Our micro-preemie son's journey

Birth Story

Tami’s Story:

On December 30,2008 I realized I had felt little movement from Cayden. I had been dealing with high blood pressure starting that past Friday and was monitoring that too. It was late and I had felt some movement right before I went to bed, so I figured he was okay and that if I didn’t feel more in the morning I would call the doctor. I got up and started monitoring for movement. I didn’t feel any like I normally did with him. I only felt him in patterns and having an anterior placenta didn’t help either. So, I did what I had been told to do by my doctor in the past. I laid on my left side and drank orange juice. Concentrated and still didn’t feel anything. I got up and used a pregnancy position pillow and laid on the floor with that on my left side. I ate chocolate and had some sweet tea. I did that for over an hour and still felt absolutely nothing, even when I put pressure on my stomach. I got really worried and called my nurse. I explained everything I had done and my concerns. She said that I should feel movement without having to exert pressure on my stomach. She said she would put a call into my doctor since she was at another location and call me right back. She called back a few minutes later and said to go to L&D testing at the hospital. So, off we went.

We get to the hospital and testing is FULL. So, we waited for about 45 minutes or longer before we got a bed in testing. During that time, we did our hospital registration and talked about packing our bags, etc. We get into testing and they get me hooked up to the monitors. The nurse had an extremely difficult time finding his heart beat and that made us nervous. Another nurse came in and found it in an odd position, but she found it. I was instructed to push the button on some device when I felt him move. I finally felt him flip once or twice, so I figured we would be going home shortly.

Nate and I were talking and wondering if he would be late for work. He could see the heart rate monitor from where he was sitting and commented that his heart rate dropped from like 150 down to 111 and then went back up. I knew that wasn’t good. His heartbeat kept fluctuating. It wasn’t even a few minutes after that when the nurse came rushing in the room. She said that she didn’t know what was wrong, but that something was really wrong with him. She had already called the doctor and then she commented that we might be having a baby tonight. We were stunned to say the least. She grabbed the chart and was looking it and then came in and out of the room in a rushed state several times.

The on-call doctor came in a few minutes later and explained that his heart rate didn’t look good and that they wanted to do more testing to see what was going on. If things were fine, they might admit me for a couple of days to monitor things, and if not, we might need to talk about delivery. She walked over to look at his chart and talked about how badly it looked. She walked back out and we could hear her on the phone with my doctor. Another nurse came in during this time to put in my IV and start fluids and take some blood. After that we were wheeled L&D for an ultrasound with a perinatologist.

She came in and introduced herself and started the ultrasound. She asked some questions about what was going on and my history with my pregnancy. I heard her talk about him, but didn’t quite catch what was going on. Five minutes later, she patted me on my leg and told me we were having a baby tonight. She explained that he was in severe distress and his blood pressure was up. She also explained that he should have been over three pounds due to his gestation age, but was measuring under two pounds, about 1 pound 9 ounces.

I started crying and said I understood. All that was going through my mind was that it was too early. I was only 31 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t possibly be having a baby tonight. Next thing I know, I’m being given a steroid shot to try and help his little lungs. Nate was trying to make phone calls to let family know as I’m wheeled to my L&D room. We get in there and there are probably about five or so nurses preparing the bed for Cayden. I get in my bed and several nurses are in there preparing my stuff too. All the while, I’m being asked a BUNCH of questions by the other nurses. I had a hospital bracelet waved in my face to see if it was me or not, but it was so quick I couldn’t read it. My L&D nurse asked if I had any questions and I started crying and asking what was going to happen to my baby. She was honest and said that the neo could answer my questions better. (They had called the Neonatal team in to talk to me before surgery about what to expect.)

The Neonatologist, Dr. C, came in there and introduced himself. he explained that so much of how Cayden would do depended on how big he was, etc. Then the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me. During this time, my gown is thrown up and I’m being shaved for surgery – all at the same time! It was all happening so quickly.The atmosphere was tense and rushed. The one thing I remember so clearly is that Dr. C asked us if we were ready for this roller coaster ride in the NICU. We told him we didn’t have a choice…

It finally calmed down and cleared out. Then it was just my L&D nurse Rachel was in there with me. She asked if I had questions and I wanted to know if the epidural was going to hurt. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and scared. She sat on my bed next to me and explained in detail how it would feel and what to expect in the delivery room, down to the color of scrubs people would be wearing. That was calming to me and extremely helpful.

Just a few minutes later we left for the OR. Nate had to stay in the waiting room and was told they would come and get him. When I got into the operating room, they put the hat on my head and I got up on the operating table. I was introduced to the anesthesiologist and then my epidural was started. Rachel held me in position and they both talked to me through the whole process. It was exactly as was described to me. I felt my legs get warm – felt like I was peeing on myself. Then my butt when numb – what an odd feeling! After that the nurse anestologist came in and started getting me hooked up to the monitors.

The metal hoop was put on the bed and my gown was put up over it and that was followed by the blue blanket. As soon as the blanket was put on, the doctor came in. There were several other people in there too. It was at shift change time, so the night shift neo, Dr. B, was in the delivery room. He introduced himself as Cayden’s doctor and told me that they would be taking care of him.

It wasn’t long that I started smelling burning skin from where they were cauterizing stuff. I was wondering where Nate was and about that time someone asked if he could be in there. The doctor said yes and the lady that asked rushed out to get him. He was next to me in a matter of minutes. According to Nate, she came in and asked if he wanted to be in there and he said yes, of course! She told him to hurry or he was going to miss it. He said they were running down the hall and she was throwing a gown, mask, and hat at him, and was behind him steering him while tying the gown up. There was no time to put on the traditional scrubs.

Nate held my hand and talked to me the entire time. Not much later Cayden was born! I faintly remember the nurse anestologist calling the time from behind my head and then we both saw Cayden being passed off to his doctor. He was so tiny, fitting in the doctor’s hands. He was purply and he wasn’t crying. They quickly left the room.

The doctor told Nate during surgery that I probably saved Cayden’s life by coming in when we did. Had we waited, even another hour, it would have been a very different scenario. That’s quite sobering information.

I remember waking up in delivery and being told they would bring Cayden by to see me. Apparently, there were some problems getting me to stop bleeding, so they gave me a medicine to help with that and it caused some not so fun side effects. I’ll spare you those details. Nate had to leave to pay for our private room and right as he got back they were bringing Cayden to see me. He was in an isolette and so tiny. I didn’t get to hold him or touch him. It was rather surreal staring at this tiny baby hooked up to monitors and machines. He couldn’t stay long, as they needed to get him into NICU for further monitoring.

Cayden was born at 6:43 P.M. and weighed 1 pound 5.9 ounces and was 12.5 inches long. He measured at 24 weeks, much smaller than his 31 weeks. From the time we got our bed in L&D testing to Cayden’s birth, only about two hours had elapsed!

Nate’s Story:

Tami felt very little movement from Cayden starting the night of 12-30-2008, Tami called her doctor on 12-31-2008 who advised her to come into L&D for testing.

Upon arrival after a few minutes of searching for a heartbeat, they found it. When the nurse left the room I watched as Cayden’s heart rate went from 150 down to 111 and back up within a 2 minute time span.

Suddenly, they nurse burst through the door and said “Im not going to sugar coat this, your baby is not doing good,Im not sure what is wrong, I paged the doctor and you could be having this baby tonight!”

Tami and I about messed ourselves!

From there, the nurses, rushed us up to L&D. A perinatologist(SP) came in and did the Ultrasound and recommended an emergency C-section because the placenta stopped working and the pre-e, and his BP was high and his growth was restricted due to that. He should have weighed over 3 pounds for his gestational age, but was measuring at around 25 weeks in size.

We were then rushed off to another room, where the Neonatalogist, anesthesiologist and several other nurses and doctors attempted to ask questions and force feed information at us, like a fireman spraying water on a fire.

Once that was done which seemed to take 5 minutes, they then, rushed Tami off to the OR, while I waited in the C section waiting room.

What seemed like forever later, a nurse came in and asked me if I wanted to go in the OR, I said. Yes. She said, “Well you better hurry, or you are going to miss it!” So we run down the hallway, while she throws a gown, hat and mask at me. We do some form of perioet while she ties the back of my gown.

I arrive just in time as they made the incision and removed our baby.

Cayden was born on 12-31-2008 at 6:43pm. He weighs 1lb. 5.9oz, and is 12.5 inches long.

Cayden was then passed off like a football to a receiver that ran out of the room. Tami was awake and saw a brief glimpse of him before he was taken away.

Tami then went to sleep. The surgeon told me that Tami saved Cayden’s life and if she had come in any later chance are Cayden would NOT have made it.