Friday we spent mostly going back and forth between my room on the 3rd floor and the NICU on the 1st floor. We realized quickly that Kaiser should have installed more automatic doors in the Women's
& Children's Center because at 3am there was nobody to help open doors for Ken to wheel me through.
Not only did we have such little time between feeding (because of travel time, time for me to get out of bed and use the bathroom, feeding her which took 60 minutes sometimes) but in the morning with hopes of breakfast after feeding her, a social worker came in, a clerk from the Birth Certificate office and the lactation consultant came in. We missed the lactation consultant who was upstairs when I was downstairs in the NICU.
By Friday afternoon we still had no answers as to when Lila would be joining us in my room. Ken and I became increasingly frustrated with the NICU doctor who we only met once. She informed us, along with some of the nurses on our floor, that once babies are admitted to the NICU they rarely (4 babies in 4 years) are sent back upstairs to their moms. We were angry. We told the nurses they needed to get the doctor to come back and that from what we'd gathered there was no reason for Lila to be in the NICU.
The nurse came back after paging and calling doctor saying that because of the IV fluids that were regulating her blood sugar that they couldn't release her. Our only choices were giving her formula to regulate her blood sugar or to put another IV in. I told them no formula that they would need to replace her IV. Realizing that we were not going to get her out of there we focused on trying to both we released on Saturday.
By late afternoon the NICU had a plan. They would check her blood sugar at 5pm right before her feeding and if it was above 55 they would send her upstairs with me. It was 74!!! They also wanted to recheck it before her next two feedings to assure her blood sugar was stable. What really ticked us off is that she never had low blood sugar, even at birth. It was only because they had started the IV that they were worried about taking it away. Ridiculous!!!
It's a good thing that she was released that afternoon because I was in so much pain I don't think I would have made it through the night getting up to feed her every 3 hours. We spent the evening/ night getting my pain under control. I could barely get out of bed to use the bathroom which was only 4 feet from my bed.
We decided to stay until Sunday to manage my pain and try to get some rest. Right...rest in a hospital!
Friday night Ethan came to visit his sister for the first time. He looked a little out of sorts when he first came to the door, but ran to my bed to cuddle with me. He sang "Happy Birthday" to her and kissed her head. I think he thought it was weird that his mom was in a bed and looked so tired and worn out.
The rest of Saturday and half of Sunday we tried to relax. My mom came to help with Lila Saturday morning and my sister stayed on Friday night to help with nursing and to let Ken go home for the night and half of Saturday. Lila nursed very well and we finally met up with the lactation consultant who told me I was doing it all right and congratulations that we made it out of the NICU without formula. She said she was surprised someone in the NICU didn't just give her formula. Yikes! I guess we dodged a bullet on that one.
Overall, our hospital experience, minus the NICU doctor, was a good one. We were ready to come home though.
More about that in my next post.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
On Thursday, December 6th at 1017AM we welcomed Lila Gail Dean into the world. I had an elective scheduled c-section because we believed she would be a big baby.
Having a c-section is so much different than a regular birth and not just for obvious reasons. It was great to know what day she would arrive, get up take a shower, put my make up on. On the other hand, it was nerve racking because I knew how many hours and minutes it would be until surgery.
We arrived at 7am and waited two and a half hours for surgery. The prep time actually went faster than I expected it to and at the last minute they almost bumped my c-section for an emergency c-section.
As I walked into the operating room I started to get really nervous and shake. I wanted to run out of there, but had to keep focused that this would be over soon and I'd have my baby girl. The next 15-20 minutes went by very fast and very slow all at once. They had me sit on the edge of the gurney while they put the spinal epidural in. After numbing the area, they started to put the needle in and I felt it so they had to stop to numb it more and from there on I didn't feel anything. My legs were numb within minutes and I was laying on the operating table, shaking.
Once they started surgery, Ken came into the room and I think my eyes told it all. I was scared and the shaking gave it away too. The anesthesiologist told me what they were doing during surgery, minus the bloody details. As they got closer to taking her out I heard the doctor say, "She's a big one" and then "We might need the vacuum" and then within 30 seconds they pulled her out and she started screaming. I immediately started crying because every mother's relief is to hear their babies cry for the first time knowing that they are okay. They showed her to me and Ken over the drape and then took her over to the warmer to weigh her. Ken said he felt torn as to where to go. He went over to be with Lila for awhile.
We spent the next few hours in recovery. I started feeling nausea and eventually threw up which was interesting considering I had just had surgery on my abdomin. Lila nursed for the first time like a pro and we were moved back into a room in Labor & Delivery that we would stay in until a room was ready for us on the Mother & Baby floor.
While in the room Lila started grunting a little and coughing up amniotic fluid. It's very common for c-section babies to get amniotic fluid stuck in their lungs because it hasn't been squeezed out like it would in a regular delivery. They decided to observe her and eventually to admit her to the NICU to make sure all of it came out and promised we would most likely have her upstairs with us by the next morning.
The rest of the day I felt awful. I experienced nausea, incision pain, and was sweating a ton. On top of that my baby was in the NICU without me. Ken stayed with her and by 4pm had a good report. Within an hour of being admitted to the NICU she was having no problems. We were encouraged that she would be with us by the next morning.
I painfully got out of bed and into a wheelchair to go down to the NICU that night around 8pm to feed her. I planned to come back the next morning to feed again because they told us they were giving her nutrients through her IV. I don't know why I didn't wonder what "nutrients" meant. There's only two things that babies can really have for nutrients - formula & breastmilk. We told them no formula & no pacifiers.
Around 1am, 2 hours after Lila should have had her scheduled NICU feeding a nurse called me and said, "Are you going to come feed Lila? She's been screaming for over an hour." Crying I got myself up out of bed and into the wheelchair and we headed down to the NICU to feed her. From then on we had to come to the NICU every 3 hours to feed her and only on the NICU's feeding schedule. By the time I'd finish feeding her and get back to my room 60-90 minutes would have gone by, then it would be time to do it again.
I'll blog about Day 2 in a bit. I need to go feed Lila.