Posted (Tina) in All Posts on July-24-2007

So, birth is traumatic enough! And as you know, Ella has a condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. So as soon as she was born, she was unable to breathe due to her underdeveloped lungs. This is the entire reason that we came to Florida – – so that Dr. Kays and his team could work on Ella and give her the best chance of survival.
Upon birth and within the first few hours of life, Ella’s biggest challenge is the amount of carbon dioxide in her system. The ventilators were doing a great job at making sure that her body and brain were receiving enough oxygen. Yet, since her lungs are so immature, she is having a tough time getting the carbon dioxide out of her system. Her levels were too high. For a baby, they should be around 60-70 – – she is at 130.
So each hour, they have been monitoring her vitals: heart rate, blood pressure (don’t want too much hypertension from the additional stress this condition places on her heart trying to pump the blood to the lungs), oxygen levels in her brain and body, pH levels, etc. They are working diligently with 24/7 monitoring and care to try their best to stabilize her. They want to stabilize her before they perform surgery.
She is very sick and has done well adjusting to the various therapies and medications during this first day. Continue to pray that her vitals will improve and that she can be stablized without requiring ECMO. Keep in mind that it is very likely that Ella will need ECMO at some point during her recovery. However, her recovery will be significantly delayed and make her fight for life even tougher, if she has to go on ECMO prior to surgery, where they move the contents from her chest to her abdomen.
We just checked on Ella before we decided to go to bed. Her carbon dioxide levels improved, but then it swayed the amount of oxygen she was receiving in her body. So, better progress on one vital sign, but it threw off another. We have asked God to watch over her throughout the night as she fights.

Posted (jooosh) in All Posts on July-24-2007

Posted (Tina) in All Posts on July-24-2007

…we drive up to the Emergency Room and walked-in. Fortunately, the waiting room was empty. Josh explained to the front desk that he thought I was in labor. She sent me through the doors and asked me to sit and wait for a nurse to come get me. As I waited, the pain was continuing to get stronger and stronger. The lady rolls up with a wheel chair. I ask her to wait for a minute…as a contraction passes. Wow, whatever is going on…it is painful!

They wheel me to a bed and the nurse begins to gather all our information verbally and states that she will have a doctor come in to check my cervix. The doctor on staff arrives to examine me. She informs us that I am 9 centimeters dilated and fully effaced. Josh’s jaw drops and with his mouth wide open, he is sitting there in complete shock! Say WHAT@#$%$#@!???

This confirmed three things: first, I was not imagining this pain that I was feeling; second, the emergency staff was now going to take me seriously and third, I was about to give birth to a baby girl! This was such a big surprise for me…wow, was this really happening?

I begin to worry.

Where was my OBGYN? And more importantly, where was Dr. Kays? Did they try and reach him? Was he around? Moments later, Dr. Richards walks in. Phew…there was the doctor that was going to deliver. That part was good.

The pain every couple of minutes was so intense. I was begging for an epidural. I was so far along that I wanted to make sure that I could still have one. Finally, it was 6:00am and the anesthesiologist was getting ready to place the needle in my back when a very strong contraction arrived. I asked her to wait. Simultaneously, I lose my dinner from the night before in a projectile manner out my mouth and my water breaks between my legs. What a strange feeling…

Once the drugs begin to take effect a few moments later, I am a happy woman. It was the first break I had received in hours! This gave me the strength to push on…literally.

Dr. Richards came back to check on me. I was now 10 centimeters and fully dilated and effaced. At this point, he let me know that they were able to reach Dr. Kays and that he was on his way. This made me feel so much better – – that was the entire reason we came to Florida.

Later I found out that it was the first shift back for Dr. Kays after concluding a 2 week vacation. And didn’t I just arrive in Florida less than 48 hours ago? Wow, God was watching over me!

My labor was moving along so rapidly that they wanted to try and slow it down. Dr. Richards wanted the opportunity to get some antibiotics in my system (I had tested positive for Group B Strep virus).

Ideally, you take antibiotics up to 4 hours before you deliver. Between waiting for the antibiotics to get into my system and waiting for Dr. Kays and team, we only had a small window left…this baby wanted out!

At 6:30am, they moved me to a surgical room where I would deliver. This room would provide the space and equipment necessary for Dr. Kays and his team to work on our baby girl once she was born.

The clock was ticking and we were just waiting for everyone to line up and be ready. Once the signal was given, I was asked to push. All it took was a few times…