Sunday, January 31, 2010

Olivia's Story

Olivia Carole Anne surprised us all with an early arrival this January. She was born on January 16th at 6:50pm. She weighed 2670 grams (5.8 pounds) and was 51 cm in length (20 inches). She came 5 weeks early via C-section.
Here's how the story played out. I went for a routine check up on Friday, Jan. 15th. Jeremy was with me. I had planned to go grocery shopping afterwards to start some prep working making dishes I could freeze for when the baby came next month. Then I had my blood pressure taken, twice. I also had protein show up in my urine which the doctor didn't like. She sent me across the street for some bloodwork to be done at the L&D assessment room. They ended up keeping me until the results were in. Over and hour later, I still don't know what is going on exactly. Jeremy is still with me (and being very good I might add considering I didn't know I would need to entertain him like this for this long). My final bloodwork results came in and there were high numbers in one of the results. The combination of everything made the doctor decide to keep me overnight for observation. I begged them to let me take Jeremy home, promising to be back in 15 minutes (they didn't believe me, but I was). Jonathan packed an overnight bag for me and met me in the parking garage.
That night I had my vitals and bloodwork done every 4 hours (of course not the same 4 hours at a time, so really very little sleep was had by me). In the morning the numbers hadn't changed, I still had high blood pressure, I still had off bloodwork numbers. The doctor consulted with the OB on call. Together they felt it would be better for me and the baby for the baby to be delivered today. They were most worried about me having a possible seizure as a result of the combination of all of this. Seing as I was past 35 weeks they knew that the baby would be fine, a little early, but fine to be delivered.
I went into panic mode. What do you mean I am having this baby today? I'm not ready. At all! Jonathan was very understanding because really there was nothing we could do about it. I called my mom. She was on a noon flight to Toronto the same day, ready to help out and care for the boys for as long as we needed her. Thank Goodness for that! We'd only been in Toronto for 2 weeks and really don't know many people here yet.
The rest of Saturday was filled with a lot of waiting around. Truthfully I was tired and bored and just hoping that the C-section would happen before Jonathan had to leave to pick up Mom at the airport. My surgery did get bumped once by an emergency set of twins, but fortunately happened in time for Jonathan to be around.
The boys were all there hanging out in the assessment room with me when they called me in. Everything went very fast from there. I'd not had a c-section before so I didn't know exactly what it would be like. I kept waiting for something to happen once I was frozen, but then all of a sudden they were saying, "there's the head" - what do you mean, there's the head? nothing has happened yet!!! But then there she was! When the doctor called out, "it's a girl" I felt such immediate joy! A girl! I thought and hoped for a girl so much that I couldn't believe she was really here! Olivia.
Jonathan was sent for (he had to stay with the boys during the surgery, but a nurse offered to watch them so he could meet his daughter). I got to see her a little bit from a distance as they gave her some oxygen to open up her lungs a little more and finished me up. Once I was in the post-op room, they brought her to me. We did get a cuddle and some time together, but she did end up going to the NICU. She needed a little extra help to not struggle with breathing.
She is what they call a late pre-term baby. Late pre-terms can be deceiving because they are bigger in size than a lot of preemies, but they still have needs that need to be dealt with. She stayed on the C-PAP mask for less than a day and in the isolette for about 5 days. She has been in NICU for 2 weeks now and has no issues aside from being able to eat orally 100% of the time. She is progressing in this area and I can't wait until she is ready to come home. Right now, she is doing a combination of breastfeeding and tube feeding. I've learned that you can't rush development. She just needs time. She still shouldn't be born yet really, so of course she needs time. I'm loving my time with her so much. It's amazing how you can love someone so immediately and passionately. That first night she was in NICU and I was in 2 West I just wanted to go and be with her but I wasn't yet allowed. Once I had the go ahead the next morning I couldn't get there fast enough (well as fast as one can go having just had surgery). It is difficult having her at the hospital and not at home, but we are dealing with it. Mom was a tremendous help while she was out here, giving me lots of time to recover and lots of time to go up to the hospital. I'll keep you all posted with her progress and future homecoming.

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