Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where we were - Part 1

It was 2 weeks ago today when we were dealing with the fact that Isaac wouldn't live long. It was about this time when one of the neonatologists came into my hospital room to tell me that he had crashed. He was okay, but his lungs hadn't grown much past 24 weeks. He couldn't breath on his own. Regardless of what the genetic test showed, he wouldn't be with us long. We had some decisions to make. CJay wasn't even there at the time. He had gone home to shower and meet his parents.  

I should probably start from the beginning. 

I walked to my ultrasound appointment Wednesday. I work about a block from the hospital. I was waiting on CJay to get there, so I stood in this little loft area overlooking the hospital's main waiting room. A man who appeared to be a doctor was playing the piano; he was good. I noticed that Isaac didn't move much in the 10 minutes I was standing there. I thought it was strange because there hadn't been a time during the entire pregnancy when he didn't move to the sound of piano music.  

When CJay arrived we made the familiar trip up the elevator to the specialist's office. I didn't want another ultrasound. As a matter of fact, I never wanted to go back to that office. But there we were and that's where the story of Isaac's birth begins. Isaac didn't move much during the ultrasound. We could see that he'd grown lots of hair in the past month. And he was still breech. And after 40 minutes and even after I had some gum, he still didn't move much. The lady said they like to see their diaphragm move at least once, but Isaac never cooperated. 

When Dr. Saller came to talk to us, he was concerned that Isaac was stressed. The next step was the fetal monitor down the hall in labor and delivery. Dr. Saller warned that we would most likely see the baby's heart rate dropping and would have to make a decision about a c-section. Down the hall we went. I don't remember much until we were in the room. I was hooked up to the monitor and surrounded by a couple doctors. They were explaining how fast this could progress. After only an hour, they came back. Isaac was distressed. His heart rate was dropping significantly with just mild contractions. "You have a couple options: we do a c-section tonight, we do one first thing in the morning around 8 am, or you go home and wait - but we don't recommend that." What? 

Doctors rushed in every 20-30 minutes when Isaac's heart rate dropped and the alarm sounded on the monitor. At 9:30, the doctors said they didn't want me to eat because they were certain he would need to come out before the morning. (I remember the time because CJay had been gone for 30 minutes to make phone calls and get me some food. I hadn't eaten since 2 that afternoon! I was hungry.) It was close to midnight when the doctors came to say it was time for the c-section. I was actually pretty surprised because things had been calm for a while - no alarm. We would have to wait one hour for a full NICU staff, but that was as long as they thought Isaac could wait. He really wasn't doing well.

I know this is a long story,  but I think it's therapeutic for me to write it all down. I'll post Part 2 soon. 

CJay and Isaac

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