Sunday, July 12, 2009

Placenta Abruption

On June 23, I stared my day with my Husband and Doula at 5:30 a.m.. We went over my birth plan. I was super excited. My idea on child birth had changed and I was excited to have new knowledge and armed with my Doula I was confidant that I would have a 'dream labor and delivery'. As the day progressed I had a small pain in my belly, nothing major, I thought it was just the way Penelope was moving. I made many phone calls and was making arrangements for when I was going to have the baby (thinking a few more weeks out). I was supposed to go to some activities in the evening but I was feeling a little sluggish. I called a few people to let them know that I was not going to make it to the activities, I was thinking all I needed was a little nap. We had dinner as a family and got the kids to bed early. By 6:30 the pain was really bad. The pain was intense. I thought that maybe I was just in labor, even though this felt nothing like labor I had felt before. I called my Mother to come over so that Mark could take me to the hospital. I even joked on the way to the car that we would just go out on a date after the hospital because I just knew that this was not 'the time'. By the time we got to the hospital it was unbearable. I was in tears. I walked to the maternity ward with my husband and thought that I was going to have this baby in the hallway. We got checked in and the checked me to see how far along in labor I was.... well... no dilation... odd. They hooked my belly up to the monitors to see what was going on. No contractions. Baby's heart rate was in the 210-220 range, not good at all. The nurses rushed my midwife and doctor (yes, I was lucky to have both) in the room to evaluate what was going on. Soon there were swarms of nurses and people coming in and out of the room. Mark and I was told that this was a possible placenta abruption, that means internal bleeding between mother and baby because of the placenta detatchment. I looked at Mark and asked him to call our Moms, the Doula and our Bishop. I felt the need to be given a blessing by the Priesthood. Luckily my Bishop came within 20 minutes and he help Mark give me a blessing. My Doula was in shortly there after. There was talk about an emergency Cesarean. I completely lost it, my dream of having a natural labor and delivery was shattered. I started having anxiety attacks and couldn't breathe. The thought of my baby being born so early, and possible not making it, it was all too much to take in at once. Mark stayed strong. We were both so scared for our baby. Mark was scared for both of us. As they prepped me for surgery every emotion crossed my mind. What if my baby didn't make it, what if I didn't make it, what if... what if... The nurses wheeled my bed down the hall with Mark following me. We kissed with tears in our eyes hoping that this was all a very bad dream. I will spare you the details of the operation room and what happened there. I was put under general anesthesia because the doctors were afraid of how bad the 'possible placenta abruption' was. I woke up in pain. the nurses were still trying to took up the pain pump (and I think it is totally cruel to wake up from surgery like this without and pain medication already being given). I was told that is was an abruption, and a few more hours the baby and possible myself would not have made it. I was numb. I didn't want to really think about what had happened. I wanted it to all be a dream. A few minutes later, I remembered my Doula, Mother and sister coming in the room. They told me that my baby was OK. She was okay! I shed tears thinking that I had another little baby. Mark was still sitting with her in the NICU. I always told him that if anything ever happened I wanted him to stay with the baby, he did just that. Mark stood watch over our little girl making sure that she was given only the best of care from the nurses. The next few hours were a blur of what when on. I remember being angry that I couldn't get out of the bed to go down to see my baby. The nurses said I had to wait 3 hours after delivery to get out of bed, at 3 hours I had an argument with my nurse that either she was going to help me get down to see my baby or I was going to go alone... she ended up helping after I got really upset. I saw my baby for the first time in a open warmer. She was naked and sleeping. I touched her little hand. I cried. My baby was here, not the way I thought she would come but she was here, and alive. I was told the first few hours were going to show us how the next few weeks looked like for her. Needless to say she had problems with her heart rate at first. She was on O2. She didn't have control over her body temperature. With her gestational age at 33 weeks this was great news that these were the only things wrong. We counted our blessings. I said a prayer thanking my Heavenly Father that Penelope was here and we were able to see her.

I was in terrible pain for days, again details I will spare you from. Mark's mother came in a few days later, My mother was keeping our three older kids so that Mark could stay with me. I was an emotional wreck. I wanted to see my older children, I wanted to hold my baby. I couldn't sit for very long because of some issues that arose from after the surgery. I felt torn and completely unable to change anything that was going on around me. At this point I remember something that I shared with only a few people. A few months ago I felt an impression that something was coming... I know that sounds odd. I explained it that I didn't know what was going to happen but I KNEW that something was changing, coming or I was going to be tested in one way or another. Little did I know how right those comments were. I knew at this point that I had in small ways been preparing myself for this new challenge.
There were many prayers that were said. Tears that were shed. I felt so many emotions. I never felt for a moment that I was alone. For that I am grateful. Mark was there every minute he could be. When he wasn't he made sure that things were taken care of. Family and friends called and sent emails, made visits and shared their concern with us.
Our daughter, named Penelope Louisa-Belle, was born at 5 pounds 11 ounces and 7 weeks premature. She is a very sweet baby. Penelope had a 15 day stay at the NICU. Very short to what it was looking like in the beginning. We have her at home now, we love being able to have our children all sleeping in the same house with us. Though we have yet to get a few routine with four little children. We feel very fortunate that we had family that stepped up in our time of need. Friends that understood when to visit and to listen to me shed my tears. I am very happy for the wonderful man in my life that was my rock. Mark really showed me how strong he is to keep me from falling apart and keeping everything organized. I can't tell you how grateful I am to my Heavenly Father for slowly preparing me for this trial. Here are some pictures I would like to share with you that we have taken in the last few weeks.
Penelope's feeding tube in her nose. This tube got called her little elephant trunk, it made easier deal with.

Daddy loving his little baby girl.

This was the first night I had to leave her, one of the hardest days to deal with.

9 shout outs:

the Dancer said...

Wow! What an experience. How blessed that she and you are both doing well. She is a beautiful baby and you guys have such a beautiful family.

Stacey Kirchner said...

What an ordeal! Thank heavens everything is going well. I'm glad she's home and you're able to be a complete family.

Charity Brown said...

Wow. thanks for sharing the story. I guess the important part is everyone is okay and you're all back home together! :)

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