Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kiahna Hope

Our precious little girl finally arrived!  As I sit here in the hospital watching her fidget in her bassinet, I want to record the memories of the last few days.

On Friday night, May 2nd, we were sitting at the table eating supper about 7:00.  Bryan said, "You know what you should do this weekend?"  I asked, "What?"  His reply:  "Have a baby!"  I told him that he had no idea how much I would like to do that.  Then I told him that I wondered if I was going to miss the beginning stages of labor because I was so used to having all these contractions. 
I knew I had been having a lot of them that afternoon, but I didn't time them at all because I figured they were just the same thing I'd been having for weeks and weeks.  Besides, I was at the doctor on Thursday and was exactly the same dilation and effacement as I'd been 2 weeks before.  So I figured nothing was going to happen for a good while.  I didn't even put makeup on on Friday because I was sure I was not going anywhere!

After supper, I put the kids in the bath.  As I was sitting on the floor beside the tub, I started having very painful cramping.  Right away, it was awful pain.  I told Kyla that my tummy hurt because I thought the baby was trying to come out.  She informed me that after she got out of the tub, she would doctor my tummy.  I went out to the kitchen and saw Bryan out in the yard doing chores.  I called him at 7:32 and told him I thought he needed to come to the house right away.  He asked if I was in labor.  I told him I wasn't sure, but I couldn't take care of the girls.  Then I told Kyla she needed to wash her hair...and Kamryn's hair!  I don't know how she did it, but she took care of it and got out of the tub.  She was very, very obedient and prompt.  She got dressed, and I told her to go upstairs and get the bag I'd packed for her and Kamryn.  Bryan came in and showered and gathered all our stuff.  We got ahold of my aunt Kathy and asked if she could take the kids.  We were in the vehicle by 8:00 and headed to town, dropping the kids, car seats, and gear off at Kathy's on the way.  At 8:32, I was walking into the hospital.  (It normally takes 40 minutes WITHOUT any stops!)

When I walked in, I told the front desk my name.  They wanted me to go to an admissions room.  I told them I DID NOT HAVE TIME.  Then they wanted to get me a wheel chair.  I told them I could not sit down.  There was a man with a couple kids about to enter an elevator.  He took one look at me and said, "Let's let this lady go first."  THANK YOU!!

When I arrived on the maternity floor, the nurse looked at me and said, "Well, it looks like this is the real thing!"  I got changed, and the nurse checked me.  I was already 7 cm and 70% dilated.  They checked me again in 10-15 minutes, and I was at an 8.  I was group B strep positive, so they were supposed to get 2 rounds of antibiotics in me (4 hours apart) before I delivered.  They didn't get the first round in until 9:30.  It took 4 very painful attempts before they could get an IV in.  Then the anesthesiologist was there, and I had to decide if I wanted an epidural.  When I had first arrived, I told them I did want one.  But when things were progressing so fast, I thought maybe I should not.  In the end, I decided I did want one.  I am so very glad I got it. 

My doctor arrived at 10:15.  He checked me and said I was a 9-10 and 95% effaced.  He said there was no way I was going to make it 4 hours until the next dose of antibiotics, and he broke my water. 

Things kind of slowed down for a while.  I painted my nails.  My nurse laughed at me.  She told me she hoped I didn't have to push before my nails were dry because it would mess them all up.

Finally at 12:51 a.m., after only 8 minutes of pushing, our little one (who didn't feel little at all to me during the 8 minutes of pushing) entered the world.  I couldn't believe it when someone said it was a girl.  I had to check for myself.  It was a girl!  Kiahna Hope had arrived!  She was pretty gunky and not crying very hard for a while.  Her APGAR scores were 7 and 9.  Soon I got to feed her.  Even though it was the middle of the night, Bryan and I both called our parents.

I only got a couple hours of sleep that night, but what a great feeling to have our precious little girl here!

On Sunday morning when Kiaha's doctor arrived to check on Kiahna and visit with us, I told her that I felt like Kiahna was so much fussier than our other babies.  I said I didn't think she was eating very well.  She said that one of her blood numbers (the CRP - measures inflammation) was high, so they would be watching her carefully.  She would for sure stay until Monday morning.  She was very fussy all day.  Bryan and I agreed that she didn't feel well.  She was very gassy, so I thought that was maybe a big part of it.  Bryan asked me if I thought she should get checked out by the nurses.  So early evening, I went to the nurses and was asking when she'd last had a poopy diaper.  The nurses said, "Well, you're concerned, so we'll just take her back and do an assessment."

Later that night, Bryan and I went in to see her.  They told us that her 02 levels kept dropping.  They were trying to reach the doctor.  We were in there when the doctor arrived.  She had just started talking to us when I looked over at her monitor.  Her 02 sat was 59%.  Boy, did the doctor jump into action!  She ordered oxygen and an IV with the maximum amount of antibiotics immediately.  Words can't describe how hard it was to stand a few feet away and watch that all happen.  Our baby, helpless, struggling to breathe.  The doctor told us the next day that normally parents are not allowed to be present when all that is happening.  "But you had just watched your baby stop breathing.  I didn't have the heart to make you leave!"  That night was a bunch of "well, it could be this...but maybe not.  Or it could be this...but maybe not.  I'm not saying it's not this." etc., etc., etc.  But when we went back to see her after a couple hours, we both agreed that we were looking at a new baby.  This was a side of her we hadn't seen since she'd been born.  She had her eyes open and was so peaceful.  By the next morning, they took the oxygen off.

It wasn't until Monday evening that we heard the final diagnosis.  A chest x-ray had detected a small patch of pneumonia in her right lung as a result of being exposed to the group B strep when she was born.  The doctor told us then and had told us the night before, "I'm so glad you weren't first-time parents.  You kept insisting something was wrong."  She said that it takes a lot to make her nervous, but she got really scared when she first saw Kiahna that night.  She said that Kiahna would need 7 days of IV antibiotics.  She did give us the option, if Kiahna was doing really well, to take her home.  But we would need to come to the hospital every 12 hours.  And of course, we would be taking her home with her IV line in and be watching that.  At first, I thought how nice it would be to take her home even if we did have to come in twice a day.  But Bryan said he was not comfortable with that.  He said he thought I just needed to stay here with her.  And he was right.  We live too far away from the hospital if something should happen, and here she can rest and be watched for any signs of renewed infection.  I am very thankful that this hospital does not kick the mom out just because she is discharged.  If the baby is here, the mom can stay too.  I didn't have to leave my postpartum room and have been kept very comfortable.  All the nurses and staff are incredible.  They take care of Kiahna like she's their own baby.  And Dr. Arnold has been absolutely fantastic.  She is overly cautious and will send Kiahna home with 3 additional days of oral antibiotics just to make sure we get past this.

Mom has been here since Sunday, taking care of Kyla and Kamryn for us.  What a HUGE blessing.  I have no idea what we would do if she wasn't here.  I can rest easy, knowing they are in very good hands.  They are, however, missing their mommy.  I feel so bad for them, not understanding and not able to easily handle this major disruption to their routine.  They love their Grandma, but they miss their Mommy and Daddy.  Kyla asked Mom last night when they got home how many more days they had to go to the hospital.  Then she said, "And sometimes I miss Mom."  My poor little girls.  This is hardest, maybe, on them.  They lack the comprehension that we have and the understanding that this, too, shall pass.  And it shall!  I will soon be looking back and these days and remembering.  I am just hoping that Grandma survives!  She has the hardest job right now...taking care of two often-very-cranky little girls!  I'm sure she will need a week of rest to recuperate when she goes home!  (Though she won't get it!)

I'm so, so thankful for

- a beautiful new daughter who will come home perfectly healthy;

- a husband who has taken care of us so marvelously by insisting on sleeping in the chair beside my bed, coming to eat lunch with me, spending his evenings here with his family, and watching like a very protective daddy over his newborn daughter;

- a mom who patiently and lovingly takes care of Kyla and Kamryn, even when they are overly tired and just outright naughty as well as taking care of me by bringing me stuff from home, bringing in prepared meals, doing laundry, and being mother to my daughters when I can't be there;

- and the God who has so generously given me these wonderful gifts.

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