Sunday, May 8, 2011

The First 24 Hours

In honor of Mother's Day I wanted to share a story...

G and I arrived at the hospital bright and early. We were there for the induction of our last child. We were giddy with anticipation and after the last several days we were finally excited to start this new adventure.

The days leading up to the induction had been nothing short of stressful. G had been at the hospital only 48 hours before the arrival of our son. My parents had taken our two oldest to stay with them 3 days prior to our original plan (they took them home on Friday evening when originally it had been scheduled for Monday). G spent the weekend in the hospital trying to recover from a month's long intestinal battle. He underwent blood work and tests to try to determine the problem. I spent the weekend driving between visiting him and my two children. My main concern was the health of my husband and my hope was I wouldn't deliver while he was being evaluated. Lucky for us, he was discharged on Sunday afternoon. My parents opted to keep the kids rather than bring them back to us so G could continue to recover.

He quickly bounced back so as we arrived back at the same hospital he had been treated in with the focus on the arrival of our last bundle of joy. Within a half an hour of arriving I was hooked up to Pitocin and my water was broken. We chatted with the our nurse, threw back and forth some baby names (we are so last minute) and joked with each other about the craziness of the last few days.

My contractions started fast and quick and within half hour of the induction drugs I was asking for my epidural. I was in a waiting line with three other moms. I was told I would have to wait due to one of them giving birth to her fifth child. They felt her labor would be quicker than my own so I waited some more, breathed through the contractions and prayed I wouldn't give birth during the wait. Finally I got relief and G opted for breakfast in the cafeteria. I was comfortable and sent him on his way.

I made a call to my friend and chatted with her for about 15 minutes when I noticed the monitor showing dips in the heart rate of my unborn child. Knowing this meant things were progressing I quickly got off the phone and called the nurse. Within minutes she had the stirrups up, called my OB-GYN and my husband was no where to be found. I made a quick call to him and told him to get his ass up here now the baby was coming.

Thankfully he walked in with the doctor and within 2 minutes the doctor announced, "It's a boy". It was a crazy fast delivery. I beat the lady who was on baby #5 and P was born at 9:10 am.

The nurse made an offhanded comment to our doctor that he looked a little blue in the face. The doctor took a quick look and felt it was bruising for such a quick delivery....

We quickly called my parents who were on their way with our two other children. Once I was moved out of L&D they came to visit us and our latest addition. It was FINALLY the moment I had been waiting family together. Previous births had not worked out as I imagined. My firstborn, my parents had colds and my mom wouldn't hold R in fear of making her sick. Our second birth, my parents kept their distance once again because R had been sick and they didn't want to make E sick. So finally with the last we were all together and healthy and loving on the newest bundle. I was ecstatic.

Move forward 24 hours my mom was on her way to visit us. She had brought our first son over from her home so my husband could take him to his Mom's Day Out Program. She had spent the last 2 hours shopping for her second grandson. She was most likely parking the car as our children's pediatrician gave us the most devastating news. Our son was gravely ill and would need to be moved to the NICU within the hospital. We were told we could go into the nursery (you know the room all the babies go to with the glass window for you to peer in and see all the little bundles of newness). As we exited my room we were greeted by my mom. She was all smiles with a bag of goodies. She had no idea but within seconds of seeing my face she knew something was terribly wrong. I am not sure what I squeaked out but I imagine I said, "something is wrong with P" as tears flowed out of my eyes. She quickly dropped her bags in my room (I think...I don't really remember because I don't think she had them when we were escorted into the nursery).

We walked in and I was weaving back and forth. Only a couple hours before I had asked for some pain medication due to some pain I was having. The medication had set in and I had no real control of my body. My mom held me up with G as we stood in that room with the glass. I was a mess, unable to speak without gasping for air and wondering what was wrong. Our pediatrician made me sit down and she calmly explained who the nurses were looking over P. They ordered a wheelchair for me. The NICU nurses then wheeled P out of the nursery and I just sat in the chair watching him go... my mom held my hand. She listened to what we were being told and remained focused on me.

Finally my transportation arrived and we were allowed to go down to the NICU. We went through the hallways back through L&D where I had been only 24 hours earlier and we were ushered into a world we never imagined as big double doors of the NICU opened. All the while my mom was there.

At some point I gained some of my faculties, the drugs and shock were starting to wear off, and I realized someone needed to go pick up E from MDO. My mom, not knowing where it was but willing to go offered. My husband declined and they kept their original plan. He left the hospital and went to retrieve E while my mom and I watched the NICU continue to do tests on our son. I am not sure if at that point we realized it was heart issue... much of those first few hours were a blur. My mom held my hand and I continued to watch. My husband called once he arrived back in the hospital parking lot with our son. My mom left my side and went back down to resume her grandmother duties of taking care of my two oldest children.

During that time I remember how my mom remained calm, strong and never let on the gravity of the situation. She held my hand, told me to pray, argued with me about standing too much (I was angry about the wheelchair even though I had sea legs). She gave me tissues and never let on how excruciatingly difficult of a scene we were now a part of. She had to leave the bowels of the NICU and back into the sunshine to a car with a little 2 year old. She was going to need to put on a great face and drive 45 minutes home all the while her youngest grandson laid in the NICU. I simply cannot imagine.

My mom was with me on one of the most wonderful days of my life, the birth of my third child. And she was with me during the most horrendous days of my life. In 24 hours we experienced incredible joy and gut wrenching heart ache. All the while she held my hand, told me to be strong and reminded me I would get through this...

Since those events we talk a lot about what took place and our feelings. She is the one person who knows it from my perspective as a mother. Happy Mother's Day mom. Thank you so much for being with me. You were there to make my dream come true of a family hospital picture and you were with me during the most difficult time... all within 24 hours.

I love you!

1 comment:

Meredith said...

This was beautiful Maribeth! You are so lucky to have Carol in your life :) happy Mother's day to you too!