Everett's bilirubin levels have finally dropped a bit - down to 14.5 this morning (from 16.9 I think yesterday). I am still waiting to speak with the doctor, but have seen the NP who agreed to hazard a guess for the general plan from here on out: if Everett's levels continue to decline as of tomorrow's lab results, the bili light will be removed and fluids stopped (I think - regarding the fluids). The following day (Tuesday), if his levels continue once more to drop, he will likely get to go home!!! His bilirubin must be below a 12 to get discharged.
He looks really good today. His little rash seems less angry as compared to yesterday and he has been a little more alert for longer periods during his feedings. Nursing is still going well. I missed the 5pm and 5am sessions yesterday as I dashed home to help with baths for Mary Louise and David and to have dinner with the family for the 5pm and was so desperate for sleep that I sat out for the 5am. So, I have been nursing 6 to 7 times per day and pumping 6 times per day. Right now, I am actually producing much more than Everett needs in an effort to provide enough to supplement with bottles. We nurse for 20min to 1 half hour then bottle 30 to 40mls. He is certainly full by the end of it all and his nurses report that he sleeps pretty well between sessions.
I had a bit of a hard day yesterday as things are slowly beginning to sink in...it was absolutely surreal to leave the hospital, once again, with empty arms... insane to go through the motions of our evening routine without a newborn or a big pregnant belly to contend with... I've just barely scratched the surface with my questions: was Everett breathing when he was delivered? Did he cry? What was his color? What were his APGAR scores?
Apparently, Everett was breathing - but had already aspirated so was working extremely hard when he was delivered. He was crying and his heart rate was 100 (all good things). Again, my uterus suffered a full rupture along my previous section scar (again, from what I understand) and Everett was "out" in my abdominal cavity when he was "found" after the initial (external) incision. His APGAR scores were 2 at 1 minute, 5 at 5 minutes and 8 at 10 minutes. Certainly not perfect, but again, considering, they are really pretty remarkable.
I feel lucky. Lucky that we got to the hospital when we did and that I spoke with my doctor on the way there so he knew we were coming. Lucky that a whole team of very experienced nurses came to my rescue upon figuring out very very quickly what had happened. Lucky that my doctor likely drove like the blowing wind across the hospital parking lot AND was able to secure a second doctor to assist in such an emergent surgery to save Everett and me. I feel lucky that so very many people prayed for a blissful outcome for our family concerning this wonderful pregnancy. I did have a really great pregnancy and that blissful outcome might just happen - just not in quite the same way (I'm sure) for which everyone was praying. I was aware and present every moment (ha with the exception of the actual delivery...for which I am thankful), shared the experience with Mary Louise and David, I have snapshots in my mind of them putting their little hands on my belly feeling the baby kick and roll. I actually enjoyed my 101 ultrasounds and even felt lucky that I had things like "too much doctor attention" to whine about.
BUT (there's always a but), I can't help but want to cry out filth and foul at falling into this ridiculously minute category once more. I can't help but stomp my feet in the most spoiled brat fashion and yell, "but I don't WANT to be the face everyone thinks of as they consider pioneering toward a VBAC! I don't want to be the screaming voice in the head of the personnel who were in on my delivery...everyone begging Everett and I to just. be. ok."
The scrub tech walked my bed to the NICU to meet Everett not long after I'd woken up from anesthesia. I was beginning to panic as I heard the bells, alarms, and smelled the sterile smell of the NICU. Mostly quiet, maybe a little cry...then Everett. I heard him from around the corner and knew immediately that was my son. I saw him through 2 other patients and knew it was my baby lying there in the warmer. I began to cry. Then I heard the scrub tech, "what were you trying to do?! VBAC at home?!" (I didn't answer right away, trying to process what she was asking)..."My daughter wants to VBAC. She keeps asking the doctor, I keep telling her no."
I saw the fear in her eyes as she looked at me. I smiled a little. Sad, because I knew I'd done just what my doctor and I had discussed so many times. Every time, in fact, I'd asked about delivering vaginally...
He would say, "I'm just not comfortable recommending a VBAC. The chance that something would go wrong is so small, but the outcome should a rupture happen...the outcome would likely be catastrophic."(That's a word I use for things like Hurricane Katrina and Rita - not childbirth...).
I couldn't tell this woman that I was some crazy patient gone rogue with doctors' orders. I came in when my contractions were obviously regular. I knew I needed attention and my contractions were just over 10 minutes apart. That's the thing about that 1%. Someone has to be it. If there were signs on foreheads, I suppose that'd make life much more predictable...but there aren't. We just do the best we can with the information at hand...and we pray.
I don't want to be the face of the 1%...but I am. That's just how it worked out. I'm still here though, and so is my darling Suga...and Mary Louise and David just walked in...my day just got infinitely better...
I had a good visit with Mary Louise and David. Mere and Pops have come in to assist in the wrangling as Brent needs to work a bit this week and Mommom, Collin, Kyle and Sean all have work, school and various commitments. It was time for a great switch out!
The doctor spoke with me about Everett's care plan from here on out:
If it bilirubin is 12 or below in the morning, the bili lights will be discontinued and his electrolytes will be changed to D10 (a dextrose solution given IV). The fluids will then be weaned aggressively and Everett will be in a radiant warmer once more, then an open crib, then HOME!!!!!!!! (well, ok, he said, "then it's pretty straight forward. He'll be fine.") So, that puts us hoping for Tuesday and aiming for Wednesday I think. I'll have more in the morning as I'll hear his lab results by around 8am.