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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Return from my blogger leave of absence....

January 14th I met my best friend Brandi at the mall for the sneek preview of 'Dear John.' It was cancelled and we needed to talk anyways so we headed towards The Buckle to try on jeans (ok-at 8 months pregnant, I was not the one trying on jeans, Bran made up for the both of us in her dressing room excursion though). She made her selections and we left. Apparently all that walking had taken its toll however and on the morning of January 15, 2010 I began having contractions at about 10:30. (It was my best friend Chrissy's 30th birthday and my good friend Danielle's birthday as well-we were all going out that night). Being 5 weekes from my due date, I figured they would go away so I went to take a hot bath and lay down. By 11:30 I had called Chris and asked him to get me and take me to the hospital so that they could give me the labor stopping medications I had had 3 weeks prior. He said he was finishing up some work and would then be home. I called him about 20 minutes later to say that "now was a good time for me!" We took Hollan to Danielle's and proceeded to Lovelace. They hooked my up to all the typical monitors and we waited.....and waited and then spoke with a Dr. that was a little less than friendly. We were to just monitor the contractions (that were now every1-2 minutes) and wait some more. Again less than friendly, Dr. Peng returned to say she was going to perform a c-section on another patient and then she would check in with me. We requested a different OB/GYN but apparently they only keep one. At this point Chris and I decided we'd rather wait at home, but she insisted we couldn't leave because of the risk to myself should I go into labor having had 3 c-sections previously. We made arrangements for the kids to go to Danielle's after school. My contractions then got more intense and more frequent and Dr. Peng (who by this time had changed her disposition to be more friendly (much to our delight) decided we needed to perform my c-section. My other best friend Jean was more than happy to go get our other 3 kids so that Danielle could continue with her birthday celebration. We were in surgery preparation within half an hour and an amazing anestheia named Ray that made everything go as smoothly as possible. Our baby boy was born at 8:08 that evening. He did not cry. I knew he wasn't breathing and prayed with fever. The NICU team worked furiously while I kept asking why he wasn't crying. One of the NICU team then stated, "I can't get him to breathe!" I then looked up to my husband who was holding my hand, and said, "Pray with me!" He replied, "I already am." I then gathered up every bit of conviction I had and declared to God, "LORD, BREATHE LIFE INTO MY CHILD!" and as I felt Him and saw the soft glow around me, He did. It was the most amazing spiritual experience of my life, and our baby was rushed away to the NICU. Following the regular c-section procedure it was time to remove the tumor that had been growing on my right ovary since the second month of my pregnancy. Seth Heckram (the resident) discovered that the tumor had over-grown the ovary and it was necessary for them to remove it entirely. Once they had finished, I was wheeled into post-op to wait 2 hours. Chris joined me there when he had returned from the NICU and Brandi came in as well. I was alert and almost immediately began declaring that I felt different than I had with my other c-sections. I continued to complain of discomfort and how normally I don't feel so much hurt so soon. The nurse assured me that it was normal and returned to her paperwork. For the enitre 2 hours Brandi and Chris listened as I repeated my concern with the discomfort and pain. Brandi left shprtly before I was to go upstairs to my room. Finally, when my 2 hour mark had come, the nurse began to wheel me to my room on the recovery floor. I looked up to Chris and told him, "I feel like I can't get enough air." At once, my vitals dropped and alrams sounded and everyone began clamboring around. Just as if I were in a medical t.v. series, doctors and nurses rushed around frantically yelling, "She's crashing!" "Get the ____ STAT!" etc. My vision dimmed in a black hazy circle and Dr. Peng leaned over to say, "Stay with us Brynn." They determined I was bleeding internally and made immediate preparations for my return to surgery. I requested that Chris be with me, but of course it was denied. I told him I was scared and he said, "Me too." I was wheeled away briskly and back into the cold surgical room. Ray was there, waiting kindly but working diligently on my anesthesia. I asked Dr. Peng if I would wake up again and she said, "We'll do the best we can." Ray began yelling at the staff saying, "Maybe next time when a patient is continually telling you something is wrong you can listen to her. Maybe all of you can learn from this!" It was endearing. I again asked Dr. Peng if she promised I would wake up and she again said, "We'll do the best we can." I told her that I didn't want a stock hospital answer. They were waiting on a blood transfusion to begin the surgery, yelling at each other. When the blood had finally arrived they had a tube beside my head (to be used for intubation) and everything was gone. It later seemed as though it must have went quickly, becuase it had only been 15 minutes. It had been nearly 5 hours. his emergency surgery required 6 units of blood through a transfusion. My last blood pressure that registered was 50/7. I awoke in the most intense pain I have ever experienced in my life. It was unfathomable. I was screaming in agony and am embarassed for my behavior. I had a morphine pump that provided no relief. After I left the ICU and went into my room my body had finally worn down enough to maintain rational behavior! I had demanded to see my baby immediately, however I was unable to walk, move or resemble a normal person in any way, rendering it impossible. My body immensely swollen from my head to my toes (literally). I was unable to open my eyes more than a crack. The minutes passed like hours. The following day Ray came to visit me, calming sitting down on the other bed and expressing his grief over the situation stating that, "We almost lost you." Are there more humbling words to ever hear?! I was able to meet our new baby boy that night. I had never been in the NICU before and it is a difficult experience. Obviously none of the patients there are doing well-and they're BABIES!! Seeing my sweet son with tubes everywhere was heart breaking. Because their veins are so little the IV's commonly bust and by the time we left the hospital 10 days later, he had had 5 IV's, 2 of which were in his head! Chris was tenderly cautious to hold him for fear of pulling any of the connections. His bellyrubin was over double the recommendation so he was put on light therapy. He had fluid in his lungs and would forget to breathe so oxygen was required continuously. I pumped breast milk for him, only to find out the following day that they refused it becuase of my medications. That was a hard blow as well. Also, due to my severe condition, I was only able to be in the NICU for a couple hours per day, spending the remaining time alone in my room suffering. I required a special pump that went in through an entry above my surgical incision. It had to be drained of blood and fluid every hour. Eventually I willed myself to be stronger and pushed to walk and move. Chris was needed at home with the children so I spent most of my 5 day hospitalization alone, with the exception of 1 visit from Brandi and an interuppted visit from Altaira. It was a dark time mentally and is still dificult to reflect on.

We eventually decided to name him Eli Stuart Thornburgh. We had called him 'Elliott' in utero. Chris like 'Elias' but I did not, so we dropped all of the endings and call him Eli! Stuart is my favorite mother-in-laws's maiden name so we chose to honor her with a namesake.

Currently we are both recovering well. I ended up with extended complications but they are resolving. Eli continues to vomit excessively, however it is better than originally and he gas gained weight steadily. He requires a specialized formula which I refer to as 'the million dollar formula!' We are using special bottles as well and he takes medication for the reflux and hyperemisis. He is a delightful addition to our family.

We have had company from the day he came home so we're not quite back into a normal routine but grateful for the love and support. We've also had amazing friends (Danielle, Janalyn and Anna King) that provided food in a desperate time. I thank the Lord for each and every person the Lord has blessed us with. I am trying to be 'me' again but the process has been slow. The children love their new brother as well. Jace is pretty indifferent but Aubrey and Hollan must hold and kiss him continuously through the day. Aubrey is struggling a little with the adjustment but we are doing our best.



This is a picture of Eli (commonly referred to as 'baby boy Thornburgh') is the NICU. That is as IV in his head, oxygen and saturation leads with the baby eye goggles as well.














These are our official photos and much easier on the eyes than the above!







I L-O-V-E baby feet.....





If you look closely here Eli's suffering is reflected in the scabs at the heels of his feet for repeated blood draws.






And this is our precious baby in his daddy's loving loving arms!








Although the journey has been the most difficult experience of my life, the reward is undeniably worth every pain-staking minute!





3 comments:

The Life of an Eight Year Olds Moms said...

Hey Brynner!!
I miss you guys!!! I swear I have checked several times since Eli was born for an update on here,, and just tonight saw it!! Not sure how that happened!! I just wish I could have been there for you and the kids,, and Chris too!!!
Let me know how ya are!!
Love,
Gina

Lori Renn said...

Hi Brynn,
What an incredible story. I am praying for you and hope that you will update soon!
Blessings to you.

Cathy said...

Oh My Gosh Bynn. How amazing he is. Its truly is sooo hard to see your new baby in NICU. I hated every minute of it.