Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The "end" of the race

In so many ways, getting to the delivery seemed like a race we were trying to finish. Once we had the baby we would know how healthy her organs were, we would know what her arms look like, we would know what to do, etc. The truth is, in most respects, her birth is the beginning. Now that she is here and we know what she looks like, we know what she looks like - that is it! The point is, in so many ways, we know nothing more than we did two weeks ago! Obviously once we get scheduled with the Genetics and Orthopedics teams at Children's, we will have some more information and will know more than we do today. I talked to the Genetics counselor yesterday and she is going to call Orthopedics, get dates for their availability and give me a call back today to confirm everything.

I cannot even express how amazing I think Children's National Medical Center is. To have someone making all these calls and coordinating the appointments to ensure both doctors (and any others they may suggest we see) know who we are, why we are being seen, and what we need is amazing. Not only do I not have to be responsible for all of those calls, etc, but I also know that it is well coordinated. We will not arrive at the doctor wondering if they have seen the results of a certain test. Everything is kept on record and all the doctors review these records before seeing you, they know what is going on when they walk in the room. And the "charts" are not random notes that may/may not make sense to another doctor. Every visit results in a 3-5 page report sent to all relevant doctors, including the pediatrician, and the parent. If we were to move or switch doctors, I would have 10 pages of information to take on the munchkin's "short stature" from her various endocrinology visits.

Right now, we know she is gaining weight like a champ - thanks to my muscle milk! Her heart and lungs sound good. She looks perfect, all her other bone structures look good. Both arms are short, approximately half the length they should be, her right arm has three fingers, and her left has two fingers. Once we get the x-rays done, we will have a better idea of her bone structure, things like whether or not she will have a palm or just fingers, how much bend she will have, etc. I am certainly excited to move forward with the testing so we know what services she needs. But, right now, I am just thankful she is as healthy as we hoped she would be.

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

She's Here!

When I was pregnant with my other two kids, I could not wait to hit the end of the pregnancy. I was SO ready! With the munchkin, I felt like I was dragging a bowling ball around my crotch for about six weeks before she came. This time, however, I was not ready at all! In terms of preparation, there was little for me to do aside from getting organized and washing the clothes, plus with all the doctor appointments and unknowns, it was easy to push the preparation off for a while. Then, we hit the holiday season and with two little kids, shopping, pageants, and visiting family, time seemed to fly by. Thankfully, I was not "ready" to kick the baby out until just a week or two before our due date. We wanted to her to develop as much as possible in utero even more than the others!

My OB scheduled our induction for five days before the due date, and thankfully my cervix progressed enough on its own that we did not have to go in the night before for the cervadil. We arrived at 7:30, dilated to about 3cm, and by 8:30 I was getting the pitocin. Around 12:30, I had only made it to 4cm, but the baby was down, so the OB broke my water. Over the next couple hours, I layed on each side, got the epidural, and barely made any progress. I could not progess past 5cm. We were having some issues with the baby's heartbeat, where we were having "lates" instead of "earlies" - basically the heartbeat should drop during contractions (early), but our baby's heartbeat was dropping after contractions (late). So, the OB decided to put a couple of monitors on the baby directly, one to measure her heartbeat since she was not staying in place for the monitor to keep good track of the heartbeat and a second to measure the strength of the contractions. Turns out, the baby was bouncing up and down and would not really lock into place. So, they pumped my uterus full of fluid to "float" the baby back up hoping she would re-engage. The nurse left saying she would give it about 30 minutes before checking me again so we wouldn't be disappointed if I was still at 5cm.

Not 10 minutes later, I looked at my husband and said "I think the nurse should check again", so he ran out to get the nurse. She lifted the blanket, took one look, and said, "no need to check, I can see your baby's head!" Then, she called another nurse to help her prep the room, the doctor to rush over, and the neonatologist. When the OB came in, she said she wanted to wait for neonatology, but that the baby was coming quick so I was not allowed to sneeze, cough, or laugh! As soon as neonatology arrived, I gave it one good push, and voila! Baby!!!

Margaret ("Maggie") Catherine
Born January 17, 2012 at 5:44pm
6 pounds 15.5 ounces
19 inches

Thanks for listening!