I am very behind on posting. We didn’t have a computer for a while, and I refuse to type on my iPad keyboard. It is just too tiny. I always want to blog more, but never do, but I am really working on changing that.
We found out last March, just at a year ago, that we were expecting and would be due in the beginning of November. We were very excited about that because we knew we wanted at least one child, and we didn’t want to wait long, as we are both getting long in the tooth. Just kidding, but we did start out later than most people do in Pentecost, so we didn’t want to wait much longer. Everyone asked if we were “trying” and our answer was that we weren’t preventing.
The pregnancy started out scary. A couple weeks after we found out, Leah had a massive blood clot, which scared us both. We found out that was nothing and the baby was healthy. Then a little while later she went through a couple days of not being able to feel the baby. But we found that it was ok. They hooked her up to a baby heart monitor, and there she was just beating away. Leah was very sick the entire pregnancy. I cleaned up beyond my share of vomit. We both wanted a girl so bad. And found out at 16 weeks that we were going to have a little girl. We wrestled with names for what seemed like days, which was probably one. We decided on Peytlee. A mixture of Peyton and Leah. But we couldn’t figure out a middle name, and we finally came up with Shay. Peytlee Shay.
Our due date comes and goes, and the doctor decides she wants to induce Leah. Her policy is that on the first pregnancy, she doesn’t induce before 42 weeks. A baby is supposed to be born at 40 weeks. Because of the impending Thanksgiving holiday, she decides that she will induce at exactly 41 weeks. We were excited about this, because our baby would be here for Thanksgiving.
We go into the hospital on November 14 at 8pm. We went out to eat before trying to kill time because we were so excited that we would have a baby by morning possibly. We both prayed a lot that day because we were both scared and Leah had just watched her sister have a baby 5 days before, so she was extra freaked out. We walked around the mall, and then finally went to the hospital. We both woke up at 6am that morning because we knew that that was the day our baby would be on her way.
We settle in to the hospital. They hook her up to all kinds of monitors and make her get in a gown. We had our own hand made hospital gown that she had received from a friend at the baby shower. She was glowing. We were so excited, and I was so afraid. I had prayed and prayed that nothing would happen to either of them. I knew God had a plan and had this in His hands.
They finally induce her. When they checked her dilation, it hurt her so much. Our nurse for the night was very young and very quiet. This was difficult for me because I need to know why it hurt, why she’s acting like this, I need to know everything and she just didn’t offer enough information. After a couple hours, the medicine works. She starts having contractions. But they weren’t your normal come and go contractions, it was just one big contaction that didn’t let up. I didn’t like seeing her in this much pain.
The night was so long. The baby’s heart rate continually dropped and they moved Leah in every position imaginable to get the baby off of the umbilical chord. Finally, after contracting for a while they ask Leah if she wants the epidural. We were told for 9 months that she couldn’t have the epidural until she had dilated to a 5, and she was only at a 2. Leah said yes, so we left the room and they gave her the epidural.
When we came back in she was resting and a little loopy. We had some fun with her, but the morning finally came and our doctor came in. The doctor broke her waters, only to find that she was meconium. That is when the baby uses the bathroom in the womb, which is common for a post term baby. The doctor at this time says that Leah is going to have to have an ASAP cesarean. They prep her for surgery and off we go.
We arrive at the OR and they take Leah in. I have to stay behind until she is all ready. What was probably 10 minutes seemed like an eternity. I didn’t like leaving her for that long. But they finally open the doors and let me in. It looks like something you’d see in a magazine or a movie. Exactly the way it is portrayed. Big lights and computers and people covered in OR suits. Facemasks. They take me to her head and have me sit by her. Her arms are tied down and a big curtain is right below her neck. It felt like an eternity to get the baby out. But she finally got out and they took her over to the baby table which was in our view. I was praying the whole time because it really freaked me out. I have a hard time with anything medical.
They usually have you to come over and look at the baby. But they were taking a long time. They stepped in front of her blocking our view of her, and I just knew something was wrong. They didn’t do a good enough job and I saw them pick up her arm and drop it completely limp. I heard them call for NICU respiratory and I just knew something had happened. So I began to plead the blood of Jesus over our baby. Finally they step aside after what seemed like years, and say that I can take a picture of her. They told us that because she was meconium that she wouldn’t cry when she was born so we never got to hear her. They taker her off to the NICU and we go to recovery.
The tube next to her is an intubation tube.
While we are in recovery, the NICU doctor comes in and tells us that our baby suffered a brain injury during birth and would be flown immediately to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Of course, like any parent, we thought the worst and just kinda sat there stunned. We hadn’t had any sleep, Leah was medicated and exhausted, and we really just didn’t know what to ask or think or do. We were kind of talking to the nurses and they picked up on our confusion at this doctor. Because he was foreign, and English wasn’t his first language, we were misinformed. The nurse said that because she didn’t breathe for a while after birth, there is a chance that she could have brain damage. They would take her to SLCH and decide what to do from there because the hospital we were at didn’t have the capabilities to handle what could be in our near future.
While we were in the recovery room, they came and asked if I wanted to come to the NICU to see the baby. Of course I did. They told me to wash my hands for 3 minutes, which seemed like forever. I could see her the entire time I was washing my hands. I couldn’t wait to get over there to her. I finally was able to get to her and she had a CPAP attached to her and tubes everywhere. I just wanted to hold her so bad. I was staring at her crying when the nurse came over and started talking about her and congratulating me. She was doing this little stretch thing that until the nurse pointed it out, I didn’t know wasn’t normal. The nurse said that she keeps doing this and it is why they want to send her to SLCH. She was having seizures. So when the nurse walked away, I laid my hand on little tiny body and began to pray. I was sobbing and speaking in tongues. We had went through so much to get this far for her to have seizures and/or brain damage. I honestly didn’t know what to do but pray. I certainly didn’t know what to say in English. Romans 8:26 says that the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. I knew that through His Spirit, the perfect will of God would be done. I also knew that all things work for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose. I didn’t care who heard me or what they thought. This was my baby. My promise. She would live!
I left and went back to the room where Leah had been set up. The doctors said that it would be about 30 minutes for the helicopter to get there, and that it would be about an hour for them to get her set up for transportation. They decided to let Leah go into the NICU to see Peytlee before she was airlifted to SLCH. They roll Leah into the NICU and hand her Peytlee. We were finally all together. We were a little family. Leah and I, exhausted and lost, cried.
The helicopter people arrived. I watched Peytlee the entire time that Leah held her. I didn’t want Leah to see her having those seizures. The helicopter nurses said that it would take about an hour to get her loaded and ready to go, and they would bring her by Leah’s room before she left.
They came by the room where some of the family was and our baby was in a little plastic box on a tiny little gurney. I kept my eyes are her the entire time. They finally wheeled her away and that was when I really broke down. About 10 minutes later, I could hear a helicopter and I turned around and the helicopter for SLCH was right above our room, we could see it.
Shortly after she left in the helicopter, I left too. They got there in about 30 minutes and called me. I wasn’t even out of our town yet. They said that she did great in the helicopter and that she didn’t have any more seizures.
The next 2 hours as I drove to St. Louis seemed like an all day trip. My exhaustion finally started to catch up with me and I had to pull over and walk around to wake back up. My sister met me at the hospital to see the baby. She was in St. Louis already at her fiancés house. I was so scared and nervous to see her. But I just had to get in that room.
This was her when I walked in. I immediately turned on the camera so Leah could see her and we stared at her and cried. Leah wanted so bad to be with her, which made things even more difficult. I hated being with out her.
The nodes attached to her head are to monitor her for seizures. The thing on her hand is where her IV is.
The next couple hours felt like days and days. We didn’t know if Leah was going to be able to come right away. After having a C-section, there are things the doctor wants you to do before you can leave, and those things to Leah seemed impossible. But she did it. She finally got to come the next night. After a grueling 2 hour drive she finally made it.
We spent a week in that hospital. It was a week of hell. They poked and prodded Peytlee, and as new parents, it was awful. We were set on breastfeeding Peytlee, but SLCH isn’t a hospital that really cares if you breastfeed or not, they just care if your baby lives or not. It made it difficult for Leah. We had already missed so much with her, holding her when she was born, doing skin to skin contact, all these things, and we weren’t going to budge on this one.
We went through a lot with the doctors at the hospital. But she was getting better and better. They put her through this hypothermic treatment that takes 72 hours to cool her core temperature to 92 degrees. After the 72 hours, they take 24 hours to warm her up slowly back to 98 degrees. Then after she is warmed up, they take her to do an MRI to see if she has any brain damage. The entire time she was “cooling” she was on morphine. We couldn’t do anything but hold her hand.
She was born on a Tuesday, which is when they started the treatment. She went for her MRI on a Saturday, which means we had to wait until Monday to get the results back. The results came back that she didn’t have any brain damage at all!
Monday night they put us in a family room at the hospital to try to adjust to having a baby and see how she would do away from the NICU and the babies and nurses. We didn’t sleep one wink that night. The nurse came in every so often, and we couldn’t leave her alone in the crib, so we stayed up all night. Right before this all happened, they had taken her off of all the IV’s except the glucose drip, that they moved from her belly button to her hand. That process took them over an hour and a half and when we got back in the room, her had had been punctured over 40 times to drain fluid. We were pretty upset over that.
They had her weighed in at 8.2 when she arrived at SLCH. She was weighed at birth at 7.14 and when they told us that she had to weigh her arrival weight before she could leave, we asked how in the world did they get 8.2. That is such a big leap from the 30 minutes before she arrived at weighing 7.14. They told us that it was because she was weighed with the helicopter gear on. Knowing that wasn’t her true weight, they kept telling us that she had to weigh that before they would allow her to leave.
Tuesday morning rolled around and we decided that we wanted to go home. Leah was afraid to go home because they weren’t wanting us to go home and she was afraid that something would go wrong and we may not be ready. I told her that I would tell them that we want to go home, but they are going to make us feel absolutely horrible. I told her to expect the worst. So, we told them we were going home, and they tried to guilt trip us into staying including being responsible for the $20,000 hospital stay bill. They asked us to stay one more night and we said that we would talk about it. We did, and decided that we were leaving on that day. The doctor was furious and said that in the 25 years of being a doctor, not one single person had went against his medical advice. I said, well we are. He left in a huff, and came back in a little while later and said that he really didn’t want us to be responsible for a $20,000 medical bill that they would go a head and release us. Leah had called our pastor, which is her brother, and told her the situation, and he prayed about it, had peace and said that it is up to her, that she is the mother. I had peace about it, and even though that doctor told us that we would be spending Thanksgiving in the PICU because she would be dehydrated, we believed the report of the Lord. So, they started the discharge process, and we waited on pins and needles to leave. We couldn’t wait to get home!
This was her going home outfit. We were so proud and couldn’t wait to leave. We told everyone we were coming home.
The first time Leah held Peytlee
The first time I held Peytlee
Peytlee has been to SLCH for an MRI and they took one look at her and decided she didn’t need an MRI, that she was perfect. She has surpassed all her milestones and impressed every doctor she has seen. When God does a work, He does it right. There is no guestwork in His medical practice. To God be all of the glory for healing our baby girl.
We found out when we were discharged that Peytlee didn’t breathe for 6 minutes after life and that they tried to intubate her at 4 minutes and it was unsuccessful. Her blood was very acidic which caused worry, and usually happens when no oxygen is present. But she came out gold!