Friday, July 1, 2011

Update: q & a style

Were there any issues prior to my water breaking?

In early April I started having severe stomach pains. The baby seemed fine and nothing alarming came back on any test I had, so we thought it was a bad case of acid reflux. It seemed resolved for 2 weeks and then I had another episode. I was actually in Labor and Delivery getting help for my stomach pains when my water broke.

So, what caused my water to break?

We found out during delivery that I had an abruption. My placenta was separating from my uterus. We also discovered after delivery, that my abruption was an old one, so that means it didn't happen during delivery (which can happen). Since severe stomach pain is a symptom of an abruption we aren't sure if the pain wasn't really an abruption. (did I say that right?) Or if my acid reflux caused an abruption. It's kind of like the chicken and egg--which came first, we aren't sure. All we know for sure is that my body was telling me it was time to deliver. You can imagine how thankful we are that the only complication we had was a premature baby considering all the effects an abruption can have.

What does this mean for my next pregnancy?

If you have an abruption you are likely to have another one, but I wouldn't be considered high risk or anything. If it were the pain that caused the abruption, my doctor would closely monitor and heavily treat the pain.

How was labor and delivery?

I was incredibly anxious. It was my first time being induced. I didn't realize it could be a day(s) process. They started ripening my cervix on Sunday. By early Monday morning I had pretty consistant, noticeable contractions. At 7:30am I was 2-3 cms dilated. Around 8am, I got my epidural (thank you Jesus for epidurals!) and they started Pictocin. At 8:30am I was feeling tons of pressure and was feeling no contractions (Thank you epidural!). At 8:45am I got checked and discovered another bag had formed and I was already 9 1/2 cms dilated. At this point the doctor knew I had an abruption. Once my bag was ruptured, I instantly went to 10 cms. The room filled up with the NICU team and with a team of nurses. It was the biggest crowd I've ever had for a delivery. All was well, until I started pushing and could actually feel it! (no thanks, epidural!) My first time ever feeling that pain. Needless to say, I was completely shocked and quite verbal that I was hurting. Then a crying Micah was born at 9:10am.

So labor and delivery was quick, scary, shocking, and joyous.

What was wrong with Micah?

Since my water broke at 33 weeks, I was too late to receive the steriod shot to help his lungs develop. Because his lungs didn't have time to mature, he had what they call Respiratory Distress Syndrome. In short, his lungs didn't have surfactant so his lung would completely collapse. They had to intubate him, and since his RDS was severe, they had to artificially give him the surfactant.

When he was no longer intubate, he would have breathing spells. Essentially he would forget to breath. Scary, I know. They say, though, that once he goes a week without having these spells, he shouldn't have them ever again.

He was also jaundice and didn't know how to suck quite yet. So he had to learn to suck, breath, and swallow. This was the longest process of our stay at the NICU, which we are incredibly thankful for.

Will he have any lasting effects?

Not sure. RDS increases his chances of having asthma and developing pneumonia and other respiratory infections from simple colds. Chances are if anything develops from a cold, he would be hospitalized. So we have to be careful about being around people with colds.

How much did he weigh and how much does he weigh now?

He was born at 4 lbs 11.5 oz. He dropped to 4lbs 1oz. And now weighs a whooping 7lbs 15oz.

How am I doing?

I am doing much better now that Micah is home. It was hard to always leave someone behind. I felt like I wasn't being a good mother to anyone. I couldn't 100% be there for our girls and I couldn't 100% be there for Micah. Mother guilt was eating me alive.

I am still in newborn baby fog. And I'm pretty sure my brain will never be as it was pre-children. They are worth every brain cell I'm losing. :)

How is Micah doing since being home?

Wonderful. He is eating like a champ. He is still pretty sleepy. So he eats and then for the most part goes right back to sleep. He is a pretty chill baby, except he has acid reflux. So when he's refluxing he cries for a minute or two, then he's done. The only other times he fusses is sometimes during his bottle (due to his reflux) and when his sweet sisters are loving on him too much.

He also is sleeping pretty well. Until Micah was 6 weeks old, we had to wake him every 3 hours even through the night. We just let him wake us to eat now. For about a week he'd have a bottle at 11pm and then wake up around 6am, but as of the last few nights, he has made it all the way to 8am.

How are the girls adjusting?

Great. They love him. Too much sometimes, but they are pretty sweet with him.

Hannah Kate is hitting the terrible two stage on top of adjusting to her baby brother. So she seems to be a little extreme. Sometimes she is super sweet kissing everyone, and the next she is screaming to the top of her lungs because Elizabeth is playing with the toy that she stopped playing with an hour ago.

Elizabeth has been caught trying to pick him up a few times because she said she wanted him to dance with her. And she also, out of the blue, started referring to him as 'dude.' In their eyes, he is definitely a keeper!

What exactly is his name and what does it mean?

Our son's name is a rhetorical question. His full name is Michaiah, which means "who (mi) is like (chai) YHWH ([y]ah)?" Micah is short for Michaiah. It works the same way as Mike is to Michael, or as Jon is to Jonathan. Here's our simple (I hope) MO on what we'll call him:
We'll generally call him both Michaiah and Micah (like how most people do the dual name thing with Jonathan). We'll introduce him primarily as Micah (because most people we meet don't know Hebrew and we don't want to be teachy every time we tell people our kids' names). The cool thing about saying his full name (for us) is that it evokes a heart of wonder and gratitude towards God.
In essence, we're not just saying a name that means something but we're actually speaking a sentence, we're asking a rhetorical question that rises from the hearts of those bewildered by God's grace that culminated in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Did I just answer that last question?

Nope, that was definitely Jonathan or Jon. But amen to what he said.

These are generally the questions I get asked. If there is any other question you'd like to ask, leave it in the comments and I'll answer it. Again, thanks to all who have prayed for us, sent us gifts, showered us with love, and served us with a meal, etc.


Nathan Finn said...

Thanks for this update, Melissa. I'm thrilled to hear that you are all doing well and that everyone's home. I pray little Micah continues to do grow and that his big sisters don't smother him with love.


Courtney said...

Wow I just learned about surfactants in school! Been there done that with the epidural. The closer I got to delivering the more pain I felt!! So glad you all made it through!

Kevin Schaub said...

Thanks for the update, and we continue to pray for you from Durham!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. I can relate to the feeling of leaving your baby behind. My 1st child was born prematurely.