One look at Dr Bishop’s face when he walked back in my room told me all I needed to know. I knew it was bad. I feared for how bad it was. Luckily at the time we had Madison on the monitor so I was able to clearly hear her steady heartbeat. My bloodtest results had come back from that morning and they had noticed that my Uric Acid was sky high, my protein was sky high, my liver enzymes were quite high, and my kidneys were no longer producing an adequate amount. They feared that I would begin to develop HELLP syndrome along with Pre-Eclampsia. HELLP syndrome is H (hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells), EL (elevated liver enzymes), LP (low platelet count). It is directly related to Pre-Eclampsia but it much more dangerous for both the mom and the baby. It then was at a point where we needed to deliver Madison in order to protect not only her but also to protect me.
Kevin immediately ran out of the room to start making phone calls. He was able to call my parents and tell them to come and to also call his parents to let them know what was going on. (They unfortunately were 14 hours away as they had been visiting family at the time since no one expected baby to come so soon. They had actually decided that morning to start heading home because they knew we were in the hospital.) Immediately after that life became a blur. Most of this I do not remember. But thanks to my husband he has helped me to piece the timeline back together.
Nurses began to rush in and out starting to prep me for surgery. Paperwork was placed in front of me in order for me to sign and give consent for the surgery and also consent for them to do anything they could to help Madison. My dad arrived in just a few minutes (he works about 5 minutes from the hospital) and he was able to be with us until I was taken back to the operating room. I think that him being there helped to keep Kevin calm. I know at this point I was freaking out. I was terrified and didnt know what to think or do at this point. All I cared about was my baby. Dad kept us focused on each task we had to do one at a time instead of us trying to focus on everything at once. Suddenly they came in and told us that it was time to go back.
Dad was going to stay in the waiting room of course and wait for my mom and brother Andrew who were on their way from Wauseon at the time. Kevin would be in the operating room with us. They took me back into the OR and had Kevin wait outside while they got me prepped and ready to go. This to him felt like an eternity but was really only about 15-20 minutes. During that time they got me onto the operating table, got me hooked up to all the machines, and gave me a spinal tap. That was one thing that I was seriously worried about. Everyone talks about how huge the needle is and about it hurting and such but that was probably one of the easiest things they did to me in the hospital. In no time I couldn’t feel anything from my chest down and they were draping me with blue cloths.
It was then time for Kevin to come in and for us to get started. Things were very tense in our operating room. They were trying to rush in getting her out as they were closely monitoring me to make sure my body didn’t react weird to anything. We also had a lot of extra people in the room with us due to the fact that I was only 27 weeks. At Toledo Hospital they have separate little rooms attached to the Operating Rooms for the NICU team to be waiting in and that is where they work on the baby. Before I knew it Dr Bishop informed us that first incision had been made.
I think I held my breath for the next little bit as I listened to them work. We sat there in silence and waited. Waited for our little girl to make her entrance. Now normally during a C-Section once the baby is delivered the doctor will hold the baby up over the blue screens and show mom and dad the baby for a quick second before baby gets cleaned off and such. Due to us having a micro preemie that wasn’t something that we got to do. Our only inclination that she was here was Dr Bishop stating “10:01 baby is out”. She was then rushed to the attached room so that the NICU team could begin working on her. They immediately intubated her so there was never any crying that we were able to hear.
Those minutes that passed from when we knew that baby was out until we got our first update seemed to drag. I just kept staring at Kevin while he kept telling me she was going to be ok. He was definitely the rock through this whole thing. When I was falling apart he found a way to keep it together. A few minutes later a nurse came over to Kevin and told him that he could follow her to go see his daughter. Kevin was then able to go over and get his first glimpses of our first baby girl. He made sure to take photos and kept coming back to show them to me. At this point I was still flat on my back as they were still working on me so I wasn’t able to see anything. On April 8, 2016 at 10:01 AM our 1lb 9 oz 13.5 inch miracle was born!!!!
The NICU nurse then came over to reassure us that everything was looking good with Madison and that even though she was small she was healthy and was doing well! This was definitely a huge sigh of relief for us! About this time the doctors finished closing me up and dressing my incision. They let me know that they would take me to recovery and then they would take the baby past me on her way up to the NICU so that I could get a sneak peak.
I was the only ones in recovery so my parents, my brother, and my Aunt Carol (who was a huge help as she is a former NICU nurse) were able to join me. Kevin remained in the OR with Madison and her NICU team until she was wheeled out. They then wheeled her incubater up next to my bed. The one nurse (the amazing Karen) then told me I had a few minutes to say hello before they would have to take her to the NICU. They then were able to take her out and place her across my chest. The nurse was still holding her as I was still very drugged up and she was hooked up to many lines and was intubated but this allowed us to actually get our hands on our precious baby girl if only for a few minutes.
All too soon it was time for them to put her safely back into her isolete and whisk her off to the NICU. Kevin went with her and my Aunt Carol went along to help him to understand all that was going on. My dad and brother went back out to the waiting room to start letting family know that she had arrived and was doing well and let them know specifics and such. My mom stayed with me in recovery until I was taken back to my room. At that time Kevin returned back to our room as they were working on some tests and such with Madison which meant no one was allowed in the room. At this point my parents left to go get some lunch and pick us up a baby book and Andrew went with Kevin to take a shower and check on our dogs. They were hoping this way I would be able to fall asleep for a bit. Thanks to the meds that they were giving me for my surgery I was able to drift in and out most of the day.
Now with most C-Sections you are encouraged to get out of bed the same day as the procedure. Due to my blood pressure and the fact that I was still on the Magnesium I was still stuck flat on my back until at least 24 hours after surgery. This meant that I was also unable to go to the NICU. I had to remain in my bed in L & D. I was also unable to eat (not that I was hungry). Luckily I have an amazing husband that was willing to take the trek down to the NICU every few hours to check on her. That first day the only visitors were my parents, my brother and my Aunt. By early evening everyone had gone home so it was just us. He came back from one of his checks of her shortly after everyone had left with a huge smile on his face and was excited to show me the latest picture.
We were about 10 hours past birth and she had already been extubated. She was breathing on her own!!! The thing in front of her nose was providing oxygen to her but she was doing the breathing by herself. Our little fighter. I was sooo amazed by her! This picture was also when we realized just how long she seemed. Though she was tiny she seemed to be all legs and arms. We kept calling her our future basketball player. A few hours later he came back with an even better update!
They were able to decrease her oxygen support even more! I was soo blown away by this little girl! How anything this small could be soo strong! I knew right then that nothing would keep me from her tomorrow. If she was going to be up there fighting Mommy was going to be right there beside her!!!!!