Thursday, March 12, 2009

What a week--part 2--Tate in the NICU

Tate was born with a bang on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. He was doing really well, and besides a little jaundice everything was going accordingly. He was nursing well which was encouraging because Abby wasn't much of a nurser. They decided to put him under the fluorescent billirubin lights late in the day on Friday, March 6th because we were going to be there a few more days because of my C-section, we decided it would be good that he could be under the lights and get rid of the jaundice before we left the hospital and then were wouldn't have to worry about having to put him under the lights at home like we did with Abby.
Well on Saturday our pediatrician came to me and said that it looked like we would need to start supplementing Tate with formula because he had lost 1 pound, his billirubin count was still high, and his urine was really brown which was concerning for the pediatrician. Initially I was upset that I had to start supplementing because I was hoping that the nursing thing would go better this time and I wouldn't have to do formula, but I wanted to do what was best for the baby. Because his urine was brown the pediatrician ordered a urine analysis to be done to find out exactly why. The initial analysis looked "dirty" according to the lab, ordered another one to be done via catheter. They told us we would most likely have the results back late Saturday afternoon.
The doctor called us with the results and said he was concerned because again his urine was brown and looked dirty so he called a urologist at Primary Children's to see why that was. The urologist stated that it could possibly be a fistula which happens when the stool mixes with the urine because there are problems with the bowels and rectum. But Tate had already had a few bowel movements and his rectum looked intact so our doctor was perplexed. He told us that we would most likely discharge on Sunday and then take Tate up to Primary Children's on Monday to run some tests to see what was going on.
I was pretty upset and hormonal of course because we didn't really know how serious the situation was and we most likely weren't going to get answers for another day or so. On Saturday night Jake had taken Abby to get something to eat with his family and I had called my sister Katie to tell her what was going on. Being the sweet sister that Katie is she could that I was upset so she decided to come and hang out with me at the hospital and keep me company. She also butted in like most older sisters do and asked my Dad to come over to the hospital to give Tate and I a priesthood blessing for health and comfort which was very thoughtful. I was grateful for my family's concern and support.
The next day on Sunday I went to my discharge class, and in the middle of it my pediatrician came to come and talk to me. He told me that he had been on the phone with more specialists after he had spoken with me the previous night and said that he wasn't convinced that Tate had a fistula and that is why his urine was brown. He said it was more likely that Tate was ultra dehydrated because he hadn't been getting much liquid from me like we thought and then we had him under the billirubin lights for his jaundice. So Dr. Ebherhard said that he was going to admit him to the NICU to be put on some fluids to see if that helped the brown urine. He also said that they would be able to run further tests to make sure everything else was OK. Honestly when he told me that I was relieved that hopefully that was all the problem was. So they admitted him into the NICU, and we weren't able to go home with him which was hard but OK because we felt better that he was getting the care he needed so he would be 100% when he came home. The only other hard thing was that I needed to go to the hospital every 3 hours to feed Tate and I couldn't drive because I had a C-section. I didn't necessarily have to go to the hospital but it was the only time that I would be able to see Tate and hold him, they would allow me 1 hour to feed and hold him and then they had to put him back onto his monitors and under the billirubin lights. In fact one time I went to feed him and they had already fed him with a bottle because he had woken up early and was fussing. When they told me they had already fed him I started to cry (yes the hormones were in full swing.) Luckily my sister Katie was awesome and took me back and fourth to the hospital multiple times while Jake stayed with Abby because children weren't allowed in the NICU, and my parents and Jake's mom also took me. I initially thought that Tate would only have to be in there for a couple of days, but I didn't realize that it would take time to work Tate up to the amount of IV fluids they wanted him on and then it would take time to work his way off them because they wanted to observe how he did through the whole process of coming off the fluids to see if he would be OK without them. I am just grateful it was just a few days and not months that he had to be in the NICU, honestly I don't know how people who have to do that make it through.
So on Wednesday the doctor told me that he was doing really well and after doing a renal ultrasound, a head ultrasound and other lab workups everything was looking normal and he would most likely come home in the next few days. Well I was hoping we would be able to take him home on Thursday and sure enough we got a call from the nurse in the NICU stating that the doctor had discharged him. It was so exciting yet kind of scary because now we were bringing him home and I just didn't want anything else bad to happen. Tate's delivery had been nothing like we had planned or anticipated and it was neat to see how much love and support we had through the whole thing from our family, friends, and ward members.
It's funny how each kid is so different. Tate's pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery were TOTALLY different and more difficult than our first time around with Abby and I have joked with Jake that he better shape up because he has been a trouble maker from the start. But really he is such a good baby and has been so fun to have in our family.
Here is Jake dressing Tate to get him ready to bring home from the NICU. (Notice the camo outfit for Tate that his Daddy picked out.)

What a week!--part 1

Introducing: TATE BARBEN

Born: March 4, 2009 at 2:44 p.m.

Weight: 8 lbs. 11 oz.

Length: 21.5 inches

As Jake says, "We caught the Tater!" Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. I went in to be induced to have our baby boy. My doctor came in, broke my water and we were on our way. Things were going very well, I dilated quickly, was very comfortable during my contractions, and besides some slight nausea with the pain medication, we were excited that my labor this time with Tate was seemingly going to be short and sweet......little did we know the change of events that would occur.
When I was dilated to a 9, they called my doctor and I was getting ready to push. My doctor arrived and was observing the baby's heart monitor and asked the nurse if that was the fetal heart rate or the maternal heart rate, and the nurse wasn't quite sure. Immediately I saw the concern on my OB's face and she said, "Let's get going." Apparently the baby's heart rate was dipping so I then proceeded to push as hard as I could while I continued to observe the looks on Jake's and my doctor's face. I tried pushing a few times, and then they pulled out the vacuum and I pushed with that to try to get the baby out, then they had 2 nurses pushing on my belly, used the vacuum, and me pushing to try to get him out, one of the last things my doctor said was "Push sweetie, like you don't want a C-section." Well no matter how hard we tried we couldn't get Tate out, and his heart rate by this time was dropping, so in a matter of seconds, they prepped me for a C-section. The nurse anesthetist pumped my epidural line with one last shot, unhooked me, and he and another nurse wheeled me to the OR. They tossed Jake a bag of surgical covers to put over his clothes and said they would be back to get him.

When I got to the OR, they immediately reclined me back and put the sheet up in front of my face, which I assume was so they could immediately sanitize the area, right after they reclined me I started feeling nauseous and began puking over the side of the table onto the OR floor. (Glamorous I know) I immediately felt tugging and said to someone "Will someone go get my husband." The nurse replied, "On my way" then Jake came in and sat on a stool next to my head. Because of the surgical garb Jake was wearing the only thing I could see were his eyes, and just by looking at him I could tell he was concerned. He was holding my hand and kept stroking it, then I heard the doctor say, "Here he is!" I heard Tate whimper a little, and then I said to Jake, "Is he ok?" I could tell by Jake's eyes that the baby was ok which was a relief. I next heard the doctor talking about "sutures" so I knew that they were sewing me back up, and the next thing I know I am waking up in my labor and delivery room and I can see my doctor and Jake standing at the foot of my bed. Jake is holding the baby and says, "Here he is honey, do you want to hold him?" I don't even know if I replied back to him, I was so drugged that I could barely keep my eyes open. The next few hours were a blur because I kept going in and out of sleep, with family coming in and out to see how I was.
Around 6:00 p.m. they moved me over to post partum, and I started feeling a little better. Come to find out the major reason I couldn't push Tate out is because he had a ginormous cranium of 37 cm, and was facing posterior (face up) but the major reason for the C-section was because of Tate's dropping heart rate. So apparently I like going through labor so much that I thought I would try both kinds this time, vaginal and C-section. Although the recuperation hasn't been fun, I am so grateful we were able to get Tate out and everything was relatively OK.
Because everything happened so quickly and was kind of a blur, it was interesting to get Jake's perspective on what happened. Here is what he had to say in an email to his friends about the delivery:
"We have welcomed a new little guy into our family after a scary turn of events last night. My wife and I were joking around in the labor and delivery room that the second time around has been so much easier than the first, and wouldn't you know it we jinxed ourselves. While delivering, the baby became lodged in the birth canal “sunny side up.” Meaning he was looking towards the sun…a bad deal. To make matters worse his heart rate suddenly dropped to a drastically low rate causing a panic in the labor and delivery room. What followed after that was chaos. Doctors were stripping tubes and IV’s from my wife, they threw an OR gown at me and told me to get dressed and just like that they were running down the hall with my wife. Can you say, “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?????”
I stood there in the labor and delivery room for what seemed like an hour, although it was probably only a few minutes. When they finally came to get me we pretty much ran down the hall towards the Operating Room. I turned the corner and there I saw two doctors on top of my wife jerking, pulling, shaking, and tugging to get the baby lose from the canal. I never knew child birth could be so violent! I didn’t tell my wife this but it reminded me of the end of the movie “Braveheart” when they were torturing William Wallace. Nothing worse than being in the unknown, my only gauge for the seriousness of the situation was the look on our doctor’s face and the frantic nature in which she worked to free the baby.
Despite the unexpected and dramatic first few minutes of his life, surprisingly he is doing great! My wife is fine too thank-goodness! The doctor told me later that she was very worried for a few minutes and my response was, “I work in sales and have learned to read facial expressions pretty good, your facial expression told me everything I needed to know!” It was wild!"

Little did we know that the delivery was just the beginning with our adventure with Tate. I will post Part 2--Tate in the NICU to give more details.