Tessa makes 3!

The adventures of a young couple starting a family, teaching each other and learning as we go, and having fun doing it!

November 8, 2010

Tessa's Birth Story Part 2

When Tessa came out, she was gray. As I said in the last post, she wasn't crying either. Her original APGAR score was 1, then her 5 minute one was a 5 after they had started working on her. They did a third APGAR a little later, and that was a 7, which was a huge improvement. Here's some information about how they calculate APGAR.

A score of 7-10 is considered normal, while 4-7 might require some resuscitative measures, and a baby with APGAR of 3 and below requires immediate resuscitation.

Her cord PH was 6.8, which was very low. Normal is between 7.25 and 7.35.

Here's a little information about cord ph:
  • The umbilical cord blood is studied for the status of the fetal acid base. Cord gases are obtained to detect the presence or absence of acidosis and to decide whether the cause of the acidosis is respiratory or metabolic. Establishing the source and type of acidosis make it easier to a.) plan resuscitation b.) treat complications.
  • Umbilical cord blood pH and acid-base balance is most useful in association with the delivery of an infant with a low APGAR score.
  • Only newborns who have a persistent APGAR score of 0-3 for 5 minutes or longer and an umbilical artery blood pH of less than 7.00 are at risk of manifesting anoxic brain injuries.  
Well, no wonder everyone was freaking out.  We knew it wasn't  great, but Joel and I had no idea how bad she was and what the potential complications were for her condition coming out. The pediatrician was baffled as to why a full term baby would come out in that much distress. When they whisked her away, Joel couldn't go with her since she was going to the NICU, so we weren't sure how she was doing or what was going on with her. My mom and Joel's mom were in the waiting room, which happened to have a view into the nursery. When they wheeled her into the nursery, Laura (Joel's mom) knew all too well what was going on.

Laura was a NICU nurse for almost 20 years before going back to school to become a Physician Assistant. So, when she saw and heard how Tessa was doing, she was kind of freaking out because she knew what everything meant and how bad Tessa was. My mom didn't know anything and didn't know what anything meant, so she was freaking out and was watching Laura trying to get cues on how Tessa was doing.

She was immediately put in an oxygen hood and was hooked up to multiple monitors. They also started an IV, which we found out later took 5 tries to do. She still has little bruises on the back of both of her hands and in one her of legs where they tried. They finally got it in her left leg. She also had about 10 heel sticks in her other foot for blood draws. She had heart monitors, respiratory monitors, a huge wrap on her leg to cover the IV, and this darn oxygen hood they stuck her in looked like she was wrapped in saran wrap.

About an hour after she was born, she was stable enough that Joel got to go visit her. He could not hold her or touch her, but he was able to take a few pictures and videos. I was still in recovery from my C-section, but the nurse told me that as soon as I could sit up in bed without feeling nauseous, they would put me in a wheelchair and let me go see her. Meanwhile, Joel brought back the photos of her and uploaded them to the computer so I could see them from bed. The nurses were so wonderful, they said the grandparents could go see her as well, but only after I got to see as many pictures as I wanted. They wanted to make sure I had gotten to 'see' her first, even if I couldn't go into the actual room for many hours later.

I gave the OK for the grandparents to go see her. Unfortunately, no one but grandparents and Joel and I were able to go see her, so even though my sister and Joel's brother also came up, they were forced to look at her from the viewing window. The next few hours seemed to drag forever. Every half hour or so, I lifted the bed a little more from the laying position to the sitting position, knowing that once I could sit up, I could go see Tessa. My one goal in life that day became sitting in bed, then moving to the wheelchair. Finally, at about 6:30 pm, I was able to enough to go see her. Once I got there, sitting wasn't going to be good enough. I forced myself to stand up so I could look into her eyes, touch her skin, and just stare at her.

We rested that night and at about 5:30 in the morning one of the nurses woke me up. She said that a couple of hours earlier Tessa had been transitioned from the oxygen hood to nasal oxygen, and that she had just transitioned to room air an hour ago and was doing very well. She said it was against the rules, but since she was stable on room air, she snuck Tessa into our room to see if we wanted to hold her. Well, DUH!!!!! What kind of question is that?! Of course!! So, at 5:30 we got our first family photo. It's a terrible picture, yet so wonderful at the same time!

Friday was a blur, except I remember they said I could go visit her and hold her as much as I wanted. I spent 90% of the day in my chair in her nursery room just rocking her, holding her,and talking to her. Around 5pm that day, she was cleared from the NICU and moved into the intermediate care nursery. This meant that she could come out of the nursery and be in our room, although she was still hooked up to most of her monitors and the IV. They were giving her IV fluids her entire stay since she couldn't eat until she was breathing on her own on room air. I didn't really care that we had to wheel her IV stand around everywhere because we had her in our room and could finally hold her, snuggle with her, and share her with our families.

Saturday morning she got her first bath and was able to wear real clothes. She also got taken off of a couple more monitors, but still had the IV.  We had some visitors on Saturday and just relaxed with our little girl. We weren't sure when she'd get discharged, but were told it would probably be Monday. She was doing a little better everyday and was bouncing back from her traumatic entrance very well.

Sunday morning I was discharged but  told we would be able to stay as long as she was staying. Then, at about 11:30, the pediatrician came and told us she was being discharged. Seriously!?!? We were shocked and elated! We packed up our stuff and were ready to hit the road. Except 1 important thing. Our little peanut decided to fail the car seat test. For more information on car seat tests, click here. Basically, since she had to be on oxygen, she had sit in her carseat for an hour to make sure her ability to breathe wasn't compromised.

Yes, it's usually only for preemies. No, the doctor had never seen a full term baby fail it. He was once again baffled as to why or how a full term, 7 lb 7 oz baby would fail this. This failure meant that she couldn't go home in the nice, Chicco brand carseat we had for her. She had to borrow a car seat bed from the nursery.

The bed they gave us didn't fit her, because again, they had never had a full term baby fail this. So they had to scrounge up another car seat bed to let us borrow, which is pretty ghetto looking. But, it's safe and it works until she can retest later this week. For some reason, Tessa just doesn't want to do things the easy way, but I shouldn't be too surprised. So finally, we had a carseat bed to take her home in, and we were ready to go! We made it home on Sunday afternoon and she has been doing well ever since! We had a very scary start, but are so thankful that she is a fighter.

 We came home on October 31st, so we had to change her into a Halloween outfit for a couple photos!

1 comment:

  1. OMG That is so freaking scary! I teared up reading this. Glad she is ok ;)