Ashland Eir (pronounced “Air”) was born Saturday, December 27 at 11:11 a.m. via Cesarean Section. He was 5 weeks premature at birth, weighed 5 lbs, 2 oz, and was 17.5 inches long.
So here’s the rest of the story, for those who have been following along. The results of Friday’s amnio came back, and showed that the lung development was complete. I didn’t know this at the time, but the restriction of blood flow through the cord had almost doubled since the ultrasound that was done on Monday morning, so they wanted to move things along in a hurry.
I was given Cervadil at about 6 pm on Friday night. The nurses call it a “Barbie tampon.” It’s basically a strip that they insert up next to the cervix that has a string hanging from it. Normally, you would wear it for 12 hours, and it works to soften the cervix and start contractions gently. It kicked me right into gear, and I started having contractions basically on top of each other.
They pulled the Cervadil at 8 pm, believing that labor would continue, but instead it slowed way down, and I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart through the night. They figured the next day would be a big labor day, so they gave me Ambien to have me rest.
Some time in the middle of the night, about 4 nurses rushed into the room, flipped me over, and gave me an oxygen mask. The baby’s heartrate had crashed to about 70 bpm (usually is between 120 and 160) for about a minute before slowly climbing back up. There had been a few other similar decels earlier that had caused some alarm, but the baby had always recovered very quickly. This one was a little more worrisome. They monitored me very closely for the rest of the night, without another incident.
When we woke up the next morning, the nurse came in and informed us that we would be having a C-section that day. My doctor was on vacation still, and the doctor I had seen the day before was no longer on call, so I was going to have yet another new doctor that we hadn’t met performing the operation (my 6th OB in 10 days). I had so many mixed emotions at this point. On one hand, I felt like I didn’t get much of a chance to try labor. And the doctor who was making these decisions for us hadn’t even met us or been in to read our chart for himself. On the other hand, I was so afraid of the danger that labor could put my baby in, I was relieved for the C-Section. In hindsight, I know that if my doctor had been the one to tell me I needed a C-Section, I would have been okay with it.
They prepped me for surgery, and I went in at about 10:30. It was all very scary to me, my first ever surgery, but the doctors and nurses were all very nice and joked and made it a very jovial and cheery place. My husband came in after they laid me out on the table, and he held my hand during the whole thing.
I could feel all the pushing and pulling of my skin and organs, just no pain. Very weird. Then at 11:11, they pulled out a wiggly little blue thing and started singing Happy Birthday. The NICU nurses were ready, and started working on him. Almost immediately, I heard him crying. Tay went over and took pictures.
They wrapped Ashland up in a blanket and brought him over for me to see.
We got a quick family photo before they whisked Ash away to the NICU and finished stapling me together.
We were both overcome with emotion. The rest is kind of a blur, but they took me away to recovery while Tay took the grandparents in one by one to see Ash. Once I could wiggle my toes, they wheeled me up to the NICU for a quick visit with the baby, and then off to our new postpartum room for some R&R time.
I didn’t get to see Ash again until the next morning.
He’s breathing on his own, but not doing well with food. They’re feeding him through a tiny feeding tube, although he spits up much of what he’s fed. So they supplement through the tiniest IV you’ve ever seen.
Tonight was a good night. We fed him through a small bottle, some of my breast milk supplemented with some formula. He kept it all down for the second feeding in a row… I’m hoping we are turning a corner.