So, we had a baby!! On Thursday, December 7, 2017, we welcomed our third baby, Andres Mateo, at 34 weeks and 2 days. He weighed 5 pounds, 15 oz. and was 19.5 oz, so pretty big for a preemie! Here’s a picture of our sweet little love.
Our little man came into the world by “forced entry” after a bi-weekly NST at 33w6d. Before that appointment, over the weekend, I had seen my blood test results for my weekly Cholestasis tests come back super high. My Liver Function tests (ALT and AST) which had been well under the normal range of <40, had jumped to 78 and 107. My doctor said that she had spoken with the MFM, and she said as long as my Bile Acids were under 40, we could continue the monitoring and deliver at 37weeks, as originally planned. So, part of me started preparing for the worst, and part of me thought, “There’s no way my BA will be over 40, the highest it’s ever been was 24 and we’ve since upped the medication.” Well, my Bile Acids came back at 77, and I knew that wasn’t good. So that Monday, when I arrived for my NST, my doctor said they wanted to give me steroid shots that day and the next, and then induce on Wednesday, at 34w1d. Although I knew that may happen, it was a huge shock. That meant my condition had been serious enough to make the call that he would have a better chance to thrive as a teeny tiny preemie than inside my body any longer. That was a scary realization, but a call I’m glad they made. We’ll never know which day could have been the day that he took all the toxins he could, and I am beyond grateful that day never had a chance to come.
So, on Tuesday I had another appointment and had to go get my second steroid shot. I also used the day to go up to school and show my sub a few things and say by to my team. We did laundry and packed our bags, and waited and waited for the hospital to call with a time to come in. Finally, on Wednesday morning, we went to eat breakfast and got the call on the way home that they finally had a bed available for us to come in as soon as we could- it was BABY TIME!
So we headed to the hospital and met my mom, grandma, and sister there, as they’d be keeping the kids for us. I got checked in and hooked up to an IV by 1:30 p.m. On Monday when my doctor had checked me, I was 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced, so the first doctor I saw decided that I wouldn’t need a cervical ripener to get started, and we started right away with Pitocin. However, because I was so early, they didn’t want to upset the baby, so they started me on a very low dose of 2. About 3 hours later, nothing had changed. BUMMER! So, a different midwife decided I DID need a cervical ripener after all- which seemed like a big set back. She put a Cook’s Catheter in, which is like a balloon meant to dilate you up to 4 cm. They were very busy and didn’t come in to do it until 8:30 p.m., so it was just a lot of waiting around and nothing happening. I was starving and starting to get annoyed, especially because once they put it in they told me it would take 12 hours to work, and they’d be back to take it out at 8:30 am!! I about lost my mind, thinking that by 8:30 am I MIGHT be at 4 cm. UGH. I was having contractions but they were sporadic and not painful, so I started getting really discouraged. BUT, luckily when I got up to use the restroom around 11:30 pm, the Cook’s Catheter fell out. This meant it had done it’s job getting me to 4 cm in only 3 hours- woo hoo!
So around midnight, I was checked again and was at 4 cm. At this point, the game plan was just to keep increasing the Pitocin until I was having bad enough contractions to get an epidural- then, they would break my water. So the pitocin increased, as did the contractions. They started getting more painful, so I called for the epidural, knowing it might take a while for the anesthesiologist to come in. But unfortunately, it was a verrrrry busy night in the hospital, so even though I got the epidural around 3 am, the midwife didn’t come break my water until closer to 5 am.
So here’s where it gets real and really fast. Once my water was broken, things went from 6-10 in a little over an hour. I had the epidural and had been feeling nothing, which was great. I took a little snooze from about 5 – 7 am, luckily, because I hadn’t slept all night. But around 7, I noticed the epidural started wearing off and I was starting to feel harder, stronger contractions, almost like the baby was progressing down. I called the nurse around 7:30 and asked her if she could give me more medicine for the epidural. She said the midwife would be in to check me soon because she likes to check her own patients, and that if I were ready to push, then no more medicine, but if it wasn’t go time, she could pump me again. By this point, I’m on my side, holding on to the bed rails for dear life with tears rolling down my cheeks through each contraction. I knew it was time to go- it was BABY TIME! But no one around me seemed to believe me, except Cele because he had seen this exact same scenario happen twice before. Y’all, when my babies are ready to come, they are READY. There is no holding back and hardly ever any pushing. And to be fair, I had told this to the nurse before! So anyway, I’m crying through each contraction and I yell to the nurse “I can feel his head! It’s coming out!” The midwife walked in at that point, very non-chalant, and takes a peek- and sure enough, there’s his head. With every contraction, he was literally coming out on his own and there was nothing I could do to stop him. So finally, the nurse takes me seriously and jumps over me on the bed to use my Nurse Call button, yelling that they need teams in my room (since we knew he was a preemie, the NICU team was supposed to be there). When the midwife told me to flip onto my back before the next contraction, I did, and he was sliding out already just from the contraction pushing him out. She told me to grab my legs, but it felt like my body was frozen, so Cele and the nurse held my legs and out popped baby! Seriously, not one single push, my body just kind of expelled him haha. He came out before any of the other teams had time to arrive, so they put him on my chest for just a second, and he cried as soon as he came out! His color was a bluish-purple, so the NICU team started working on him as soon as they got there, while I delivered the placenta and got stitches (without the epidural- OUCH!!!) Overall, he looked good and scored an 8 on his Apgar, but because of his color and rapid breathing, they took him to NICU where he has been ever since.
Of course, knowing he was coming at 34 weeks made NICU time a very real possibility, so when they took him we were really at peace with it. He really did need more time to “cook” and that’s really all that he is doing there. Because his little lungs didn’t get to finish developing, they need a little bit of air to be pushed into them to help keep them open, which is why he has the CPAP mask on. He also can’t bottle or breast feed because of the CPAP, so he has a feeding tube that goes down his throat. Once he is off the CPAP, he will have to learn to take a bottle to be discharged. He also has a bit of jaundice, so he is under the lights for that. Overall, leaving him sucked. Our time in the hospital was ok because we could go up and see him whenever we wanted, but being home, we go once a day for a few hours, which is never enough. The other hard part is that the kids can’t go in the NICU to see him and he’s not even by a window, so they have only seen pictures of him, and they want him home so badly. We are praying he can come home before Christmas!!
We love you so much, Baby Andres!