Thursday, August 20, 2009

up til now

First off, Mikey has been incredible, huh?! I spent a good amount of time last night just reading what Mikey has written and also the post from our friends and family. Thanks so much for all the thoughts and prayers. We've needed them.

As for me, I am well as can be. My entire pregnancy has been healthy and pretty great. I've learned all I could about cdh and well..........what happened is beyond belief.

Mikey has pretty much updated step by step so I'm sure I'll be repeating things....but here is my story.

Tuesday morning we were up at the said time of 430am....I was up at 4 because this was apparently my body's own determined time. ....anyway, we all got ready, did our thing and were out the door by 5. We started our journey pretty dang excited and all that was left, was to call to make sure emergency c-sections wouldn't push us back. We called, were told no emergencies....great. Said we'd see them at 6am and the other end of the phone said "name again"..."Brady"...."oh, we've got you down for 1230pm, cut at 230pm".......this begins our drama.

I was pretty distraught. In hindsight, I was overly upset but lets remember that I'd been told 7am for atleast a month and was told in the recent week or two that I'd have to wait about 12 hours before I could see my baby after the c-section. .....Well, do the math. If I was being cut at 230pm.....who was going to take me to see Ireland at 230am? I was beyond upset!!! I was an official wreck. Well, we turned around, went home, called a few folks and tried to relax. Mikey and Tristan did much better than I with the whole relax thing...T slept until 10 and Mikey just about had to be woken up. I fell asleep for about an hour and then spent the rest of the time playing solitaire.
Well, we all got prettied up and decided to do our best of getting excited again. This was not as easy as you'd think. I was still under the impression of having to wait 12 hours to see her and who was going to wheel me to my baby in the middle of the night. Actually, I was beyond hysterics. Once the nurse had us in what was to be my labor room, I broke down in front of her and commenced to look like an idiot that wanted someone's job for not calling us when there was a major scheduling problem and then to reschedule us at a time that would make it hard for us to see our baby....well, I can not remember a time that I cried so hysterically. .........Fortunately, this irritatingly cute nurse had seen my type before and ended up being some sort of angel that had me calmed and assured in minutes. She assured me that I'd see Ireland as much as I wanted and that the nurses were there for me. keep a long story somewhat short, the nurses have been here for me. Also, because I could probably write entirely too much for one post AND Mikey has done a good job keeping everyone updated, I'll just try to quickly update up to now.

Well, I calmed down and changed into my lovely hospital gown. I spoke with several nurses and doctors about various topics of c-section, CDH, baby names, important paperwork and recovery for myself and later for Ireland. I was given an IV and then the ultrasound machine was rolled in. Sure enough, Ireland had flipped to head down. Crazy girl, when did she do that?!

We were moved to the big room across the hall and back to plan one where I would have a vaginal birth. .........After 2 cervix softening pills (right inside you and pushed painfully into me , or it felt that way) that took 4 hours a piece to take, I had actually started contracting pretty much on my own. Some contractions were stronger than others, some were felt and some were not. I believe I was given one more of the cervix softening pills and the pitocin (contract starting medication) was give to me a little before midnight. The plan was a very small dose of pitocin and just a very gradual increase in the drug because the NICU would be better prepared in the morning and Dr. Silver would also be there. I sort of on and off napped during this time. At one point, I went to the bathroom just because I felt that I could really have a BM and truth be known, sitting on the pot was sort of comfortable. After a minute or two of comfort, I heard that swish and was pretty sure my water had broke. Mikey came in to look because the swish felt different and sure enough he saw quite a bit of blood in with the amniotic fluid. He called the nurse in and she simply had me go back to bed and she'd talk to the doctor on call and see what the plan was from there. ....good patient that I am, I went back to bed, slept some, and slowly got to that point where I was just whiny and uncomfortable. Nothing was working in the bed so I had Mikey help me to the bathroom again. I think I was there for all of 5 minutes, somewhat comfortable just sitting there when there was another swish sound and i knew more fluid was in the toilet. Mikey came to see what I needed and I said to just call our nurse, it was time to get something, she hadn't gotten back with us on what was the game plan. Well, I got back to the bed, the nurse had arrived and started to check me. The next thing I remember is hearing something about the cord, feeling as if someone had a fist inside me and having a mask slammed in my face where I just knew that I was supposed to breathe.

Many hours later, I wake up from a fog, ready to go back to sleep...stay up for some reason and start to talk to Mikey. He calls me Mama and precedes to let me know that I had an emergency c-section. Whoa!!! That was just weird because I don't remember any of that.

I had a tough time realizing that Ireland was born on a Wednesday and that I gave birth. Nurses are coming in giving me meds, I'm sort of in pain and I just want to see Ireland. Somewhere at some point, I sign some papers, Mikey kisses me and my baby girl is rolled in to see me. I only really see her legs and part of her chest. I see a cute little baby but not really, I can't see her face or anything. I can't get out of the too low bed and she can't be moved in her too high isolette. ....Mikey gives me another kiss, tells Tristan to take care of me and lets me know he'll take lots of pics and he'll be back soon. ........I am moved to yet another room, meet more nice nurses and just sleep. Tristan helps me with anything and everything and I see that my man/child is good. He's really good. Better than that even. ......My bestest friend, Jeannie has been there when nothing was happening and then becomes my sister, mother and nurse all in less than a morning and early afternoon. Mikey has become daddy. He's always been Tristan's #2 daddy and now he's Ireland's numero uno!!......I all of a sudden really want my mama here.........I learn that our beautiful baby girl has asphyxia (result of umbilical cord having been pinched off and taking away her precious oxygen to her brain), in addition to pretty severe pulmonary hypertension (somewhat expected with CDH but in truth we were expecting this to be a milder case). .......My throat hurts because a tube was inserted in my throat when I had to have anesthesia for the emergency c-section. My incision hurts....and I am so tired. .......I want to see my baby. Well, baby girl has been having a tough time getting all of her initial tubes and such in her body. Her veins are awfully tiny because she's been on a cooling blanket. She needs to be at 35-36 degrees Celsius to help ease what has happened to the oxygen that was cut off to her brain due to the asphyxia. .......Tristan has met his baby sister. Mikey has spent some time with daughter and is distraught because he can not do for her. Mikey has also been told to stay away several times because the doctors have been working on getting certain procedures to work on her. ....Some point during the afternoon, Tristan watches a movie and Mikey rolls me to the NICU so that I can properly meet my daughter. She's so beautiful and honestly, just fat and cute. She's actually 7 lbs 12 ozs and 21.5 inches tall. Perfect really. ....did I say that already?...I'm told to ask questions. I do this and with each question, I get the answer that they can't answer that, they just don't know, time will tell. I just had percocet about 1/2 an hour before Mikey wheeled me to Primary Children's, so of course the facts that they give me, I'm having a hard time retaining the information or even understanding. .......I'm pooped. We throw kisses at our baby girl and leave her in the hands of the good doctors and nurses. .....I see that Mikey is also exhausted. On the way back to my room at the UofU, Mikey and I decide that he and Tristan should go on to the hotel and that we all get a good night of sleep. It's still somewhat early, but they need a decent meal, Tristan needs a change of scenery, and I really could use some time to process all of this. .....Mikey lets me know that he'll come back a little later in the evening, so that he and I can see Ireland again before we go to bed. ......After too little rest, too little to eat, and having talked to family on the phone, Mikey shows up and we spend a little time talking and then we're off to wish Ireland a good night. ........She is so still now. She was given a "paralytic" drug. She had been fighting her machines nonstop and she needed to rest. .....We love her so much already! We say our good nights. .......Mikey is sent back to the hotel with some aspirin, love, many thanks for keeping everyone updated and a wish that he'll finally get the deep rest he needs. I go back to my room for some breast feeding 101 and then to try to rest. I read all that Mikey has been posting and just love him even more. .....I hurt but am also amazed that it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. ..........I am woken a few times during the night with pain and some meds. Around 3am my phone rings. It is the NICU and decisions need to be made. ECMO has entered our life. I'm at that time being checked for UTI and having a catheter inserted for a sample and needing to call Mikey....What day is it again?........Well, I take care of my basic needs and call Mikey and let him know that the nurses know that I'll be needing a wheel chair and that Tristan will be in the room......Mikey and I meet with the doctor and we agree to start ECMO (heart/lung bypass machine). This was our biggest fear but we know that this is what is needed. .......Apparently, asphyxia and pulmonary hypertension is a new one for all the big CDH docs. Our doctors have been consulting with the "cooling" experts to prevent further damage to Ireland's brain (due to the cord prolapse). The pulmonary hypertension that we thought would not be such a big deal with our "best case scenario" baby is now off the charts. ...Essentially, we had prepared ourselves for so much, while believing the best, and have instead landed in this vast place of newness and scary terms. ........The ECMO took a very long time to settle into place due to the complications with cooling. .....Mikey and I left to try to get some rest. I got a call sometime this morning that she was stable. With Mikey having been sent back to the hotel to finally get some sleep, Tristan wheeled me to Ireland. .......She is now very swollen and so very still. It's spooky to me. It's hard to look at this precious baby of mine. I'm somehow staying strong and ever positive. I listen in on a meeting of doctors, nurses and experts. I'm so tired. I'm hungry too. I take notes and don't really understand them. I stop taking notes because I really have no idea what I'm writing down. I talk to the nurse. I feel pride that my son is acting a responsible man and loving brother to this precious new life. I touch Ireland as I'm instructed while scared of hurting her or touching one of the flimsy tubes. I listen to that loud pumping Nitrous Oxide machine. I look at the bright red blood going into her neck and the darker blood that enters the ECMO machine. The good nurse is telling me that I should go get some rest. She's right. I'm so tired. ......Tristan wheels me back to my room. I talk to Mikey and we break down over the phone. My nurse takes more vitals from me, I'm given paperwork for a birth certificate, and I have a conversation that I don't really remember with a social worker. I eat a lousy sandwich and fortunately, for savings sake, they have an extra lunch and give Tristan a lousy sandwich too. Mikey calls and he's on his way, stopping to see Ireland first. ....Well, I'm hurting. The greatest nurse I can have talks with me a bit and out of nowhere, I finally break down. I hurt, I'm tired and my baby is at that hospital across the tunnel and I don't know what to do with myself. She hugs me and says it's about time because I need to grieve. I don't want to grieve but I know what she means. It feels good. ........She leaves, brings back some strong medication and explains the new pain medications I'll be on and at what doses. I laugh and say that I have no clue what she's talking about. She hugs me again, leaves and I write this post. Tristan has been my nurse and Mikey will be here at any time. .....I'm tired and plan on getting a nap now. .....I am told to not ask what's happening tomorrow or next week. I ask how the hours are going and if it was a good "shift". ....I feel guilty because I'm tired, wanting sleep and not standing over Ireland. ........I hope she can feel the prayers and love I'm sending to her. ...........this is it for now. I think I've caught up everyone. Please continue to pray for us, we need them. eyes hurt.


  1. Stay strong Thinking about you and praying for little Ireland.
    Anna Stroud

  2. Praying so hard right now!! May Ireland fight hard and win, and may Mama feel better and Mama, Daddy and T get much needed rest. Stay strong!
    Thelma in Texas

  3. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!! Keep fighting!!! Love ya
    Jamie Phippen and Family

  4. I used to hate it when people would say I was being so strong- but really you are being strong. :-) I know you probably thin what I thought- I am just doing what I have to do. Know that we are praying for you and ireland. She will do great things. Your post takes me back to those moments of great uncertainty. I pray that you all get some rest and that Ireland's body heals. She is absolutely beautiful.


  5. I wish with everything that I am that you did not have to know this awful pain. ECMO is scary, but it saves alot of CDH babies. You really need to get some rest and take care of yourself too. Ireland can feel your love no matter where you are. We are praying for you all.

  6. I was so happy to see this post when I got home from work...I have been thinking about and praying for Ireland all day. We are going to be down in Salt Lake tomorrow and would like to come by if you are up for it. We will call first. We love you all so much and it just breaks my heart that you are having to go through this. Get as much rest as you can so you can be strong for Ireland. Know that we are still sending plently of prayers your way. Hope to see you tomorrow.

  7. (((HUGS))) Chanda, I wish I could take your pain away. Primary's ECMO team will be on top of things and if they have not given you the number to the nurses station, get that and anytime of the day or night, you call and check on your princess. You will be up and moving around better very soon and you will get to spend time with your little girl. Take care of you too, for Ireland needs a healthy and strong mom. Ireland can feel your love and prayers!!! Praying hard for your little girl...let ECMO give her lungs and heart time to rest and get stronger. If you need to talk, please call me you have my cell #. Keep fighting Ireland!! Praying she remains stable and continues to get stronger.

    Much love,

  8. Continued prayers are with you all.

    Fight hard sweet Ireland.

    Shaz - CHERUBS co-rep Australia

  9. You are doing great! I know you are tired- and wanting to be around Ireland- I felt the same way after birth.. Your story is truly amazing- not even knowing you gave birth- wow! I can imagine your shock when Mickey told you that Ireland was born!

    C'mon Ireland- you can do it! We are praying for you and your new little girl!

  10. We are praying for you all and for Ireland!!!

  11. You guys have been in my prayers so much over the last few days. Keep being strong!!!!

  12. We have been thinking a lot about you and Ireland. We will soon be going through what you're going through now and we are praying for her!!

  13. Saying lots of prayers for baby Ireland right now! It's good for you to take care of yourself so that you can take care of Ireland when that time comes! Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way!

  14. Chanda, she is so beautiful! I am just so amazed and proud of you guys. You have such a wonderful family and what a son you have raised. Praying for sweet Ireland Rose, and her loving family, all the time. Lots of love, hugs, well wishes and prayers being sent your way from the Bernhardt family.

  15. ((hugs)) thinking of you during this time. Keep fighting baby Ireland.