Thursday, 3 November 2011

From Foothills Hospital

Baby Boy, Nov. 2/11

I've been trying to keep in touch with many of you via my phone/Mike/Mom over the past week but it has been difficult to remember who knows what. If we've not been in contact, forgive us, it has been one hell of a week. 

I am incredibly sleep deprived so don’t pay too much attention to the glaring grammar or spelling mistakes. 

The easiest is to start at the beginning (Oct 26th)...

I have been feeling rough (flu like) for the past few weeks and it was getting to the point that I would fall asleep on a dime (not so helpful with two kids). Mike brought me into Triage at the hospital on Sun (a week and a half ago) for a migraine and I was treated and released and then I noticed my blood pressure soared up on Sat and wouldn't come down Sat night so I came back into Triage on Sunday. My blood pressure actually was better at the hospital (murphy's law) so they monitored us both and released us knowing that we had appts with both of our Dr’s on Tues. I have been seeing an OB since early in my pregnancy due to being a higher risk patient and have been also seen/treated by the 'medical disorders in pregnancy Dr’s due to hypertension in early pregnancy.

When I saw the Med Dis Dr on Tues she ordered blood work for me stat to make sure I wasn’t pre eclampsic due to my blood pressure being up again 160/105. She threatened to admit me if there were any concerns in the blood work at all. I was NOT ready to be admitted that is for sure (ha ha now) so when I saw the OB a few hours later (across the hall) he told me the blood work was mostly clear and that they would keep an eye on it. He ordered an ultrasound for me as a precaution more or less due to the headache, blood pressure and overall feeling of crappiness. I was booked in for the ultrasound on Weds.

Weds came and Rylan and I attended the ultrasound together but it wasn't very far into the ultrasound that I realized something was 'wrong'. I knew the tech somewhat as I have been having regular ultrasounds thus far and she's always been great and quite chatty. She went from chatty to serious pretty darn fast which set off my Mom alarm. It was a long ultrasound and she made it clear I would be seeing the Radiologist afterwards (which is actually typical for me this preg). They ended up doing three ultrasounds in all and the Radiologist tried to explain what was happening. My last ultrasound baby was only 2lbs (one month ago) and now he told me baby was around 5lbs.

Our son (yes it is a boy!!), has what is called 'hydrops' which is a collection of excess fluid throughout his body and edema in the skin tissues. The Radiologist also felt that with my somewhat sudden retention of fluid as well that I have a rare disorder that is called 'mirror syndrome'. The hard part for the Radiologist is that there are over 100 reasons for this and he couldn't give me a definitive answer as to why it was. I was doing okay with all of it (of course with my darling 5 yr old in tow), until they called the hospital to tell them I was enroute and my friend Karen answered their call (she is a charge nurse at labour and delivery). I was aware it was a serious situation but didn't (couldn't) grasp the full extent of it then. My panic was finding childcare (thank you Kelsey for stepping up and coming) and getting a hold of Michael to let him know we were needed at Foothills ASAP.

I was still somewhat calm when we got to the hospital, knowing we would get some answers and figure this out. Baby and I were put on the monitors and they took blood, etc. (standard stuff). I had the Dr's explain again what hydrops was as well as mirror syndrome and that they would have to start at 100 and work they way through it to figure out why it was happening. No problem, we could handle that. Poor Mike was hungry so I sent him away to feed himself and he'd been gone only 20 mins when hell literally broke loose. We went from calm to baby being in distress and the OB telling me we would know in the next 10 mins if baby was going to have to be delivered there and then. Baby went into a 'tachy mode' which means his heart went into a tachycardia session in which the heart rate soars to 200-300 beats a minute (reg baby's heart rate is 120-160). When our son did this his heart on the monitor essentially turned into a flat line and the OB had to make a decision. The decision was made that baby was coming and I was asking and asking someone to please get Michael for me. Mike walked into the room to find me with a lab tech on one arm and the anestheologist on the other. He was put into scrubs immediately and got to stand back while we had over 10 Dr’s and staff firing around us. If the anesthetist had better access to my veins we would have made it into surgery that night (just shy of 31 weeks) as it was, baby's heart rate reset and he calmed back down. Talk about an adrenaline rush...yuck. I was then on a minute to minute monitoring and was on surgery watch for the next 36 hrs which meant no food or water. To say it was tense would be a gross understatement that is for sure!

I was kept on 24 hr monitoring for the next 5 days on the Labour and Delivery ward under the 'high risk' (essentially ICU for mom and babe). It was a long haul especially since I couldn't have the kids come and see me. 

Thank goodness for amazing parents/family and friends we were able to have the kids tended to! Mike Neufeld took over for Kelsey and spent the night on our couch till my wonderful Father-in-law arrived that next morning and my Mom that night.  Thank you to everyone who participated in arranging that (Jodi and Sumyu), it was added stress knowing that Michael might have to leave me to care for the kids.

We are now on the Antepartum Unit floor and therefore have a bit more freedom (ha ha).  I am still being monitored every hour (all 24 hrs) to try to catch if Baby is having any tachy sessions.  It is a bit hit and miss sometimes but we catch the occasional one.  I am on several meds for his heart and being as my heart is okay they send me for a bit of a loop.  I’ve also been put back on blood pressure meds to regulate my blood pressure which is going all over the map.  We do go for daily scans via ultrasound to measure several different things on Baby and we have the most amazing Dr. that is an Inter-uterine Cardiologist (who knew?).  We know that there are some discrepancies with his heart but they are not large enough (which is good) for her to be certain till after he is born.  What we do know is that he will need very serious medical intervention when he does arrive so the longer I can hold onto him to help him the better.

We are certainly in the best hands that Alberta can offer as Foothills is the ‘high risk’ hospital that people are sent to from all over the province.  We have amazing Dr’s (can’t stress that enough) that are up for the challenge and I’ve caused quite the ‘water cooler’ chatter I’ve been told.  To top it off we’ve got even better nurses and support staff.  It is all a bit bizarre to be the highest risk patient that they have right now but we can handle it.

SO, I am still in an incredibly high risk category for early delivery and there isn’t much chance that he’ll be a Dec baby at this point.  Life seems all a bit surreal when it comes down to it to be honest.  I haven’t slept for more than an hour at a time for over 8 nights now so you can only imagine my mental abilities are a bit muted.  I am so very overwhelmed at the love and support that has been offered to us via friends and family!  It means more than you can all know, even if I can’t get my head on straight to thank you all.  I am able to have visitors now but have asked that people hold off because I am exhausted and am not feeling well at all.  It is so wonderful but taxing enough having the boys come up each day for a short cuddle.  Also with the Mirror Syndrome I am carrying an additional 30+ pounds of fluid and am constantly tired.

I will try to do a short blog update each day to keep anyone who is interested informed and up to date as we can.

Thank you for your positive thoughts, I am trying to stay as positive as possible and will admit it is certainly hard at times!

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