MrsW1121: Alexis' High Risk Delivery
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 6:46 PM
"I just kept thinking that I could hear her heart beating so everything must be OK. But then why wasn’t she moving?"
A day like any other day…
On Monday Feb. 22 (37 weeks 6 days into my pregnancy) I woke up at 5:30 am -- just like any other day -- to get ready for work. Typically, little Alexis was very active in the mornings, but for some reason I hadn't felt her move. I didn’t think anything of it, though, since I know that babies can have random sleep patterns. So I ate breakfast, went to work, and then went up to my desk to start my day. I noticed that she still wasn’t moving though (typically she would move after every meal). At this point I was having minor contractions that were 5-8 minutes apart, so I thought that maybe that was the reason for her lack of movement. 9:30 am rolled around -- still nothing. I began to worry, so I poked my stomach a little bit and bought an orange juice to help "wake" her up. By 10:30 a.m., there was still no movement so I called the doctor who told me to come in right away.
Once I got to the doctor’s office they hooked me up to a non-stress test which measures the baby’s heart rate, movements, and contractions. The test typically lasts 20 minutes -- 30 minutes later, the nurse came in and brought me chocolate. Since there was still no movement, they thought that a couple pieces of chocolate would get her kicking. At this point, I can see that the doctor is somewhat concerned, so I told my husband that he may want to leave work. I just kept thinking that I could hear her heart beating so everything must be OK. But then why wasn’t she moving?!
I was hooked up to the NST for almost an hour when the doctor came in to tell me that she wanted me to go to the hospital for some additional monitoring and an ultrasound. I called my husband as I was heading to the hospital, but he was already on his way. Once I got there, they had me get all set up on the monitor until the ultrasound tech was ready. I was, in fact, having contractions just like I thought, but this didn’t explain why Alexis wasn’t moving. My husband finally arrived at the hospital, and within a few minutes I was sent down for the ultrasound. The ultrasound can last up to 30 minutes and the tech has a grading system that she uses: the baby can score up to 10 points if they meet all the expectations. Throughout the whole 30 minutes Alexis still hadn’t moved and scored only 2 points. The tech made notations that there was no fetal movement or breathing. When we saw her type this, our hearts sank and I knew that things weren’t looking good.
We got back up to the room and the nurse informed us that not only was I being admitted, but that we were going to be parents very soon, as well. If I wasn’t dilated, they were going to go straight for the c-section. But, it turned out, I was already 1 cm dilated, so they decided to induce me with Pitocin. We called our family, and then got ready for the induction. The doctor came in to break my water, and then began the Pitocin. They were having a hard time keeping track of my baby’s heart rate, so they used an internal scalp monitor to easily track her heart rate. Meanwhile, my heart rate had skyrocketed to 147, so they made everyone leave the room. The nurse turned the lights out and tried to get me to relax. Finally I maintained a heart rate of 114, and they allowed two people to keep me company -- but no more than that.
A change in plans
An hour went by and I hadn’t progressed...another hour went by and I was about 2 to 3 cm dilated. The doctor decided to insert an internal contraction monitor, and she stayed by the monitor to watch my contractions. I could see some concern on her face. She left the room at that point, but told me that she would be right back. When she came back, the nurses already had scrubs on. They handed my husband his gear and began prepping me for a c-section. They told me that my baby’s heart rate was dropping significantly with each contraction, so it was time to get her out.
As they were wheeling me to the OR, I kept hearing them say that I had a fever of 100.8 and climbing. I wasn’t sure at the time why they were so concerned about this, but I later found out that this was the first sign that I had an infection. They prepped me pretty quickly, and then my husband was able to come in and sit by me. It seemed like they had Alexis out in seconds -- then we heard a very faint cry. At 9:19 pm she was finally here! All I could see were her little blue feet and I kept asking my husband if everything was ok. There were 4 nurses trying to pump oxygen into that little body, and they kept rubbing her so that she would breathe. Finally she was breathing on her own. All of this was too much for my husband, though. One of the doctors had to walk him out of the OR, and he passed out in the hallway. They had to wheel him back to our room with juice and crackers. Poor guy.
Out, but not in the clear
I didn’t get to see Alexis before they took her over to the special care nursery, but I knew that they were taking good care of her and that’s all that mattered. The surgery was over, so I went back to the room, where I patiently waited for them to bring Alexis to our room. Four hours later, at 1:30 am, they were able to bring her to our room since her oxygen levels had finally improved. I don’t think I got any sleep that night -- I just kept staring at her. The next day, around 11 a.m., our pediatrician performed a routine check: she noticed something wasn’t quite right. So, the level 2 pediatrician was called to check on Alexis (at this point, we had no idea that something was wrong). The level 2 pediatrician arrived at around 12:30, examined Alexis, and told us that they would have to put her in the special care nursery for at least 2 days. We were so distraught. After everything that had already happened, they were taking her away from us again.
They took her back to special care and did some blood work, only to find that her white blood cell count was high, indicating that there was an infection. This meant that they would have to keep her for seven days in order to treat her with antibiotics. I never in a million years thought that something like this would happen. You never think that you will have to leave the hospital without your baby, but, of course, we were thankful that they caught it in time. We found out later that I was actually infected with chorioamnionitis, which then spread to my baby through the umbilical cord. She had stopped moving because she was getting sick. The doctors told me that it was such a good thing that I had noticed the lack of movement, and had taken my concerns to the doctor. Otherwise, things could have turned out very badly. The seven days came and went, and we are so thankful that she is finally healthy. All of the thoughts and prayers that we received really helped us through this time, and we are now enjoying every second that we have with her!
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