Friday, August 31, 2012

Thursday, August 16

When Thursday arrived I discovered that my muscle control was seriously compromised. I had to have help walking to the shower and had to sit in a chair to shower. One of the nurses had to help me dry my hair because I couldn't hold the hair dryer. It was like I could decide to move my arm or leg, but once it started moving, I didn't have the control to stop it. I had trouble speaking clearly because my tongue felt so loose and fat, and my vision was blurry. Did I mention that mag was the devil's drug??? I felt like I was losing my mind.

I worked a little bit more that morning just wrapping up loose ends, but soon after 9 am I disabled my work email account on my phone. I haven't turned it back on since then.

Lydia received another BPP sonogram and got another 10/10. All through this she still seemed to be doing fine. When Dr. Patterson made her rounds that morning, she told me that my liver enzyme levels continued to rise and my health was declining quickly. She wanted to induce labor at around 10:30 am. After I was induced, they would be watching Lydia's heart rate (I still had an external fetal monitor on me) to make sure she was handling the contractions well.

I was reluctant to go ahead with the induction because Lydia was only 32 weeks 6 days, but it was obvious that it was just a matter of time before something serious happened to me or her. Chip called his parents to let them know I would be induced, and Brian called my mom. Corinne and Susan arrived at the hospital thinking that they'd hang out with me while I was on bed rest only to find out that I'd be having a baby that day.

At 10:30 when Dr. Patterson checked me, I was already 1cm dilated and 60% effaced. She gave me Cervadil to start the contractions, and I began to feel tightening contractions very soon after that. The contractions were easy and didn't feel like much compared to all I had experienced over the previous few weeks. The next few hours were surreal. I had wanted a natural, drug-free, vaginal birth, and here I was, getting all kinds of drugs through an IV that I didn't want. I was hooked up to a fetal monitor that I never wanted. How in the hell I was going to deliver a baby if I couldn't stand, walk, talk, or see?

By 2 pm when Dr. Patterson checked me again, I was still only 1cm dilated. The nurses had been watching Lydia's heart rate, and it was dropping every time I had a contraction, though I'm not sure by how much since it is normal for a baby's HR to drop a little bit during contractions. These were small contractions, and given that she was less than 3 pounds, it didn't appear that she would be able to handle the stress of larger, more powerful contractions as my labor progressed. Dr. Patterson decided that I would need a c-section, and I reluctantly agreed. It wasn't what I wanted, but I couldn't imagine delivering her vaginally in my physical state.

Things happened very quickly after that. I was prepped for surgery. Dr. Patterson said a prayer with us. I went to surgery and received an epidural to numb my lower body. Lydia Grace Burr was born at 3:13 pm. 2 pounds 10 ounces, 15 inches long. Her Apgars were 7 at 1 minute (-1 point each for color, reflex, and muscle tone) and 8 at 5 minutes (-1 point each for color and muscle tone).

She was a tiny but healthy baby who was screaming and crying after she was born. She breathed room air from the beginning with no ventilator and no oxygen. 

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