Friday, March 6, 2009

Fresh air, near death, and new life

I did something today that I have not been able to do since Sunday night.

Breathe fresh air.

I was given the OK to experience such luxury just this afternoon. It really is the little things you long for most when they are unavailable.

To explain why this privilege was taken from me we will have to start at the beginning.

On Sunday night, March 1, around 7:45pm I bent over, as well as a 9 month pregnant lady can bend, to help Tennyson put on his shoes. I suddenly realized that I had either just lost complete control of my bladder or my water had broken.

I've never had my water break on it's own before. It's always had to be broken for me and then 10 minutes later I deliver. At this point I had not had any contractions yet, but we were nervous that when they started we wouldn't have much time before the baby came so we rushed home to pack.

We got to the Hospital 9:05 pm. I was still only 3 cm but they wouldn't let me leave because my water had broken. I still had not had any contractions. We decided we would "walk" the halls to see if it would do the trick.

By walk I mean Olympic speed walk.

I'm sure anyway who saw me was wondering what I was doing in labor and delivery if I could move that fast. We even timed how long it took us to make a loop and then tried to beat our personal best each time around. For the record 3 minutes 38 seconds is the time to beat.

After an hour of that I still had not had a contraction but I was dilated to 4cm. This was taking FOREVER.

We decided to try a warm compress on my chest and a soak in the jacuzzi tub. Two methods known to start contractions. I enjoyed the tub very much but it did nothing to move me closer to my end goal.

By 11pm I had had very few contractions. The ones I did have would last for about 3 intense minutes, but had little effect on my cervix. Plus we figured out he was head down but facing my hip instead of my back causing the contractions to be extra painful.

Now, lets examine my mental state at this point. In all my other pregnancies the longest I had ever been in the hospital before getting to hold my new little one was 3 hours. It was now over two hour and I was only at 6cm. The contractions were more painful than I had ever experienced and it was getting late. I had had enough. This was NOT how my labors were supposed to go and I was very emotional about it.

At 11:30pm I decided it was time for the pitocin and if we were going to use one drug we might as well use them all. I asked for an epidural before they started the pitocin. By the time they pumped me full of fluid enough to receive the epidural and then got around to getting the actual needle stuck into my spine it was 1 am. That's when they started the pit.

The epidural was FANTASTIC! I am now a new fan. They would tell me I was having a big contraction and I would reply,"Huh? I'm having a contraction?" My legs felt like big elephant pillows an overall very weird, but not unpleasant sensation.

After 1 1/2 hours I was still 6cm. So they upped the juice on the pit at 2:20am.

They told me they were going to put my legs in the stirrups for me. I was waiting for them to grab my legs when all of the sudden they were already up there. It surprised me so much all I could think to say was, "Hey! Those are mine!"

At 2:45am they told me to start pushing. I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly because I couldn't feel. But they assured me I was because his head was already out. Sweet! I didn't even feel it.

At 2:46 am, March 2, one week early, and after only one minute of pushing, our beautiful baby boy entered the world.

Sanders James Daly

7 lbs 11 oz
21 inches

He is wonderful and the kids can't get enough of him

I was shaking for most of the day, but thought it was because of the epidural. But at 1:00pm my temp was 102.9. They thought it was because of too many blankets and the stress of labor. And the nurse told me to take a lap around the floor because that could help. (Secretly I think she had a bet on whether or not I could break the previously set record) They gave me meds for pain and the fever went down. But it kept coming back as well as the shaking.

My blood work from when I first came into Labor and Delivery came back and it revealed that my white blood count was already at 18 even before I had reached the hospital. By Tuesday morning it had reached 27. It was then that they knew something serious was going on and that I was very sick.

The good news is I never felt as sick as I was. I really look at that as a blessing.

They started me on IV antibiotics and ran some more tests.

The Strep A came back positive in my urine and my blood. Two very bad places for it to be positive. They think the strep is what caused my water to break.

I think they were scared there for awhile because it was only after I started to turn the corner they started telling me how good it was that they had caught it as early as they had and that I was extremely lucky.

It makes me want to cuddle all my kids forever. It could all end so fast.

By Wednesday my white blood count was down to 22 (normal is 4 - 10). So I was still very sick.

Thurs. count was down to 10, but I was still getting fevers at night. Plus they were confused as to why the infection wasn't totally gone by then. Step isn't like a staph. It doesn't resist antibiotics. It just dies. They were worried it was hiding somewhere else in my body and they didn't want to send me home to have it continue growing.

Part of the problem was the nursery would no longer let Sanders enter there. They were afraid he could pass whatever I was fighting on to the other babies. So even at the height of my battle for what I now understand to be my life, I had to care for a newborn all night. It was very challenging and I cried a lot the first night because I was not able to get to sleep until 6 am. just because of normal newborn stuff.

I kept thinking, how am I to get better if I can't sleep? It still doesn't make any sense to me, but at the time I could think of no alternative options than to continue caring for my son and doing my best to sleep after his needs were met.

Last night, my dear sister, who is also a nurse, offered to come spend the night with me and take care of Sanders. I can't express enough gratitude to her for listening to the Holy Ghost because just the night before, as I was again contemplating how I was to get better with no sleep and no help from the hospital, I found myself pleading with Heavenly Father to send me an angel. I was thinking literally, send an angel to rock Sanders to sleep, sooth his tears, and postpone his hunger. I didn't have to see them, but I knew Sanders would know they were there.

As always, the Lord always sends better than what you could even think to ask for. Meghan came and spent the night allowing me to take a sleeping pill. I slept from 11pm to 4am! Even through one of my IV treatments. She was definitely heaven sent. There is no question in my mind. I did not have any fevers! And my white blood count was still 10. So the high end of normal but it passes.

I'm still on meds and am closely watching my temp.

I am so grateful to be born in this time with this technology and medication. Otherwise, as fast as the infection spread.......I can't even think what would have happened.

Believe me, that first breath of fresh air was deep. But the hugs for my kids and my husband....

......was even deeper.


Sarah said...

I'm glad you're home Em, and I'm glad you let Megs come. I tried :). Just know you had love and prayers coming from many directions.

Skye L. said...

I'm so glad that you were able to get over the infection, that sounds so scary! I heard you had to stay longer but I didn't realize it was that serious. Sanders is adorable and I can't believe how big Tennyson looks in that last picture! We'll pray for you and I hope you continue to get better!

Chrissy said...

Hooray for sisters, and angels that walk this earth. I am so glad that you are home and doing better, and I bet your kiddies are too. Beckham looks a tad overwhelmed in the pictures, that is a lot of emotion for one little body to deal with. You have a beautiful family. We love you all.

Lawson Family said...

Man, Meghan is awesome! I can even imagine haveing to deal with all of the newborn stuff, in a hosptial (I hate hosptials) while you're so sick! You are a strong woman and I'm so happy you're home!! Sanders is a keeper!

cwilson said...

Congrats on the baby! I'm sorry you got so sick! That's awful! I'm glad things are going well now. I want to hear how you're doing with your 4!

Colle said...

Em he is such a cute little baby!!! I am glad things are better and hope you get feeling even better soon.

Danica said...

Em we are so glad you are home. Sanders is such a cutie. I can't wait to hold him again, but probably should until we all get feeling better around here. Take care of yourself. LOVE YOU!

Scott, Kara, and Dane Jorgensen said...

Congrats! I always think that you are such a stallion! I want you to be my doula for my next baby! he is so so so cute! Your blog made me cry! Take care!

Tobi said...

You are amazing and your renewed perspective on life makes us all want to show a lot more love.

Sanders is adorable. Colin can't wait to be reunited with him!

Greg said...

Emilie, I love you! I am so thankful that you are okay. I am thinking about you all the time! It's too late to call now, but I am going to call tomorrow! I need to hear your voice:)

Brianna said...

I as well am so glad you are feeling better and that you're home.

My cousin had to go back to the hospital after being released for a similar infection. I went and took care of her sweet baby in the hospital so she could sleep too. I called it her baby's first sleepover. I'm so glad Meghan was able to give Sander's his first sleepover too.

Sleep is such important medicine and I'm so glad you accepted Meghan's gracious help.

Elena Loo said...

Oh, i'm so thankful for modern medicine and hospitals!! I'm so glad you are ok. Your boy is beautiful and I really like his name! Great job, and I'm happy for you guys!! You made it!!

Bianca said...

Congratulations!! Hope you are feeling better and all is well again. You had me laughing at the part where you LOVED the epidural...that's what I've been sayin' all along!! :D *If* I ever decide to give natural birth a can be my doula, okay?

E Harestad said...

Wow - you'd never think after having 3 kids with relatively no trauma that this would happen...and you seemed to handle it so, so well. I am glad he is here and I love the name Sanders. Em, please let me know if I can do anything. I know that it can be a circus at times and all you want to do is sleep. I am serious - even if it means taking the kids to McDonald's for a couple of hours so you can take a nap. I am in Centerville all the time. I hope you are feeling better - he is a beautiful boy. Take care.

meleah said...

I am glad everything is ok. Thank goodness for sisters! Congratulations on your baby!
He looks beautiful!