Friday, October 19, 2012

Birth Story: Titus Jacob (Part 2)

After giving birth, Titus was taken to the NICU. The plan was that I was going to be able to go over and visit him later that night. Titus (Livia)2

We had lots of visitors that afternoon, which was a nice distraction, considering I was a newly delivered mother with seemingly, no baby to hold. Titus (Livia)3

At about 5:00 I was getting a little warn down, and low and behold my epigastric pain came back. They had run some more labs after I had given birth, and they were still headed in the wrong direction (liver enzymes going up, platelets and hemoglobin going down). They started running my blood work every 4 hours.

At the same time, they decided to put the catheter back in because my kidneys weren’t functioning enough, and they wanted to more closely monitor my kidney/bladder output.

At about 10:00 o’clock that night, they were going to let me go down to the NICU to see Titus. But while the nurse was examining me before I could go down she noticed that I had developed some hematomas where a newly delivered mother (or any woman for that mater) doesn’t want hematomas. Luckily, they didn’t seem to bother me too much, but it brought the attention of the head nurse to my room, and she really didn’t think it was a good idea for me to go to the NICU.

Thankfully, my nurse was really nice and fought for me to be able to go, even if it was for a little while. The head nurse agreed that I could go down for 10 minutes if my nurse came with me. They were a little worried about how warm it was going to be in the NICU with me getting out of bed for the first time. Titus Jacob 019

I went down to the NICU and was able to reach into the isolette and touch him for about 10 minutes. They had put in a feeding tube between the time that Tim had been there last and when we came to visit, because his glucose levels were not maintaining with the food he was taking in. It looked a little “scary” to see him in such a big bed, with a feeding tube in, but he still had good color and looked great. They assured us he was totally healthy – breathing good, and keeping pretty good temperature on his own he just need a little help eating.

At the time I was disappointed that it was such a short visit, but after everything that happened on Tuesday, I was so grateful for that 10 minutes. Titus Jacob 020

Once I got back to my room, my epigastric pain continued to get worse and more bothersome. The nurse gave me a dose of morphine that did absolutely nothing, an hour later, she gave me another one… it still did nothing. After that she got an order for dilaudid, which did not help the pain very much (it did seem to move it around and offer a little bit of relief) but did make me pretty “high”. I told the nurse it wasn’t working, but she decided to give me another dose at the hour, while she worked on getting an order for a morphine drip.

During this time, my labs continued to come back headed in the wrong direction, coupled with the epigastric pain returning they were concerned with internal bleeding. They had an ultrasound tech come in again to look at my liver, pancreas and gallbladder to check for bleeding. They noticed some blood that seemed to be behind my liver, but nothing too worrisome.

After I got the morphine drip, I used it for the first hour and it did help with the pain, and I used it for part of the next hour (you get 4 pumps per hour, I used 2) and then the pain went away all together and I no longer needed the drip. It was about 6am at this time.

Tuesday, September 18th:

My pain was better, but my labs continued to decline throughout the day. Since the birth, Tim was balancing his time between my room and Titus’ room. I was feeling okay and kept asking to go to the NICU but the doctor would not allow it because of my poor blood results. She actually has Tuesdays off but came in to talk to us, trying to explain that I was sick and with my blood levels so low it was just not safe for me to be out of bed moving around, even to go to the bathroom. So they wouldn’t take out my catheter or even allow me to shower, so going down to the NICU was out of the question. With my platelets where they were, the concern was that I could start bleeding internally and they wouldn’t be able to stop it because of my inability to clot. The risk of me falling or getting hurt was not one that they were willing to take.

4:30pm My lab results came back pretty bad – my liver enzymes improved but my platelets got down to 31 and my hemoglobin was at 6.8. The doctor wanted to do a blood transfusion and CT scan to figure out if there was internal bleeding we weren’t seeing on the ultrasound. They were mostly concerned with my liver bleeding at this point. The big scare here was not only that I had lost nearly half my blood for seemingly no reason but that my platelets were dangerously low. At levels under 30 brain hemorrhaging and internal bleeding are common and mortality rates are high.

Emotionally, I can’t really describe to you what happened in our room at this time. We knew that I was sick, we knew my body was having a hard time recovering, but we really didn’t “get” until this moment how serious the situation was.

Though we didn’t really want to do the blood transfusion, after talking to our doctor and praying together about it, it seemed like this was the option we should go with.

At this time, my mom decided to head back up to be with us. Tim was still doing his best balancing his time between Titus and I, but the more sick I was getting, the less enthusiastic he became about leaving my side. After three nights in the hospital with very little sleep, his body was wearing down (even if he won’t admit it).

8:00pm I received two units of blood which took two hours.

10:30pm I was taken down for my CT

12:00am I was given my third and last unit of blood.

They ran blood work soon after this which showed improvement in my platelets and hemoglobin. My kidneys were starting to function normally again. Things were turning around for big mama.

Wednesday, September 19th

At about 8 o’clock I was finally able to lose my catheter and one of my IVs. They told me that I could get up to take my shower (which by the way I hadn’t been able to do since Saturday morning --- I was disgusting) and then I COULD VISIT TITUS IN THE NICU!!!

9:00am My mom and Tim wheeled me down to the NICU to visit my baby boy, who I was able to hold and even bottle feed for the first time!!! I can’t describe to you how that moment felt to finally see him and hold him without any time constraints or limits. Titus Jacob 054

I spent most of that day between my room and the NICU because I was still having blood work done and was pretty worn down physically, but wanted to spend as much time as I could with Titus.

It was a crazy journey, and one that we weren’t planning on, but God was in control and remained our sufficiency every moment. It’s true, that He gives you the grace you need for the moment. I never would have thought we could have made it through all that we went through, but with Him and His grace on us, we not only made it through but are able to appreciate the many blessings He has given us in an even greater way.


Ashley Skye said...

Thank you so much for the pictures and the details of your journey. We love sharing these things with you.
It was a scary time for sure. We are so happy you and baby Titus are both safe and sound at home. We look forward to so many years to come to watch Titus grow.....

Remember 6lbs now we will look back in years to come and be amazed....

Ashley Skye said...

By the way the pictures from the photoshoot look AWESOME - I cant wait to see them ALL