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Welcome Baby Hamilton

I decided that I am going to blog about what is currently happening in our lives. At first, I thought it was too much information to put on the internet, but at the end of the day, I HATE texting. I have no texting skills and it takes me forever to spit something out. There is limited room to write what you have to say and to top it off; I don’t have all the cell phone numbers of people I want to keep in the loop.

Yesterday, I sent out a worried text to a handful of friends. In my defence, I am emotional, and Hugh was napping so I didn’t have anything to do but sit and worry! It was just a small snapshot of our day and I thinking blogging will allow me to give you a better picture.
Here goes:

Fundal height measures the growth of a baby. Generally, the number of weeks pregnant you are should be in and around the same as the number of centimeters you measure (this is basically the size of the belly). The first week my midwife measured me I was 2 cm more than the number of weeks I was pregnant, the 2nd time 1 cm more and the 3rd time the same number centimeters as weeks. The fourth time I was 32 weeks pregnant and measured 1 cm under at 31 centimeters. I was worried, because my doctor had thought Calder had stopped growing and that this was the cause of my pre-term labour with him. My midwife wasn’t concerned, so I left upset, but after some reading and talking to friends, I decided to wait and see what happened at my 34 week appointment. At the end of the day, being 1 cm under the number of weeks I was pregnant really wasn’t a concern.

Wednesday, February 16

I wasn’t able to meet with my midwife, so I met with her partner. I measured 31 cm. I was now 34 weeks and 3 cm under. I hadn’t grown at all in the last 2 weeks. I was concerned and expressed this to the midwife. She totally agreed and told me she would book me into an ultra sound so we could check the size of the baby.

Again, I was worried but a friend, Delayne, had recently measured small for the number of weeks and was sent for an ultrasound. Her ultrasound showed a good sized baby (she ended up going overdue and had a healthy baby boy!). So with that knowledge, I waited to hear about the ultra sound booking.

Friday, February 18

I still hadn’t heard from the midwife about the appointment, so I called her to follow up. She was able to get me in at 3 pm at St. Paul’s Hospital.

When I got to St. Paul’s at 2:30, the midwife did a stress test on the baby (they look at the changes in heart rate over time). Everything looked good. The baby had a good base heart rate and had accelerations in his heart rate (they want to see accelerations and don’t want to see decelerations, because they mean the baby is in distress).

I went for the ultrasound. After the tech was done, she told us she was going to check with the radiologist to make sure she got the pictures he wanted. Ten minutes later, the midwife came into the room, touched my leg as I was lying on the bed and told me we needed to go to University Hospital. There wasn’t much amniotic fluid around the baby. I started crying. I knew without her saying what this meant. I was having another preterm baby.

Thank goodness Hugh was there. When I called him on Friday morning to tell him the time of my appointment, I was feeling good about the results that I would see and had told him he should stay at work to get some stuff done. I would be fine at my ultrasound. He ignored me and came to my appointment.

I made a quick call to Kerri and Hugh made a quick call to Luke. We needed to figure out an emergency plan for Calder. By the time we were walking out of St. Paul’s, the plan was in place and my mom was driving in for the weekend.

Hugh dropped me off at emergency at University Hospital and went to park the van. I needed to be admitted. When I got went inside some man in line announced to me where the end of the line was so I headed to the back. I wasn’t really sure what to do. I didn’t want to stand in line. I wasn’t in labour. Well, I took my coat off when Hugh got there and immediately the security guard came over and escorted me to the front. FYI, if you are pregnant, you DON’T stand in line!

We headed upstairs and they put the monitor on the baby to see how stressed he was. At this point, we thought I would be induced. Hugh and I made a list of stuff that we needed from the house. Once we had a plan in place for the birth, he was going to run home and grab a few things. The resident had other plans. When she looked at the stress test, she did not like what she saw at all. The baby was NOT happy. She wanted him out right away. EMERGENCY C-SECTION.

We were so scared.

Things started happening VERY fast. Two different nurses tried to put an IV in and failed. They then decided to let the Anistetiologist do it (Thank goodness, my hand was sore!). I was wheeled over to the operating room. Hugh wasn’t allowed in while they were prepping me so I was glad that the midwife came in with me. There were almost a dozen people getting things ready. It was cold and scary with me not knowing what was going on, people running around prepping and me lying on my back without any clothes on! The midwife stood by me and explained to me what was currently happening and what was going to happen. This helped to keep my mind off worrying about the baby. The Anestitiologist was terrific as well. He got the IV in without a problem and gave me a spinal. I was numb and unable to move from the armpits down but I was awake.

When they were ready to go Hugh was able to come in. I felt some minimal pressure. The midwife said, “they have the head out”. Hugh peeked over the curtain, smiled and at 6:18 pm said, “it’s a boy”. He was 4 pounds and 6 ounces. I started crying and they told Hugh he could go over and look at our screaming baby. He didn’t want to leave me since I was crying, but after I explained I was just happy and gave him a little push, he went to look. We didn’t even have a camera (Who knew?! We thought we were going shopping after the ultrasound!). Hugh snapped a couple of pictures on his phone (it will be a miracle if we ever figure how to get them off his Blackberry).

I got to hold our son for a couple of minutes. He was so smooshed. Because he didn’t have any amniotic fluid around him, he was essentially getting crushed inside me. He had no room to move at all or any protection around him. His poor little nose was completely flattened. At one point, Hugh said, “you are so cute….well, you will be”. I couldn’t have agreed more! It felt so good to be holding an alert, wide-eyed baby. I got 3 or 4 minutes and they took him away to NICU.

Since I was frozen, I had to wait to go down to see him until I could move. They said this would take 2 – 3 hours. Nope, not me; it took 6. I shivered for 6 hours full hours until I could totally move my legs and wiggle my toes at 12:30 am. At about 10 pm, knowing it was going to be a long time until I was unthawed, Hugh headed up to see Baby Hamilton.

Why did this happen? We don’t have any answers yet (or more likely, we don’t have any speculation, yet). We haven’t really got to talk to anyone. Questions that the Resident asked me before my c-section:

1. Did you have a gush of fluids? – No. My water broke with Calder so as she said, I would have known.

2. Did he stop moving around? – No. I was paranoid about this having recently heard of 2 different women having full-term, still-born babies. I was counting movements every day and sometimes even grabbing a glass of juice and laying down for a couple of hours to do a good count.

I will say that the movements had started to be less pronounced (more of a push, than a punch). This is completely normal as the baby grows and runs out of room to be able to do a full kick or punch. Unfortunately, in my case, he really didn’t have any room. His protective cushion was slowly disappearing.

We have learned that the amniotic fluid is closely related to the baby’s kidneys so if his kidneys aren’t functioning properly, this could be part of the cause. Right now he has produced a tiny (and I mean tiny) bit of urine. They have done an ultrasound to check them out but haven’t heard from the doctor yet.

Saturday, February 19

Baby Hamilton. I know. We don’t have a name yet. We actually have 2 name and we just can’t pick. In the weeks before B.H. was born, Hugh and I had the PERFECT girl’s name picked out. We had a few boys’ names but at the end of the day thought if we didn’t have it narrowed down by the birth of our child we would hold him and then somehow we would know. Since we have only had the 4 minutes in the operating room, we are still holding out the hope that we somehow know when we hold him! We shall see!

When we went up in the morning to see him, the nurse had a list of concerns for us:

1. Low Blood Pressure. They had to give him platelets and plasma to help him with this. They didn’t totally do the job, so they have him on some medicine for it.

2. Breathing. He is breathing on his own, but is doing some puffing and breathing through his ribs. He didn’t have enough room inside me, so they think that this put the strain on his lungs.

3. Internal Bleeding. This isn’t abnormal after a traumatic birth. He has been aspirating some old blood and has old blood in his stomach and urine as well. They are hoping the increased platelets will help his blood coagulate.

4. Kidney Function. They have done an ultrasound and we haven’t gotten the results. He has urinated but very little. So they are functioning but not well.

5. Limb Extension and Bowed Tibula. B.H. can’t totally extend elbow or knee joints and both of his lower legs are bowed. Again, he was smooshed and couldn’t totally stretch out inside me. They are thinking both this things could easily fix themselves now that he has room. If not, he will have physiotherapy. This is obviously the least of our immediate concerns.

When we left in the morning, we felt deflated and were completely upset. Hugh and I talked when we got back to my room and decided that there have to be some positives. Having pumped ourselves up for some good news, we headed back after lunch.

When we arrived, B.H.’s day nurse went through the list of worries. Armed with happy thoughts, Hugh asked, “can you tell us what is going well?” She basically responded that she couldn’t make things up that weren’t there. Needless to say, we were crushed. The nurse then left us to spend time with B.H. As we were standing there a resident introduced herself and told us about the kidney ultrasound (which we already knew) but then added that when they looked at his kidneys, they checked out his heart as well and it looked perfect. It looked perfect. Our nurse would have known this. She just didn’t tell us.

We have come to the conclusion that our nurse is just a ‘negative nelly’. She is a bit on the angry side and as we observed her more we realised she isn’t just like this when interacting with us. She acts like this when she interacts with her colleagues as well. She is pessimistic and our nemesis. Hugh calls her “Newman”. We are hoping we don’t have Newman on Sunday.

Hugh and I went up to say good night to B.H. and the night nurse was very positive about B.H.’s day. She said he has really started breathing better and he now barely needs any oxygen. Newman had said that they weren’t really sure what was causing all of the distress to B.H. They have sent some blood to check out for an infection. The night nurse made it seem like he just needed time. He was crunched inside me and that causes trauma. We are hoping to talk to B.H.’s doctor on Monday but with it being a holiday we aren’t sure we will get to speak with a doctor (you don’t get to talk to the doctors on rounds during the weekend and we aren’t sure about holidays). Fingers crossed.

On that note, I have to be honest about the nurses we have had.

When Calder was born, we didn’t have a good experience. We had nurses who were short with us, who contradicted each other and literally forgot about us. To top it all off, we never had the same nurse twice, so were constantly having to repeat every detail over and over and over.

However, we did have one wonderful nurse named Shannon who was in labour/delivery and essentially saved Calder’s life by getting him to breathe again so quickly after he stopped. We saw her before we went into the operating room this time and were able to tell her how wonderful she was. Hugh talked to her a bit more while I was being prepped in the OR and she remembered us…well, she remembered Calder and how he stopped breathing. She said she had only been working for about 2 months when that happened! Thanks again, Shannon.

I have spoken to so many of my friends about our experiences with the nurses and it seems like Hugh and I must have had ALL of the bad nurses in the hospital when we had Calder. Most of my friends had great experiences with all of their nurses. I am SO happy to say that with the exception of Newman we have had all great nurses looking after us and B.H. I have had the same day and night nurses looking after me and they are fantastic (Thanks Carly and Glenda).

Now to me…
C-section recovery is PAINFUL. It’s not that I thought it would be easy. My friend Kerri went through it and I remember her slow recovery. I guess I just have heard of many women opting to have a C-section for their second rather than going through natural child birth with the sole reason being they don’t want to go through labour. For some reason this gave me the illusion of “less pain”. Having experienced the pain of labour and natural childbirth and the aftermath of a C-section, I seriously don’t know which is worse. Or, if I had to pick, which one I would choose? Yikes. My wonderful nurses on the maternity floor told me each time I got out of bed the pain would be less and thankfully, they are right. I still can’t stand up straight or walk farther than the bathroom but it is getting better! I even stood to wash my hands the last couple of times we were in NICU!

Friday, February 18.  Three hours old.  Note the pencil that the nurse put in for size :-)
 
Saturday, February 19

Sunday, February 20th


I will take you back to Saturday for a moment. Calder came with my mom to visit me at the hospital. When Mom called in the morning, she said his eyes were a bit water. By the time they got here in the afternoon, they were swollen and fully of mucus. Mom took him to a walk-in clinic last night and had to wait for 2 hours to have a doctor come into the room, look at Calder, announce it was indeed pink eye and write a prescription. They saw the doctor for a little over a minute! Grandma Fritshaw said Calder was an angel during the entire ordeal!

Needless to say, Hugh and I are now both paranoid that we are getting pink eye. Well, it’s mostly me who is paranoid. We are feverishly washing our hands and I didn’t touch B.H. today. He has enough going on without pink eye to the mix!

In happier news, Calder seemed very happy to see me yesterday. He even came right over and wanted up on the bed to give me a hug. Those of you who know my struggles with Calder only EVER wanting daddy, will know I was beaming ear to ear. Not only did I not have to ask for a hug, he gave me one without one ounce of a struggle! LOL.

Hugh spent last night at home. Both he and Calder had great sleeps. They woke up at 8:30 am! Wow! I could barely believe it when Hugh called to say he would be later getting to the hospital.

I guess when Calder woke up he started calling sadly calling “Dad, Dad”. When Hugh walked into the room, Calder was still laying down (he usually is standing) with his eyes closed, moving his eyebrows up and down. His eyes were glued shut with mucus! It took Hugh more than 5 minutes to get all of the gunk cleaned out.

We went to visit B.H. after breakfast. We were delight to see NO Newman!!! The day nurse told us that there were no changes over night. His blood pressure was very close to normal when we were there. This is the first time they could say that. Good news! They are giving him tons of blood products and medication to help him with this.

When we got back to my room for lunch, a lady came by to collect some of my blood to run some tests that they wanted for B.H. I guess they are checking to see if I have some weird infection that was passed on to B.H. that could be causing the problems with the blood pressure. Apparently, by now, the blood products and medication should be doing a better job than they are doing to keep his blood pressure in the normal range. It seems as though the nurses and doctor feel that if they can get his blood pressure figured out, it will help fix the breathing and kidney function.

This afternoon they gave him more blood. They are having to take his blood to check the platelet and plasma levels and a number of other things I am not even sure of. He needs the blood to replace what is being taken for testing and to help with his blood pressure.

This afternoon when we went back, his blood pressure was back to where it had been (below the normal level). Not good news.

My friend Heidi’s son was born at 30 weeks. He spent a month in NICU (and is now a very healthy and adorable 14 month old). I sent her a text yesterday in my sad moment stating that I didn’t know how she and her husband did it. She told me that there are lots of ups and downs and agreed that it is scary. She reminded me that I am strong and that I have a great husband, family and friends around to support me.

Today when we went back to NICU and B.H.’s blood pressure was low, I was reminded of Heidi’s words and thankful for the advice. We are really worried about B.H.’s blood pressure, because they can’t seem to figure out what is causing it. We are doing our best take things in stride.

Oh, and the day nurse today asked if we had spoken to B.H.’s doctor. We were told that we could only speak to him/her during the week. She then told us that because of circumstances surrounding B.H.’s birth, the doctor probably would have talked to us. It would have been great to know this, Newman.

Comments

  1. Thinking of you Jordan, Hugh and Baby H. Its tough dealing with all of this unknown but it will be a happy ending. Stay positive. We are all thinking about you and wishing you well.
    I am thinking you should have a B name for the baby as you are calling him BH already. Maybe Brandon, Boris, Bob, Bryce, Burt, Bernie (that's a good one)Bing, Bruce, Billy...I could go on!

    Keep the spirits up. One day at a time. Those preemies are fighters! (my daughter was 6 weeks early and 4 pounds 5 ounces!)so I know what its like to be a parent of a preemie.
    Its unfortunate that Norman is such a pain. Some of those 'seasoned' nurses forget how to be compassionate. There are a lot of really good caring nurses who care about you and what you are going through. Good luck and I will keep reading your blog! Cute little baby you have got there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thinking of you Jordan and very sorry you are going through this ordeal. My baby in utero currently is missing a kidney so fears of low amniotic fluid are on my mind as well. We are still waiting for more tests in our case. I also had Carly as a nurse when we had Koen and agree with you that she is great!
    I hope your nurses from now on are nothing but positive and supportive and that Baby H gets his blood pressure on the right track soon. I am sending you and Baby H positive and healthy thoughts!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jordan, Hugh and Baby H my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know there are no words that can ease your concern but there are many people that care about both of you and your family.
    Jordan as I was reading your blog it was so apparent how well you know your body and how quickly you got the help that you needed. Many women might not have been this aware. You are amazing!
    This is such a difficult time filled with many mixed emotions. It is also so difficult and frustrating because there is nothing you can do but wait. I know you must feel powerless and you are right, you have no control over the situation. Just remember the neonatal unit is amazing and it is comforting to know that all the latest in medical advances are readily available for your son 24-7
    Brian and I will be sending many positive thoughts and prayers your way and continuing to read your blog. Take care

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

    Leanne Curtin (Raczynski)

    ReplyDelete
  5. To the Hamiltons:
    It is the Gates'...and your stuck with Chris' comments, because my wife gets a little too upset when she thinks about your little BH.

    We are thinking of your family, and wishing there was something we could do. We know Team Hamilton is full of great family and friends, and you know everyone in your corner is sending positive heartfelt thoughts and prayers.

    I know it's hard, but here are some of the positives we are thinking about:

    BH is in the best place he could ever be to help him get through this; he has the best team in his corner any little fella could ever have; Hugh has properly applied the term "Newman" in a real-life application; you now have a full list of boys names to chose from (I vote for Boris); Jordan will have a chance to improve her texting skills; but most importantly, you have a whole world of people who love you guys sending thoughts and prayers - don't lose sight of the power in that.

    We love you guys! Take Care. Can't wait to see you and Baby Hamilton!

    Kerri, Chris, Dylan, and Hazel.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Jordan,
    You are all in our thoughts out here. Your colorful descriptions of the NICU nurses are bringing back a lot of our memories from Noelle's time in there, in Regina. Apparently there is a Newman in every city hospital NICU! I firmly believe that it is a great thing when they are truely aweful to you. Even they manage to stick a smile on their face for the parents of babies in the worse kind of shape. Please keep up the blog with any more info you get. We are waiting with baited breath.....


    All our love, prayers, and strength are sent to you.

    Ader and fam

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Jordan, Hugh, Calder and BH

    Your family is such a wonderful testimony to the love and strength you share. Sending Team Hamilton my love and prayers.
    Therese xx

    ReplyDelete

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