Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some details about Autumn's birth

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Oct 27, 2007 06:44pm (EST)

This is the email I sent to my friends and family, I copied and pasted it here for my convenience.
Autumn Elizabeth Tottle
was born via cesarean section
October 21st, 2007 at 11:57am
11 weeks early
2 lbs, 11 oz
15 1/4 in

Here's the quick details of what happened before Autumn's birth.
On Friday, I started bleeding and having very small contractions I couldn't feel but they were registering on the monitors. Baptist hospital transferred me to Sacred Heart just so I would be there if I went into full labor. I stayed in Labor and Delivery at Sacred Heart all weekend, the contractions mostly stopped but the bleeding increased. By Sunday morning, the doctor suggested we have a cesarean as the bleeding might mean that my placenta was tearing away from the uterine wall. We went ahead and agreed to the section since we did not want to take the chance of a full placental abruption. Once they delivered her, they found that my placenta was almost 50% abrupted so it was a good thing we got her out then. She came out crying and looked good to me. She was born at 11:57 and they told us KJ could go see her at 2pm. We thought things went pretty well.

They ended up not letting KJ come see her until about 4:30. It was not good news. The neonatalogist took KJ aside to talk to him before he saw her. They said they had been working with her all day since she was born and that they really didn't expect they could do anything else. Then KJ went to see her and came back to the room where I was "paralyzed". I was still numb from the waist down and couldn't get out of bed. The neonatalogist came to talk to both of us then. He said there was one thing they could try as a last resort and that it wasn't used often in preemies and that it didn't have a very good success rate. We gave consent for them to give her nitric oxide. Then we prayed and cried a lot. I just kept saying I didn't care what they said, I knew she was going to be okay. We prayed for a miracle and we got it! By the next day, she had SHOCKED everyone and was doing way better than they expected and she's just been slowly progressing from there. They're still taking it day by day but their attitude is way different now. Sunday night when I asked the neonatalogist about pumping my breastmilk, the way he responded was sort of like don't bother. And now they talk about her future in days and weeks.

I am successfully producing breastmilk for her and freezing it which I am really happy about. She won't eat it yet for a few more days but I'm so happy I did not have problems with expressing as many moms of preemies do. She is currently getting IV fluids for nutrition right now. They won't feed her milk until she's a bit more stable.

Her lungs are premature for her gestational age. She is not like a normal 29 weeker because I had been ruptured for so long. The low fluid has a significant impact on lung development. The first day they did a chest x-ray which showed her lungs down to her 7th rib, they are supposed to be down to her 10th rib. The next day her lungs were down to her 8th rib and that's where they are currently. So they did expand some which is great. Hopefully they just continue to mature. Please continue to pray for her growth and development. She is in the 50th percentile for weight at gestational age.

As far as me, I am recovering without complication. Just LOTS of pain. This recovery is much worse than my recovery with Keaton's c-section. It could be cause I was on bedrest for 2 months before and because my c-sections were so close together, I'm not sure, probably a combination. But I am much more handicapped this time than last time, it sort of surprised me. My mom is still in town and is staying indefinitely so I am doing fine with help at home.

Keaton is soooooo happy I'm home. I didn't think he even missed me but now that I'm home we can definitely tell he's glad mommy's back. He is such a doll and such a blessing.

I've attached some pics, Autumn looks like her daddy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Autumn has arrived

PLEASE NOTE: This all happened 2 years ago, I'm simply copying it to my blog since I didn't have a blog back then.

Originally written Oct 24, 2007 05:08pm (EST)

Autumn Elizabeth Tottle was born via c-section October 21st, 2007 at 11:57 a.m.

I started bleeding on Friday and was transferred to the hospital where they have the Level III NICU. I was held in L&D until Sunday morning when the doctors and nurses suggested we get Autumn out while she was still doing well since the bleeding may be a sign of partial placental abruption. They were right, my placenta was almost 50% abrupted when they did the section. She had a very rough start but is currently doing well. It's still day by day but I just know she's going to be alright. I was discharged today and am now home. It feels so unnatural to leave the hospital without her. Will update more when I have time. This is the most surreal experience I have ever had. I don't wish this on anyone. I am so thankful that Autumn has continued to prove the doctors wrong. The neonatalogist did not think she would make it the first night but then Mon and Tues she showed significant improvements, they were shocked!! God is with her in the NICU now.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

The ultrasound appt and other excitement

Originally written Oct 18, 2007 03:17pm (EST)

While I was writing my previous post about the second steroid shot, they came in to take me over to the perinatologist's office which is in a separate building of the hospital but still connected by a hallway somehow. So I didn't get a chance to post it until just now. So I finished that post and am writing this one to tell you how my appointment went.

Talk about drama. I'm in Pensacola, FL as some of you know and we had some bad thunderstorms here today and just before we were getting on the elevator there were all kinds of people in the hallways and stairwells saying there was a tornado circling the hospital. So we had to stay put in the hallway for a little while, I guess there ended up being 3 tornadoes nearby and eventually a 4th that really did some bad damage in downtown Pensacola. I don't doubt it wasn't on CNN. Luckily, my hospital (Baptist), did not get hit. They took me to my ultrasound appt around 10:30 and we didn't get back to my room until about 2pm with all the delays and what not. I have to admit, I didn't mind at all, it was kind of a thrill for me. I have only been out of my room once before in the last 7 weeks and that was just to go down the hall to another room.

So I talked to the peri about the slimy leakage and if it could be infection. He wasn't real concerned and said he would do a sterile speculum exam and look at some things under the microscope and send some stuff off to the lab. But my cervix is still 4 cm long, tightly closed and my uterus does not feel tender and my temperature has been a steady 98 point something. According to all this, he doesn't feel we should be concerned. He looked at some of the swabs under the microscope and couldn't find any signs of infection, he's going to get back to me after the labs come back. But he seemed really happy with everything and pretty confident that things don't seem to be starting anytime soon. I was sort of prepared for him to say we were going to have to have a c-section soon if I had an infection so I was a little excited to see my little Autumn but at the same time very scared. Though I'm really glad that everything is going as well as it possibly can be and that we can hold her in longer. Although many Dr's like to induce at 32 or 34 weeks he told me if things stay like they are, he'll hold off until 36 to get the baby but doesn't want to wait past then. I really want to have a VBAC but I assume they would have to induce me by 36 if I wasn't in labor on my own and using pitocin increases the risk of uterine rupture which I am already a slightly higher risk for since my c-section was done so recently. Just less than a year ago Halloween '06. But maybe they have some other way of inducing that doesn't increase the risk of your uterus blowing up. Of course, if she's not head down by the time they want to take her, it's pretty much an automatic c-section and I'm fine with that as long as she's healthy. But if there's a chance I can delivery her vaginally and healthy I would really prefer it. I'll have to talk to my Ob about all this cause he's going to be delivering Autumn.

I guess I didn't really say much about the actual ultrasound. An ultrasound technician did it before we saw the Dr for the speculum exam. She said everything looked really good, she's measuring right about 28 weeks and some odd days except the one thing she said was that her abdomen was measuring a week behind but that isn't anything to worry about?

The peri said not to worry about the abdomen either and that what he really likes to look for in pPROM babies is if the chest wall is really narrow in comparison to the rest of the torso, the "bell" shape. He said the bell shape is not good cause that usually means the lung development hadn't occured as good as it should have. But Autumn's chest looks normal for a baby her size so that is a good thing. Although he still mentioned we really won't know if that lung development did occur until she's born. I'm sure he has to say that cause he can't guarantee me anything but I think he has high hopes and I definitely feel like she's going to be ok. Oh yeah, and her estimated weight is 2.8 lbs.

I just can't believe how I keep getting scared and doubting that we'll get any further, and God just keeps holding our hands and dragging us along. He's so good. I should not be surprised but just the mere fact that God loves and cares for us all as individuals is really amazing to me, especially when you feel so undeserving.


OK, so the second steroid shot hurt a little.

Originally written Oct 18, 2007 02:54pm (EST)

I had the second steroid shot last night and a different nurse gave it to me. Unlike the first shot which was fast and painless, this one was longer and a little painful but still not as bad as I expected. My husband was watching during this shot and he said instead of jabbing the needle in she sort of pushed it in until it sank in to my skin. No wonder it was more painful and longer. No biggie though. I'm just happy I got them now, makes me feel better if I go into labor soon.

Last night before the shot my leakage had gone from pink to pinkish yellow and was a little slimier rather than liquidy. This morning it was a bit slimy too. I asked my Ob to take my white blood cell count again but he said we just had it yesterday morning and it was normal. I asked him to compare it to previous counts and he said it crept up a little. He said he would talk to the perinatologist and see what he wants to do. I was already scheduled to go to the peri's office today for a more in depth ultrasound so we'll see what he says then.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Steroid shot didn't hurt....

Originally written Oct 16, 2007 10:49pm (EST)

Well, my perinatologist finally came to see me tonight after he had been gone to a conference since the middle of last week. Considering all the pink fluid I've been leaking, he wanted to go ahead and give me the steroids in case things start happening soon. So I got the first one tonight and will get a second one tomorrow night. Then when it's clear that labor is imminent, and more than 2 weeks has passed, I'll probably get another shot. If I go into labor in the next week or two then at least Autumn will have some accelerated lung development.

The shot did not hurt like I thought, I guess it's different for everyone. And it was really fast too, I thought it would take a while to push the stuff in but it was quick. I've gotten anthrax shots in my arm and those hurt a whole lot worse. (I'm in the Air Force Reserves). My peri doesn't necessarily think the pink fluid signifies labor is coming but he wanted me to have the steroids just in case. He called the steroids "betamethasone". So now it's just more waiting. I'm excited to meet my little girl but really want her to stay in there for much longer. I'm going to get an ultrasound Thursday at the peri's office instead of bedside and he said we can look at more stuff in his office cause the equipment is better. I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I need a new goal.

Originally written Oct 15, 2007 09:23pm (EST)

So we are now at 28 weeks, 1 day. I think this whole time my goal has been 28 weeks since the perinatologist kept stressing that most ruptured women go into labor by 28 weeks. So now that I'm here, I'm completely antsy! I just want to be done. I want to get started parenting my preemie and be done with this bedrest stuff. Of course, that's not what I really want. I want to carry Autumn as long as possible, which seems like we may only be halfway there as far as the bedrest part. I've been here 6 1/2 weeks and another 5 1/2 I'll be 34 weeks. So 34 weeks will be my long term goal in my head but my son's birthday (Halloween) is my next short term goal. If I can focus on that and staying in the hospital that long so we can have his cupcakes here and watch him open a couple presents, that will be good. I don't want to completely miss his birthday because stuff starts happening. I'm also really wanting to get things done in preparation for the birth. But of course, I can't do anything. I'm stuck here, in this room with crafts and reading and the things I look forward to are picking out my meals and going to bed at night so another day can be over.

On another note, things are going good I think. My perinatologist has been out of town since the middle of last week and I think I might see him tomorrow, and hopefully an ultrasound. I did have some pink leakage on Saturday evening and Sunday morning but the nurses and on-call Doctors don't think it's anything to be concerned about since I'm not having any contractions. I was worried for a bit but now the leakage is back to clear so I feel better.

I just want someone to tell me, you're going to go into labor at this time ..... or you're going to be on bedrest for 6 more weeks...... I just want some sort of definitive. The whole take it day by day attitude has left me, and I'm having a hard time getting it back.

I am so grateful to have gotten this far, I feel selfish for being frustrated with all this, I know this is the best thing for Autumn and many parents were not as lucky as we are to have gotten this far. It's just a lot harder lately than it has been.

Thanks to all who comment, it's really nice to hear your thoughts and feel your support. Keep praying for us, it's working better than I thought.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

27 weeks, 3 days

Originally written Oct 10, 2007 07:56pm (EST)

I'm really happy to be at 27 weeks! I had an ultrasound last night and Autumn's estimated weight was 2.08 lbs. The perinatologist was real happy to get to the 2lb mark. I so so so hope and pray we'll make it to 30 weeks. But hopefully 32, and then of course we'll hope for 34! I haven't had any bleeding since I've been in the hospital except for some pink fluid once but yesterday I had two different instances of a tiny bit of blood when I went to the bathroom. I showed the nurse and they aren't too concerned. They just want to know if it keeps happening. I have not seen any blood today. The ultrasound showed that my cervix was still at least 3cm long and I had an AFI of about 6. My uterus also feels soft still and I have not felt any contractions. Although they don't monitor me on a machine so I may have some that I don't feel but I'm not worried about those. I will probably get steroids next week, I've heard they hurt. Does the injection itself just hurt, or does it hurt for a while after you get them? Where do they inject you? Thigh, butt, arm? The peri said I'll get one and then 24 hours later get a second shot.

My son is getting so big! He'll turn 1 on Halloween. We will probably have cupcakes and a couple friends at my hospital room to celebrate and then when I get out of the hospital, hopefully we'll be able to set up a nice party at home for all our friends. I'm sure Keaton doesn't care either way but I know a lot of my friends don't want to miss it and it's always fun to get together with a bunch of people and their kids.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oct 2, 2007

Well, here we are at 26 weeks. The Doc is really surprised we got this far, praise the Lord! Everything has been pretty quiet except yesterday I had a bit of a scare. I had a huge gush of fluid in the afternoon which frustrated me but didn't concern me until I went to the bathroom and saw that the fluid was no longer clear but faint pink. When there's blood involved, that could mean my cervix is starting to open or a number of other things we don't want to happen. So I was really upset all day. The perinatologist came in around 9pm and did an ultrasound and checked my cervix. My cervix was still closed and 4-5cm long which is very good, if it starts getting short, that means it's effacing which means labor is coming. I was happy about that but was prepared for him to tell me the fluid was very low, I thought I could live with that considering the big gush and that it would probably go up in a week or so. To our amazement, the fluid was exactly the same as it was a week ago, even with the fluid I had lost in the afternoon!! (AFI=5). I am so thankful to the Lord, He is certainly taking care of Autumn. After the ultrasound, the perinatologist said he felt much better too. This morning he said typically he starts to see the early signs of labor in women at 26 weeks, like mild cramping and such. He has been planning to give me steroids at 27 weeks but mentioned today that he would be ok with waiting til 28 weeks for the steroids since I'm showing no signs of labor coming soon. The longer we wait the better and I just hope each week he pushes it back another week. I don't think Autumn is ready to come out until Christmastime or at least Thanksgiving! I know God's power is awesome and we can't put our minds around it but I have to admit I am a little surprised myself that we have made it this far. Even in spite of my human doubt, God continues to remain faithful. I can only thank Him for every day and pray for many more!

Once again, thank you so so so much for all your prayers and please continue to pray for us! I think we are all seeing the miracle of God's power here and it's awesome that so many people get to see this.