Wow, what a crazy few days.
Saturday's Marketplace at church was good. I'd tell you how much money we made, but I have no idea because I came home and went to bed. I was exhausted... as I expected to be... and I had a headache. I haven't had a headache since I started going to the chiropractor so I was a little worried. I called my mom and just asked if she could check my blood pressure just to be sure. I knew I was going to the doctor on Monday, so I wasn't completely worried about it. Mom came over and didn't have her sphygmomanometer. So we tried a few things, like laying still with a rag on my face and being quiet. Nothing really worked, but again, I wasn't too terribly worried. Then, I got a terrible pain in my stomach. I didn't know what was happening. I almost felt like I needed to throw up but it wasn't really that and it wasn't pressure like contractions... it just HURT. I did throw up and mom called her friend who lives across the street from us who had a sphygmomanometer. She came back with it and checked my blood pressure which was normal. So we decided she'd make dinner for Joe and I while I rested. While I was lying there she came back and said... "I just feel like I need to check your blood pressure again." So we did. It was 190 something over 110 or so. REALLY high in other words. She checked it again about 5 minutes later and it was higher. We called the hospital we wanted to deliver at and discovered they wouldn't take anyone who was less than 8 months along. I was only 27 weeks (7 months), so we were told to go to Huntsville Hospital. We got there about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night. They admitted me to Labor and Delivery. The nurses seemed really concerned. My mother and husband's mother were quite worried. I knew it was pretty bad. I was really worried about Sarah more than anything. I knew 7 months was really too early for her to have to be born.
The nurses told me we should prepare to be in the hospital for a long time. Mom was telling me however long I had to stay I'd be basically in a quiet dark room laying on my side. They tried to start an IV normally, but I was so swollen they couldn't find a vein. They stuck me 5 or 10 times. I think it made them feel bad, but I didn't care. Finally they got an anathesieologist to come in and put in a jugular IV. It was very interesting. Every nurse after that was just shocked to see this IV and I think it really freaked out the nurse who ended up having to take it out. Anyway, they gave me this IV and gave me Magnesium Sulfate through this. If you don't know... this medication is HORRIBLE. It made me itch to no end and also made me hot from the inside out. The nurses told me to expect to feel like I was drunk. That warm inside but not outside feeling. I couldn't move. Talk about weird. But, in all this, I was still thinking... "Ok, I will lay on my left side in this hospital room for as long as they'll let me." I was preparing for a long haul... a few weeks or even a month or more would have been fine with me. I was prepared for that. I knew Sarah would do better if she could stay inside me for as long as possible.
My doctors came in shocked to see me. No one expected this and no one saw it coming by any means. It seemed a whole lot like no one really knew what to do too. The docs did prepare me for the possibility of a Cesarian Section. Ok. I understood that. It was scarey but ok.
So the first night came and went. Hubby and his mom stayed with me. My parents went home to sleep. They were back within a few hours and stayed all that day too. Sunday was odd. I couldn't move much. It was quiet and dark. Everyone moved around me like really quiet and such. I couldn't move. I ate a lot of ice chips. I was craving food of some sort just to have something to chew. I don't think I was really hungry, but I was tired of not being able to eat anything. My brother came from Birmingham to stay with us. Eddie and Angie came over from Athens. Eddie was my pastor when I was growing up and he was the pastor who married hubby and I. The days ran together, so it may not have all been on Sunday, but I remember it in jumps... like a TV show or something.
Monday came and went until about 8 that night when they told me they couldn't regulate my blood pressure and weren't sure how Sarah was, so we were going to do the C-Section. I was prepared, it was ok. My mother (who was a Labor and Delivery nurse for 12 years or so before she became a teacher) went over a crash course in what to expect in the surgery room with hubby and I. Eddie and Angie prayed with me before they wheeled me away. A bunch of the doctors and nurses at the Hospital who work with my hubby's mom and had worked with my mother came in and prayed with us. Then they took me to surgery. It was so fast. I wasn't necessarily prepared, but I was ready and I knew it had to be done. The doctor let hubby, mom and his mom come into the surgery room which is really not normal, but I was glad to have them there. Hubby was wonderful at keeping me calm. We didn't expect to hear Sarah cry when she was born, so those first few moments when she was in the world were tense. But, she did cry and it was the most beautiful sound I could have ever heard. It made hubby and me both cry. The neonatologist walked Sarah around to me and let me kiss her bye before they took her away. Hubby and the mom's went with her and they cleaned me up and moved me into recovery. I was completely awake and fine. SO happy to hear her and know she was breathing.
You can see some of her first pictures at www.bethandjoe.com/sarah. She was just born... my mother-in-law took those pics.
They moved me to a room in Antepartum (different from postpartum only in that the mom's still need medical care themselves). I saw a few people in there, but they left quickly. If you were there and I don't remember I'm sorry. I'm glad for all those who came. It was really a blessing to know how many people came, called, emailed, wrote notes, etc. Hubby kept saying how wonderful it was that we had some many people who loved us and in turn loved Sarah. I have to agree. It's taken a while but my blood pressure is down to a semi-normal level. They expect me to come off all medication by two weeks. My incision from the surgery is a little painful, but nothing I can't handle. I notice I get tired quickly and need to rest the majority of the time. I am not really happy to be home and not near to Sarah right now, but I know she is in good hands. The nurses of neonatology are wonderful. They are very protective of her and I love that. She's in a nice quiet, warm, dark area so she's resting well. She's on a ventilator, but only at about 40% oxygen. She's eating through a feeding tube that is down her throat right now. She could probably swallow, but the ventilator prohibits that, so the tube just helps it get to the stomach. She's tolerating her food well. She hasn't had a natural bowel movement yet, but she did poop once when they gave her a suppository... maybe TMI, but I can't tell you how encouraged we are by mear baby poop. :) The doctors seem very positive about her prognosis. The nurses have told us to expect some bumps in the road after about 2 weeks or so, because usually premie babies take that long to have any problems. So we'll keep everyone updated on that.
Well, that's basically the story. Here are some pictures of her as of this morning.
She had a little jaundice, so she was under a "Billilight" for a couple of days. That's the blue hue you see. She wore her cool shades the whole time.
This is just a shot of her feet. I'll get one with my hand or something beside her as soon as I can, but her foot fits within the length from my finger tip to the first knuckle of my finger. But look how perfect they are!
This is one of the last pictures we took of her before we left this morning. She likes sleeping with her hand beside her face.