Tuesday, May 11

Benjamin's Story

So, much has happened in the past 36 hours. I sit in the hospital knowing I will be discharged in the morning, but not knowing when my little boy will be. He is doing well. The problem is his body is not regulating his blood sugars on his own like he should. We knew this was a possibility with my diabetes, but I had no idea it would mean what we have been through. However, let me back up and tell you his story.
On Saturday I started having contractions every hour. Some were hard and some weren't. On Sunday they slowed down a bit so we weren't too excited. That ended up being a blessing as Becca had a really hard day on Sunday with her recovery and she really needed her mom. On Monday morning at 2:20ish I awoke with a really strong contractions that lasted for around 5 minutes (it really could have been two just on top of each other). I got up and walked around to try to help it feel better. I kept having contractions but some were really hard and some weren't that bad. They also were not consistent in timing. I laid back in bed trying to get some sleep. At 3:00 they started again and went every 15 minutes. At 3:45 I got sick of trying to sleep and not being able to so I went and took a bath. I also took Brad's I phone and downloaded an app that tracked my contractions. It was super cool. I just had to push a button when my contraction started and then when it ended. It told me how long it was, how long since the last one, the average in 20 minutes and the average in 24 hours.
To make a long night short I had contractions all night and was not able to sleep at all because whenever I would go back to sleep 10-20 minutes later I would have another contraction. Now, most ladies would maybe think "Oh, maybe I am in labor." However, I have been induced with all 4 of my other children and had no idea. The biggest problem was the contractions varied so much in strength and timing. I honestly didn't think I was in labor. In fact, I had an appointment set for 8:50 that morning so I was just hoping it had done something to help me dilate past the 2.5 I was at the week before. It wasn't until 6:55 when I had a pretty hard contraction when I thought, maybe I should call Allison (my older sister) and ask what her contractions felt like. I felt like an idiot but am SOOO grateful I called. As I was talking to her I had a really hard contraction. I was writhing in pain and couldn't talk to her. When it ended she said "Um, I am pretty sure that was a labor contraction." Oh, to back up the train a bit, I was wondering towards the end of the night if I didn't have a stone in my bladder ready to come out. My lower abdomen is where the contraction was the worst and I didn't think that was the case with real labor. Anyway, Allison assured me that contraction was not stone related but was a contraction. As I talked to her I had another one, just not quite as long. After that, since it was only 5 minutes from the last one, she said "I really think you should go to the hospital." I said I would talk to Brad and see. By the time I got off the phone, just a few minutes later, I had yet another one and they were really starting to hurt. Plus, I couldn't sit up because I felt like I was sitting on his head.
I said, "Okay, I think we should go to the hospital. I don't think I am going to make it to my doctors appointment." As I was getting dressed the contractions were getting much worse and right on top of one another. We left before Allison could even come to watch the kids (she was only 1 minute away) and put Ryan in charge. By the time I got in the car the contractions were so bad and I felt like I had to push. So, the drive to the hospital, which is usually 15 minutes, was the longest drive of my life. I had to push the entire time and it just got worse with each contraction. I was yelling at Brad to hurry and at cars that got in our way. Brad drove like a conservative mad man (more conservative than I liked for the situation, but he didn't want to crash which I did appreciate). Poor guy was thinking "Should I pull over and see if I just need to call 911 to deliver the baby?" When I was around 5 minutes away from the hospital my water broke (yes in the car....thank goodness for the seat cover which saved the seat.). I was yelling and screaming like in the movies. I even kept saying "This happens in the movies, not to me!!"
We made it to the hospital and Brad dropped me off in the front while he parked. I made it half way through the lobby when another horrible contraction hit. I stopped and was bent over and crying "Help me....help me". Some nice man and lady rushed to get me a wheel chair just as Brad ran through the doors. We hurried to the elevator and had to wait to be buzzed into labor and delivery. Brad calmly said "Yes, my wife is having a baby." I in the background yelled "I am needing to push right now." I didn't want them to think I was barely in labor. This was an emergency. We went to the front desk and the girl was calmly and VERY SLOWLY trying to check us in. I was panicking and saying I need to push right now. I nurse caught on and bipassed the front desk girl and got us in a room. My friend Carol, from our AF ward, is an OB nurse and she hurried and helped the other nurse get me into the room. We didn't have time to change into a gown. I was wearing a jumper so it worked out well. She checked me and saw I was at a +2 station, which meant she could see his head quite well. I asked her and the other nurse if they could deliver the baby because I couldn't wait for the doctor if he wasn't there. They said they could and we started pushing. Benjamin's heart beat was down for a second, but then it went back up once I pushed a little. The doctor came in a minute later (he was miraculously at the hospital assisting with a c-section so he left to come deliver our little guy). Nothing was set up, but it didn't matter. I pushed and a few minutes after I got in the room our little one was born. I was a mess. It hurt worse than anything I have ever experienced. I knew I was too far gone for an epidural but I kept asking if there was anything to dull the pain. Of course it was too late for any measures. The nurses kept saying "You can do it" to which I replied "I don't think I can." I have felt the pushing pain for two of my other kids because the epidural didn't work quite right. So, I knew the pain, but I now can say the epidural helped a tinsy bit because this time was the worst, and Benjamin was the smallest. Anyway, it was pretty cool because I saw right after his head came out and before his shoulders. I have never seen that. I also saw the umbillical chord and the placenta which I had never seen. I don't know why, I just hadn't. That cord was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Plus mine was almost double the length of a normal one. The nurses and doctors were shocked and joking about it. I was just so grateful it hadn't wrapped around his neck. There was some maconium in my water so they had to suction his mouth. But, he was just fine. The time from when I entered the main doors of the hospital to when he was born was only 8 minutes. Yeah, that is cutting it close.
After they cleaned him a bit and weighed and measured him he was placed in my arms. There is nothing like that moment. He was so beautiful. He has lots of hair, not the most of my kids, but more than most kids have. The weird thing is his hair is lighter than all my kids have had. However, the other weird thing is today it looks a little darker than yesterday. Go figure. He is tiny. He weighed 6 lbs 2 oz. I seriously was worried about having a 10 lb baby. The weird thing was 2 weeks ago at my ultrasound the doctors measured him at 6 lbs 3 oz. Then last week a different doctor measured him at 6 lbs 2 oz. He said he tends to measure small and that it was fine. However, he did want me doing another one because he was measuring so much smaller than my other kids. So, I was going to at my appointment. Anyway, I am now thinking he may not have been growing much the last couple of weeks. My pediatrician also thinks so.
So, there is the delivery update. Now, for the last 30 hours. We knew Benjamin had to be checked for blood sugars because of my diabetes. All was fine until they got those numbers. he was only at 29. They like them above 50. So they fed him a bottle of formula to get his numbers up. It only got him to 44. So, they then had to give him a shot of something that gives more glucose. That worked, but because the other numbers weren't great they had to put him on an IV. Because of this he can't come to our room. He is now in Level 2 nursery while we get these numbers under control. I guess if your blood sugar levels stay really low for a long time it can cause seizures, learning disabilities, and all sorts of other problems. Therefore, they have to gradually wean him from the IV until his body takes over and properly deals with glucose. This is what we have dealt with. Sometimes his numbers are great. They then did a rapid wean where they lowered his IV level from 11 to an 8 for a few hours. Well, his levels dropped dramatically and they had to bump it back up as well as give him another shot of the glucose thing. The bad news is his numbers have not been stable enough to lower his levels at all. This means his chances of coming home with me tomorrow morning are 0%. We don't know how long it will take. Yesterday was so crazy with births and such that because Benjamin isn't top priority in the nursery (since his breathing is awesome) it is just taking longer for anything to happen.
Today they had to insert a feeding tube to supplement nursing. He did not nurse well last night at all. I was up for over an hour from 1-2ish trying to get him to eat. He maybe ate 10 minutes in that time. I then had to go back to my room and pump to stimulate myself so my milk will come in. That took forever. The nurses were so busy, or so I am assuming, that it took 30 minutes anytime I called and needed something. Finally, around 3:15 I got back to sleep. I then got a call from the nurse at 4 saying Benjamin was acting like he wanted to eat. So, I got up and spent another hour trying to get him to eat. He just wanted to be close to his mother. Around 8:30ish I tried to feed him again and he just wasn't getting it. Because he was struggling with nursing and his numbers weren't great the Dr decided to put a feeding tube in to help supplement with the milk I was pumping. We did that and tested his numbers and they still weren't good. We were pretty frustrated and nervous. It has been a roller coaster of a day. I fed him around 1pm and he actually nursed really well. We were all very positive about that. We didn't even supplement him. We tested his numbers 3 hours after that feeding and they were at 68 which was really good. So, we are now all hopeful that his body is starting to regulate the glucose on his own. Tonight at the 7pm feeding they will test his blood sugars again. If they stay above the 53 mark then they will start the very slow weaning from the IV process. So, I am saying lots of prayers at this moment.


Jill Heaps said...

Oh my goodness Tamara!! I am so sorry you are going through all this. It is so hard to watch your baby struggle. You guys are in our prayers. Don't you worry, he will be OK!! WE LOVE YOU!

Kimberly said...

Wow, what a story! You will be so glad that you wrote it all down while it was still fresh in your mind. You are an amazing woman to go through all that!

Andrea Tao said...

what a great, scary, painful story! I know how you feel with shock of a 6 lb baby when you're use to 9 pounders!