Monday, February 2, 2009

M2 - His Story, Part 1

I folks, sorry this is going to be a long post. It's M2's story, and it's a long one. I didn't have this blog until after he was born, I'm sure if I had this before he was born and while he was in the NICU the posts would have had a completely different tone to them. Anyway, this is Part 1. Please feel free to read or skip over, which ever you would like. This is Part 1, I'll get the rest of it up as I can.

M2 was born at 41 weeks, 1 week post term. 8pds 8oz, 21.8 inches. After a fairly ordinary pregnancy, labor and delivery. I was induced with him b/c I was a week past my due date, I was miserable, and my Dr was going to be out of town the next week.

I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am, by time everything was said and done and I was started on my pitocian it was 8am. M2 was born at 8:22pm. I only pushed a couple times and then I felt like I was going to vomit so the doctor and nurses decided to take a break to see if my stomach would calm down.

Slightly graphic details start now, but we’re all friends right?

My stomach didn’t calm down and I started vomiting. I vomited during delivery with M1 too, no big deal. Except with M2 here’s where the problems started. You use the same muscles to vomit as you do to push. Therefore I pushed M2 out while vomiting. Nobody was ready for him because we were taking a break. My OB literally lounged to catch him in mid air. I’m not kidding. Since he was delivered so quickly my OB didn’t have time to turn his shoulders. After my OB caught him, Hubby cut the cord and my OB held M2 up so I could see him, then she handed him to the nurse to take over. I’m not sure what happened next but I noticed A LOT of people coming in and going over to M2 and the nurse. (More on that later)

While all these people were coming in I was getting stitched up. Keep in mind, shoulders were not turned. I had a lot of stitches, I cringe every time I think of how many stitches I had. My epidural didn’t get ‘turned off’ until after the stitches were done. My OB specifically told the nurse to keep it turned on. One word: OOOWWWW.

So during the stitching we started to realize something was going on with M2. I sent Hubby over to see what was going on, while I’m screaming from the bed trying to find out what was going on.

M2 was what they call ‘Severely Stridorous’. I’ll wait while you Google it. Back? This is how Wikipedia descries it:

Stridor is a high pitched sound resulting from turbulent air flow in the upper airway. It may be inspiratory, expiratory or present on both inspiration and expiration. It can be indicative of serious airway obstruction from severe conditions such as epiglottitis, a foreign body lodged in the airway, or a laryngeal tumor. Stridor is indicative of a potential medical emergency and should always command attention. Wherever possible, attempts should be made to immediately establish the cause of the stridor (e.g., foreign body, vocal cord oedema, tracheal compression by tumor, functional laryngeal dyskinesia, etc.) That examination requires visualization of the airway by a team of medical experts equipped to control the airway.

There are several sights where you can hear examples of stridor; however M2 was much louder than any of the sites that I’ve heard examples on. I have M2 on video tape making the noise but I don’t know how to get it on here.

When he was considered stable enough to be moved out of the L&D room and to the NICU, I still was not done being stitched up. I felt so bad for Hubby; I could tell he felt like he was getting pulled in 2 different directions. I told him to go with M2, the baby needed his Daddy. I didn’t. I did finally get to hold him, but only for a minute. Hubby still had not gotten to. It was very difficult. Hubby went to the waiting room and got my Mom to sit with me and he went with M2.

I finally got moved to a room, and then I was taken to the NICU to see M2. He was on monitors, had an IV and was in an isolate and the NICU Dr on call was being called in. My parents brought M1 in to see him and then they took him and went home. It was almost midnight by this time.
I was taken back to my room and given something to help me sleep. At this point we had no idea what was going on, what Stridor meant, what caused it and what it would mean for him in the future. The NICU nurse told us flat out she had never heard a baby breathe like that before. We were clueless, worried and exhausted.

At about 3:30am the NICU Dr. came in my room and introduced himself, and said they (the birth hospital) were not equipped to take care of M2, they had no way to figure out what was causing the Stridor, and there was no one familiar with it there. So the NICU transport team had been called to take M2 to Children’s Hospital. I think Hubby and I were in complete shock and disbelief, I think in some ways we still are.

We went back to the NICU to say goodbye to M2. I remember the nurse going to get him out of the isolate to give to me. The transport driver said “We don’t have time; we need to take him now”. The nurse looked at him and told him he was not taking my baby until I was ready. The Nurse Practitioner on the transport team went over a lot of information with Hubby. I didn’t catch most of it. I do know the NICU transport for Children’s Hospital is literally a Mobile NICU. Everything that a NICU has is on this transport. EVERYTHING. I know there are 3 people on the transport team, two EMT’s (one of which is the driver) and a NICU Nurse Practitioner. I also know that the NICU transport has a special entrance and exit bay out of most hospitals, including M2’s birth hospital. They are heated bays so that the babies don’t get cold. I know this because I wanted to dress M2 so bad I couldn’t stand it; I didn’t want him to get cold. Of all the things I thought of, I just wanted to dress him and take his picture, and keep him warm.

When the RN/NP was done going over everything with Hubby and M2’s transport bed was ready the EMT (not the one that was the driver) came over and told me it was time for them to go. I remember looking at him and thinking he didn’t even look old enough to drive let alone have his CDL’s and EMT licenses. His name was Todd. As I handed my Sweet Baby Boy to him and watched him tuck M2 into his transport bed I remember this sense of calmness come over me. Todd was wonderful. He would take great care of my Little Sweetie. I just knew he would, I remember looking over at Hubby and he was watching Todd too. I could tell he was thinking the same thing. Todd was wonderful.

Nobody is allowed in the Mobile NICU other than the baby and the Team, so Hubby had to follow the transport to Children’s Hospital. It’s about a 25-30 min drive from our Birth Hospital. By the time they loaded M2 up and Hubby and I said our tearful goodbyes it was about 5am. He promised to call as soon as he got to Children’s and was with M2. My parents had been called and my Mom was on her way to me. She got to the hospital where I was at around 6am. God Bless my mom, she won’t drive on the interstate, we live about 45 minutes away from our Birth Hospital, by interstate. She drove back roads at 430am for almost an hour and a half to get to me so I wasn’t by myself. And she did it in my Dad’s truck. My Dad was taking the day off to stay with M1, but he had to keep my Mom’s car so that he had a car seat for M1.

Hubby called when he got to Children’s and he and M2 were settled. They still didn’t know what was wrong with him but they were going to run some tests and Hubby promised to keep me posted. I remember thinking I HAD TO GET TO THEM. My OB came in around 930am. She said she would discharge me as soon as we heard if M2 needed surgery or not. Other wise I had to stay for at least 24 more hours, if not longer. She was afraid I would be in a lot of pain from the delivery, and as long as I was there they could keep me comfortable.

I was going to try to get some sleep and my mom went to get us something to eat, but I couldn’t sleep or eat. All I wanted to do was get to my baby. It’s the worse feeling in the world, just being away from him and being so helpless.

Hubby called and said that M2 had been intubated and was on a ventilator. He was stable but before they put him on the vent he wasn’t able to keep his O2 saturations up as high as the Drs wanted. They had figured out that he had Bi-Lateral Paralyzed Vocal Cords, but the Drs had and still have no idea what caused it. More tests were being ordered. Later my friend would say “They don’t talk about that in ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’.” She couldn’t have said it better.

My mom and I walked the halls of the maternity floor but it got to the point where I couldn’t stand it anymore, all the other mothers had their babies, I didn’t. I started crying and decided I was leaving and going to him, I didn’t care what anybody said. My mom started packing my things for me and I paged my nurse and got dressed. The nurse came in and said that my OB wanted me there for another 24-48 hours. I told her I understood that but I was leaving and that was the end of the discussion. She could either discharge me or I would leave AMA. I think if nurses have patients that leave AMA they must look bad b/c once I started throwing that around she changed her tune and brought me my discharge paperwork real quick, along with some fabulous pain killers. I think it was around 330pm by this time.

My Mom pulled my Dad’s truck around and met me at the door. I have never felt so much pain in my life as what I felt as I was climbing into that truck. My ENTIRE body hurt, my Dad’s truck is a big truck. To this day I still don’t know how I ever got in that truck, I had just given birth 19 hours ago. We were finally on our way to Children’s, I had BEGGED my mom to take the interstate, it was faster and I HAD TO GET THERE. She turned onto the interstate but I could tell she was scared to death. She drove to the next exit and in tears pulled off, telling me she was sorry, she was too scared to drive the interstate, could we get there another way? I got out of the truck, walked around to the driver’s side, gave her a hug and told her to move over. I drove myself and her in my Dad’s truck to Children’s Hospital, 19 hours after giving birth. The word ‘pain’ doesn’t even begin to describe what I was feeling. My mom called Hubby and told him to meet us out front; we had no idea where we were going once we got to the hospital. I think Hubby was in pure disbelief when I pulled up driving the truck. I got out and went to him, my mom moved over and went and parked the truck. And then the 3 of us went up to the NICU, having no idea what the next several weeks would be like.


Cammie said...

That is quite a story.....I will be waiting for the next part.

Aileigh said...

Wow... I'm hooked. You have to tell the rest of the story really soon. What an experience!

Caitlin said...

I had never even heard of stridor! Sounds soo scary! I can't wait to hear the resolution. What a strong woman you are! (Esp. driving after just giving birth- OUCH!)

The Wrenns said...

Wow--I am absolutely in tears reading this--I cannot imagine going through that! Obviously turned out fine, because your little ones are absolutely adorable!