Madison Kay Lermer

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.

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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!

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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!!!!!

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Pre-Eclampsia is my enemy!

I called off work on April 6th so that I would be at home and waiting in case the doctor needed me to do something else once we got all of my blood work and such back. I spent the day relaxing and trying to unpack a bit while still taking it easy. That afternoon I finally received a call from my OB. The news wasn’t good. My blood work showed that my body wasn’t responding well to my blood pressure being high and this could start to put baby at risk. It was time to pack a bag and head back to the hospital. I called Kevin home from work and we headed in.

Once we arrived at the hospital I was once again hooked up to the monitors and IV. My blood pressure was even higher at this point so I was then started on Magnesium. Magnesium is used for people with high blood pressure to help relax the body. It is used to help prevent seizures. The one downside to this miracle drug is that it means I was now stuck in bed for as long as I was on the magnesium. The doctors also wanted Madison to be continuously monitored. The nurses and us got a good laugh out of that. Our little girl was good at moving out-of-the-way right as the nurse would get her on the monitor and then we would have to start all over again. Sometimes spending 40+ minutes trying to find her on the monitor. Luckily that first night we had the amazing Jenna in L&D (a familiar face from our first hospital stay) who helped keep me as calm as possible even when my child wasn’t cooperating.

After looking over all of my numbers and my blood work it was decided at this point delivery of Madison was going to be imminent. The doctor on call then came in to talk to us about steroid shots, which we gladly agreed to. Steroids are given to moms who are at jeopardy of early delivery in order to try to mature the babies lungs. They are normally given 24 hours apart and 2 shots are given. However due to how high my blood pressure was (at one point we were over 250/140) they chose to do mine 12 hours apart and speed up the process. With my pressure so high there was a serious risk to both the baby and I. We were monitored very closely. At the first sign of trouble we would take the baby. The plan was to keep me safe through the night and to deliver baby first thing the next morning.

The next morning after getting my 2nd steroid shot the doctor came in to talk to us. They had gotten my blood pressure under control overnight so they wanted to hold off on delivery for the time being. They also had Maternal-Fetal Medicine come upstairs to do an ultrasound and check on Madison. She was doing well and wiggling all over. However at that time she was sitting breech. This meant that we were going to need a C-Section should we need to deliver in the immediate future. They also ordered tests to check my kidneys and heart. This was done with an ultrasound and both checked out ok. However randomly that afternoon I got a toothache that was some of the worst pain I have ever felt. No matter what I did, I wasn’t able to get relief. Finally the doctor was able to prescribe some Tylenol 3 for me and the pain went away. However I did provide some comic relief that night for my husband and the nurses as it seemed to make me a tad loopy.

Friday morning (April 8) came along and I was feeling ok. My pressure was stable through the night. My tooth was no longer hurting. At this point my biggest complaint was that I was hungry and sick of laying in bed (remember I was on magnesium still which meant I had to lay in bed and I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything as they were unsure of if or when I might need surgery). The doctor came in for morning rounds. He was happy with my pressure numbers and felt that we could start weaning me off the magnesium and allow me to start eating. The new plan was that they were going to try to keep me pregnant for 7 more weeks, but that I would be staying in the hospital until I had the baby. The doctor left my room as did Kevin to go call our families and let them know that we were going to hold off in delivering the baby (they were waiting to hear from us before heading for the hospital). I began to relax and feel like we finally had this under control. I began thinking about what I might order for breakfast (mind you at this point I hadn’t had food since Tuesday and it was now Friday). Life seemed like it might start to slow back down again and I allowed myself to imagine living in a hospital for a brief moment……………………………..Until Dr Bishop ran back in my room with a worried look on his face and informed us we were having the baby today!

……When It All Started to Fall Apart

(***This update and the next one are going to be very word heavy and lacking photos. But the one after that will have Madison’s birth story and begin to tell her journey. So soon there will be many photos! Please bear with me.***)

The week and a half before my blood pressure recheck we were very busy. Besides work we also had found a new place to live and had signed paperwork and began the packing process. Our plan was to move in the day before Easter. The weekend before that both Kevin and I took Thursday and Friday off work to get some serious packing done that weekend and start getting stuff moved over to the new place.

That Thursday afternoon was my blood pressure recheck so after spending the morning working on stuff around our apartment we headed to the doctors. Neither of us really were worried about this appointment. To us this was just a precaution thing and nothing that was a serious concern. However when they took my blood pressure it was even higher than what it was at the office the last time. The doctor looked at us and told us that unfortunately we were going to need to go to the hospital to the maternity ward to be evaluated and figure out what was going on with my blood pressure.

So we headed home to pack some things and then head to the hospital. I was terrified at this point. I knew that we were 24 weeks along which meant that officially we were viable and they would do everything possible for our baby but I knew it was too early. After talking to my Aunt (who used to be a NICU nurse and is the mom of a former 28 weeker) she assured me that this didn’t mean baby was definitely coming. They just wanted to check both us out.

I ended up spending 3 nights in the labor and delivery unit before I was finally able to be released. They were able to finally get my blood pressure under control with the help of medication and my tests came back as negative for pre-eclampsia. We were able to have our 2nd anatomy scan to double-check baby girls heart while we were in the hospital and everything checked out ok and she seemed to not be phased too much. They did notice that my fluid levels were a bit low and encouraged me to take it easy and try to hydrate as much as possible in the coming weeks to try to fix that.

I was finally released on Sunday afternoon with instructions to basically be on bed rest when not at work. When I was at work I was to be taking it easy. I had a fantastic job and worked with great people who were awesome at helping me when I needed it (even when I was too bullheaded to ask for help). The weekend after I was in the hospital My parents and brothers helped Kevin move us into our new place. I was allowed to sit and watch and tell people where I wanted stuff put. It drove me crazy but that is what I had to do for our little girl.

From the time I was released from the hospital till April 5 I was seeing my doctor each week for blood pressure checks and I was also taking my own blood pressure several times a day at home. I had strict instructions to call immediately if my numbers were ever above a certain level. They got close several times but weren’t over. However on April 5 I went in and had an abnormally high reading. I had just tested at home before leaving for the appointment and had something completely different. In order to get a better handle on the situation my doctor ordered a bunch of blood tests to try to get a full picture. He also did this to try to show me that I needed to be readmitted.

I admit it I can be a bullheaded person. But I felt great. All those things that they tell you that you should watch for with high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia I wasn’t experiencing. I also didn’t want my baby to be born this early. So on the 5th we left it at if the blood tests came back wrong I would go to the hospital the next day once we had the results.

The Easy Part…..

The fact that we found out about our little peanut very late in our 1st Trimester meant that before we knew it we were safely in the 2nd Trimester and were able to start relaxing and getting excited! Due to our struggle with infertility and such we were blessed with several ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy. Usually they were just quick glimpses to check to see how the little one was growing and check heart rate. We loved watching our baby grow and took advantage of getting a chance to see our little peanut anytime we could!

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14 week ultrasound!

At about 16 weeks we were notified that because of my health concerns we were going to have to deliver at Toledo Hospital instead of St Luke’s Hospital due to Toledo having a level 1 NICU. At that point it was just a precaution, just in case anything were to go wrong they wanted me to be at a hospital that could safely take care of both me and the baby. Unfortunately this meant I needed to change doctors as well. Luckily with my Aunt Carol’s guidance I was able to easily get into a very good OB/GYN practice that delivered at Toledo Hospital and was transferred under the care of an awesome Doctor.

A few days before my first appointment with my new doctor we got to go have our anatomy scan. Our little peanut was doing somersaults in mommys stomach that day. She very eagerly showed us that she was definitely a girl much to our surprise. We actually were planning on waiting till she was born to find out if she was a boy or girl but she was very willing to give us a view of that. However she wasn’t allowing us to get a full view of her heart just due to how she was laying. They had me get up and walk around a bit and jiggled my stomach around in hopes to make her move but she was perfectly content where she was and refused to move. So we had to schedule a repeat ultrasound in about 4 weeks which was fine by us as it was just another chance to see her.

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We went back and forth on whether we were going to share that she was a girl or not but daddy wasn’t able to keep a straight face for longer than 5 seconds when we saw my parents that evening so we decided to share the new with everyone that weekend. Just a few days later we got to go in and meet our new doctor. At this point we were 22 weeks along and the last 13 weeks had flown by with little to no issues….but at this appointment it was all about to change.

The first thing we did at this appointment was to do an ultrasound. Even though we had just had one 3 days prior the doctor wanted one done in their office for their records also. Everything looked good with baby and daddy asked them to double-check and make sure she was still a girl….she was! Lol! One of my favorite pictures from that ultrasound was one they were able to get of her feet.

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After the ultrasound we went back and met with the doctor to go over family history and the pregnancy to date. He then checked weight and all that fun stuff. When it came to time to check my blood pressure he noticed that it was elevated. I have always been one to be nervous when at a doctor appointment and on top of that with meeting the new doctor we thought it to just be nerves but he wanted to keep an eye on me. He asked me to come back in a week and a half to be double checked just to be sure that everything was ok. We left that appointment still blissfully unaware of what our future would hold.

…..And Then There Were 3!!!!

      My pregnancy started off much different from I ever expected it to. Kevin and I had been trying on and off since getting married and had faced our share of issues with infertility. We had decided in the Spring of 2016 though that we were going to get serious about it again for the next year and see what happened. So we began working with my doctor trying to make my body ovulate and such. The end of September/beginning of October we thought my body wasn’t responding to the meds anymore and were having an off cycle. At the end of October I took a few pregnancy tests which all came out very very negative (spoiler alert I was actually about 5 weeks along at this point and didn’t know it).

     So my doctor then prescribed a medication to cause another cycle to start. After taking it for 10 days nothing happened. We waited 10 more days and still nothing. I called my doctor just before Thanksgiving to ask them what they thought might be going on. We all just thought that my body had stopped responding to the Clomid and Provera. They asked me to go get a blood test to confirm that I wasn’t pregnant and then we could try something different. Fast forward to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I’m sitting at the front desk at work and my cell phone rings. We were quite slow so I quickly answered it as I knew it was my doctor. I immediately asked her “So what are we trying this time?” Her response?

“We thought we would try being pregnant!”

     I just kinda brushed that off and was like yeah I know but how? That’s when she said the words I would never forget. “Jessica, your beta results came back and you are pregnant. I would estimate about 5.5 weeks pregnant as your beta was quite high.” After I caught my breath we quickly scheduled my first ultrasound for the following Tuesday and then I got off the phone to take care of a customer quick. Once I was finished with that customer I just sat there with tears running down my face. Thankfully no one was paying attention. That night after work I stopped and picked up a digital test. I knew that the blood test was more accurate but I needed to see it for myself.

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Never been so happy to see one simple word!

Just a few days later though I started experiencing cramping feelings. With my history I decided to play it safe and called my OB. She wanted me to come in that day. With as high of a beta that I had and not knowing exactly how far along I was they wanted to be sure that this pregnancy first off wasn’t ectopic and they also wanted to check for multiples. Unfortunately Kevin wasn’t able to leave work that day for the ultrasound so it was just me. I have never been more scared. I truly felt like this was the beginning of the end of this precious miracle that we were given. The ultrasound tech was fabulous and assured me that the chance of us seeing much with me being only about 6 weeks along was very slim so we shouldn’t worry if we didn’t see a heartbeat. Almost as soon as she started the ultrasound she looked at me and asked “Are you sure you are only 6 weeks along?” When I told her that was what they estimated she said sweetheart you are 9 weeks. She then turned up the sound on her machine and I heard the most beautiful sound. We had a strong healthy heartbeat of one perfect little peanut!

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     Just a few days later we had another ultrasound (the one we had originally scheduled when they called to tell me I was pregnant) and this time Kevin got to come along. Watching his face when she turned up the sound for the heartbeat was absolutely priceless! Our peanut was nice and strong at 173bpm.

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     A few weeks later we had our niece Breanna take these photos for us and we were able to announce to all of our friends that we were expecting (we had already told family). Christmas had defiantly come early in the Lermer Household!!!!!!

Welcome!!!!!

       Let me start off by saying welcome to my blog! This blog is long over due! I have been contemplating starting this blog for a long time but the timing just never seemed right. You may be wondering what this blog will be about? Well it will be about being an average mom, recipes, craft projects, product reviews, and of course my life and Madison! I know many of you are here especially to read about Madison and my updates on her! I have to say I think those posts will be my favorite ones to write.

     I always planned on starting this blog when we got pregnant. Some of you might be thinking to yourself right now….”Ummm you are about a year and a half late!” And you would be right!!! Right around the same time that I got pregnant I had started a new job. Between my job (which I loved!), trying to take care of our little peanut and myself, and running to basketball games as much as possible I just didn’t seem to find the time to sit down and start writing. I then decided to hold off until our little peanut was born. However, as many of you know that didn’t happen the way we planned and a blog wasn’t at the top of my list.

     Madison has now been home with us for 8+ months. You would think that I would have found the time somewhere in their to start this blog. However, I could never bring myself to sit down and start. I wasn’t able to put my finger on the reason but it just wasnt something I could bring myself to do. Over the past few weeks I have realized that it was my way of trying to protect myself. As you will see over the next few posts Madison’s entrance into this world was one of the scariest, most stressful, most amazing times in my life. It is also a time in my life that unfortunately I don’t remember. The day before she was born, day she was born, and most of the next day are quite blurry to me and I only remember bits and pieces. But this has pushed me to start this in hopes that between what I can remember and what others can help to fill in, I am able to put together the full story.

     So I hope you will join me in this journey. Please bear with me these first few posts as we cover a lot of the past. Not only is this blog for myself and for all of my readers (I hope I have some!) it will also be something that one day Madison will be able to read. I welcome and appreciate any of your thoughts and opinions!