Friday, August 30, 2013

The Whole Kai Story

Malachi Stillman made his grand appearance into the world a bit before suppertime on Wednesday, August 28.  Since he spent the last two weeks of his confinement in my tummy moving like a wild man, I suppose it's fitting that his labor and delivery were a bit exciting as well.

Around 4 on Wednesday morning I decided I was seeing a pattern in contractions and called my friend, Carolyn, who was on the list of people who had said they would come watch the other kids when it was time.  By around 5, D and I were ready to drive the 5 minutes to the hospital.  We arrived, got checked, and were told we were good to stay and that I was in active labor.  When I arrived, I was only dilated to 2 but had enough labor going on.

By 1, my doctor had arrived and said I was to the point I could have an epidural.  I opted to wait a bit before asking and ended up quickly dilating to 8 before the anesthesiologist could arrive as he was stuck in surgery.  We spent about 2 hours waiting to go from 8 to 10.  Then we were ready to push.  So push we did.  For two hours.  Malachi was engaged, would show us his hair, and seemed to be doing well but after two hours, things started to change.  He stopped staying forward and started scooting backwards after the initial push would pull him forward.  The doctor did try to use the vacuum to help him stay put but in the end, he just kept going the wrong way.

So given that I was exhausted and the baby wasn't cooperating, we decided to do a C-section.  However, by this time, my epidural was out.  The anesthesiologist  was still again off with another patient.  Once he arrived, he had a hard time getting the pain under control and things numb enough for a C-section.  In fact, I was on the table in the OR still feeling wet and cold on my abdomen and there was a real chance I was going to have to have a spinal block rather than just an epidural.  In the last few minutes, the epidural started taking.

The C-section was relatively routine and Kai appeared with a bit of crying.  The nurses swept him off and he was off to the side for just a few moments before one nurse started to ask the doctor to come over because he was running a fever.   Which then turned into him not breathing and turning blue.  It was a pretty scary few moments of D intensely praying "Lord Jesus, help our baby."  Kai seemed to quickly recover his breathing but he was still having difficulty breathing consistently and the fever indicated a potential infection.  He was whisked off to the nursery for a chest x ray and more testing while the doctors finished stitching me up.

Eventually our doctor came in and said that we had a sick baby who was running a fever and who was continuing to be inconsistent in his ability to breath on his own so they were going to transfer him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unity in Lincoln where they could better monitor Kai's condition.  D had already headed to the hospital nursery to be with Kai.  They wheeled me off to the recovery room until the ambulance had arrived to take Kai to Lincoln.  Then they wheeled my bed back by the nursery so I could see him before he left.  I didn't have my glasses on so really I saw nothing but at least I felt like I could sort of see him.

From there, Kai left for Lincoln and I headed to my regular hospital room.  My mom was coming to watch the kids but she still had not arrived so we ended up deciding that D would go to Lincoln that night once my mom got there and we got the kids settled since they were staying with a friend.  By the time she had arrived, we had gotten a call from the NIC unit in Lincoln and they said Kai was doing so much better.  In the end, D decided that since it was pretty late and Kai was doing so much better, that he would stay at the hospital with me instead.

By Thursday morning, I was up early, hoping they would quickly get me transferred to Lincoln so I could see the baby.  My doctor was great about getting that done so I arrived in the ambulance by about noon.  By the time I got checked out by my new doctor and got situated in my room, it was around 2 or so before D and I got to make our way down to the NIC unit to see Kai.  However, he had continued to do well all night long so we knew he had improved much since his birth.  When they took him to the NIC unit, they had done two iv's, one for sugar water (for feeding) and one with antibiotic for his fever.  He was also on oxygen due to his breathing.  However, by the time we got to see him on Thursday, he had only the sugar water iv left in.

Since Thursday, he has consistently improved and is now off of that iv as well.  He is still working on getting the nursing bit down but I'm confident he will get it figured out.  We have lots of people from the hospital who are excellent at providing lactation support and even at worst case scenario, he will still get fed formula.
I have been doing well.  Thankfully, I have not had a lot of pain and I seem to be tolerating food and movement well.  I know I'm still running on a lot of adrenaline but both D and I are plugging along with not a lot of sleep and still doing well.

While our labor and delivery didn't necessarily go as planned, I did do two purposeful things that I think helped.  I used Spotify to create a play list of songs which allowed me to focus on and listen some very specific worship songs throughout the day.  At the suggestion of my cousin, Natalie, I also read a book called Redeeming Childbirth.  While I actually didn't finish the whole book before Kai's arrival, I read most of it.  The author's purpose was encourage Christian women to view labor and birth as positive experiences designed to draw us closer to God, that labor and delivery should be refining processes which create in us opportunities to focus on and be like Jesus.  I think both of those things gave me a lot of focus and encouragement as I spent the day in labor, with several uncertain moments.  Thankful tonight for a faithful God who was present in every moment of Kai's birth day.


christiancari said...

He looks so sweet!! Praying for a swift recovery for you. TAKE YOUR MEDS. :-) Seriously. All of them. And let others take care of you & your kiddos while you take care of Kai. Much love from us!

Kathy C. said...

Four beautiful children.