Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Faith's Birth Story

At 21 weeks I went into premature labor.

After a day of shopping with my family, I noticed something was wrong. I just didn't feel right and noticed I was having a lot of pressure in my pelvic area. I explained the feeling to my husband as if my little one was trying to kick her way out. I tried to ignore it but we decided a trip to the ER would ease my mind.
I was transported directly to Labor and Delivery and was seen right away. The minute the nurse did the examine, I knew something was wrong; she looked at all the other nurses and quickly asked someone else to check. After several exams I was told that I was 3 centimeters dialated with a bulging water bag and as I guessed my baby's foot was directly in the birth canal.

I was immediately placed in the trendeleburg position (upside down) and given Magnesium Sulfate, which made me feel terrible. After 24 hours I was allowed to lay flat but I could not sit up or get up to use the restroom.

It was determined that I would have to wait to see a specialist that would visit the hospital in a few days. Until then all I could do was wait and pray. The day the specialist arrived I was excited and thought I would be able to go home with my other three children. I was wrong.

The specialist informed me that there wasn't anything they could do but try to stall the baby a few more weeks and even then if she were born she would stand only a 20% chance of survival and a 40% chance of major disabilities. Although the doctors were not optimistic, I still had hope.
After days of not walking, I was allowed a shower. For every step I took I said a prayer knowing my water bag could break at any moment. The day after those precious steps, I was told that my water bag had moved further into the birth canal and I would no longer be allowed to get up.

After seeing several more specialists and each of them telling me the odds I began to get depressed. I missed my other children so much and I couldn't eat which made me feel terrible. The hospital didn't have a NICU so I was told if my baby was born there, nothing could be done; I would have to stay at that hospital until my pregnancy was considered viable, transported to another hospital over an hour away and they would not try to save the baby before 24 weeks.

On August 9, 2011, the day before I turned 24 weeks, my water broke and there was no stopping the labor. I begged the pediatrician to save my baby and she told me would do all she could. The room became so crowed with hospital staff and everything began to move so quickly. As the obstetrician began to deliver the baby, the baby flipped and had to be delivered legs first. When she was born she didn't cry. I refused to look at her because I was afraid of what I would see. She barely had a heartbeat. The doctor gave her a whiff of oxygen and she began to move and her heart rate began to pick up. After several attempts they were able to intubate(put her on a ventilator).

After hours of waiting the doctor came to give us an update and told us that our baby was holding her own and that she had actually tried to fight to pull the tube from her airway. I knew then that I had a little fighter. She told us all we could do from that point was to pray...and have faith.
Before she was transported I was able to see her, she was so small (1 lb. 4 oz.) but as I placed my finger in her hand, her grasp was strong which gave me a lot of hope. Five hours after she was born, she was transported to a NICU in New Orleans. I knew the only thing that would get us through everything was faith(as her Dr said)and that is how I decided on her name. 18 hours after giving birth I was discharged and made the first of many trips to the NICU at Oshsner Hospital in New Orleans.

Our NICU journey was filled with ups and downs. Two weeks after giving birth I developed complications from the birth and being hemorrhaging. At one point my blood pressure was 77/55. The ER Nurses didn't even think I would make it. After surgery and receiving a triple blood transfusion I was able to go home. Two days after my release I begin my journey again back and forth to the NICU again. During Faiths 101 days in the NICU she developed infections, she was on a vent and had a PDA(I called it her broken heart) which was fixed while there. She also had a few NEC(deadly intestinal infection) scares. I was not allowed to hold her until she was 5 weeks old and some days I was not allowed to even touch her. The first time I held her, her breathing tube fell out and I had to watch as they bagged(resuscitated) her. She suffered several events where she would forget to breath and her heart rate would drop and she would have to be resuscitated. There is no other helpless feeling of watching your baby turn blue and limp while the doctors or nurses work on them in order to get them to breathe and bring up their heart rate. Eventually things began to look up and Faith started to gain weight and get stronger. After 14 long weeks and plenty of trips back and forth to the NICU I was told Faith would be able to come home. She would still be on 24 hour oxygen, but "she was coming home!
A week before Thanksgiving our baby was finally home."

Today Faith is 15 lbs. and doing well. After 4months of being home, she is officially off of Oxygen!!

6 weeks
4 months
 7 months
 Bye Bye Oxygen Tank!

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