Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sarah's First Week

Well, after months of waiting, she's finally here!  On Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 8:28 am, our sweet little Sarah was born.  She was 6 pounds 13 ounces and 21 inches long.  She was hiccupping as she was born, then started her sweet little cry.  My photographer friend was present for the birth, but she's on vacation right now, so I'll have to share those pictures later (don't worry, everything is PG). 

Shortly after Sarah was born, we called our family to let them know we were ready for visitors.  Sam met them in the waiting room to bring Joseph in to meet his little sister.

Joseph is really into the parts of the face right now, so he enjoyed pointing out her eyes.

From the very beginning, Joseph was interested in this little thing that was taking part of the attention away from him.

Three hours after she was born, the nurse came to get Sarah to give her a bath and her immunizations and all that fun stuff.  Since our family had all left for a little bit, Sam and I decided to take advantage of this time and nap.  A short time later, Sarah's pediatrician came into our room.  Sam and I tried to wake up enough to comprehend what she was saying.  It started off simple enough.  You know, the common "she's so pretty" "I bet Joseph is excited to see her" and all, but quickly moved to "her nurse called me over because Sarah's oxygen levels were different between her hand and foot so we've ordered an ultrasound of her heart and a chest x-ray, I'll let you know when I know more."  As soon as Dr. Smithton left the room, I made Sam help me get out of bed and get dressed so I could go to the nursery and see Sarah.  Due to the other baby in the nursery at the time, we weren't allowed in, so we watched them do the ultrasound through the window (and tears).  When we were finally allowed into the nursery, this is what greeted us.  (The fishbowl thing on her head is an oxygen chamber thing.)

Dr. Smithton told us that the ultrasound tech felt everything was fine with her heart (although she couldn't say for sure until the radiologist read it), but that the x-ray showed she had some fluid in her lungs (they thought it might be pneumonia).  We then discussed our options which included leaving her in Stillwater to see if things got better with the oxygen fish bowl thing (her numbers were already starting to improve slightly) or flying her to OU Children's Hospital's NICU Unit to receive a little extra love.  Dr. Smithton decided to go ahead and send her to Oklahoma City based on our past and since that's what she would want if it were her kid.  Seeing your less than 9 hour old baby being prepped for her first helicopter ride is difficult to say the least.  While they were prepping her, I went back to the room to call my OB to ask to be discharged early.  Thankfully, he called the hospital and told them to go ahead and discharge me.  Since Sarah went via helicopter, neither Sam nor I were allowed to ride with her, so we ran home to get some different clothes real quick then headed to Oklahoma City.  On our way home, we stopped by the pharmacy to fill my prescription.  While sitting in the parking lot, Sarah's helicopter flew over, what a surreal feeling. 

A short time later, while we were driving down, one of the medics from the helicopter called to tell us they had landed safely and Sarah had been admitted to the NICU and would be ready for visitors when we arrived.  I don't think I was fully prepared for what we saw when we walked in.  Sarah had an IV in one hand, an oxygen monitor on her other hand, and oxygen monitor on one foot, a blood pressure cuff on the other foot, an oxygen tube in her nose, a tube going to her stomach to release gas, a temperature monitor on her chest, and three other monitors on her chest for her heartbeat.

By the time we arrived, they had already decreased her oxygen intake from what she was on in Stillwater, so that was encouraging news.  Although the level was decreased, they kept the flow high to help flush the liquid out of her lungs.  During her first night there, they tried to put an IV through her belly button/umbilical cord, but were unhappy with the placement so they took it out.  A couple of days later, they decided to place an IV in her foot and remove the one from her hand. 

The test results came back that she did not have pneumonia, so they stopped the antibiotics she was on and began weaning her off of machines as they saw fit (they can't do them all at once).  While weaning her off of the other machines, they tested her bilirubin levels and determined that she was a little jaundice, so we added a bili-ight.  I was a little sad about this because we were finally getting to the point where we could put clothes on her and hold her without 15 zillion cords, then we had to leave her under the light except during feedings. 

 On Saturday, we were in the room hanging out with Sarah when the nurse got a call letting her know that we were being transferred to the village.  The village is kind of a transitional area between NICU and going home.  The best part about the village is that the parents get to stay in the room with their baby!  We quickly went to my aunt's house to gather our belongings and came back in time to help move Sarah over, bili-light and all.  As soon as we arrived in our new room, the nurse got another call.  Sarah's bilirubin levels were going down, so she didn't need the light any more. 

It was so nice to be in our own little room and be able to hold her as much as we wanted, even if the parent bed was tiny (think college dorm room size) and nurses were coming and going all the time (at least hourly all day and night).  By the time we made it to the village, Sarah only had heart rate, one oxygen, and a temperature monitor on.

As we were winding down Saturday evening, we were told that Dr. Ivanov was planning to discharge us the next morning.  Talk about exciting news!  We survived the night with cords coming off and settings not quite right on the older machines causing numerous false alarms (and mini heart attacks) and woke up the next day not at all rested, but ready to take our sweet girl home.  Since they see patients in order of severity each day, the discharge patients are last, so we waited until 3:30 for our final doctor visit.  Dr. Ivanov said he was a little concerned that her jaundice wasn't completely gone thus she wasn't in the ideal condition to be leaving, but that he trusted us to follow up with her primary care physician so he was going to go ahead and discharge her.  After another hour of waiting, we finally received the papers and got to take our sweet little girl home.

At her follow up appointment with Dr. Smithton, it was determined that she was, in fact, still a little jaundice, so we rented a bili-light for the house and let her spend a couple of days under it.  At her two week check up, she was finally given a clean bill of health (in fact, Dr. Smithton was impressed with her weight gain {she was up to 7 pounds 4 ounces} especially considering she lost a few ounces in the NICU). 

As for the liquid in her lungs, there are a few theories about what may have caused it.  The most probable is that she just wasn't quite as developed as everyone thought she was (even though the high risk doctor did thorough ultrasounds of her lungs every month).  Another is that she swallowed some fluid during birth since she had the hiccups (it was my OBs first experience with a baby having the hiccups during birth).  What ever it was, she's healthy now and that's all that matters. 

1 comment:

  1. So happy to have her home!! WHAT a birth story! You Parks just can't do anything plain ol' boring normal, can you? ;)