Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Eli Winston

On Monday, March 24th at 5:03pm, our miracle Eli was born. There is no word besides "miraculous" to describe that day.

The week before he was born, I had been feeling really crappy. In fact, I only went to school one day that week! I had a pain that followed my bra line all the way around my front and back, like a belt. At the beginning of the week, the pain only hurt when I stood up, so I spent most of my time in bed. On Wednesday the 19th, we went in to Labor and Delivery to be monitored, since the pain was consistent with liver pain and my blood pressure had been climbing. They ran a bunch of blood tests but everything looked normal, so they sent me home. They told us it was probably a trapped gas bubble, since my intestines were so squished from the baby.

The pain kept getting worse, and by Saturday evening (the 22nd) there was nothing I could do to make the pain go away. It was constant whether I was sitting, laying, standing...I tried every position trying to make it go away but it wouldn't. We went back to L&D with me in tears. They ran the same blood tests but everything still looked normal, so they gave me some morphine in an IV and sent me home, ordering me to bedrest until my next appointment (the nurse who helped us that night later told us she knew something was wrong and tried to get the doctor to admit me). By the time we got home the pain was starting to come back, but the morphine helped me sleep through to Sunday afternoon.

When I went to bed Sunday night (the 23rd), the pain was getting pretty bad again, but it was still bearable. I woke up Monday morning (the 24th) at about 1am in excruciating pain. I woke Spencer up and we tried everything we could think of to make the pain go away, but nothing worked. The only thing that helped at all was floating on my back in the bathtub, but I'm pretty much too tall for that to be comfortable very long. Finally, at around 3am Monday morning, we decided to go back to L&D. Spencer was convinced this would be it and they would induce me, so he packed up our electronics and their chargers. I kept telling him not to get his hopes up, because I was sure they would give me more morphine and send us home again.

When we got to L&D, of course they had to run the same tests again before they could diagnose me and give me something for the pain. This took about an hour, and by this point I was sobbing, begging Spencer to let me die. The pain was INTENSE. It felt like my heart, lungs, and ribs were ripping themselves out of my chest. The blood tests came back normal, of course, so they gave me a morphine shot for the pain. This time, however, the morphine did nothing to help and my doctor said to wait at the hospital until the ultrasound techs arrived at 7 because he wanted an ultrasound on my liver.

While we waited for 7am, Eli had a big heart rate deceleration. It went back to normal, but it was a red flag to our doctor. I finally got an ultrasound, which showed that my liver looked "funny." Around 7:30, Dr. McCarter walked in and said, "We're done. It's time to get this baby out. Something weird is going on, and we need this kid out so we can send you for an MRI as soon as possible."

We thought we'd have to start cervadil for 12 hours, then pitocin for a few hours, and probably have Eli the next day. However, it turned out my body was ready to skip cervadil and go straight to pitocin. The fact that we got to skip those 12 cervadil hours made a HUGE difference.

Puffy eyes from crying all morning, about everything. 
My best friend and wonderful husband.
A little after 8am, they started pitocin and broke my water. The nurses kept telling me to get an epidural ASAP, since I was already in so much pain--they didn't want me in labor pains and liver pains. I wanted to wait a little before the epidural, but I finally gave in and got one around 12. I also got a second morphine shot. They put me on IV fluids and magnesium, which is probably the most awful medicine in the world. I felt so sick and drowsy, and couldn't even sit up without feeling like I was about to faint.

While my body prepared for delivery (my body is amazing and progressed steadily, about 1 cm per hour), Karly and Amanda both came and stayed with us. Karly took pictures and Amanda did my hair so I wouldn't be self-concious about the pictures.

Finally at around 4:30pm, it was time to start pushing. Dr. McCarter was working in the Provo office and was about to leave, but we figured I would be pushing for awhile. After only a few pushes though, the nurse told me to stop! The baby was almost here and she wanted to wait for the Doctor.

Doctor McCarter finally came in to the room around 4:50. As he walked in he announced, "Well, you've got a severe case of HELLP and we need to get this baby out now!" This, of course, freaked me out, because I knew how serious HELLP was. Luckily, at 5:03pm our sweet baby boy was born! He cried for about 3 seconds after birth, and then was silent. I was SO worried about him, but it turns out he was just sleepy from the magnesium that we'd both had. He pretty much didn't cry again until we brought him home!

I was sooo sick from the magnesium and the HELLP syndrome the first two days. I couldn't even focus on my baby's face or remember what he looked like. It was very rough. I felt disconnected from everything happening around me. Finally on Tuesday night they took me off magnesium and I started to feel a lot better.

As you can probably guess, Spencer was amazing through all of this. He stayed steady and by my side the whole time, encouraging me and loving me. For the first two days, he took care of Eli, rocking him, feeding him, and loving him when I couldn't. What a blessing he is in my life!

Talking to Dr. McCarter afterwards made us realize what a miracle Eli's birth was. My blood work all looked fine until right after my epidural, when everything crashed. My blood platelets went from a low normal (150) to 59, which is very, very bad. Had they crashed before the epidural, I would have bled out when they tried to put the epidural in. My liver enzymes spiked along with my blood pressure. It's a miracle we started the induction process when we did. Dr. McCarter says that Eli's heart deceleration saved my life. Without that, they wouldn't have been so anxious to induce. The doctor calls him a miracle kid.  And needless to say, we LOVE Dr. McCarter.
One Day Old

Spencer and I are definitely mindful of how Heavenly Father watched over us through this birth. We realize that things could have turned out much differently. We were blessed with a wonderful doctor who listened to the promptings of the spirit. Everything worked out with perfect timing, and what could have been a life-threatening situation turned out just fine. We are grateful every day for the blessings we've been given.

One Week Old!