine collection, as well as do non stress tests every week from here on out. WHOA! Lots to do, but as long as baby and I were kept healthy I was fine with all of this.
I checked in at the hospital expecting to be there for a few hours. I did blood work, gave another urine sample, I went on to read a book. I was headed to Mommy and Me Bible Study after this so thankfully I had something to pass the time! I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, had a fancy button to push every time little man moved, and a BP cuff. The nurse set the machine to take my blood pressure every 15 minutes. If it was too high, there would be an alarm. Every 15 minutes, the machine would alarm. I was there for a few hours and the nurse came in and said the doctor isn’t happy that your BP keeps getting higher. She will be in to talk with you.
Keep track of baby kicks!

The doctor came in and explained that it looks like I have preeclampsia. My mom had it, and I have heard of many other women having it so I was still okay at this point. Although, since my BP kept getting higher as the day went on, she wanted to send me down to Oklahoma City just in case I needed to deliver early. See the hospital in Enid, Oklahoma could only accommodate a baby born 35 weeks and beyond depending on the condition of the baby. The doctor and nurse left me alone to make phone calls and prepare me for my trip down to the city. I started crying. I was not ready to deliver this baby anytime soon. This was more serious that I thought. I called my husband. Swallowing my tears, I told him I needed him with me.  He was just about to head into a training simulator where if I called any later, he wouldn’t get my phone call. I called my Mom, letting her know what was happening.  At this point I was worried about Bailee. So I hopped on Facebook, and sent out a post to my Wives of Warriors friends to have someone take my poor dog out potty and keep her for a while! My friends of course came to the rescue. And they all started praying for baby and me. Praise the good Lord for these ladies.
Soon the nurse came in and needed to give me some medication called magnesium to give me some to keep me from having a seizure from having such high blood pressure and some fluids. This medication is horrible. It makes you feel woozy and completely out of it. I was on it for a total of 5 days. The doctor came in and let me know that I would have to travel to OKC via ambulance and that she wanted to do an ultrasound. Baby boy was doing okay! I had plenty of amniotic fluid for him and he was measuring right on track for 31 weeks. Praise God! My awesome hubby was on his way up to Enid to grab some clothes and essentials and see Bailee, then he would trek down to the city to meet me.
The ambulance finally arrived to transport me down to OKC and my OB had contacted OU Children’s Hospital. Hubby had made it to our house and I was on my way to OKC. While on the ride down, the EMT that was taking care of me was in constant contact with the doctor team that would be taking care of me. My blood pressure was still on the rise, so the EMT was instructed to give me some medication. Now the roads in Oklahoma aren’t the smoothest and the ride down was like having a vibrating machine on high underneath your bottom and the EMT had to get this through my IV. Good thing the EMT was confident and had a steady hand because I was sure nervous! Then my phone rang, it was my husband. He asked me what color was the ambulance I went in. I told him it was green and blue and he said, “I think I am following you.” I looked out the back window and there was he was. What a relief to see him. As we entered the city, I was finally responding to the medication and my blood pressure was at its lowest so far. 150/90.
We pulled up to OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. The second they wheeled me out of the ambulance, I was looking for my husband. For majority of this experience I had my sweet friends texting me and praying for me. Although when it boiled down to it, I needed my other half. As he walked up, I told the EMTs that my husband is coming so we waited for him. He looked exhausted. He had been through 4 ½ hours of driving. But we were together again.
They wheeled me to Labor and Delivery floor, then took a turn to the “high risk” area. I felt scared again. Then I heard, “Is that the transport from Bass?” (The hospital in Enid) They had room all ready for me. Instantly, the doctor and nurse on duty were in the room transitioning me into the hospital bed. They started switching me to their monitors and machines, getting a catheter in, changed into a gown and taking more blood for tests so that they could properly treat me. Finally, the doctor and nurse left the room to give my husband and I a breather and do a shift change as I got there right when that was about to happen. I asked him how he was doing and he asked me if I was okay. I think we were all still in shock about everything that was going on. I started crying and told him I wanted to go home.
After the shift change was over, another doctor and nurse came in to introduce themselves and give me an update. Eager to get home, my first question was, “When do I get to go home?” See I was eager to go home and keep this baby cooking. Back in Enid, my OB told me they could keep me up for a few days and send me home with medication or keep me till the baby is born. Being optimistic I prayed for going home with medication and bed rest. I wanted to go past my due date like so many of my mommy friends told me I would, being a first time mom. The doctor told me otherwise. She told me they would have to keep me till the baby was born and would like to try and keep Little James in till 34 weeks if we could make it. I was also told that my preeclampsia was accompanied by HELLP Syndrome. (HELLP syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur in pregnant women who have: Hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells); ELevated liver enzymes; Low Platelet count). The doctor was also shocked that this entire time I had felt completely normal throughout this whole pregnancy. I had no outward symptoms of high blood pressure or HELLP syndrome! None. Praise God for my appointment today and my OB who took action.

So we were camped out in hospital room B2, until our little one or my body decided it was time. With being on magnesium, it really messed with my vision. We had to keep the room quite dim and it just so happened the room had no windows so that worked out great. Every hour all day and all night, the nurse would come in and check my vitals and reflexes. I also had wraps that went around my legs that would massage them and prevent blood clots. Every six hours they would draw my blood to check my levels. The blood pressure machine would check my BP every 15 minutes and if it was too high, it would alarm. It would alarm every single time. If I was awake, I’d pray that it would go down. I prayed that I could keep this baby in as long as possible and prayed that the Lord would keep us strong.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2! 
Curious about HELLP Syndrome and Preeclampsia? Click below:
 HELLP Syndrome and Preeclampsia

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