I had a regularly scheduled non stress test at 8 AM on Friday the 27th. Since I had just been at labor and delivery the night before, I figured everything would be fine and that I would be home in an hour. Chad was still sick with a stomach bug so I just threw on some clothes and headed to the doctor’s office. I figured I would shower and eat breakfast when I got home.
When I got to the office, they said they wanted to do an ultrasound since I had been at labor and delivery the night before. I had one of my favorite tech’s, Wendy. She was always so sweet and caring. She said he looked good and was even practicing breathing. Seeing as how the ultrasound came first, I had no concerns for the non stress test. They hooked me up to the monitors and it wasn’t even 5 minutes later that a nurse came rushing in and asked me to turn on my side. She left and another nurse came in and started rolling up towels to put under my back to adjust my position. At this point I started getting worried. She made a comment about how I was likely going to be heading to the hospital. I told her my husband was at home sick, and I would have to see if my dad could come over from the main campus to take me to the hospital. She said she didn’t know if we could wait for him. That is when I realized how serious this was! My dad arrived just as I was leaving Dr. Atkinson’s office.
They got me in a room on antepartum and the nurses started trying to get an IV for a possible C Section that day. Umm say what? I was not being given a whole lot of information at that point. My parents were communicating with Chad and his parents. They did not want Chad rushing up there if he was still sick until we knew what was going to happen. It took the nurses a long time and at least 4 sticks to get an IV and enough blood for their test. Dr. Owen finally came in right after my mom had arrived. She said she had been watching Ryder on the monitor from another floor and he was having some serious drops in his heart rate. She figured we would have to do a C Section that day, but was going to discuss it with Dr. Atkinson first. When he arrived shortly after, he agreed with Dr. Owen. They said it could be atypical preeclampsia or the placenta abrupting from that bleeding the weekend before. Dr. Atkinson said we would have to wait 2 weeks for it to make a big difference in Ryder’s development, but we certainly did not have that long. They decided we would go back for surgery at 1 PM. At this point I told them that Chad was sick with a stomach bug, but I wanted him to be there for the delivery. Dr. Owen was hesitant and said he probably shouldn’t come in the operating room. Chad and I were both pretty devastated. I had to tell him over the phone! Dr. Atkinson came in later and said it would be fine if Chad came in with us!
Dr. Bowman, the neonatologist on call that day, came by to talk to me. He was very nice and went through everything we could expect after the delivery. I waited until he was done to tell him that I had worked in a NICU as a social worker and had a pretty good idea of what to expect 😉
Chad and his parents arrived and they got us ready for the delivery. Dr. Atkinson prayed for us before they took me back. I think the scariest point that day was while I was waiting in a wheel chair outside of the surgery suite. I kept asking them if Ryder was still OK since I was not hooked up to the monitors. It turned out they were waiting on my blood work because I had a slight fever. I guess I was borderline for being able to get a spinal versus going under general. I definitely did not want to go under general! The anesthesiologist finally just said let’s do it now before the fever gets worse! I got my spinal rather quickly and it really wasn’t bad.
Oh I have to share this story from the surgery. Everything was just moving along and all of a sudden I hear Dr. Owen say “I am so sorry”. I started to freak out and kept asking what was wrong! Everyone started laughing and I still had no idea what had happened! They finally told me that when Dr. Owen broke my water it squirted one of the nurses in the face! I guess a little bit of laughter was good to lighten the mood. Ryder came out and I could see them working on him. Dr. Atkinson leaned over the curtain and said “he just needs some groceries”. I could tell he looked a little blue, but the main thing was that he was so small! They took him to the NICU and Chad followed. As they were closing me up, they told me that the placenta looked like it was 20% detached and it was very small and light. They put me in recovery for a little while. I was so insanely itchy from the pain medicine! On my way back to antepartum they wheeled me into the NICU to see Ryder. He was 3 lbs 7.5 oz and 17 in (just the 10th percentile for his gestation). Long and skinny! He was on C-PAP, but looked good.
I had rubbed my face raw by the end of that day because of the itching. My back also felt like it was on fire. I finally took a shower and washed my hair after the spinal wore off. I was able to walk down to the NICU to see Ryder! They let me have some skin to skin time with Ryder that night, and I knew everything would be OK…. even though it still didn’t feel real!
Ryder’s first days in the NICU coming up next!