Well, as most of you know, our baby finally decided to show her beautiful face to the world. Charlotte Rose Payne was born on Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 1:11am. Charli weighed in at 7 lbs 8.5 oz and was 21 inches long (apparently the length of the baby is susceptible). It’s funny because I was in the middle of writing the last post on here (No…she hasn’t come yet!) when I got a call from Sarah at work telling me that her water had broke. I guess I should have started to complain about how Charli had not come yet sooner. Life is full of irony. Unfortunately, I didn’t even finish that post when I saved it and ran. I think I’ll do that now…
Sarah got us all an awesome Easter again this year. Sarah got Tori a very cool Dora Easter bucket for the egg hunts on Saturday. We told Tori to leave it on the stairs when she went to bed to see if the Easter Bunny would come to her house and bring her some treats. You should have seen how happy she was come Sunday morning when she found her bucket full of liquid bubbles and crayons and foam airplanes. Then she went on her very own Egg Hunt in our front room. She did such a good job and was sooooo funny throughout the whole hunt. Another funny Tori story: Easter was a warm day so we had the back door open with the screen door closed. Our backdoor neighbors (grandparents of about 40 it seems at times) had all their grand-kids over for their own Egg Hunt in the back yard. When the hunt started, all the kids went running into the backyard yelling and screaming. Tori heard all the commotion and ran to the backdoor and yells “Crazy people!!!” and starts laughing. It was pretty funny!
Now that I have finished that other post…Charli is here and doing well, for the most part. I got that call from Sarah at about 1:45-2:00pm on April 2 and left work as quickly as I could. Sarah had actually been having pretty regular contractions that morning but when nothing had happened by about 9:00am we decided that I should probably get to work so that’s what I did. Shortly thereafter, the contractions stopped until about 10:30am. They kept coming and coming until Sarah decided to get in the shower. Since Tori will never let you take a shower on your own, she needed to get in with Sarah. In the middle of the shower, Sarah’s water broke. Since Tori loves to sit in the tub and play with her toys, she got meconium-stained amniotic fluid all over her. Since she doesn’t understand what is really going on, she sits there and says “Mommy pee on Tori. Mommy pee on Tori” while Sarah is trying to get her to stand up and get out of the baby poop water, but she didn’t. When I got home, Tori was all dressed and ready to go with Grandma who arrived a few minutes later. With Tori taken care of, we got Sarah all dressed and ready to go, grabbed her things and made our way up to the hospital. We got to the hospital around 3:00pm and the fun began. I will not bother you with all the details, but it was a long, hard labor and Sarah did an excellent job. We were trying to avoid another C-section and go all natural. Sarah had no medication the entire labor and went through some very intense contractions. She did progress to a 7 (she only progressed to a 3 with Tori) and finally hit the transition phase and was stuck there for about 5 hours. During that time, there were periods of 7 minutes on constant contractions, with no break for Sarah. Finally, around 12:30am, she had a series of vaginal exams by the mid-wife, her assistant and the attending physician. All 3 agreed that Sarah’s pelvis narrows toward the bottom where the baby would need to come out. The physician recommended that Sarah have a C-section and get the baby out. It wasn’t what we wanted but, all things considered, Sarah was satisfied with the way things had gone. With Tori’s birth, it just seemed like they were too quick to jump on the narrowing pelvis diagnosis and didn’t give Sarah the opportunity to even try. The entire labor this time, Sarah was in control and they did nothing without her being informed of what was going on and she was ultimately the one who made those decisions. She agreed to the C-section and Charli was born. Overall, we were very impressed with the way the labor and the delivery went.
After Charli came out, I walk her with the Pediatricians to the well-baby nursery so they could examine her better. While they were checking her, one of the nurses whispered something to the Pediatrician and she took another listen to her breathing. I knew right then and there that something was not “normal” with Charli. A few minutes later, the Pediatrician told me she thought Charli had pneumothoraces causing shortness of breath and lack of oxygen in the blood for Charli. She ordered a chest x-ray and I waited there with Charli while Sarah was still in surgery not knowing what was happening with Charli. Luckily, Sarah had her doula with her the entire time. She is an excellent doula and a good friend of ours now and she was able to stay with Sarah and help her while I was away with Charli. The x-ray results showed a small pneumothorax on the left side and a larger one on the right side. As you may have read, there are 3 ways to treat these: 1) put her in a head bubble and feed 100% oxygen into it so that’s all she breathes (apparently, the oxygen and draw the air from the chest cavity back into the lungs and resolve the problem), 2) aspirating the air with a needle, or 3) inserting a chest tube into the cavity to release the air. Originally, they were going to treat it with a needle aspiration, so they transferred Charli over to the NICU for treatment. Once there however, they put her in the head bubble on oxygen for treatment. We were told they had ordered another x-ray for 8:00am to evaluate the pneumos. By that time, it was about 4:30am and we figured we should try to get some sleep and be back for the x-ray. The results of that x-ray showed a resolution of the left pneumo and a decrease in the size of the right pneumo. Translation: she was getting better!!!
We visited her most of that day. Unfortunately, since she was in the NICU, Tori was unable to see her that day. That was very sad for us. Tori had been so excited to have a sister, and would not be able to see her for a few more days. I guess it’s just a drop in the bucket, but it was a big deal to her I’m sure. They told us they were going to do another x-ray the following morning (April 4) at 8:00am to evaluate the remaining pneumo again. My dad came to the hospital on the 3rd and helped me give Charli a blessing. I think that helped her a lot and it was nice to have that option available for her. Her nurse that day was very accomodating and nice. We were very impressed. She took the time to talk to Sarah and I to help us understand what was going on with our daughter. The morning of April 4, we went to be there for the next x-ray and to visit with Charli for a little bit, but she was not in her usual spot in the NICU. They moved her without even letting us know. We were not very happy about that. To this point, Sarah hadn’t even held her yet and it was very hard on her. Sarah asked Charli’s nurse if she could hold her at that point and she said yes, but that we should wait for her to wake up first. That didn’t make much sense…she could sleep in Sarah’s arms. Sarah asked again a few minutes later and the nurse went and asked the doctor who said that Sarah could not hold her. That was very hard for Sarah to take. I talked her into just letting Charli rest for a bit while we went back to Sarah’s room for a rest as well. We were both asleep when I heard Sarah’s nurse walk in. I figured that she would just let Sarah sleep since everyone had been bugging her to get some rest, but she woke Sarah up and said “the NICU says you can come down now and feed your baby if you want.” We jumped out of bed and I started pushing Sarah down in her wheelchair. She always told me to slow down the previous trips because there were some bumps we had to go over and they always hurt her. This time, I went faster and said “Am I going too fast for you?” to which she replied “You’re not going fast enough!” So Sarah finally got to hold Charli for the first time and it was really special for all of us. While we were there, the doctors were doing thier rounds and came by to talk about Charli so we were able to listen to what they said. They actually did this set of x-rays at about 4:00am on the 4th and the results showed a “resolution of bilateral pneumothoraces.” She was all better. Sarah asked at that time if she could be moved out of the NICU to the other nursery. They agreed they would move her as soon as there was room over there.
We were also told that her blood tests had shown a high number of premature white blood cells which meant that she was fighting some sort of infection. They couldn’t tell us what the infection was, but they were treating her as if she had pneumonia. The doctor that first cared for her and put her on an antibiotic dose that would take 7 days twice per day to administer. That would mean that she would be kept in the hospital 2 days longer Sarah would be able to due to the insurance. We tried and tried to understand why we were not able to take her home with us and bring her back for the antibiotics the next 2 days. She wasn’t being monitored, they were doing nothing for her other than giving her the antibiotics twice per day. To me they said, “we need to keep your daughter her for an additional 48 hours even though we are only going to be doing 1 hour of treatment on her. ” This just didn’t make any sense to me. The attending physician all weekend was a Dr. Ralston. He agreed to take Charli and Tori and be their pediatrician so we had quite a few talks with him while we were there. He was very, very good and is a GREAT pediatrician. On Monday, he was the one who decided that we could take Charli home with us that day and come back to his clinic on Tuesday and Wednesday for an injection of antibiotic for Charli.
So, there’s a lot more to it, but I’ve been working on this post for the past 4 hours here at work. This will have to do for now. I have an essay to write and 2 finals to take and I will be done with this semester. My last final is next Wednesday (April 30) and I’ll update more then. Thanks to everyone who reads this and has been keeping us in their thoughts and prayers. We love you all!!