Friday, September 3, 2010

After The Beginning... Reality

She was born on July 15th, 2010 at 5:05 am. She made quite an entrance too... after not wanting to move down the birth canal, making Mama push on her sides and everything else. Then, she came out "Sunnyside Up". Typically, a baby is born facing the floor, face down. Little Lady wanted everyone to see her pretty face, so she came out facing the ceiling. That's probably part of the reason why she was not moving down as fast as expected... she was facing the wrong way!
But... not only was she "sunnyside up", she was also... kind of folded in half. Her legs were flipped up, and her feet were basically up next to her ears. I know, weird.
They did not plop this baby right down on my chest like you see on TV (or maybe even have had happen to you). In fact, out of all 3 of my children, only one of them was laid directly on my chest. The other two are troublemakers.
They took her to the other side of the room, to the bassinet, to get her cleaned up. I send The Hubs over to take photos while I'm laying there, helpless and numb, getting stitched up and cleaned. (This is when I posted a status update to Facebook and sent out the "She's Here" text messages, LOL!)

(you can see in these pics how her legs are straight in front of her, and not down)

Hyperextended Knees. They are bending forward...

Little Lady scored 8's and 9's on all of her Apgars, so that was good news... but, about this "folded in half" thing. They couldn't really get her stretched out. Couldn't even measure her length. At this point, they are waiting for a pediatrician to come check her out. And I have still not held my baby. Pediatrician comes.
Once everyone is all clean, and baby is weighed things are a little calmer. Less people in the room and less chaos. This is when they tell me that something seems to be wrong with her legs, or knees, or hips... or all of them? They have decided to place her in the NICU. These are nightmare words for a new mom... NICU...
But, before they took her, they did give me and The Hubs an hour. I nursed her, and we did some 'skin to skin bonding' and, even though I didn't want to share, I let The  Hubs have a turn.

And then, off she went. Several Dr's came to look at her. They pretty much had no idea what was wrong with her. They sort of narrowed it down to it being her knees. Little Lady had knees that were hyperextended. They wouldn't bend, and so they stuck out right in front of her. She looked normal in the sitting position, but laying down, you could see that things weren't right. So, we were waiting until the next day, when the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon would come consult with her/us. So far, we had found out that they did Xrays, but that newborn/infant tissue is too soft to really see anything. Also, they did an ultrasound to make sure that her insides were all ok, and they were.
I left my hospital bed every 3 hours to go to the NICU and see her and nurse her.

(Here are her legs after 24 hours. Better than at birth, but still bad. One is obviously worse than the other.)
On day two, towards the end of the day the Orthopedic FINALLY comes in. She checks things out, tries to move things, looks at the rest of Little Lady's body and shows us some 'stretches' we can do on her. She agrees to discharge us since there are no other health issues with Little Lady. And we schedule follow up appointments. She tells us that it could be a syndrome called Arthrogryposis. It basically means stiff joints. She isn't so sure though, because there are things that aren't consistent with Arthrogryposis. One of these things is that she has perfect folds on the joints of her fingers, and that, for the most part the problem seems to be isolated to the knees (she also has one crooked index finger), which would not  be common for an Arthrogryposis patient.
So basically, we are left with no answers, and kind of on edge, but we are ready to go home!
 She was only in the NICU for 36 hours. And  my hospital/insurance was very accommodating as far as not kicking me out of my room until we knew she was going to get to come home with us. And THANK GOD she got to come home with us! I would have been a total mess if I'd have had to go home without my baby girl.
So that is part two of Little Lady's story. But there's still more...

Peace out NICU, I'm going home!!!