Thursday, 23 February 2017

Our Hospital Trip

Well, I've been introduced to life in the hospital as the mother of a patient, and I didn't like it one bit. Our Little Woman got rather congested, which wasn't surprising considering both of her siblings had colds, and then the coughing started. Mr. Mitchell had to leave to California for work, so I took myself and the kids to my parents' in Boise so they could help me wrangle three sick kids. The first night we were there our sweet baby had a coughing fit that wouldn't end and began to terrify us as she struggled for breath. My mom and I hopped in the van and took the baby to the ER at about 8:30pm. (We were also worried about some unusual projectile spit-ups she'd been having.) We were admitted to a room pretty quickly, but everything else about the night was so slow. It was incredibly frustrating as I watched my little girl go through several coughing fits that seemed to never end. (The longest one I timed went a full 10 minutes.) I'm going to document this experience mostly using the texts I was sending to Mr. Mitchell to keep him in the loop. (I'm also going to be leaving out most of his texts since they're mostly questions and/or encouragement.)

Message sent at 9:01pm on Feb. 14
"No need to be alarmed, just an FYI, we're at the ER with Eve. She was having a big and extended coughing fit so we brought her in. Of course the fit subsided before we got here. Freaked me out while it was happening. She's now sleeping while we wait for the doctor."

"It's unbelievable. She's not even breathing with a stuffy nose right now. I'm worried they won't take me seriously and will view me as an alarmist mother."

Message sent at 10:40pm on Feb. 14
"It's very slow moving here tonight. They did chest x-rays and tested for RSV. We're waiting for those results. They're coming in to do a breathing treatment in a few minutes. "Few minutes" meaning who knows how long."

"They just did a suctioning and the breathing treatment. The suctioning was awful, but it cleared out a ton of gunk. The doctor says she sounds much better through the stethoscope and her O2 levels are up."

This is present-day me interjecting to explain the suctioning. The respirator specialist came in and took a tiny tube and shoved it way, way, way up the baby's nose and then started suctioning crud out with what sounded like an industrial strength vacuum. Our Little Woman writhed in panic and turned completely red from head to toe as she alternated screaming and holding her breath. Then they took the tube out and put it up the other nostril and did the process again. It was my job to try and hold her still. It was completely horrible and I never want to see my baby look like that ever again. I know it did a lot of good though as I watched how much they suctioned out of her that we just were not getting with the bulb syringe at home.

Snoring in my arms as we wait for the test results.
Using the nebulizer after the horrifying suctioning. 

Mr. Mitchell: "Were they low? How low? How do we keep the gunk from just coming back?"

"Not super low. They were high 80s low 90s. Now they're high 90s. I don't know the answer to your last question. Might not be possible until whatever this is has passed. We're still waiting on results."

"It's busy here so everything is taking forever. We've been here for three hours already."

"X-ray showed bronchial virus. Tested negative for RSV and flu. They're a little concerned about the amount of air they saw in the intestines in the X-rays so we are now waiting for an ultrasound."

"She's having another coughing fit. Haven't heard anything about ultrasound results. I'm trying not to freak out. They're going to give her another breathing treatment in a few minutes. Again, few minutes, whatever."

Present-day me interjecting again to say that the ultrasound results came back normal. The doctor came in to tell us all of these tests weren't giving any results to tell us what was happening and asked if I was comfortable taking her home. I told him no based on how much she was struggling to breathe with the coughing and congestion. He said we'd get her admitted for observation but that she'd have to be transferred to the pediatrics unit in the downtown hospital. We agreed and set to waiting again. As we waited the nurse happened to come in during a coughing fit - it was the first time anybody besides my mom and myself witnessed it - and she agreed that it sounded really bad and that she was certain it was RSV. They ran another test to double-check the results, but we wouldn't know the results until we were at the other hospital. The RSV test is unpleasant since they have to stick a swab way up the baby's nose, but at least it's quick, unlike suctioning.

"They're admitting her for observation. We'll eventually be switching to the downtown hospital to their pediatric ward. They had to suction her again. It made me cry. It's horrible."

"I'll let you know when we're settled in down there. Who knows how long it will take. Probably hours."

Present-day me again to let you know that we were required to go in an ambulance. My mom took my van and all the extra stuff back to her house while the baby and I rode down to the hospital. If the situation weren't so sad it would have been almost humorous to see such a tiny thing strapped down to the ambulance cot. The transport team was very nice and let me sit in back with her during the ride.
Strapped in and bundled from the bitter cold.
Getting wheeled out.

Blurry, but proof of the ambulance. This was my second ambulance ride.
 The first time I was only a few days old and choking.
Message sent at 4:44am on Feb. 15
"Had to take an ambulance here because of protocol. Heart rate high, oxygen low, put her on oxygen for the ride. They've taken another swab and are waiting for results. She has a fever so they're doing some screenings. Anything abnormal and they'll have to do a spinal tap."

Message sent at 6:35am on Feb. 15
"Urine catch with catheter done, IV start in place, blood drawn. Still wearing oxygen. Heart rate and fever down. Still waiting to hear back on results from most recent swab to test for viruses."

"Praying that everything from the blood draws and urine sample are normal so there is no spinal tap.  :("

Present-day me wrapping up the first part of the saga. It was after 7am before everything was settled and the baby and I were able to go to sleep. I'd been up for 24 hours at this point and was feeling very emotional. I cried when they did the catheter and IV since they made my baby cry. The nurses were very good at caring for both the baby and me during the process. The doctor came in and discussed possibilities and procedures, and a nurse got me a make-shift breakfast and water to tide me over until the kitchen opened. The baby and I were both able to take a very large nap once everyone was out of the room.
Showing off all the wires and cords for the aunts and uncles. 
Message sent at 9:30am on Feb. 15
"They've confirmed RSV. I don't get why it didn't show up on the first swab that tested directly for RSV, but, whatever I guess. What do I know? Blood draws all look normal for someone fighting a virus. They're still growing the urine cultures."

Message sent at 11:26am on Feb. 15
"The doctor just checked her and said she's breathing really well. They had been talking about a feeding tube in the nose, but she won't need it if she keeps it up. They tried taking her off of oxygen but her levels dropped too much so they're keeping the oxygen going."

Picture sent to Daddy.
We'll go ahead and skip the text messages now that they aren't informative to 'the case at hand.' The urine test ended up being fine and our sweet girl slowly improved. We did end up staying a day longer than the doctor had guessed when we were admitted due to the amount of junk they were still clearing out with suctioning. The suctioning at the pediatrics ward was much less invasive than the one at the ER. It still got the baby mad, but she wasn't panicking or holding her breath. By Saturday she was off of oxygen and didn't need to be suctioned all the time so we were able to leave on Saturday night. She was still coughing a bit, but a residual cough is to be expected. The large coughing spells were over, she was maintaining oxygen on her own, and she hadn't been suctioned in over 12 hours. It was a little scary to bring her home in case she had another large coughing spell, but the coughing appears to be completely done now as well as any congestion. She's smiling again and her fussing is down to normal baby fussiness. I know parents go through worse things with their children, but I've had my fill of hospitals as it is and hope to never do it again with a child. I was told multiple times that most of the pediatric patients during our stay were infants with RSV. It's exceptionally bad this year.

Off of oxygen. They left the stickers on in case she needed it again.
Everything off except the IV start and oxygen mask stickers.
Almost time to go home!

Post doctor check-up on Feb. 22 - she's in the 'all clear!' 
I want to give a big, big, big thank you to my mom for staying in the ER with me all night, and to both of my parents for taking time off of work to care for my older two while I stayed at the hospital with my baby. Another thanks especially to my Dad and our good family friend Cliff for giving her a blessing. And thank you to my siblings and in-laws who provided encouragement and love. I love you guys!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Baby #3 - Our Little Woman

*DISCLAIMER* - Really long and slightly detailed entry for journal purposes.

The award for the worst documented pregnancy goes to me. This poor baby is going to think we didn't care about her time in the womb, but it's very not true. We wanted this baby and are so glad to have her here even though it's still overwhelming at this point. We only got a few tummy shots, and they're all on my phone, and I'm kind of a phone tard, so I doubt they make their way onto the blog. This pregnancy involved a bit of morning sickness in the first bit, an easy ride during the second trimester, and a very miserable last trimester. I've never been so swollen in a pregnancy - it reached a point where I about cried every time I had to shove my boots on my feet to go out in the snow. This is also the first pregnancy where I've experienced Braxton Hicks contractions. Those suckers are irritating and made me a little nervous that I wouldn't recognize labor when it finally began. This pregnancy was also different in that I kept the gender a surprise. Mr. Mitchell was a pill and insisted that he know. This greatly amused our labor and delivery nurses.

I did not like my experience with the doctors this time around. The OB/GYN clinic that I had to go to for insurance purposes does not assign one doctor to you for the duration of your pregnancy unless you put up a big stink about it. It didn't seem like a big deal at the beginning, and so I went with their "strong" suggestion of seeing whatever doctor happens to be available when I'm supposed to have my next appointment. This became a problem by the end of my pregnancy since I was constantly being told different things. Due to my difficult deliveries with my first two I was scheduled an additional ultrasound to determine baby's size to see if a c-section would be advisable. It was decided that this baby was running smaller than the other two, and that a c-section would be completely unnecessary. At my next appointment, with a different doctor, he once again recommended a c-section based on my previous deliveries. I told him it had already been decided that we wouldn't go that route. The next appointment they recommended I wait for labor to take its course. The next appointment they recommended a c-section or induction. It was madness because there was no consistency between the different doctors, and it started to stress me out. By the very end I was requesting the same doctor for every appointment (the one that met with us after the ultrasound regarding the c-section) because I wanted someone that seemed in line with what I felt was best and that would be consistent about it. By the time I was 39 weeks however, he was really pushing for an induction since baby seemed to be growing fairly rapidly. I put it off due to a sinus infection, but it finally felt right to call and schedule the induction on Thursday, January 12. I planned to ask for Monday, January 16 since that was what I originally discussed with the doctor, but when I called his nurse to schedule they were really insistent that I come in at 8am the next morning. So, we did.

My body wasn't 'favorable' for an induction, so they were first going to have to use a medication to soften up my cervix, and then Pitocin would be administered to start labor after my cervix was deemed favorable. It took two hours for them to get me checked in and everything ready to go so they could administer the Cytotec. It's a tiny pill they insert directly into the cervix, and then you have to remain lying flat for awhile to make sure it stays in place and does its job. We were informed it could take up to four applications. Each application would have to be four hours apart. That's 16 hours sitting in a hospital room just waiting for your cervix to soften up so you can start labor. I was not looking forward to that possibility and was actually quite displeased that the process was not disclosed to me before I agreed to go in for an induction. I was already contracting very irregularly while I was in there, so one nurse suggested the Cytotec could actually start labor, but for the most part they were planning on multiple doses of Cytotec. After I was allowed to sit up I went for a little walk around the labor and delivery wing, but it got too weird. Every time I passed somebody they would make sure to look away - not a single person, except nurses, made eye contact or said anything. I felt like a leper and went back to my room where Mr. Mitchell was finishing his breakfast. We sat and talked for a bit and then I had to get back in the bed and reattached to the monitors. Contractions were coming more regularly and much stronger, and the baby wasn't liking it. The nurses spent a couple of hours adjusting the monitor and adjusting my position and offering the oxygen mask. Eventually they got baby sorted and decided another dose of Cytotec was not needed as labor was obviously going.

They checked my cervix at about 2:30 and I was almost a three. The nurse went to tell the doctor he could come and break my water, but he never showed up. Labor kept ramping up, and baby kept showing signs of distress so they administered a shot to slow labor down. I can't remember what the medication was called. They told me the shot would make me feel weird, and it did. It felt like my heart was ten sizes too big and was beating as though I had just finished a run - it was a very bizarre sensation. It didn't last very long, only about 10-15 minutes, but the nurses were happy with the effect. At 4:00 I was definitely feeling the pain and asked for an epidural. I was given the bad news that I would have to wait at least an hour as the anesthesiologist had just started a c-section. I made it through the hour, and then I was given further bad news that another c-section was now waiting to happen immediately after this one finished, and we'd have to try and snag the anesthesiologist between the two if I was going to have an epidural for my delivery. I was almost a 7 at this point and tried not stress our as I began mentally preparing myself for another natural delivery. Our nurse diligently prowled the hallway and was able to snag the anesthesiologist for me - thank goodness!

With the epidural administered a little after 5 I was able to relax for about an hour before I started feeling pain from the pressure. At 6 the nurse checked and said I wasn't quite a 10 and to keep her posted. Only a couple of contractions later I called her back in and told her the pain was getting pretty intense again. She checked and said I was ready to go and went out to get the doctor. It took the doctor what felt like ages to finally appear. It was about 40 minutes. I know. I was watching the clock like a hawk. The nurses got everything prepped and then the doctor came in and broke my water. He told the nurse to go and get him when it was time. I pushed through two contractions and the nurse was already running back out to get the doctor. He got himself all covered up just as I was going through another contraction and then he told me to stop. The baby's head was out, and he wasn't quite ready for it. Very quickly, however, the baby was all the way out and on my chest. I was searching frantically to try and see if it was a boy or a girl, but things had been rumpled up just enough I couldn't see anything but the face. Finally I asked someone to help me see the gender and the nurse patted all the fabric out of the way so I could see my little girl! They let her hang out with me for a couple of minutes before taking her to check all her fingers and toes.  She was born at 7:03pm weighing 6 lbs 12 oz. and measuring 21 in. long. She was very snoozy at the hospital and let me get in a good chunk of sleep over the night.

This was by far the easiest delivery I've experienced due to the baby's small size. I did get a second degree tear, but no vacuum or forceps were needed, no broken tailbone, and I hardly pushed at all. Baby and I both did great and were out within 24 hours. Mr. Mitchell always does a great job at my side even though I know he's internally frantic at the fact there's nothing he can do during the process. I always appreciate his encouragement and good humor during labor and delivery.

My parents were able to come to Twin Falls to spend the day with the older two and bring them to the hospital to see the baby after she was born. The kids had a great time playing with Grandma and Grandpa. Sprout wasn't terribly interested in the baby after he initially saw her, but Little Lady sat by the baby and gave her little pats and chatted with her.

We are delighted to have our girl here, even if she does make it a 'girl house' as Mr. Mitchell calls it. He's officially outnumbered.

Little Lady Moments

Abigail hates nursery, but she loves the songs they've been singing in there. She's even figured out where each one is in the songbook and will flip to them before she sings. These are also her most requested songs before nap and bed. Today she combined "Follow, Follow Me," "Follow the Prophet," and "I'm Going to the Temple"  into a cute little song that she sang on repeat for a bit: "Follow follow follow the prophet. I'm going there someday!" 

We're out in the backyard and she runs up with a stick and pokes me in the leg with it. She looks up at me and says, "You're dead." 

"Good job, Mommy! You got dressed! Good girl!" - This came after probably two weeks of me living in my pajamas after her baby sister was born.

"I'm wearing your shoes. I'm a superhero!"

This girl is a talking machine and talks incredibly well for her age. She has excellent fine motor skills and is generally very mature for her age. She loves singing songs, loves dancing, and will often request songs or music to dance to. She is becoming quite the boundaries tester and loves picking on her older brother. Despite this she is very lovable and loves giving hugs, kisses, and 'snuggows,' She's very mothering to her stuffed animals and has been in heaven with her new baby doll from Christmas. 

Sprout Moments #7 (Sep. - Dec. 2016)


I somehow magically lost cash in between the ATM at one bank, and the ATM at the next, without making any stops. Mr. Mitchell and I have searched high and low and ripped the van apart. We have contacted both banks and literally retraced my steps. No money. Sprout prayed every single night for a month that we would find that money*. Once we did, he said lots of 'thank you' prayers.
*We haven't found that money, but the exact missing amount found us in a different way.

Me: You really, really need your hair cut.
Sprout: No! I don't want my hair cut.
Me: I will leave your hair alone until it starts getting in your eyes, then it's getting cut, no matter what.
Sprout: No. I'll just hold it up out of my eyes like this all day. *Uses his forearm to hold his hair up off of his forehead.*
Me: I think you'd get tired of doing that.
Sprout: No. I'm strong.

"Sitting like this hurts my leg pits."

Said while wearing oven mitts and waving them around his head, "I'm Super Herk! I pull people out of their pants! Aaargghh!"

Sprout: Are we going to stop at Farm McDonald's in Fires?
Me: In Fires? ... ... ... Do you mean Burns? (There's a town called Burns we pass through on our way to visit family in Oregon.)
Sprout: Yeah! Burns!

Sprout's Christmas list he sent to Santa:
glitter ball
music box
toy mommy
toy scarecrow
toy rocket

When Santa at the ward Christmas party asked him what he wanted for Christmas he said, "I already sent you my list!"

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