I have wanted to write this post for a while now. I just wanted to document the arrival of my little fighter who certainly had a mind of his own.
I was supposed to be induced on Friday at 12 noon, so Ajit and the rest of the family arrived Thursday afternoon and we got prepared. I had prepared Avy for me being away for 2 days or more and all was set. Friday (August 17th) morning I got a call from L&D saying that NICU was swamped and that they would like to push my induction to Monday, as they had an emergency and also the ECMO machine staffs were not totally available in case he needed it. I was a bit disappointed, but felt it was the right thing as I did want everyone to be prepared.
Avy was the happiest about this, because now suddenly mommy was not going anywhere. We then went to the hospital for an ultrasound to get a weight estimate and they estimated he will be 6 pounds and 11 ounces. We then got home and I enjoyed my day just snuggling and cuddling with Avy.
As you all know Atiksh has threatened more than once to arrive early and ever since we moved to Charlottesville at 36 weeks every Saturday night my contractions would pick up and we would go to L&D and it will slow down and we will be sent back. Only one weekend it did not happen. I used to joke that maybe he likes the weekend nurses and wanted to see themJ
As it was approaching Friday night my contractions started picking up, they were about 7-8 minutes apart and felt like my false labor for the most part. So I ignored them and went to bed. I told Ajit that maybe Atiksh was thinking it is Saturday night and has started his usual work. I woke up around 8.00 am and found that I was spotting a little. So I waited for another half hour and felt like it was increasing. So I called L&D, and the nurse said it is possibly my mucus plug (though I told her I already lost it 3 weeks ago) and that I did not need to come in. So I agreed, but within five minutes they called back saying that it is better to be safe than sorry and asked me to come right in.
So I took a shower and had something to eat and went in around 9.45am. They checked me and I was about 4 cms. They kept me in the triage and checked me after an hour and I was 5 cms. So they decided to admit me. They got the drip of Penicillin going as I was GBS positive. However, they had decided to not help me progress as they needed the NICU ready and staffed for me, so they held off on the Pitocin. Most of the day I was just enduring contractions, trying to sleep. They started getting a bit painful in the afternoon. So I asked for an epidural around 4.45pm, and at that time I was about still 5cms.
The epidural placement was pretty painless. However it did not numb me as much as I had experienced with Avy. With Avy’s delivery I barely felt anything at all and was totally numb. After the epidural, all of a sudden Atiksh’s heart rate was dropping, so they came and turned me over to the side and got oxygen on for me and he became a bit more stable. They also did a second drip of Penicillin which they did over 30 minutes and it hurt like hell and made me very anxious and hence my blood pressure dropped and it worsened the baby’s condition. They had started Pitocin and I got only the tiniest amount and it made my blood pressure drop more (80/40) and they stopped it. So more oxygen for me. Eventually it all stabilized a bit.
I was fine for a while, Ajit and I tried to watch some TV shows on Netflix, but between the oxygen and mild pain I was in no mood to concentrate. At about 7.30 the doctors came in and placed the heart rate monitor on Atiksh’s head and the contraction monitor inside my cervix to get better reading. At that time they broke my water.
Once my water was broken I started getting mildly stronger contractions, and they came back for a cervix check around 9.15pm and I was 6 cms. I started feeling more pain and I asked Ajit to call the anesthesiologist as I was sure the epidural was not working. I called home and told them, well I am still only 6 cms, and they did not know if he was going to come by 12.00 or not. After that phone call, I started to hurt really badly. I asked Ajit to call the anesthesiologist as I was sure my epidural was wearing off, because at this point in Avy’s delivery I felt nothing. Since I was complaining about pain the doctors came back again at 9.30pm and said they better check me.
The doctor who checked me said “You have no cervix left”, I said “What???”, and she said “You are ready to have the baby”. My expression would have been priceless. Who goes from 6cms to 10cms in 10 minutes???? No wonder I was in so much pain. Thank God, I thought it hurt so badly as I went from 6 to a 7. Before I could realize anything my room was filled with doctors. About 5 doctors to manage my delivery and about 10 people from the NICU team to take over my son.
The resident who did my delivery was awesome. She encouraged me very well and I managed to push through 4 contractions and he was out in 20 minutes. There was one point in the middle when I thought he may never come out, I guess it was the pain talking. They showed him to me as soon as he came out, before they clamped the umbilical cord. He looked just like Avy, a full head of black hair and just like his older brother. They let Ajit cut the cord and whisked him away to his corner of the room.
He did a little cry as soon as he was born, but they immediately shut him up with a tube, as they DO NOT want CDH babies to cry. They would have worked on him about 20 minutes; Ajit got some pictures while I was just getting stitched. They brought him and showed him to me before wheeling him downstairs. Then within 15 minutes everyone left the room, except Ajit and me.
It was a weird feeling. I just gave birth but no baby and it felt empty. I was on a high of adrenaline so barely looked tired. Ajit kept saying that I did not look anything like a woman who just gave birth. The neonatologist told us that no news is good news and that she will come and update us in an hour or two. So Ajit and I just spent some time contemplating what just happened. No matter how much you knew this is what would happen it was surreal and a very hard night. You somehow think your baby would be different and suddenly okay. When all this happens reality sets in.
Dr. Fairchild, the neonatologist on call came up at about 1.5 hours after birth and talked with us. He was doing pretty badly at that point and they were talking about ECMO but she felt that giving him a little time may avoid it. That’s when it all hit and we both melted down.
Atiksh Krishna Ajit has his own mind. He did not want to wait till Monday. He came out on Saturday night, his favorite night to go the L&D at 9.56pm. He weighed 7 pounds and 3 ounces (so much for the IUGR scare) and 21 inches long and is absolutely beautiful.
Then his journey began…