Annaleise Geneva Elliott
9 pounds 12 1/2 ounces
For 6 nights in a row I was woken at 1am with contractions that lasted 6-8 hours and stopped. I was dilated to 5cm, the contractions were definitely strong and painful, but the timing wasn't regular and they just weren't long enough.
On Wednesday I had contractions on and off all day and as night came they continued. I wasn't able to go to bed at all, but I couldn't decide if it was labor that wouldn't stop. They were very hard, and they were lasting a minute or so, but the timing was all over the place. Finally, at about 3:30 am I had Mike get up and begin getting things ready. I called my midwife about 4, and after that call it seemed the contractions just never stopped.
When my midwife arrived I was dilated to 8cm and got into the pool. 26 minutes after the midwife arrived, Annaleise was born. The cord was wrapped once around her neck, and maybe around her body as well. She had some bruising, a little bit of fluid, and was, of course, beautiful :)
Things seemed to be going fine until about 5pm. Hailey changed her diaper and brought her to me to nurse. I looked at her and she was just blue. Her whole body. And she was blowing mucousy little bubbles and flaring her nostrils a lot when she tried to breathe. Her little chest was sucking in too. She slowly started to pink up, but it took several minutes. I offered to nurse her, but she was working too hard breathing to nurse. A quick call to the midwife and we were off to the ER.
Someone came out to see us right away and checked her 02 levels. Her saturation was 92 when we got to the ER and they took us right back. After establishing that she was born at home on purpose, and that I had received prenatal care at home, they began the battery of tests. Chest xray, blood work, lumbar puncture, catheter, antibiotic injections. Her chest xray showed something in her left lung, but it wasn't clear what it was. But while we were waiting they had a monitor on her to keep track of her oxygen levels and she crashed. Her saturation level dropped to 60 and they started albuterol treatments and deep suctioned her. Soon we were transfered by ambulance to another hospital and admitted into the pediatric unit.
It was about 1am by the time we got there and after getting settled in for the night Mike headed home for a little rest and to gather the things we would need to stay a little while. Grandma was with the kids, which was a huge blessing. In the night her levels dropped again and the put her on blow-by oxygen, but she seemed to be doing better. She nursed a little, screamed for a couple of hours and slept. In the morning they took her to a treatment room to start an IV. The first hospital stuck her 5x and kept blowing the vein, so the nurse promised that it would only take a minute and if they couldn't find a vein quickly they would skip the IV and just give her the antibiotics through injections.
An hour later they still had her and I could hear her screaming over and over. I finally went to the nurses station and told them to bring back my baby, that they didn't get to stick her anymore and I wanted to talk to the doctor. But when we went into the treatment room to get her it turned out that she had crashed again and stopped breathing, they had called RT for a breathing treatment and decided that an IV could not be avoided. After that she was on a nasal canula for oxygen.
Once the pediatrician came to see her arrangements began being made to transfer her to the NICU. Then her RSV test came back positive and she couldn't move to the NICU because they didn't have an isolation room. The doc believed it was a false positive and was going to test again, but ultimately he decided that she needed a higher level of care than they could provide and he wanted to transfer her to Valley Children's Hospital about 3 hours from home. A helicopter was coming to get her.
About an hour later we heard that the helicopter had a mechanical issue and an ambulance would be coming instead. The hospital social worker got us a room at Ronald McDonald House and Mike went to grab more stuff.
She was put in an isolation room at Children's Hospital and we had to wear gloves, gowns and a mask to be in the room with her. She wasn't allowed to feed because she was working too hard to breathe. The initial diagnosis was meconium aspiration.
There's more of course, but I am really tired now and Annaleise wants to nurse. I will try to finish the update tomorrow. For now, enjoy the pictures, pray as you feel led, and join us in praising the Lord for the precious blessing he has entrusted to us.