We went to the hospital for our planned C-section to have our little girls delivered. I was 37 Weeks and 6 days pregnant, large, and ready to meet the babies I’ve been feeling move around for the last several months.
We arrived at the hospital, did some paper work, and then I was taken to the labor and delivery room. I put on my oh so fashionable gown, had some blood drawn and an IV put in (which hurts a lot) and was hooked up to the fetal monitors.
However, the nurses couldn’t find the second baby’s heartbeat. She kept looking for it, and had the other nurse look, had a doctor look for it, and then they had an ultrasound machine brought in to find it, and still couldn’t find it. Then they got a perinatologist doctor to come in and use the machine and she found it right away. JEEZE! Needless to say we were both getting quite anxious about the fact that it was taking 30 minutes to find our second girl’s heartbeat the day of delivery! But, there she was, good as always, our little drama queen. The anesthesiologist came in and got my epidural started. The numbing shot hurt for 3 seconds, and then the rest I didn’t feel at all. (The IV was worse.)
I was wheeled into the operating room and in about 30 minutes or so we had baby Lisa Katherine! She was 6 lbs 14 oz and 19 in long. What a big girl! And 2 minutes later we had Alison Louise! She was 6 lbs 15 oz and 18 1/2 in long. Another big girl! They probably would have weighed the same if Lisa wouldn’t had peed as she was pulled out. That means I had almost 14 lbs of baby in me! That means I lost about 20 lbs on the operating table.
Josh: Let me take a moment to talk about the NICU. It isn’t an unfriendly place as I was afraid it would be, but it is a little scary to have your baby taken there because of course you want them to be healthy and well and being in the NICU means that they are either not healthy or not well or both. In the case of Lisa she was having a hard time breathing normally. The grunting she did at birth was the red flag for the nurses and doctors and to them it meant that she was not able to breath deeply. Alison went down to the Nursery, Kate went to the recovery room, and Lisa to the NICU. They asked me who I wanted to go with I and knew immediately that I wanted to be with Lisa. So I ran after her into the NICU where they started doing all sorts of tests on her. Eventually they put her on a breathing machine called a CPAP, which is relatively benign as far as treatments are concerned. If you have a snoring relative sometimes the doctor will have them use a CPAP at night to help them breath better. It is really all about getting concentrated oxygen to the lungs.
They next took an X-ray of her chest to see what was going on. The x-ray showed that her left lung wasn’t quite expanding like it should. They decided that they needed to intubate her and put some liquid (surfactant) in her lungs to help lubricate the alveoli. This was really hard to watch but the nurses did a great job. (Note to reader: this all took place over the course of many hours). Little Lisa was then put back on the CPAP machine and left to see if her lungs would open up. After about an hour and a half of this they took her off to monitor her and see how she had progressed. I think they were almost ready to release her when she started to resparate oddly and grunt a bit. They did another x-ray and talked to the doctor on call and decided to admit her to the NICU with a partially collapsed lung. At this point they stepped up the treatment and put her on an IV and a more aggressive oscillating respirator which took over breathing for her for about five hours. It had her breathing about 160 times a minute. To give you reference, adult humans breath about 12 times a minute.
Eventually they took her off the machine and was she breathing all on her own again. Her breathing was normal and she was not grunting at all. They kept her in the NICU for a while and had Kate wean her off the IV. To this point (about 24-ish hours) Kate had only seen her a couple of times and Lisa hadn’t eaten real food. The first time Kate went up with me, I took a bottle of consecrated oil and gave her a blessing. The weaning itself was hard at first (for Lisa and on Kate because it was hard on Lisa) but with the help of a very special staff of nurses and lactation specialists, we were able to get Lisa feeding normally and she was released to be with the rest of her family. Thanks to everyone for their prayers on her behalf.
Kate: Alison was healthy and was able to be with me about 3 hours or so after delivery. She was so beautiful! I was so happy to finally hold her and see her. I couldn’t wait to see her sister and hold her. Josh was a beaming father. He was so proud of me and all the hard work I did. But, I am so grateful I had Josh with me in the hospital. He was my best and favorite nurse!
Our stay at the hospital was full of tests, doctor visits, guest visits, phone calls, feedings, drugs, sleep, no sleep, more feedings, stress about Lisa, hospital food, etc. But, the nurses were great and so nice and helpful. And our friend Regina worked three of the nights we were there.
Post-pregnancy bodies are weird and go through so many changes. I am not in too much pain, probably because I take drugs to help with it. My intestines are trying to get back to where they belong, and my lungs feel like they have all the room in the world now to breath! Women have amazing bodies.
Being a mom is super awesome. You get to cuddle a baby that is warm and beautiful and cuddly and that looks a little like you! I still can’t believe I made them and that they are mine. They have been wonderful for the most part and I’m glad I am able to breastfeed them. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it. We have so much snuggling ahead of us and we are so happy.
Thanks everyone for your support and prayers this week. They have definitely helped. And a special thanks goes to Josh’s mom who is now here with us and will be for 2 weeks. She’s already been wonderful to have around.
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