Wednesday, April 11, 2012

35 weeks 2 days... laid plans...thinking you have some sort of control...the luxury of decisions...being in that super low minority - REALLY ?! 1%?!

I got up very early with Mary Louise yesterday as she needed a breathing treatment. We sat on the sofa together, watching a few cartoons, and doing the "teet-mint". I started to feel pretty nauseated. I am used to feeling run down the day after a progesterone injection so at first I didn't think much of it. Then it got worse...I felt as if I might have eaten something that just didn't agree with my system on top of the injection reactions I normally get...still - didn't think all that much about it but instead decided to take things easy and lie next to Mary Louise in the sofa.

I got up to use the restroom around 5:30am and felt a sharp pain. It lasted a few seconds and stopped. I made my way to the bathroom and didn't have any other pains or feelings until closer to 6 - but I did continue to feel nauseous. I took some Tums and felt quite a bit better for a time.

When the nausea returned, I sent Mary Louise to get Brent who was still sleeping up stairs. I was having more regular pains - cramping - and thought it might be contractions but they were not consistent and still very far apart (upwards of 20 minutes in down time) and no bleeding or discharge.

About 6:30 or so: Brent came downstairs and I went up to lie down for a bit. He brought me a piece of toast and I ate that and drank water - felt a little better and rested awhile without discomfort - but the contractions were still happening occasionally.

8am: I called the hospital but didn't get an answer. I called my OB's answering service but the doctor on call didn't know my history at all and the office was to open in less than an hour so I opted to wait to speak with my doctor directly. I knew I would likely need monitoring to be safe, and didn't know if they could just monitor me in office rather than the hospital.

Contractions started coming every 10 to 13 minutes and worsened with activity. I called Brent who got the babies dressed while I threw some clothing together for myself just in case...

I called my neighbor who'd said many times to call if we needed anything. Thankfully, she was home and was more than happy to let Mary Louise and David play at her house while Brent took me to the doctor.

I spoke to my doctor and told him I felt I should go directly to the hospital - that my contractions were predictably coming every 10 to 13 minutes and had been for just over an hour. He agreed and said he'd call to let the nurses know I would be there soon: I think we need to just hook you up to some monitors to make sure everything is ok. Sounds like today might just be the day Heather. It's a little early, but you're at a very good point in your pregnancy.

I hung up with him.

We got to the parking lot of the hospital and I told Brent to hurry - something felt different - in a really really awful sort of way. I could barely get out of the car and into the wheel chair. Some old lady tried to stop us when we went through the emergency room. I yelled at Brent to just go and that we didn't have time for the lady to "look up my information" or "call to make sure they were expecting me...

We got to the second floor.

The nurse who took care of me when my labor started with Mary Louise, David and Kuylen happened to be standing in the hall. She asked if I was visiting. Ha.

"I think I'm having a baby." I said, "but I have to have a section."

It was all I could even get out of my mouth.

She brought me to an empty room and was going to help me get into a gown. I tried to stand out of the wheel chair. The pain was absolutely excruciating. I started to wimper which quickly turned into yelling when she tried to check me and put monitors around my lower belly. I started to bleed.

"I think you're rupturing," she said with an absolutely terrified look on her face.

Codes were called and within seconds, 8 nurses surrounded me in a room. Within 10 minutes, I was in the section suite and somehow, my doctor was there and ready to go.

I could barely breathe - very very wet and shallow breaths were all I heard. I felt the baby kick twice - It was absolutely awful - but I knew he was still there. They couldn't find any heart sounds.

A mask was pressed tightly on my face. Brent had gone to get our car out of the emergency line and came back to find me already in the OR. He popped in to tell me he was there with me and was handed scrubs to don and told to wash up so he could be with me for surgery.

I was put under general anesthesia as soon as possible.

Brent never made it back into the surgical suite.

Everett Baily LeBlanc was born on the morning of April 10th, 2012. 6 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches long.

As soon as the doctor cut, little Everett popped out. My uterus had ruptured completely along my old incision line. Everett was free and in my abdominal cavity. He and I literally did not have one more second to spare.

The doctor was able to stop the bleeding and repair my uterus. Everett showed left lung infiltrates yesterday on his chest xray (due to aspiration or prematurity or both.) He was ventilated very briefly, given Surfactant and extubated. He spent most of the day yesterday on a high flow nasal cannula working very hard to breathe. By last night though, he was weaned down to 21% O2 via cannula (the equivalent of room air).

I haven't been able to hold him just yet but can touch his feet pretty easily. He is in an open bassinet under a low radiant warmer. He has 2 umbilical lines from which they draw labs and administer antibiotics and fluids. He is currently on TPN nutrition but the staff told me they were hoping to be able to gavage feed (through an oral-gastric tube) today. I spoke with his night nurse this morning and was told he had a good night, still on 21% O2 and doing just fine. He is having another chest xray today. If the infiltrates were from aspiration, it is expected that most would be gone today.

I have been pumping diligently...disappointed that I don't have my little nursling snuggled by my side, but knowing I can give him the next best thing. My milk hasn't come in just yet despite best efforts but I am getting tiny drops of colostrum so that's better than nothing.

Surgical recovery is going pretty well too. I have some bruising and am certainly very achy. But as long as my pain medications arrive on time, I do ok. I had been up and visiting in the NICU via wheelchair, but this morning was able to walk down the hall after a shower.

I'm very tired but did get some sleep last night in between antibiotic doses, vital signs, and pumping of course. Ha - everyone knows the hospital is no place to sleep right?

We have been told to expect Everett to be here until his due date (May 13th). I am very very much hoping to bring him home sooner though. We'll see how he does today. That should offer more of a long term prognosis.



  1. Heather, I am sitting with tears dropping on my desk. I was so, so hoping for a happy birthing experience for you this time around. It breaks my heart for you - for all of us - that haven't been able to experience it. And honestly, this story just supports my decision to not try just one more time - for fear that it will never get better, and that I have a lot of room for things to be worse.

    I hope you heal quickly and can snuggle that sweet bundle soon. They always say due date - have you asked if he can start nursing? Why are they waiting - is it because of the cannula? Sam didn't need oxygen, but I did have the steroid shots in me 24 hours which helped his lungs in that regard. He was able to start nursing/bottling right away. I would advocate for that right away - don't let him get used to being fed the lazy way - assuming there are no other issues, of course.

    It can only get better from here. Hoping you are a happy family under one roof sooner rather than later. All my healing thoughts for all you are heading your way from chilly Iowa!!

  2. Congratulations first of all on your sweet baby boy even though his birth didn't go at all how you expected. That must have been so scary. I, too, wish you had had a happy birth experience rather than a traumatic one. Glad to hear he is doing well though. I can't wait to see pictures. Take care and best wishes.

  3. My Goodness Heather!!!
    First, congrats on your sweet baby boy. Second, oh my goodness! My dear, you are the proud winner of a whole novena said for you and Everett in church this evening.
    Love, light and prayers for both of your continued recoveries.
    Always, Mary

  4. Congratulations, Heather and Brent on your newest addition. And, Oh My! I am so sorry that things happened that way, but glad that God gave you the instinct and wisdom to let you know when it was time to go to the hospital. The end result is good news all around, but so sorry you had to go through so much. Looks like little Everett was born at a healthy weight, so hopefully , you will be able to take him home soon.


    Many prayers for You and baby right now.