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Thursday, December 11, 2008

And here she is!

At 36 weeks, the day had finally come.  Dr. Moss felt it was best to induce and have Madi early because her hydrocephalus levels were getting high and he didn't want to risk long-term brain damage. 

David and I got to the hospital on Sunday night at 9:00 for our induction.  We got checked in and settled and they started cervidil to thin my cervix.  After 12 hours of nothing, they decided to try a folly ball (pardon my spelling on that) to speed along my dilation.  After 3 very painful attempts and a few tears, they abandoned that idea.  They tried a few more things but fast forward many more hours, and still, nothing.  I was given the option of  starting pitocin, though it most likely wouldn't do anything to change where I was at since everything else had failed, I could have a C-section right then, or they could give me one more week and allow me to (hopefully) progress on my own.  If I did progress, we would try again to induce.  If not, I would get a c-section when I came back.  I am guessing you already know what I chose.  Since I am not a fan of contractions that aren't effective, nor am I too keen on the idea of a c-section, I opted for another week.  Surprisingly, Madi's neurosurgeon, Dr. Moss, agreed to the idea, so I was discharged after 36 hours (which equated to 2 nights in the hospital).  I was a bit surprised to be going home empty handed, as I really thought that something would work, but Conner was glad to have his mom and dad home and I welcomed an extra week in my own bed.

On November 11th, at 37 weeks, the day had finally come (again).  On Tuesday morning at 4:30, David and I checked in to the hospital.  Today was the day we would finally meet our little angel!  Upon checking in, we were told that there were many emergencies the night before and our room would not be ready until 6:30.  They did decide to check me, though, so we knew if we were proceeding with a c-section or an induction.  Over the course of the week I had dilated another centimeter to 3 centimeters and had continued effacing to 60%.  My doctor, Dr. Elliot, (can you believe out of 17 doctors, my doctor was actually on call that night?!?!), was hopeful that pitocin would be effective in starting my labor.  At 8:30 we were finally brought back to our room.  They started pitocin at about 11:30 that morning.  I would have appreciated the extra 7 hours in my own bed, but none of that mattered now.  I was just happy to get things started!  They started the drip and slowly upped the level every 40 minutes or so to try and mimic natural labor.  They new my goal was to have a natural birth, free from pain medications or interventions, and they wanted to help me along that path.  They checked me around 2:30 and I was at 4 centimeters and 70% effaced.  I had made it up to a level 6 with the pitocin (out of 30) and was having regular contractions, though they were still not very intense.  They decided to speed things up by breaking my water and it worked.  My contractions slowly started to intensify and grow closer together.  I sat on the birthing ball for a while, sat in the rocking chair, and then started to get to the point where I didn't want to be talked to or asked questions during my contractions.  All I wanted to do at that point was concentrate.  I called David, who had gone home with Conner to nap, and told him he might want to start heading my way, just in case.  My mom was there with me, but I, obviously, didn't want him to miss the birth.  At 5:00, David hadn't quite arrived, but was just around the corner.  They checked me again and I was at 6 centimeters and was almost fully effaced.  They told me I was close and it would just be a few more hours-- I couldn't wait!  Madi's heart started blipping, though, so they were keeping a very close eye on me.  They had my lay on my left hand side and had me breathe oxygen through an oxygen mask.  David arrived safely in the room, offering his encouragement and support.  Moments later I started getting very fast and very strong contractions.  I didn't have any break in between them and my body was starting to tell me to push.  They had me roll over to check my progression, as they were worried I was only 7 or 8 centimeters and pushing would cause me to tear.  To their surprise, I was fully dilated, fully effaced, her head was engaged, and she was coming fast!  I was told not to push or do anything until the doctor could get there.  I tried to stay calm and relaxed, but my body was telling me it was time.  A few minutes later the doctor, a resident, a few nurses, and the NICU team arrived and it was time to push (let me tell you.. giving birth in front of about 9 strangers is just fabulous!).  I pushed for about 15 minutes and there she was!

Madilynn Joy Veprek was born November 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm.  Our birth was wonderful and  just as I had hoped for.  Madi did fantastic and even scored 9's on her apgars!  People would say to me that they were praying she would be born perfect, to which I replied, "she already will be, because she's exactly how God intended her to be".   She was even more beautiful than we had imagined.  She had a full head of dark hair, dark blue-ish grey eyes, 10 little finger and 10 little toes, and was absolutely perfect!  The covering on her back had remained in tact, her lungs were working well, and she was perfectly healthy.  After putting her on my chest for a few minutes they covered her back, cleaned her off, and took her to the NICU.  Conner got to meet his sister for the first time and I think he was very proud.  They let me spend that night with her in the NICU before taking her to Phoenix Children's Hospital.  At 7:30 the next morning they took her in an ambulance to the hospital.  David got to ride with her but was a bit disappointed that they drove below the speed limit.  I was released the next morning at 11:00 so that I could be there for her surgery and stay with her in the hospital.  Things couldn't have gone more perfect and we were so thankful!

Update- Wow, I just realized I left out a lot of our story!!  After Madi was transferred to Phoenix Children's Hospital, she had a surgery to insert a shunt and close her back.  The nurses and neurosurgeons knew that nursing her was important to me, so they let me hold her and breastfeed her just a few hours after her surgery.  She latched right on and did great!!  They didn't have a private room for us the first night, but I told them I wasn't leaving, period.  They had me sleep in a room they have for babies and moms who are waiting to get discharged, but are deemed "healthy", and came and got me whenever Madi was awake and hungry.  In hindsight, I should not have left her bed.  A nurse decided to give her morphine, but gave it to her too fast, and she stopped breathing.  They had to give her something to counter-act it, and I missed it all.  I will never leave her side again (unless I have a very good replacement). 

The next day we were transferred in to a private room.  It was on the corner and was really nice and quiet.  There was no restroom in the NICU and no food was allowed, so I had to leave every time I needed to eat or pee or change a postpartum pad, but mostly I stayed right by Madi's side.  The nurses were great with helping me nurse her and hold her.  My milk hadn't come in yet, so I was using a Medella supplemental nurser system with donor breastmilk to help supplement so that Madi could get the nutrients she needed to recover from surgery.  We had lots of visitors, but I really missed Conner!!  They had said we would probably be there 2 weeks, but we were actually only there 5 days.  They waited until Madi regained her full birth weight, then let us go.  No one could believe that we were leaving so quickly.  They had never seen another child with spina bifida leave as quickly as us.  All the doctors and nurses kept coming by to stare at us and tell us how shocked they were.  I wasn't shocked at all, though.  Madi had her momma there with her, good milk in her tummy, and many people praying for her. 

We were home two weeks when Madi started acting funny.  It turns out her shunt was infected.  They had to externalize her shunt and put her on antibioitcs.  After it had cleared for a bit, it came back, so they gave her a new external shunt.  After we got 10 days of no infection, they re-internalized her VP shunt and we got to go home.  The whole process took just under 3 weeks.  It was a rough time, but we made it through, and that is what is important!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a miracle! It's one of many signs that God is with us. Congratulations, and God bless you!