May 02, 2013

Tiny Miracles

Some would say its time to change the name of my blog, others may say WOW its been almost a year since you actually posted, kuddos to you. Today I say, we have been blessed beyond measure, with the true miracle of another child who not only is a miracle but a hero. She saved my life.

You may say Corrine that is a little dramatic but I tell you this little girl, entered our lives at just the right time.

The crazy part is for 2 years I dreamed of a little girl, who often came to me telling me she was ready to be a part of our family. Unfortunately I often dismissed those dreams and convinced myself I was either too poor, too fat, too old, too whatever to have another child.

After my last dream and a personal, too personal experience to share, I took a gamble and had my IUD removed. I realized I wasn't getting younger, richer or thinner. I prayed and told God that He had three months of a window to send this little soul into our lives. If by the end of the three months, no baby, then NO BABY. Well after a month, I was feeling "never mind. I am too OLD. This is too crazy. We already have 4 children. My body doesn't tolerate pregnancy well. This won't be good." I lacked faith. Fortunately the Lord had faith in me and my body, that a day later, I got a positive pregnancy test.

I was elated, surprised, excited, sad, happy, fearful, faithful, confused, shocked to name a few.

Because of problems with my blood pressure and head aches I was on some meds I was unsure about. So off to the doctor I went. As I sat in his office listening to all his concerns and worries, I felt a calm wrapped in anxiety about the future. "We'd love to see you make it to 28 weeks. With blood pressure and age your risks are high. Specialists will need to be seen. More visits than regular." He said. I came home and wept. What was I thinking. A baby! at 39? Health not suitable for another pregnancy. I prayed.

The next few weeks brought upon me sickness like no other. Moving from the couch was incredibly hard, but I did it. It was summer break and all. Kids had to get to swim team. They wanted to play. We did stuff. We survived. I survived.

School started up. T-Rex who was suppose to be in just half day kindergarten got offered an all day spot the day before school started. I was teary eyed thinking of him gone all day. Then the miracle of his delays brought me relief as I knew I was going to need those 8 hours to gestate and stay healthy.

In September we had a huge scare with Eric. He went in for a routine surgery to remove his gall bladder, and returned a week later with a pulmonary embolism. Again miracles beyond measure. Eric so happened to stay home from work that morning to go meet with T's teachers and the principal. Again, his all day kindergarten and delays, a Miracle! Eric basically collapsed in my arms and I was able to get him to the ER in time. Thinking back I still cry because of how blessed I am that it wasn't his time to go.

With his clots and my high risk pregnancy, the opportunity to go to Hawaii to help with the general elections was nothing short of a blessing. I only returned with huge swollen ankles and a tan, and a mild rash. Not too bad.

Had a little run in with bear spray. No need to go into detail there other than to say that paramedics ended up at my house, they were alarmed by my swelling and didn't like my blood pressures. But I promised them that I would call the doctor. Turned out ok. I did end up getting scans on my legs to make sure I didn't have any blood clots.

My blood sugars weren't doing well and so I had to go and do a 3 hour glucose test, right around 28 weeks. My body didn't tolerate the test well, and I also had some spotting. Fortunately that day I had an appointment with the fetal/maternal doctor, who performed an ultra sound. She thought everything looked great, she mentioned a mild concern about my placenta that she wanted to see me back in four weeks. I never made it back to her.  Interestingly enough, when I was 14 weeks pregnant we did some testing, which came back with a high percentage that the baby had either a neural tube defect or something wrong with my placenta. Turns out that it was my placenta.

Because of my blood pressures being off after my trip to Hawaii the first of November, my primary doctor put me on bed rest. Looking back I really wish I had been better at resting. But that is neither here nor there. Meals were brought in. I had a gal come clean every other week. Things were going ok.

My swelling got worse. My blood work, came back with climbing numbers. My blood pressure increased despite the increasing meds. Full bed rest was finally given. All right around Christmas break. I remember Christmas EVE I was so sick, so tired, so swollen, that I sent my family off to Adam and Mandy's for Christmas Eve fun. Christmas morning I wasn't feeling much better and my legs were so swollen. We made it to my parents for a brief while but came home pretty soon after arriving.  I didn't think I was going to make it much further...however I made it to 30 weeks! It was my goal. I had to prove that I could make it passed my 28 week mark that the doctor's thought I'd deliver at.

My appointment on the day after Christmas went ok, however the doctor felt it was necessary to start non-stress tests on the baby. I had one scheduled for the following week. I remembered laying on the table, Jan 4, and just listening to Hadley's heart beat and feeling her move. I also remembered feeling like someone had pumped me full of water, while dropping a load of bricks on me. After the 30 minutes of laying there, Dr. Coy came in and told me everything looked good and we talked for a little while more. I am not sure what I had said, but remember him saying, "I don't want you to think you are a walking time bomb ready to go off, but I really want you to take it easy and stay down." I know I was on bed rest at this time, but I wasn't the best at totally staying down.  But I left thinking, Corrine you have got to take it easy.

Sunday morning, we experienced the miracle of the rock. Gregory, once again, was complaining about not feeling well and not wanting to go to church, followed with "my shoes just don't fit right." I told them they were fine, and then he shoved his foot in them and said they just didn't feel right.  He took the shoe off and dumped out a rock. We aren't talking peet gravel type pebble, we are talking 3 inches by 1 inch long rock! I started laughing. Belly aching laughing. It hurt so bad to laugh, it made me laugh harder, which in turn made me cry, tears of laughter and tears of pain. And being 32 weeks pregnant, made me wet my pants. I laughed so hard holding my stomach, while crying too. Greg became alarmed. He grabbed Eric and then they helped me out of bed, to change the sheets. Eric left for work, and while I was showering I continued to laugh, all the while holding my stomach that hurt so much. Everyone was gone to church, besides Greg. I called him over. At this point I couldn't stop laughing and thought "am I having a stroke? is something seriously wrong with me?" I also was in so much pain, told Greg to go back and get Eric. He returned and I told him I wasn't feeling well and to come back after sacrament to check on me.

When he returned an hour later, I barely could move off the couch. I was exhausted, dizzy, light headed and weak. Earlier that morning my blood pressure had been 190/98, similar readings the day before. Eric suggested I take my blood pressure again. It was 89/56. Extremely low for me. Low for anyone for that matter. I told him I needed to just eat something and rest. He felt prompted to take me to the hospital. I fought him on it, but in the end he won.

Because I was only 32 weeks, and the hospital in which I was going to deliver with my doctor wasn't equipped for that early of a baby, my doctor told me to go to Utah Valley Regional Medical center. There I met an angel. Dr. Ludlow, who was on call. He didn't know me. When I first arrived my blood pressure had gone back up. It was actually all over the place for awhile, until I rested more. I shared my history with Dr. Ludlow and he decided to run some tests. Blood work and such all looked normal. Though something was bothering him about me. He told me, "I don't think we are having the baby today. I do believe she will be here in the next 48-72 hours. I'd like to see you go 2 more weeks, but it isn't likely. You will have to be on strict bed rest for the rest of the time, only getting up to go to the bathroom." He decided to give me a steroid shot. He wanted to run a 24 hour urnine test, (which I never finished). We waited for a little more testing. Eric left. Dr. Ludlow came back and he and I just chatted for 20 minutes. For awhile he just stared at me. He asked, "If I send you home, will you promise to stay in bed. I am talking up for 2 minutes to use the rest room." I looked at him and said, "to be honest I don't know if I can." He looked at me some more and then said, "let's do this, since we started the urine test, lets keep you over night, finish the test, and based on those results, we will decide if we will keep you here until the baby is born, or send you home, how does that sound?"

I told him that sounded great with me. So they moved me from the labor and delivery room, to a long term labor and delivery room. I thought I was just dehydrated. I figured I'd be going home the next day. I am so very glad to have met Dr. Ludlow, and so very glad he felt impressed to keep me overnight.

The whole time I had monitors monitoring Hadley. She was doing awesome. She would move every once in a while and they would have to readjust her. But around 9 that night, as I was watching her heart rate, I saw it dip to 78 and stay there. Enough to cause me alarm, and then when the nurse came rushing in, I was a lot more concerned. We moved the monitors, shook my belly a little, and her heart rate went back up. She dipped a couple of times during the night that I noticed. However, I didn't realize how often she did, because I had nurses in my room a lot that night.

By around 5 in the morning, I finally started to sleep, it was hard to look away from the monitors, it was hard to sleep, but I had finally fallen asleep. But was quickly awakened by lights turning on and 4 nurses running in. Startled, I looked at them, asking if everything was ok. My nurse mentioned that they were getting ready for shift change, and they wanted to introduce me to the new nurses, which was true, though all four were staring at the montiors, moving things around on my belly. I knew something wasn't right. I noticed Hadley's heart rate was low too. So I commented to them about that.

My nurse was calm and told me that she had been having a few dips through the night and that the doctor should be in shortly to talk to me. He came in. He mentioned that yesterday the baby was doing awesome. But during the night she progressively was having dips in her heart rate that he felt something was wrong with my placenta, and that I wouldn't be going home. He also said he didn't think I was going to have her that day but I most likely wouldn't make it to 33 weeks either but had hopes that he could keep her in until 34 weeks.  He told me to get some breakfast and rest.  I figured at this point I'd be on bed rest at the hospital for a few weeks. I called Eric to tell him and told him to go to work and we would figure things out later that night.

My dear friend Dina, was working that day on mother/baby, and I texted her telling her I was in the hospital and if she was working I'd love to see her. She happened to be working and came up shortly after I had ordered breakfast. We sat and talked for awhile. She asked me "Can you feel those? You are having contractions."

"No, those aren't contractions, I have been having pain the whole pregnancy, its just my uterus being irritated like it has been."

"No, Corrine, you are having contractions about 2 minutes apart." I looked over and sure enough their were pretty little humps. I was having contractions not just an irritated uterus.

Before Dina came to visit, my friend Aubrey had texted me saying the kids told her I was in the hospital. My first reply was I was most likely dehydrated and would be going home that day, followed by I'd be on hospital bed rest and if she'd like to visit I'd be here. Followed by, "I am having contractions 2 minutes apart."

My nurse came in while Dina was getting ready to leave, she said they were working on getting me into the fetal/maternal office for an ultra sound to check my placenta, but the doctors were full. Dina mentioned to her my contractions, to which she replied she had noticed and called the doctor about them. Dina and I joked that I would be seeing her later on her shift, little did we know.

Shortly after Dina left, I started to munch on breakfast but didn't feel well enough to eat, which turned out ok, because the nurse came in and said, "You can't eat your breakfast. Fetal Maternal Doc is coming to talk to you, Dr. Ludlow is on his way, you are next to have your baby."  I was shocked. I seriously didn't know what to think, to feel, to do! I texted Aubrey back and said "Emergency c-section, now!" I called Eric, who was on his way to work, and told him, we were having the baby right then, and to hurry up. I then called my parents and told them to hurry over, the baby was coming.

I wish I could remember the fetal maternal doc's name, but she came in.

"Dr. Ludlow wanted to get you in for an ultra sound to check your placenta. But I don't need to get an ultra sound to know your placenta is detaching. The baby's heart rate has been in a steady decline since last night. She is doing great recoveries as of right now, but we don't know how long that will last. There are twins in the OR right now, and you are next. We will wait. However if she drops again, I do have a knife and I know how to use it. We need to get this baby out as soon as possible." So I am paraphrasing a bit, but the knife part true quote. She then said, "do you know how lucky you are to have had Dr. Ludlow see you last night? I even asked him why he kept you because any other doctor would of seen how well you looked on paper and sent you home. Do you know what he told me? He just looked at you and felt something was wrong and couldn't send you home. You have two angels sitting on your shoulder."  She left. I cried.

How could I have a baby at 32 weeks. She is too little. She is too early. I hadn't finished my 24 hour urine. Eric arrived. I got a blessing. Aubrey arrived. Dr. Ludlow came in and explained that he would be doing the c-section. "Right now, your baby though she is having lows, she is recovering. As much as we'd like to see her get to 33 weeks, it is better to have a healthy baby now at 32 weeks, then a sick one at 33 weeks. She is recovering her heart rates, we don't know how long she will be able to do that. And if she doesn't it will take us 12 minutes to get her out and that is too long to go with out oxygen."  I knew it was the right thing. I knew she would be ok. I was scared to death.

They gave me another shot of steroids  They had drawn some blood too sometime. They told me it was time to go. I asked if I could go to the bathroom first. I walked into the bathroom, and collapsed on the bathroom floor and sobbed. I used the restroom and tried my best to compose myself.  Walked out and jokingly said, referring to the two gallons of urine, "what a waste of pee, can I donate it to something?" We all laughed.

As I was walking down the hall, into the OR, my mom called my nurse and asked if they could wait to see me. We couldn't.

I was on the table. Being prepped, drugs going through me. I felt calm. I felt ready. I felt at peace with the decision.

Dr. Ludlow said "I feel a baby. I think this is its hands, no an elbow, no heel, oh feet." The nurse said "Whatever you have grab it and take it out."  Eric started snapping pictures, and out she came, feet first, and screaming. Looking back at the bruising on her feet, it was probably from that. But she was screaming. I don't know why I was so shocked. I guess I half expected her to not be making any noise at all.

They rushed her past me in a blur, to the room next door. As they sewed me up I heard her screaming. Then silence. I asked about her. She was gone to the NICU. I had no idea how she was doing, or what she even looked like. Eric was with her, that brought me comfort.

As soon as my tubes were tied, and I was sewn up, Dr. Ludlow called the NICU for me to find out about the baby. She was breathing room air. She weighed 4 pounds 1 oz and was 16 inches long and doing awesome.  Such a relief. He then told me that my placenta had detached and was torn. And that we had her at the right time. He also commented that I had two angels on my shoulder watching over me. I did. I believe that.

I know one should never look back and say what if. But had I gone home, I surely believe she and I would not have made it. Stubborn me would of not taken my contractions seriously. I would of never made it to the hospital on time. But I was there. Truly blessed by the miracle of her birth. Truly blessed by the laughing fit of seeing a rock in my son's shoe. Truly blessed for having a small healthy baby 8 weeks premature.  Because two days after her birth, my kidneys began to shut down. And they would not have lasted a term pregnancy.

Here is a picture of the whole family a month in the NICU.


katharine said...

nice to see you posting. so glad little hadley and each of you are doing well now. so many blessings - God is watching out for you guys! i think we're due for another austin reunin this summer :)

mkt said...

Wow - what a story! So glad to hear you both made it through and are doing well. I miss you my friend. Congratulations on another beautiful girl!

Shannon said...

Amazing story! You are truly blessed. I'm so glad you are both ok. I hope to see pictures of cute Hadley!!!

Heather said...

Congratulations, Corrine. She is beautiful. I'm glad you're doing well.

World Class K-9 said...

Nice family.
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