Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Brave Little Girl!

This is a continuation from the Birth Experience, if you would like to catch up - click HERE for PART ONE or HERE for PART TWO.

(Forgive me if any of this post doesn't make sense! I had near no sleep last night and am a bit of a zombie while I write this - so please bare with me!)

After the stressful labour experience and seeing our Bubette properly for the first time, at some stage Daniel took me back to the maternity ward to catch up on some much needed rest.

I don't remember anything in between seeing Kayla in special care and getting into bed in the ward. All I remember was hours later waking up at around 4am in maternity, realising that I wasn't pregnant anymore and I just started freaking out looking for my baby!

At that moment everything was a blur to me, I had pretty much forgotten everything that had happened that night. I started pushing the buzzer frantically for the Midwife to come to my room.

"Excuse me! Excuse me! - I'm sure I had a baby but I can't find her anywhere!!" I apparently said according to the Midwife. "Just relax," she replied, "Your baby is upstairs in special care, you are welcome to go and see her at any hour of the day or night." Still unsure of what was going on, the midwife helped me into a wheel chair and wheeled me up to see her.

The moment I saw her again, everything came flooding back to me and I started to remember what had happened earlier that night. I just sat there for hours looking at her, and registering everything in my mind.

It was daunting seeing her in an incubator, and not being able to cuddle her. She had a tube coming out of her belly which lead to a drip and weird machine and there were cords taped to her little foot which lead to a heart monitor.

The lady who was on shift caring for her could see that I was confused as to why Kayla was in the state that she was in and she sat down to explain to me what was going on.

Basically the stressful delivery of the cord wrapped around Kayla's neck caused her to be in extreme distress. There were concerns that she may have lost too much oxygen which could have resulted in brain damage. But luckily her brain was not effected thanks to the amazing medical team for acting as quickly as they did.

The fact that I had Gestational Diabetes actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I had to be monitored throughout the whole labour. The medical team had planned to be there from the very beginning to monitor Kayla's glucose levels, but as it turned out they had much more to worry about. Had they not been there for her glucose concerns - the outcome could have been very different.

Had I not been monitored the way that was - they may not have picked up on the cord around Kayla's neck quick enough and they would not have been prepared to deal with it the way that they did.

Dr Egor actually told us this. It's so scary to think that if it wasn't for the Gestational Diabetes, Kayla probably could have died or suffered with permanent brain damage!!! :-(

But although Kayla's glucose levels were actually fine, they now had to place her in special care to be monitored for other reasons. One being her carbon dioxide levels were extremely high as a result of the cord being wrapped tightly around her neck. Another being she had a low hemoglobin count, and also a high level of Billy Ruben (Jaundice.)

(As you can see - she was quite yellow...)

There was also a concern of too much 'stress chemical' in her blood (I've forgotten the name of it!) which can cause holes in the stomach lining from too much acid. Because of this the poor Bubette had to be starved for 3 days until they could hear digestive noises in her stomach.

During this time I had to express and refrigerate my milk until she was ready to feed. They kept her on the drip to keep her hydrated which had to be put in her belly. They had actually attempted to put the drip in her little hand, but after four attempts and finally finding her tiny vein, Kayla ripped it out. (The poor thing!)

The tube in her nose was to drain excess fluid that she had swallowed during the birth. (I actually didn't know this, I thought it was for something else but Dan just told me now.)

So being so fragile, the hardest part was not being able to cuddle her. The incubator had little windows that we were allowed to put our hands in and gently touch her but all I wanted to do was pick her up and comfort her.

Later that day after hours of looking at her, I eventually headed back downstairs to have a shower and freshen up. It was around this time that the pain of the childbirth had finally kicked in!

The epidural was fantastic at the time when I couldn't feel what my body was going through but BOY did I feel like I had been hit by a truck when it finally wore off!

Also I had the first glance at myself in the mirror finally, and I looked like hell! You may notice that there are not many photos of me and that is because I didn't want any taken! I looked like the flippin Marshmallow man!!!


Although my huge belly had suddenly disappeared, my ankles and face had ballooned with fluid retention and my complexion was as pale as a ghost! I was not feeling glamorous at all!

But that was the least of my worries, the hardest thing were the sleepless nights of being away from Kayla, and when the visiting hours were over and Dan went home, I was feeling very alone.

During my stay I had 3 other women coming and going in my shared room. First there was a lovely lady named Sinicka who I've made friends with. The poor thing was 32weeks pregnant and had gone into labour. They gave her steroids and tried everything to stop her contractions but her baby was determined to come out!

So in between visiting the Bubette, I kept myself occupied by supporting Sinicka through her contractions and giving her back rubs to ease the pain. But before long she was sent home and told to come back when she was more dilated! (Poor woman!!) So I was left all alone again!

Next there was an ungrateful cow of a woman who had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy! She was such an ungrateful thing, saying that the baby was an accident and how she didn't even want him! At night when it was time to sleep, her baby would start crying for a feed and she would tell him to shut up! Then she would buzz the Midwife to come and take him away because she didn't want to deal with it.

I couldn't believe it! I would have given anything to have my baby in the room with me, and this woman was treating her child like he was a waste of space! Luckily she demanded to go home early and was gone by the time I had come back from a visit with Kayla. (I do feel for her poor wee baby though!)

My third roommate was someone I could relate to, only this poor girl had a far worse case than mine. She had been flown in from Cairns by the emergency helicopter, she and her boyfriend were out camping in the middle of nowhere when she suddenly went into labour! At only 27 weeks pregnant she gave birth to a wee premmie baby boy.

He was upstairs too only in Intensive care. This girl was absolutely amazing, I've never met anyone so positive in my life! I couldn't have asked for a better roommate at the time, because her positive energy really rubbed off on me and I realised just how grateful I should be that Kayla's situation wasn't that bad. She was great company for me and we would go upstairs together to visit our babies.

Finally Kayla's health was starting to improve, we were allowed short cuddles here and there and we had a routine of what they call 'cares'. Every 6 hours we would change her nappy and give her gentle wipes of the eyes and mouth to keep them clean. (Very difficult to do through the little windows, but very privileged to have that interaction with her.)


OK... i just had to stop and laugh! Kayla just did a big fluff and scared the crap out of herself!!!SOOO FUNNY!!! Hahahahaha! Oh I wish i video taped it!...

~~~~~~~OK - Back to the story~~~~~~~

Then on the 4th day when I came up for my morning visit, the baby doctors were doing their rounds and I was lucky enough to catch them assessing Kayla. They had fabulous news!... and that was that Kayla was ready to feed.

So I was barely in my seat to get comfy when they told me to take my boob out and start feeding! LOL! "Ummm... Help!!... I've never done this before..." I said nervously. So one of the carers talked me through it and explained what to do.

My God! What a little pirana! She chomped violently on my nipple like she had been starved for 3 days! (Which she had been! - So I couldn't blame the poor little thing!) But at first I put it down to her being very hungry, and I thought that it was quite normal because I had heard that breastfeeding can be painful.

From then on I was to feed her 3 hourly, and it started to really take it's toll on me when I had to set my alarm and wake up at all ours of the night... drag myself all the way to the elevator, up to the 2nd floor and all the way to the other side of the hospital to special care to feed her!

I travelled each time by foot (very painful with the stitches!!) but what was worse was the continuous pain of breastfeeding! Each time she tried to suckle, it would absolutely ache, to the point where my nipples would bleed!!! (OUCH!!)

I had seen 3 different lactation consultants who each told me that I was doing it correctly, but why was it hurting so much?!

Finally on the last couple of nights they allowed her to be in my room with me (Yay!!!) She wasn't discharged from special care, but I was allowed to have her through the night to breastfeed her.

But by that stage I had finally had it! My nipples were way too sore to go on, Kayla was getting frustrated because she kept unlatching and by the time I had finished feeding her there was no time to sleep before the next feed!

I just about cracked! I felt so jet lagged and kept falling asleep with Kayla in my arms, and I was worried that I would drop her or suffocate her. I called the Midwife and broke down emotionally. "I just can't do this, she wont feed, she's starving and I'm scared I'll fall asleep and drop her!" I sobbed.

The midwife introduced me to the breast pump and got me to express. (I wish they showed me this before.. I was doing it all by hand earlier!!!) Once I had expressed a good amount, she took it from me, insisted I get some sleep and took Kayla away to baby sit for me. I was dead to the world before she even left the room.

The next morning the Midwife returned Kayla to me with some interesting news.

"I know why your little one is having trouble feeding..."
she continued, "It's because she has tongue tie!" I was confused, "She has what tie?" I asked.

She explained that Kayla's tongue was actually curled under by a piece of flesh that was attached by the tip.

(She couldn't poke her little tongue out!)

This is why she wasn't feeding properly, the poor little thing couldn't get her tongue far enough to latch on. 'Could things get any worse for this poor little girl?' I thought! And yes they did!... This meant that Kayla now had to have the flesh snipped to free her tongue!

It was heartbreaking to watch... I almost passed out at the sight of it! It's amazing the emotion you feel for your own child (as I am just discovering for myself!) I would have taken her place in a heartbeat and would rather they cut my own tongue off than do that to her. Poor little angel had already been through enough!

But she was a very brave girl, only cried a little bit and was back to smiles in no time. Unfortunately though, it didn't make much difference, because they soon discovered that her bottom jaw is a bit shorter than her top jaw! (Nothing too serious that she wont grow out of) But this is another reason why she struggles to breastfeed! :-(

But other than that, finally Kayla was safe to be discharged and finally come home with us. It was the best feeling in the world! But also a little daunting because I knew that while she was in special care... she was safe. But so far so good!

She has come a long way from that poor little stressed yellow baby! All her tests have come back healthy, she's a happy bubbly baby and she is more perfect than we could have ever asked for!

The only problem we have is still with the breastfeeding, but we invested in a breast pump and have been bottle feeding her expressed milk, so that's close enough for us... and at least she's not starving any more! :-)

Well! Now you're all updated with the whole hospital experience! Now we can get to the fun stuff and post about more recent things as they happen! Some time soon Mum and I are going to do a wee photo shoot of Kayla. Nothing professional, but just a bit of fun to get some cute photos of the her while she's still so little! :-) So I'll be sure to post some cute shots soon!

Until then, here's a few of my other favourites...

Kayla loves to be singed to...

Sleeping Angel...
Snuggle Bug...
Daddy's Girl...
Bath by Nanna... Thanks for stopping by! xx

7 Comments for Kayla - Click here to comment too!:

Peach said...

bloody hell you poor woman - I know too too much about the expressing and the difficulties of breastfeeding and yet nothing like what you've been through - my god ! well well done for not losing the plot and so happy to hear she's happy and doing so well, she's a lucky lucky girl to have such wonderful parents. And if you ever need to scream at anyone to let off steam re the breastfeeding, gimme a call - all the way in england, I'll call you straight back, because it has been a bit of a struggle for me too so I can totally sympathise... but I CAN tell you the good news - IT GETS BETTER, it really does - in a few weeks it will be really natural, even if there's a few problems with latching, it does get better - my nips are still a bit sore and harry has a strong suck on him, but it does get better (!! have I said that already??!?) so don't give up and keep at it and well well well done.

Wow - I'm just so amazed at your story honey, you're amazing...

big big love to you and gorgeous kyla and of course dan, who must be quite bemused by everything!


Kayla's Mum said...

Peach - haha!! I thought of you immediately when the little Miss chomped my nipple for the first time! I thought 'Ahhh this is what Peachy Poo was talking about!!'

I'm actually having a lot of trouble keeping up at the moment and have had to use formula in between breast milk! My milk has dried up a lil, so I must get to expressing like mad before I lose my supply! EEEEEEK!!!

I'll email you soon for a whinge :-P! xx

trublmaka said...

Thanks for sharing hunny bunch!!
Wow, ya'd told me most of it, but there was bits I didn't know!

Luvvin it heaps and lots.
See, I told ya you'd be a great mamma!!!
Biggest hugs n tittie-squishes!!
'n lots of butterfly kisses for my li'l princess Kayla!

Sam said...

Ahhh...honey...I remember the frustration of breast feeding (not THAT stressful I might add!)

If your breast milk dries up..don't fret. She's had a good start on your milk, and formula is just fine. It means daddy also gets a chance to feed her, giving you more chance of rest!

I hope you are getting some my sweet!

Kayla's Mum said...

Trub - lol! Thanks hunny! xx

Sam - Yeah thats the good thing about bottle feeding... Dan gets to feed her too! But I'm not giving up on the breast milk! I'm gonna start pumping like mad! *giggles* xx

Karin's Korner said...

Wow, I have read all three posts about the birth this morning and WHEW, you did it girl!!! She is absolutely beautiful and you are very blessed! Thanks for the link!!

Kayla's Mum said...

Karin - Goodness me! I can't believe you took the time to read all that! LOL Thank you! :-) Yes I'm just so glad the scary stuff is over and now we can enjoy the good times! :-) Thanks for reading! xx