Saturday, April 30, 2005

Olden Days & Jack's Birth Story

Today while my younger sister was visiting at the NICU, we got to talking about olden days, as in 'back in the olden days.' It started by me commenting on Jack's size, that he was born big because he was expected to take his first breath then immediately start pushing a plow. Then we had to revise it. Actually, he wouldn't have been born at all.

Of course we can't get pregnant without help. So I guess Matt was supposed to leave me since I would be considered barren (male factor doesn't exist in olden days, and women get all the blame). Janie would never had been conceived. If by miracle she had been (we needed IUI for her), then we both would have died in childbirth because of her size (nearly 9 lbs) and position (sunny side up plus head turned). So no Janie, no Pazel and no Jack.

Say by miracle I survived her birth, still no Jack because again we couldn't have conceived him in the olden days. But say he had been conceived (a miracle since we all know it took IVF which didn't exist in the olden days), then he would have died in childbirth since he was breech (and more reasons to be explained in a few). But, IF by some miracle he would have been conceived and would have been born alive, then he would definately died from the Hirschsprung's. So in many, many ways he is a product of modern times. A son of science. Still very much a miracle.

I mentioned his birth which I hadn't gotten around to telling you about. When we got home from the hospital things were so crazy with him crying, not eating, not peeing, not pooping, getting yellower, etc that I just didn't have the time or energy.

His birth was very planned because we knew that he was breech, he was big, and that I had a previous c-section. So we knew the date and time to come in. I remember that they gave me some funny drug to relax me which made me extremely sleepy. I kept taking 30 second cat naps on the operating table then waking up and asking Matt if the baby had been born yet. I was so afraid I'd sleep through it. They had to work hard to get him out. When they did, and I heard him cry, I cried. All that time waiting. All the fears during pregnancy. I heard him and believed. They all asked me his name and we didn't have one. He weighed 9 lbs 5 oz, not bad for 39 weeks and no gestational diabetes.

When they were closing me up, I closed my eyes and went into a semi-nap state. I could hear them having a conversation about schools. At one point I heard a male say, "We're taking this out, right?" My OB answered, "No. We're just tying the tubes." He answered, "Oh. I guess I'm so used to working on the 5th floor where we're always taking stuff out." Meanwhile I just layed there, not saying a word but very glad my OB was still in charge.

What I didn't know that my OB later came and told me was that it was "fortuitous" that our baby was born at that time. He was a double footling breech meaning he was sitting up in my ute with both feet in my pelvis, kind of like a squat. This position makes it very easy for the umbilical cord to dip down between his legs to the cervix and prolapse, or come out and get pinched off. This would cut off oxygen to the baby. She said that when she opened me it was already partially prolapsed. If we hadn't scheduled it for that day and that time... well... she just repeated that it was "fortuitous."

I was thinking about the word "fortuitous" again when the surgeon and neonatologist told us that if we hadn't brought Jack in to the emergency room when we did, he would have gotten much sicker. Another day home and he would have died. His intestines were all so very swollen and he was so dehydrated, that last day and night at home he didn't cry at all, just slept. He was in a lot of pain and just giving up. Life was too much. It hurts me to even think about it because you never want your baby to hurt or to give up. There's so much he hasn't experienced yet. And we would do anything to help him, we just didn't know. Maybe I'll have to have his middle name changed to "fortuitous."

To anyone pregnant, I hope I don't scare you either with the Hirschsprung's or with this birth story. The prolapse is rare since being in that double footling complete breech (squat) position is rare. And HD is only 1 in 5000 births, so is also very rare. So don't let this worry you or scare you in any way. Enjoy your pregnancy and when your baby is born, enjoy your baby. Take lots of pictures and don't listen to any horror stories including mine.

46 Comments:

Anonymous Wrin said...

You've done what some women would insist they could never do; survive a stint in the NICU. Although I know you're not completely out yet, as far as I'm concerned, you are, since like you're saying it's pretty much just stoma teaching and antibiotics that are keeping you there.

I'm paranoid about my own things, and I think everyone is paranoid about their own things, whether they've had a bad experience within the family, or whether they just plain know too much. My aunt the ultrasonographer scanned herself almost compulsively at work to make sure they were 'still in there'. It was her method of getting over pregnancy jitters. As far as the cardiac lesion thing goes for me, I am going to be holding my breath until they can clearly see four chambers with normal flow and normal vasculature.

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Blogger Rachel said...

Normally I wouldn't say this about a baby who has been through what yours has ... but he does seem quite lucky, in a weird sort of way. Fortuitous indeed!

Although I get fed up with the prevailing medical mentality "these days" and sometimes long for "olden days" -- I hear what you're saying. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes the good old days weren't!

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Blogger Jen P said...

Pazel, there's something very special about your boy. He's overcome so many odds already. He's a fighter and a superboy.

Wishing you all the best.

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Blogger Dee said...

So much in life is fortuitous, isn't it?

It sounds to me like things are coming along and I can't wait until Jack gets to go back home with you, Matt, and Janie.

And thank you for sharing your story--and for also pointing out not to listen to the horror stories. Being pregnant is hard enough without having those foisted upon you by family or friends who mean well. It's not like I don't have a lot of worries on my plate already. But I'll be taking your advice to heart--and will ask anyone who begins telling me a pg or birth story--"wait, before you go any farther, is this a good story or are there elements of the 'bad' in it? If so, stop right there." No shame in not wanting to know...after all, as we know, everyone's pg is different. But I still thank you for blazing a path for me and others in your own experiences.

Much love to you and yours Pazel :-)

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Blogger cat said...

Listening to your story has shown me that even after all of the horror of ttc there may still be more to come even after birth but that it is possible to survive, be strong and have hope even in the face of it all.

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