Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Birth Story

Sunday night, July 10, 2011, was like any other night. Adam was over. We grilled out. Drank beer. Heineken, I believe. I crashed relatively early with three trials scheduled the next day all of which had the potential of going.

Rachael woke me up at about 11:30 and told me she was going in to the hospital because "something didn't feel right."

During the first pregnancy Rachael went into the hospital about 6 or 7 times before she actually gave birth to Jack and Riley. This must have had an impact on me. About five minutes after our discussion I was fast asleep.

Rachael tells me she went in to Fairview. Told them she wasn't feeling Elijah move around. They put that band around her stomach and could hear the heartbeat but it would fluctuate. They decided to keep her overnight.

Rachael called me about 1:00 a.m. to tell me they were keeping her. Whatevs...zzzzzzz

At about 3:30 the doctor came to speak with her. She told him her symptoms. He said they would check her in the morning and he left. Rachael then went to the bathroom. When she came out of the bathroom the doctor had an ultrasound machine in the room and said "on second thought, I think I'm going to take a look, just in case..."

The doctor performed the ultrasound. Rachael/Elijah scored about 2/10 on whatever scale they use. This wasn't good. He told her they needed to deliver the baby right away. Rachael asked if there was time for the baby to get the steroid shot (a steroid that helps the lungs of a premature baby) The doctor said no. Rachael asked if there was time for her husband to come. No.


Jack woke up at about 4:00 that morning. I decided to go get him some juice downstairs. As I came downstairs I noticed my phone had a missed call. I saw it was from Rachael. As soon as I noticed it was from Rachael another call came through. It was Rachael:

"They're taking me in for an emergency c-section right now..."
"They're taking me in right now. You have to call my parents and have someone come up here. The doctor said that he couldn't see a stomach on the ultrasound..."
"yeah, I don't know, (panic) he said he doesn't have a stomach!"
"But you had a million ultrasounds during this pregnancy, of course he has a stomach."
"I don't know..."
"okay, I will call your parents and get there as soon as I can."

At this point it was a lot of I love you/good luck etc...

So I call her poor parents in the middle of the night.

Who wants that call?

No answer.

Call again.

Harry: "Hello"
Me: Bumbling idiot

Eventually I was able to convey to Rachael's dad that Rachael was going into labor and that they needed to come up.

So yeah, at that point Riley and Jack were both up and I called Adam about 10 times without any luck (phone on vibrate, air conditioning, not by his bedside)It's cool man.

Eventually I called Ryan and Danielle. They are friends of ours down the street. First ring unsuccessful. Received text. "did you mean to call me?" Or something like that...Sent text back...yeah, rc going into labor, blah blah blah. Got call back from Danielle. Awesome. She was rad enough to come over at 4:30 in the morning.

Danielle Rules!

So at this point I barely rushed to the hospital cause I figured birth had already happened. I mean, I went fast and all, but thought that I was too late. When I got there, they told me she was in the delivery room. I got my scrubs on and was escorted in, mid-cut.

As soon as I got in there I could hear the doctor tell the nurses that he didn't think Elijah had a stomach. More of this shit? Really guy? Bummer.

What do you do if your little boy doesn't have a stomach? Didn't have time to Google it.

I was able to hold Rachael's hand behind the screen. Thank you again Danielle.

About 2 minutes after I arrived they pulled out little E. He was 4 lbs 11oz? Something like that...

Apparently Elijah had the umbilical chord wrapped around his neck and shoulder. It was wrapped so tight that he umbilical chord appeared narrow during the birth. This is why he wasn't moving.

Obviously time was a major factor in this delivery. Thank God for Rachael's intuition and the doctor's decision to do the ultrasound.

It was Rachael's constant awareness of Elijah that made a potentially disastrous situation a successful birth.

Now anybody who has ever been a part of the whole birthing process knows that once they pull out the baby there is an absolute deafening silence. Luckily for us this silence did not extend beyond any normal time frame.

We heard Eli crying, he had very little intervention, like maybe a few puffs on the CPAP, and he was all good. F yeah!

But the poor guy has no stomach. Bummer.

We get to see him for a little bit. Looks good.

Rachael and I go to a waiting room. We kind of chill out. Trip out a little bit about the whole thing. No stomach? 33 wks? Rachael nods in and out on her morphine pump.

Some well meaning, but misguided, nurse tells Rachael that he looked good, but his stomach seemed sunk in. Really?

After an hour we go back to the NICU and see Eli with the doctor. It is at this time they tell us that they did an x-ray and Elijah does have a stomach. Bonus. We hung out with the Dr. for about 10 minutes, got his evaluation, and hung out with Elijah for a bit. All in all a good day.

Real Life, Send Me an Angel

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