Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy (One Week) Birthday, Baby!

Evany Jane turns one week old today. Not until later tonight, but who knows if I'll have time to write then! I can't believe it. This time last Monday I was getting ready to make a paper chain to count down to this coming Wednesday, when the plan was to induce if I had not gone into labor.

And I wasn't going into labor. At all. I kept having short runs of contractions, but they did nothing. Nothing. Then my doctor told me that since I had been under continuous monitoring since I'd gone into the hospital the previous Thursday and was stable, that he was going to have to switch me to intermittent monitoring, meaning I'd be put on the monitors a few times a day, instead of all the time, even though my membranes were ruptured. It was hospital policy, and he'd already pushed it past the normal 24 hours of continuous monitoring.


He asked me if I'd have a problem with that, emotionally, and I said that of course I would...that it would mean that theoretically we could lose her in between monitoring sessions without knowing it, especially since I hadn't been feeling movement since she was out of amniotic fluid, and therefore couldn't do kick counts. I brought up how quickly we lost Eli, and my doctor said that I was right...that he went so fast that theoretically we could have lost him even in the hospital if I had not been on the monitors. He promised me one more day on the monitors and said we'd revisit on Tuesday.


Thank God he gave me that extra day, because within hours, Evany's heartrate started creeping up. I wasn't contracting, and I was only running a temperature of 99. If she hadn't been on the monitor, we would never have known. Because of her heartrate, an ultrasound was ordered, and from that ultrasound they determined that Evany was in pretty serious distress. In fact, my doctor told me that he didn't think she'd make it if we didn't get her out right away. So we did. But those minutes before she came out crying were some of the worst of my life.

I sat on the operating table while the anesthesiologist tried to hurry and get my spinal block in, and a nurse stood in front of me, trying to get the baby on the monitor while we waited to start the surgery. She couldn't find her, which is exactly what happened with Eli. I sat there, praying, feeling relatively sure that I was going to lose another baby, and thought of how ironic it was that I would lose her in an operating room when we were so close to getting her out. I wondered if Eli went through this, too...the racing heart, and what it felt like.


Thankfully, she was still alive, and she was out just about seven minutes later, at 9:22 PM. You all know the story from there...she's done nothing but surpass every expectation anyone had of her. The baby I thought I was losing came out crying, has never needed oxygen, and is exceptionally healthy for a NICU baby. She's tiny, but so alert. In fact, the Neonatologist just knocked on my door to let me know that her ultrasound was completely normal! No brain bleeds, which is huge. Even though she was so early, she is doing better than either one of the boys did when they were in the NICU. A lot better. In fact, it's like comparing apples and oranges.


Sometimes I just can't believe she's here. This pregnancy was so crazy and hard emotionally that I didn't even know how I would feel about my daughter when she was born. Bonding is also really hard with a NICU baby when they take them away before you even get to see them, basically. Luckily, as soon as I was able to get down to see her, I fell completely in love, and now I can't imagine my family without her. I've loved having this week to focus on her and get to know her, since I know that things are going to basically go crazy once she comes home when I have to juggle all four of them.


So Happy one week birthday, Vivi. I'm so sorry you're here so soon, but so thankful that you're surprising us all every day with how strong you are. We all love you so much and can't wait until we're celebrating one of your weekly birthdays at home!
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