Sweet Baby Caralynn

Sweet Baby Caralynn

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sweet Baby Caralynn - her first 24 hours.

I went in for the planned induction, only to learn that she wanted April 21st as her birthday anyway. I was 5 mins apart in contractions, 3cm and 70% effaced. They hooked me up to the IVs and let my husband and I get some sleep (since we got there at 2am).
I was having great and easy contractions, at 10:30am I was 5cm and they gave me my epidural and broke my water. By noon I was telling the nurse that she was coming quick (just like I had with our other daughter! lol). So she called the Dr and by 12:30 the Dr was there, they had the tables set up, and at 12:55 they told me to push. It was soo quick and easy with her!
Sweet baby Caralynn was born at 12:57pm (mtn time). She was born purple. They placed her on my lap while my husband cut the cord, then took her over to the warming table because of her color and because she wasn't crying. She was breathing but she didn't look good at all.

After a quick clean up they handed her to me for a quick 2 kisses and went off to the nursery with her.
My husband and I sat there clueless and SO SO worried. We didn't know what to do or think. So we sat and waited. About an hour after birth, they let my husband go see her. He sent me a picture on my phone and she was doing much better! She had pinked up and was in a little oxygen tent with heart and oxygen monitors on her. He stayed with her for a while. I had to wait for my sea legs to return and got up as soon as I could... They had me do the necessary things before leaving the room to see her. (And as a side note- I felt great and had no pain or discomfort!)

Trust me, I did them quick and walked to the nursery. Wow was I so happy to see her! We got to ouch her little body and talk to her. She made the cutest little noises!! We were instantly in love <3 . We still didn't have a name for her since we hadn't meet her personality or really got to hold her yet. This was about 2 hours after birth.

We took turns going back and fourth to the nursery waiting for the pediatrician to clear her and she would be able to go back to our room with us and home the next day! But he had ordered a bunch of little test because of her color. So we had to wait until those were done and for 3 hrs after birth. 3 hours came and went, the test still weren't done. We got moved into the post partum room where Chris would have a bed of his own and not a silly chair or couch. It made me so happy when he pushed our beds together and couldn't wait to put our newest princess between us for the night. We went back to the nursery and they said just 30 more minutes and then the last test would be done!!

45 minutes later I returned to the nursery because she hadn't been brought to us yet and I know how busy the nurses can get.
I walked in and was instantly scared (and I was so mad at Chris for not going with me- but we weren't expecting this!). She was getting an ultrasound done on her tiny heart. I stood there and watched. Everything was running through my mind and the nurse told me that they had thought they heard a murmur during one of the test so the ped ordered the ultrasound.
About 10 minutes goes by (it felt like an eternity!!) and a cardiologist came in to look at the ultrasound. A few minutes into it and Chris came in to see what was keeping me from bringing her back to the room. I saw the instant fear and scare in his eyes and knew exactly how he felt.
The cardiologist and tech were there for a long time and then a neonatologist joined them... 3 people, 1 tiny baby, and an ultrasound machine... not a good thing.
Another forever goes by when the neo gives us a brief whats going on... and then he said that the cardiologist would be finished in a few minutes and explain it in detail. It was so hard to understand his (I think Russian) accent. But we defiantly heard hole in her heart.
Once the cardiologist and tech were done. He sat down with us and told us that our (unnamed) baby girl had truncus arteriosus. It's a rare type of congenital heart disease in which a single blood vessel (truncus arteriosus) comes out of the right and left ventricles, instead of the normal two (pulmonary artery and aorta).
In truncus arteriosus, a single artery comes out of the ventricles. There is usually also a large hole between the two ventricles (ventricular septal defect). As a result, the blue (without oxygen) and red (oxygen-rich) blood mix.
Some of this mixed blood goes to the lungs, some goes to the coronary arteries, and the rest goes to the body. Usually, too much blood is sent to the lungs.
If left untreated, two problems occur.
- Too much blood circulation in the lungs may cause extra fluid to build up in and around them, making it difficult to breathe.
- The blood vessels to the lungs become permanently damaged. Over time, it becomes very hard for the heart to force blood to them. This is called pulmonary hypertension and it can be life-threatening.

Surgery is the only treatment and option.
All of the above we researched because everything that he told us sounded like Charlie Browns teacher talking.
He drew us pictures of a normal heart and one of how her's looked. With her truncus and hole. And wrote down "truncus arteriosus".
Then he told us that she was going to be going to Phoenix Childrens hospital for the surgery and would be flying out that night or the next morning and for surgery to follow around early week. And also that the nicu would be taking her over.
I asked him if we could spend some time alone with her, since she was stable, in our room. He said of course and gave us 15 minutes.

I can tell you that was a very hard walk back into our room because I knew we wouldn't be getting much or any time with her for a few hours. I didn't want that 15 minutes to end. I didn't want the nicu team to come take her from us. I didn't want any of this happening to our beautiful and prefect baby girl.

My sweet husband and I have never ever cried so much in such a little time. We took turns holding her, taking pictures with her, of just her, and a little family picture. A million things were going through our heads. But the one thing we KNEW we HAD to do... was name her.
She's way to beautiful to not have a name for a second longer. We had gone into the hospital with 3 names- but only 1 fit. And so Sweet Baby Caralynn got her name.

I gotta admit, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her "old man hair". She has a killer receding hairline and a ton of hair in the back! And it's dark <3 We really hadn't been able to get a look at her eyes yet because of her heart- one of the problems is being lethargic. So she sleeps and sleeps.

Not long after, the NICU came for her, they told us she'd be prepped for the transfer - in an hour we'd be able to see her again.
After they took her Chris and I held each other and cried for a long time. I've never prayed so hard in my life! The next thing we had to do was call our parents and tell them... reliving the whole last two hours was so painful. I couldn't even tell my parents half of what was said because it was to hard. I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want to believe it. I really just wanted to wake up in my labor room, know I had a bad dream, give birth to our princess, and take her home 24 hours later.

The next thing we did was get on the computer and research what the Dr had wrote down since we didn't remember a lot of the details.

We spent that hour wisely and learned everything we could, Chris packed his bag to fly out with her, and we spent time together not knowing when I'd be able to join them. After the hour was up, we went to the nicu to see her hooked up with a ton of wires and to a bunch of beeping machines. I wondered if the scary would ever end. It still hasn't.

They were finishing up with the transfer process. I had to sign a bunch of papers.
It was so hard to listen to them and try to savor every second I could with our baby because of not knowing when I'd get to Phoenix.
They placed her in the tiny incubator for the transfer. Chris and I said quick goodbyes and he got in the elevator with her. I couldn't watch the doors close on the elevator so I quickly walked away and back to my room.
I was now alone in a big post partum room... meant for a new family. 2 beds & a baby crib. It wasn't fitting at all. So hard to be in there... all alone. It was about 10:30pm now, not even 10 hours after I had her. It was so so hard to be alone and I don't think I stopped crying for a good few hours.

I wanted a prayer chain to start immediately- it took me a good 15 minutes to write a little facebook status. The love for Caralynn came in quickly and I bet God was bombarded with our love for her and the need and want for her to be with us here. There is no way I'm going to give up on her ever. And I am SO thankful for Dr Bowen and all his silly test because if he didn't do them. We might not have found out in time and she wouldn't be with us.

Chris got to stay with her in the nicu for the night. We both had a very rough time sleeping. I woke up every 20 minutes to make sure he hadn't called or sent a text. He kept waking up to check on her.
In the morning, both of us were up at 6am not able to sleep anymore.
They started running test on her- ultrasounds of her heart, belly, and brain.
I had to get a breast pump, call the insurance company, stay in touch with Chris as often as possible, talk with my family because my sister and mom wanted to come down to be with and help us, and a bunch of other stuff.
Chris's aunt and uncle who live 40 minutes from Phoenix went to spend time with them. He was so happy and thankful for them! We defiantly need family and friends right now. There is so much to handle... it's pretty overwhelming.

I got home around 12:30pm. I was SO happy to see out kids! My friend Kaitlin and her husband Eric took great care of them and I will never be able to thank them enough! They also said they'd watch Ninja Kitty while we're in Phoenix! Their cat is Ninja's mommy :)
I posted on facebook things that were going on and also that we needed someone to help with our two dogs.
We're so lucky to have such great friends here in our army family! My awesome friends Andrea & Matt are watching Annie and Alisha & Matt are watching Lucy.
We're had so many offered to be helped and I feel so blessed and lucky! Thank you to everyone that has, is, and has offered to help!!

That was her first 24 hours of life.
We're now at about 35 hours.
My awesome friend Cynthia brought me a breast pump because I'm not suppose to be driving and the hospital's manual one was horrible! lol THANK YOU!!!

Chris got to feed her her first bottle that she finally took!  Here's the picture he got after feeding her- you could say she's happy!!! He also got us a room at the Ronald McDonald house! The Army is being wonderful and so understanding of the leave time too!
I've started packing for the trip and time we'll be there :)
My sister got a flight and will be here tomorrow at midnight to drive with us up to Phoenix and stay 13 days!! The kids are SO excited to see Aunt FiFi!!

We definitely want to say extra special thank yous to our family! My dad "cashed in" his vacation time so that my mom and sister could have money for flights down here and for the gas money driving to and from.

We're expecting to be there about a month. But of course hope to be home sooner.
Thank you again everyone for everything! This tired momma is going to bed :) I hope to get some sleep now that everything is a little calmed down.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finally time!!!

I know I haven't wrote in a LONG time! But I've been busy....
We moved into a new house, my oldest started Pre-K, and I've been super busy with photography clients and keeping up with the new big house and my family.

Everything is finally ready and I go into the hospital at 2am (13 hours from now!) to have Baby 'C' .
We're going in with 3 names: Caralynn, Camryn, and Camilla. With any of those first names she will have the middle name Rose.

Now onto her super cute room! Which by the way would not be possible without the help of her Granny! Thank you SO much for helping, Mom!
Here are pictures of her room :)
View from her door
other side of her room (car seat now in car!) :)

inside her crib/bedding


most important drawer- CLOTH DIAPERS!!!!

stuff drawer- I've since added cloth wipes made by my friend- thanks!!

extra clothes that I don't hang, like pants and shorts

diaper holder FILLED with more prefolds! :)

Okay, that's it! I can't wait to bring her home to her room and use cloth diapers!!!