Monday, January 28, 2013

What a weekend

Brendon and Rachel visited on Saturday afternoon.
My view from the 5th floor. Really beautiful.
My scheduled visit with Sandy (my midwife) for Thursday afternoon was postponed as I had the treatment and so she came over on Friday after lunch. I had phoned her earlier in the week to let her know about my back and ask for her input. I remember telling her that I thought baby had moved at one point - getting head out of the pelvis - and today she confirmed it. We could both clearly feel that baby had it's head up by my ribs. The difference in moving the head and the bottom is just so clear. When she could only pick up the nice strong heart beat really high on my tummy it was confirmation for me. So Sandy asked that we head into town for a scan. I have known for weeks now that if Sandy is not confident that baby is head down - she will ask for this. A breech birth is thankfully not an automatic c-section in NZ - but it is an automatic hospital birth. So off we went. A wonderful friend (thanks Sarah) was happy at the last minute to have our 4 children dropped off and  so we could get through and just focus on this little one and what our next step was.
After monitoring baby's heart for a while I got a quick scan. Baby's head had moved from my left ribs to my right ribs during the trip in and had it's spine over the top and coming down my left side. So presenting part was now feet. An "unstable lie" and if waters break in this position it would be an emergency c-section.
So this was the doctor's suggestion:
Nico Oberholzer who I got to visit on Sunday.
Born at 34 weeks. Now 10 days old.
Best case - baby turns on it's own to a head down position - they then break waters and induce labour.
Otherwise - if baby does not turn on it's own by Monday - they do a procedure to try and turn baby. If baby gets head down they break waters and induce labour.
Their goal here is to avoid having the emergency c-section and to have a "natural" delivery. Brendon and I had a lot of discussion with the doctor about their suggestions and eventually they understood that we were not happy to rush things. To break waters and induce labour is just not something we will consent to at this stage.
So it was agreed that I would stay in hospital over the weekend, have a scan on Monday and then re-discuss with them our plan at that stage.
Brendon and I agreed that when he came to visit on Saturday he would bring all of baby's things (we never did pack a bag with our plan for everything to happen at home). It had to be realistic that at this stage it was more than likely I would be having baby in hospital - before I would be heading home. I was so thankful for the peace that God gave me through this time. I remembered how terrified I was of having to go to hospital when I was pregnant with Rachel. So it was good to feel a total peace and no fear at all. It sure helped having Brendon so strong beside me - taking such a strong stand for keeping things as natural as possible. Sandy had also told me that she had chatted to Maureen (my midwife with Hannah and Hezekiah who has now retired) and if I did have to have baby in hospital they would both be there for me. What a blessing.
I had this strapped up to me a
number of times over the weekend.
On Friday evening I got onto a pressure point on my small toe to help turn baby and a while later - while I was lying down - baby was starting to have a very active time and so I gently encouraged baby to move head down. Baby is normal active for long periods - so I could just slowly move baby, bit by bit around and I felt confident baby was head down.
On Saturday the midwives agreed that it felt like baby was head down and the heart beat was picked up nice and strong - low down on my tummy. So I was very pleased. I then started my walking to try and encourage baby to stay head down.
Another visit with Nico on Monday.
Awake and just about to get weighed.
It was lovely to have Brendon and Rachel come for a visit in the afternoon. Brendon brought a few extra things like clothes for the baby (if we had to have baby before heading home) as well as things to help me get a better nights sleep. I had a horrible night on Friday night. My first room mate was having a really hard time and was throwing up regularly and had her TV on to help try and distract her. Eventually at 11:30 I went to ask if I could get some ear plugs. They said they would move me to a different room. I had a much quieter room mate then - but the radio station she had playing on her TV was flashing the whole night. The sound was low enough that ear plugs worked fine - but I could not block out the flashing lights. I think she eventually turned it off at around 2:30am and so I got about 3 hours sleep. So Brendon brought me an eye cover as well as my own pillows. He also bought me some free wifi time (I had forgotten to take my purse out the car on Friday) so it was great to have easier internet access on the iPad and be able to keep in contact with people a bit more (my cell phone allows a little bit of fb access).
Yvonne is doing such a great job.
The iPad was also great for being able to read my bible either in bed while resting on my side or while I walked. Thankfully I was not too tired on Saturday and could still feel positive and enjoy getting nice chats to my room mate and the different staff members.
On Sunday I headed down to see if I could visit Yvonne. Nico was born 10 days before at just 24 weeks. So she was only meant to have him after my baby. It was great to get to see them both and to get a photo of him to put on face book for her. So it was nice to have the iPad which allowed that.
Otherwise it was a quiet day on Sunday. The staff are all lovely and I have gotten to know a few faces of those who don't even work on my side of the floor as I do my walks around the whole floor. A few people smile or make a friendly comment almost every time I walk past. :-) I have also had lovely chats with the different midwives and have been so blessed by their positive attitude and their hope that I can get home to have this baby. I just love the fact that they are ALL for keeping things as natural as possible. What a blessing.
I can also make the note here that the food has been just lovely. I have obviously missed out on my daily berry smoothy with spirulina - but thankfully my supplements have helped keep my energy levels up. I did notice on Saturday morning though that I was not able to make it from breakfast to lunch. I had a chat to the staff and they made a note that I need a morning and afternoon snack. Just that little extra of a cracker and cheese in the morning and a yoghurt in the afternoon made all the difference. The meals were really tasty with loads of veggies which pleased me. I was also able to avoid bread for lunch each day which was an added bonus for me. I could enjoy things like a fish bake or mushroom risotto which suited me wonderfully. And to have pudding each night was a treat too. Sago was on the menu at one point and I could not resist. It brought back all the memories from my childhood - Dad making chocolate sago pudding. Thanks to fb he reminded me that it was chocolate milk flavouring that he added to make it chocolate - so I will make a plan to get some and make it for my children. I hope they enjoy it as much as I did as a child.
On Monday morning the doc came around nice and early. She agreed that baby was head down - but not engaged (head was not in the pelvis yet). My scan was scheduled for 9am - so she said she would chat to me after that. She said she would prefer if I stayed another night - but with baby being head down for over 48 hours they do feel more comfortable that it will stay that way. She is now just concerned about the possibility of the cord still getting out under the head if my waters broke. I asked her what the difference is to when I had Hezekiah - who only engaged once I was well into labour. She had to smile and say "the difference is now we know about it". So she did say something like "it's really up to you".
I decided I would use the bit of time I had before the scan to get a really good walk in. So I put my sneakers on and got walking. Instead of doing the whole lap - I decided to focus on this nice long passage as then I did not have to walk past too many people. So up and down I went - trying to encourage baby to get a bit lower. I got a nice lot of reading done too.
The scan went really well. Baby's head was just in the pelvis when he started. With baby's head measurement he said "not a big baby" but was not at all worried about the fact that it was coming up at a 35 week size. When he got the other measurements it sure made up for it as it still estimates baby's weight to be about 3,5kg. So another tall baby on the way. :-) It was reassuring to see a nice healthy placenta and that it was nice and high. It's been lower with the others and with it being high it makes the risk of a prolapsed cord a bit less. When the placenta is low down there is more chance of there being more cord hanging around there. By the end of the scan baby had moved up a little and so he could check and see that there was no cord in the area. The cord was also working really well and there is more than enough fluid around baby. So all great news - hopefully enough to help the doctors relax and let me go home.
After my scan I got to visit Yvonne again which was lovely as Nico had just woken up. He needed to be weighed and it was great to see how much he had put on. Again nice to get some photos for Yvonne too.
Eventually just after 2 Brendon phoned to ask if I knew when the doc would be around again. I suggested he just phone the midwives and as them. Well that worked like a bomb and the doc was around within 15 minutes. She said "I hear your husband has phoned to ask when he can come and fetch you." :-) I know Brendon was very polite - just explaining that he did need to plan the afternoon with the almost 3 hours of travelling that picking me up would involve - including organizing dinner for us all. So I had a chat with the doc and although she would prefer me (and every other mother who does not have an engaged baby at 39 weeks) to be close to the hospital - she was happy for me to head home.
Brendon got to the hospital at around 4. We got some shopping done (specifically loading up on lots of fruit) and then had Burger King for dinner. I was surprised to watch Hezekiah polish off almost an entire burger. Not the ideal meal on my list - but after the wonderful food I had over the weekend it was nice to have something that was such a treat for the children. And to be honest - I do always enjoys their Hawaiian Chicken burger with bacon and pineapple - the standard choice for Brendon, Rachel and I.
It was so good to be home. To think that on Friday I was having to prepare myself for having baby before heading home. I had asked friends on fb for prayer and God was so faithful. He answered the prayer to get baby head down (and stay down) and then to get me home too (which was almost like a bonus prayer request). I am thankful for the people that I met and hope that I will be able to keep in contact with some of them. I am also so thankful Brendon could take the day off to look after the children and come in to fetch me. I feel very blessed.
The girls schedule was filled on Sunday - so I will have to see about getting something set up for Feb now. The stickers and chocolate motivation worked really well. Brendon was a bit more lenient with the weekend - so they all got chocolates this week. Both Ruth and Hannah missed out on 2 of the 4 chocolates this month. So they know they have to work to earn it.

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