Saturday, November 10, 2012

Baby Gibson: Pregnancy & Birth

WOW.  It's been many months since I blogged.  Months of crazy, busy chaos.  Through it all I never blogged about any of it.  Out of a lack of time and a sense of uncertainty of what was to come we just kept it all in during the pregnancy.  Many people close to us knew what was going on, as it went along we told many more and asked for prayers.  
I'll just start from the beginning and see if I can make it through... (several blogs to come)

The first weekend in February of 2012 we found out we were pregnant with baby #3.

Things seemed normal at first, we had a sonogram at about 8 weeks and saw the healthy heartbeat.  A week later I got a call at 7pm at night from my doctor saying they'd found something weird in my blood and we needed to get Daniel tested.  Over the next few weeks we worried and waited for results.  Turned out I had something called an Anti-E Antigen in my blood and Daniel had E in his blood.  Basically (VERY long story short) at any point my immune system could begin to attack the baby's blood cells causing an array of various serious issues.  And unlike some blood issues there was no shot or anything to prevent against it.  
That was bump #1 in the road.  We worried.  And prayed.  They began checking my blood each month  to see if anything began to happen.  It didn't.

At 16 weeks we found out it was a BOY.  I was there alone, the nurse looked, it was clearly a boy.  I made a cake and told Daniel & the kids that night.  Ryder was ecstatic.  His reaction was priceless.  He couldn't even get the words out (which is rare for him)!

At 20 wks we went back for the full growth scan.  The ultra sound seemed to be going normal, we even got a brief peek via 3-D at his little face.  I did notice the sonographer was spending a little extra time on his brain, but nothing was said, things seemed fine.  We looked at the pictures, Daniel left and went to work.  (This is a theme you'll see... God somehow managed to get me alone to deal with a lot of things during this pregnancy!)  I waited an hour and a half to see my doctor, texted the pictures, starting planning, thinking a lot of things through and then went in to see my doctor.  
At that moment everything came to a screeching halt.  My doctor calmly told me that there was fluid in the ventricles of the baby's brain and they needed to send me down to a specialist immediately.  The next hour was a crazy blur of tears & uncertainties... as the rest of the pregnancy & beyond would be.  The specialist told me my baby had something called hydrocephalus.  Since we'd chosen not to do chromosomal testings they could speculate that he may have some sort of chromosomal defect, such as downs or much worse.  I could do an amnio but since my placenta was on top it would pose even more danger than normal to my fetus.  She also told me I could still terminate.  Yes, at 20 weeks after I'd just seen a 3D picture of my sweet baby's face she told me I could still end that life.
I left that day with complete uncertainty of what would happen.  I was to see the specialist every 2-3 weeks for the rest of my pregnancy and we'd "see what happens."  
We prayed.  Like we've never prayed before.  I'd just read a book called, "The Circle Maker," and I began praying circles around this baby.  3 weeks later I went back.  The fluid had shrunk!  It was not gone, but it was at a manageable level.  We would just watch and wait some more.  As the pregnancy went on the fluid stayed level.  It was still a big concern, but not growing at a normal rate for hydrocephalus.  He was measuring small the whole time, but there was no real obvious reason for this.  At about 28 weeks they found fluid around the baby's heart.  They wanted to follow up soon after.  
We prayed more.  I went back in a week and it was gone!  They told me to come back in a couple weeks...

That appointment was supposed to be Wednesday, August 22nd.  Thank God I didn't find a babysitter for that day.  God had a greater plan.  I went in for my specialist appt on Tuesday August  21st at 3 in the afternoon at 32wks 5 days.  After a couple hours on the ultrasound table the dr came in and informed me that my fluids were gone (as if my water had broken- but hadn't!), the baby's heart was enlarged, the fluids in the brain had almost doubled in size, and it was showing that the baby was not getting proper blood flow to the brain through the umbillical cord.  She looked at me and said very calmly, "We need to deliver."  "Now?!?" I said.  She informed me that due to all those things we needed to deliver in the next 12-24 hours.  I began to cry (& shake.)  Until this moment I don't think I've told anyone this but the next thing I said was, "Is the baby going to be ok?"  She looked at me and said, "I just don't know.  But this is our best bet- Get him out as soon as possible."  She (being a mother of 4) hugged me sincerely and said, "Call who you need to call then you need to go upstairs and be admitted."  
I called Daniel, my dad & a couple friends to deal with the kids.  I texted asking for prayers for the next 24 hours as I walked upstairs and panicked a little more.  They rapidly admitted me to labor & delivery in hopes to get 2 steroid shots in me to help the baby's respiratory system.  Our amazing friends & family swung into action and started helping.  They gave me one of the shots and told me I'd be there for the night to just get settled, nothing was really going to happen yet.  I called Daniel, told him to go back home and get my stuff together.  About 5 minutes after that the on-call Dr. came in and informed me that the baby's heart rate was ok, but there was little movement (he showed me a straight yellow line on the monitor).  He then said, "We need to get the baby out in the next 20-30 minutes."  As he said it the nurses (knowing what he was going to tell me) literally pulled their masks & gowns on and began prepping for surgery and the Dr. reached over and stuck an oxygen mask over my fearful face.  I quickly moved it, picked up my phone & called Daniel who was still getting the kids dropped off and getting my stuff and told him to get there immediately.  I texted frantically and then off I was taken to the OR.  Daniel sped there, they prepped me, gave me my spinal (shaking & alone - clinging to a nurse I'd met moments before) and literally waited for Daniel to walk through the door to the OR.  I will never forget the feeling of those 15-20 minutes of misery laying on that table alone, letting the anesthesia begin, begging to God to protect my baby & get my husband there safely.  I heard a nurse say, "Dad's here."  I saw Daniel walk through the door and in the same moment saw the doctor move to make his incision.  

The baby was pulled out within just a few minutes and I could hear a hush and a nurse say, "The cord's wrapped."  (The cord was wrapped twice around his neck- thus the lack of blood flow on the ultrasound and lack of movement on the monitor.)  They carried him over to a table to the side of us, but we couldn't see him.  He made no sounds for a few minutes.  We could see them gathered around him, but heard nothing.  Then after what seemed like an eternity we finally heard that sweet little whimper. They wrapped him, showed him to me quickly and took him to the NICU. Daniel went with him there and saw them get him settled.  I laid there in shock & silence thinking this must have been a crazy dream.  

He had arrived.  All 3pounds1ounce of him...  
Gibson Everett Allen

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