Colleen Rose's birth story
Okay ladies I am going to apologize in advance because this is a birth/post birth thru surgery story so it is going to be long. So here goes:
Starting the last week of May I started to have fairly consistant contractions that were too far apart to worry about but they continued for weeks. Well on June 2nd, we went down to Cincinnati for a consent meeting and some presurgery testing. After that we went back to my father's house to get the kids and the contractions were every 5 minutes. Well we ended up in the hospital to get checked and since I was not dialated yet they wanted to hold me off until the June 5th c-section so they sent me home with some meds to stop the contractions. And overall it worked.
June 4th, the hubby and I came down to cincy, leaving our kids in Dayton with grandma to get ready for the c-section. June 5th we get to the hospital at 5:45am and they check me in. Then it is IV time which they had a hard time putting in. Then the waiting started. Finally around 7:45am they took me down to the cath lab to have the c-section. They put me on the table and right before they give me the spinal/epidural they gave me something to "relax me". Well that something to "relax me" made it hard for me to stay awake so I was not happy about that. With the spinal/epidural it HURT so very bad. Bad enough that i screamed out 3 different times. If felt like they were trying to go all the way through my bone. But eventually they got it in.
So down I go, the drape is put up and my hubby is brought in to be by my head. It actually was not long before they started cutting and about 10 minutes later my little girl joined this world screaming. At 8:45am. They pulled the drape down so we could see her and then she was taken to the other room to have stuff done.
They closed me up and sent me back to my room where I passed out for a little bit because of the stuff they gave me. Well after several hours, yes i said hours, the one doc came in. And he was very honest with us. This was the first piece of hard news. He told us that once she was taken to the other room, she coded. She stopped breathing and her heart stopped. It took them 5 minutes to get her back. Once she was back they did the septostomy to make the one part of her heart bigger. The way they explained it to us is that at that point in time she really only had 3 chambers in her heart but that would be fixed in the open heart surgery. So they saved out daughter's life for the first time. Once he left we had a big cry and were very scared and nervous about how things were going to work out.
Well they got my daughter settled into her CICU room and my hubby was able to go see her. He came back with pictures. Then later that evening they let me get into a wheelchair so that I could see her with my own eyes. That was great but scary as well. She was very bloated and just looked sick.
Okay the whole day of my c-section they would not let me have anything except ice chips and water. That is important for the next part. The whole day they had me check my sugars several times a day to make sure it was okay. Well at one point it hit the 60s so they gave me some sugar water in my IV and thought I would be fine. Around 1030pm i finally decide to try and sleep for the night and hit my pain button and go to sleep. Now I do not remember much until about 1am. Here is what happened according to my husband:
The nurse came in about 11:45pm or so to check my vitals and looked at me and decided to check my sugar. Well they tried to wake me and I would not respond. They checked my sugar and it was at 27. So they upped what they were giving me in the IV but it was not working quick enough. this whole time they were talking to me trying to get me to answer questions. They got me to drink 2 things of apple juice and I started to answer questions but i still did not know where I was or why I was there. They gave me some milk to drink and then thinks started to get less fuzzy. Finally I was able to tell them where I was and I knew that Colleen had been born. From that point on they let me have some juice to drink and they watched my numbers climb back up to the 70s which was much better. It took them about an hour or so to get me to come around. My poor husband was so scared because when your sugar gets that low, it is very bad. The next day I was able to eat so never had any more issues with my blood sugar.
Okay back to the baby. at this time I start to move around on my own and we go to see the baby as often as we can. Well she looked much better the next several days. She had a few issues with her circulation which was to be expected. as well as she hated having the breathing tube in but she did really well. They were able to take her off a bunch of the medications that they had her on to start with. I will spare you the boring and even longer play by play of those things.
So June 10th comes around and at this point in time we still had yet to hold her. They were going to try to let us hold her before her surgery but it just did not happen. But we got to the hospital about 6:15am to spend some time with her before her open heart surgery. then one of the toughest moments came when they came to get her for her surgery. We were able to walk down with her to the OR but had to say goodbye. Let me tell you that was the hardest thing becuase there was a chance we would not see her alive again. We went to the waiting room where they put us in our own private room.
In this private room we got a phone call when they actually started the surgery and then we had hourly updates from one of the Nurse practioners. They were all very positive. She did really well on the heart/lung by pass machine. Then the first great news was that they had taken her off the by pass machine and she was doing well. Then at the end of the surgery she had a little bleed that the doc had to fix which took a little time but he got it fixed. In all she was in the OR for a total of about 5 1/2 hours. When the doc came in to talk to us he told us that everything went very smoothly and that she was doing great.
Back to waiting. We had to wait until they got her back into CICU room before we could see her again. That took about 2 1/2 hours from the time she was out of surgery to the time we were able to see her again. This time she was back on a huge amount of meds and had more wires and tubes coming out of her. It was sort of scary to see her that way but we knew it had to be done. They told us the next 12 hours were the part we needed to get past. They had saved her life for the second time.
The day after surgery they were already getting her off some of the meds. And the second day after surgery they took out a IV that was in her heart as well as her chest tubes. Then the next thing to come out was her breathing tube. She did so great with breathing on her own. She never once had to be bagged or anything after that tube was out. Then the third day after surgery they were taking her off a bunch more meds. By day 4 after surgery she was doing really good that they took out the pace wires they had put in just in case they needed them as well as the heart IV they had in. She was ready to go to the step down unit. but even before that, we were finally able to hold our baby girl.
Day 5 after surgery she was in the step down unit where she had only monitors on and no more groups of IVs. She was able to be fed by a bottle and held whenever we wanted to hold her.
Once she was in the step down unit all they needed her to do is get the hang of feeding from a bottle and taking at least 45ccs by mouth each feeding before they would let her go. She did this the first day so we were released much earlier than we thought we would.
I do have to say that even the doctors said that she was a miracle baby. And that is just great to hear.
I will post pictures once they are moved to a place where I can access them.
Thanks for reading, sorry so long.
Now for pictures:
Right after birth (she is swollen because of Congestive Heart Failure)
Here she is after having the septostomy
Two days after surgery, after they took her off the ventilator (7 days old)
First time I got to hold her (8 days old)
At home, finally, just about 2 weeks old: