Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lottie's Newborn Pictures

Be warned: There are a whole bunch of pictures. Also, the painting above her crib will be better when it's framed. That is all. 

Charlotte Elizabeth Blair 1.07.16

***WARNING! There are images of the c-section. If that's too much for you, don't continue reading.*** Also, there is a combination of camera photos and dslr photos. Some are quite out of order. And it's ok.

I don't know why it has taken me so long to blog her birth story. It's not long or complicated. It's exciting and definitely wasn't a smooth and easy delivery or hospital stay but I'm just awesome at procrastination I guess. And maybe it's because every time I think about it, I cry my eyes out. The hormones are still very much there.

We started the day a little later than expected. We overslept. Who does that on baby day?

We got to the hospital and they had to fast-forwarded the pre-op process but still expected to be on time for delivery. Part of that process was hooking me up to monitors to track Lottie's heartbeat. Our nurse, Stacy (I wish I had a photo of her because she was my angel nurse that day.) had trouble finding the heartbeat, which was not unusual for Lottie, she was a very wiggly baby, in my belly.
Eventually, they found her heart beat. Stacy continued to get everything ready while the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and make sure we were all on the same page for anesthesia. They asked if I had anything to eat or drink before I came in and I said only water. (Water had always been "acceptable" before my other c-sections so I thought nothing of it.) Apparently that was a bad thing. And they told Stacy to slow down my IV fluids because we were going to be delayed an hour. Stacy slowed down the fluids and continued to do her thing while I continued to talk to the anesthesiologist about all the possible side effects and possibilities. Stacy then momentarily left the room. 

I was frustrated but not devastated. It was annoying that nothing had gone smoothly that morning but I was still going to have a baby and that was awesome.  Stacy came back and increased my IV fluids. Then left the room again. Moments later, she came back again with Aaron's super cute OR outfit and told him to change. I thought it was weird that she wanted him to change so early but we didn't think much of it. She left again. 

When she came back, she came back with multiple people. Lottie's heart rate had been lower than they would have liked, not to mention, difficult to keep on the monitor.  She looked at me and I knew something was wrong. She told me she had called Dr. Seeker and in their talking, neither of them were comfortable with Lottie's heart rate and they were taking me now. Half terrified and half excited, baby was coming now!

The next ten minutes were some of the scariest of my life. 

They ran my bed down the hall, to the OR. Literally ran. As I was rushed down the hall, Stacy told me that Dr. Seeker was still a few minutes away but we'd be ready to go as soon as he got there. 
Since we were waiting for the doctor still, they didn't have to sedate me and we had time to do the spinal block. For which I am very grateful! All this time they were still trying to find and track Lottie's heartbeat, and I'm trying not to panic. Trying. Not succeeding. 

They sat me up and started to do my spinal block but apparently my stress was making my body rigid and difficult to position correctly. For a spinal block, you have to sit as hunched over as possible, basically rolling up into a ball. Imagine one doctor behind me, about to stab a needle into my spine while a nurse is in front of me trying to find my baby's heartbeat, and everyone else in the room is rushing around the room trying to get it all together and ready for delivery. It was not going well and I started sobbing. Stacy grabbed me and just hugged me. She hugged me in a way that allowed the anesthesiologist to get the block finished and for me to relax. My angel nurse. 

The block was in, I was starting to get numb, but still a mess. Sobbing. I just wanted Aaron in there with me already. Everyone was very reassuring, telling me everything would be ok. Everyone was wonderful. I'm just mess-prone.

Aaron walked in and I immediately felt better. I told him how scared I was and like always, he showed no fear and told me everything was fine. 

Just then, the nurse found Lottie's heart rate again and it was solid. She called out "121" and there was an audible sigh from everyone in the room.

Dr. Seeker walked in, was handed a scalpel, and started cutting. 

Stacy was not only my angel nurse, she was my photographer. Obviously she's a nurse and not a professional photographer but she did great and I'm so happy I have these photos! 

On January 7, 2016  at 7:34 am Charlotte Elizabeth Blair was born. She weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.75 inches long. 
Having had all c-sections with my kids, I've never experienced the skin to skin contact immediately after one of my babies has been born. But my doctor is awesome. They placed her on my chest and I was in love, but her cry worried me. She'd cry hard, and then stop suddenly and her lips would turn purple. Then she'd gasp and cry and stop. This repeated two or three times and then they took her from me and started trying to figure out her breathing issues. 

Once she was born my doctor told my that my uterus was basically shredded. He removed it. It something we had discussed as a possibility before she was born and I'll admit I was actually really hoping he'd remove it. We knew I wouldn't be able to have another baby anyway. Every once in a while though, it hits me hard. The recover has been harder and more painful too, which I didn't expect. I don't know why. 
When I was in recovery, Aaron came to tell me that they had taken her to the NICU. I was sad but we kind of had the impression that it would be very temporarily and she'd likely be in our room by that night or the next day. I was so exhausted I just wanted to sleep. 
It was worse than we expected. This whole day was not what we had in mind when we were driving to the hospital. 

Lottie was diagnosed with wet lung or transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN)

A day turned into two or three days and that eventually turned into a week. I would have handled it much better, had we not gone through a NICU experience with Max. Her situation was far easier, but I was more emotional. I had so looked forward to my last "new baby" experience in the hospital and it didn't go as expected. I don't like not being able to hold my baby whenever I want. It's not easy to hold a baby that is hooked up to so many wires. It could have been much worse. She could have needed to stay in the hospital for longer. All in all everything was ok. It was just a long emotional week. 
The first time I got to hold her after she left the OR, was later that same night. We did more skin to skin and I was having so many mixed emotions. I loved holding her. But it brought back a lot of difficult memories with Max. The c-pap was obnoxious but it helped her breathe so that's good. 
Her bilirubin levels got to be pretty high so she was pretty much constantly on lights for that whole week, unless she was being held by us.
I always loved being able to help give her baths.
Every day she made progress. Some days it was a lot. Other days were frustratingly slow. The progress I was most excited about was being able to feed her!
I loved her goals for her last 24 hours there. And her nurse Joy was my favorite of all! Joy had her during the nights and I was so grateful every time she was there. We didn't like all of her nurses, some of them were actually pretty rude but Joy was amazing. Ah. Mazing. 
Going home day. It's always my favorite day. I was lucky enough to be able to sleep at the hospital the entire week. Once I was discharge from my room, my nurse arranged it so that I could stay one more night free of charge. I didn't have a nurse anymore at that point. It was more like a hotel room. After that night, I stayed in a NICU family room which was like a hotel room as well. I was so happy to not have to sleep at home while my baby was still in the hospital. Tender mercies. The last night, I was so nervous that something was going to go wrong and she'd have to stay longer. I don't think I slept at all. But she did wonderfully and we got the O.K. to bring her home to meet her brothers!
Aaron's office sent these hydrangeas and the balloon. The flowers were so pretty and they lasted SO long! Sadly these are the only photos with them in it! 
Our first family picture!
Cute Aaron made this sign for Lottie!
We're all pretty in love with her.
Phew. It's finally finished. We have our baby girl home and now she's four weeks old. She's an amazing little spirit. She's so calm and sleeps all the time. Still! She's the most calm in mama's arms but rarely fusses. She sleeps 6-8 hour stretches at night. She's just perfect. We couldn't have asked for more. I'm trying to soak in every minute with her. Being my last baby I'll carry, I'm trying not to let it slip away too quickly. 

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