Tuesday, March 8, 2011

welcome to the world, sweet baby jemma!

tuesday morning, jay and i arrived at the hospital at 5:30am where my induction was planned nearly a month early (2 days shy of 36 weeks) due to my preeclampsia. my water was broken around 7:30am and the whole process seemed to fly by. jay, karla maria, and lola were all there beside me during my labor and delivery just like they were with both abby and lyla. i was put on a mag drip which made me so loopy it was ridiculous...i could barely keep my eyes open and felt flushed with fever (flu-like symptoms are side effects of the drug). note that jay kept his jacket on the whole time...i think i froze everyone out and requested the thermostat to read 55. karla maria rubbed my back till i fell asleep. everyone said i started snoring, but i don't believe them for a minute. nope. not me. soon the contractions became too much and i requested for my epidural. the doc came in and shortly after, i could feel my legs becoming all tingly and numb. score.i was feeling so good...that is until i had to be moved over and laid upon my side in order to help decrease my BP. well i guess amongst doing this, they noticed that my epidural and been pulled and was falling out. awesome, right? so they called the anesthesiologist to come back and fix it...but instead, he just gave me a boost and taped it back up. told me that if the boost didn't work to call him back and he'll put a new one. at that point, i knew my delivery was going to be full of pain and pressure. yay, me! ((insert sarcasm here)) within no time, i was fully dilated and it was time to start pushing. i could feel everything. i mean, EVERYTHING!! luckily, it only took a good solid 4 pushes and my sweet baby girl was out.

i was relieved. so happy to see her. and hold her. and love on her. baby jemma, you are beautiful. once she came out, the nurses noticed that she was struggling to clear her lungs a little bit so they called in the NICU nurse to check her. when the other nurse came in, jemma cleared right up. we got to hold her for awhile and then she was sent to the well baby nursery where big sisters, abby and lyla, got to meet her for the first time. they were so excited to finally see their new baby sis.while sweet baby jemma was in the well baby nursery, they gave her oxygen, performed chest physiotherapy (CPTs) to help remove any excess mucus inside her lungs, and then placed an oxygen hood over her head. a few hours later, we talked with the neonatologist and he told us that they were going to admit her into the NICU to watch her more closely, provide fluids and continue oxygen. four hours later, the NICU nurse informed us that they were going to place her on a CPAP to help her breathing and low O2 sats. the following morning, the neonatologist told us that they were going put her on a ventilator and start treating her with surfactant to help open up her lungs. they noticed that when she was agitated, her stats kept going down so they sedated her to keep her calm and relaxed. a "minimal stimulation" sign was hung over her bed.later that night (after taking ambien to help me sleep), we got a call from the NICU nurse around 11:00pm. she told us to come in asap. so we ran as quick as we could. when we got there, the doctor told us that jemma needed to be moved to Children's Hospital so that she could benefit from a higher oscillating ventilator with nitrous oxide supplement because her oxygen saturation levels weren't getting any better. jay and i spent some time with her and then went back to our room to notify our family. about ten minutes later, we got the call that the medical transport team was there and ready to take jemma to Children's Hospital. we walked back over and as the nurses were letting us in the door, sweet baby jemma starts to crash. she has a "fit" where they had to bag her and give her a bunch of emergency meds. the doctor asked us to stand in the hallway while all of this was going on. minutes later, the doctor comes back out and tells us that "she is seriously critically ill right now and the next couple of minutes could be life or death." my heart hit the floor. my breath was taken away. it felt like someone punched me in the stomach. i was in shock. jay and i both. they let us back in the room with her and told us to touch her one more time before they transport her off. i can still visualize how bad our hands were shaking as we tried to move them into her little side circular window. it was unreal.

so jay flew over to Children's to meet her there while i stayed inside my room for a couple of minutes, crying my eyes out. the doctors immediately discharged me so that i could go after my sweet baby as well. i think everyone was so worried that she wasn't going to make it. nurses were giving me hugs and telling me, "i'm so sorry." i call karla maria in tears and she came to pick me up and drove me over to Children's as well. i don't even remember the car ride over. i was hysterically crying...wondering if everyone knew something that i didn't...like my sweet baby was already gone...that they knew she wouldn't even make it through the transport over. it was the sickest feeling in the world and definitely the scariest night of my life.

we arrived at Children's Hospital and run up to the 7th floor of their NICU. jay, nana lin, and tony were already there in the waiting room and as we walked up, they told us that transport had said that jemma made it there safely. the nurses buzzed us in where we met with a team of about 15 people who were working on keeping her stable. we were told that the surgeon was assessing her for possibly being a candidate for ECMO. they allowed us to stay there and be beside her while they called in about 30 members of the ECMO OR team. when they arrived, they told us to wait outside and that the procedure would take about an hour. we prayed and waited, waited and prayed. around 4:15am, the surgeon came out and told us that everything went as planned and that her vitals were stable. we were relieved and allowed back in to see her. they told us that she wouldn't wake up from the sedation and paralytic meds till later that evening. after our whirlwind night, we finally went home around 6:30am. did i mention i took some ambien earlier? throughout it all, jay said that he was impressed that i never hit the floor. sweet baby jemma, you have officially given your mommy and daddy the scare of their life. we love you more than anything. keep fighting...we know you will.

lastly, here are her statistics:

Jemma Aubrey Douglas

Born on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 11:16 am.
Weight: 6 pounds 5 ounces
Length: 20 1/4 inches

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