I went to the baby store, said, “Fu*k it.” Doctor’s like “What up, what’s your budget?” And I’m like “Honestly, I don’t know nothing about babies.” He said, “I got the one for you, follow me.” – sung to tune of Macklemore’s ‘Downtown’
Our Impossible Girl was a little late to arrive (just like her dad!) but she’s here – she’s FINALLY here!
Name: still deciding, but we’ve finally narrowed it down!
Weight: 7.9 lbs
Length: 20.5 in
Time: 1.42 pm
Hair: lots, brown
Style: George Costanza; bald-ish in front / lots in back (like a baby mullet almost!)
We were scheduled for the c-section at 8:00 a.m on Monday morning, but were told the Saturday before that we would be pushed back to 10:00 a.m. to ensure that our teams were on site and ready for us at CHEO. I had gone in for a check up at the triage at the General on the Saturday before due to a bit of spotting and cramping. The good nurses there suggested I come in “just in case” and get checked out, given the O-situation our Boolie has going on. At that time, they told me I was fine, only slightly dilated (3/4 cm) and that I needed to take things easy to ensure that she didn’t make her debut earlier than scheduled.
I arrived at the hospital at 8:00 a.m. for the 10:00 a.m. procedure with my sister (I drove myself to the hospital, like a damn boss) and Jody and his sister arrived a little bit later. We were advised that things were slightly behind due to an emergency c-section that came in, however, what we didn’t know is that that meant we as the 10:00 a.m. were bumped back to 1:00 p.m. Yup – late just like her dad…! Jody put on scrubs in preparation to join me in the OR for our baby Boolie’s arrival and I got the entire spa treatment (read: shave and IV prep; which would not take as my veins kept blowing). Once they were ready to have us, my amazing nurse Sue wheeled me down to the doors, where I strutted into the OR room, because why wheel when you can dance!
Kidding aside, I was quite nervous once I walked through those doors. Sue helped to calm me, and my anesthetic team were flawless in guiding me the whole way. The entire surgical team was just beyond wonderful to help guide and support me during such an emotional and nerve wracking time. Once the epidural took effect and they finalized prep for surgery – including putting the curtain up – Jody was permitted into the OR room. They told me that I wouldn’t feel pain (they were right), but that I would feel weird sensations of pulling and tugging (again, totally right) – like going to the dentist and having freezing; you know they are doing work, but can’t really ‘feel’ it. The c-section was quite quick and once they had her out we heard the best little gurgle cry in the entire world. A sense of relief washed over me knowing that she had some decent lungs on her (just like her mum). The doctor brought her around the curtain where I got to see her from about 6 ft away, and then they rushed her into the recovery room where a team of no less than 20 were in there to observe and learn from her O-factor. From what I saw, she looked like a little grey monkey (fitting as it’s the year of the monkey!) with LONG legs, and she was so much bigger than we had thought she would be!
After about 10 minutes, Jody was taken into the recovery room to officially meet our beautiful baby girl while they began closure on me. It took a lot longer than normal because I did end up losing a lot more blood than they would have liked (the average is 500 cc’s, but I lost 1200 cc’s) and they needed to be certain that all was well. In the meantime, Jody took some photos of our Boolie and brought them back to me so that I could see her up close (Side note: we are unable to add any photos / gif’s to this blog post as we are using the public computers in the family room at CHEO. End of aside). Jody came in to show the photos and told me she was feisty (like her mum) and hated all the attachments, poking and prodding (again, like her mum). Also, like her mum, they had to make a few attempts before they could get a decent IV line into her. The recovery nurse advised Jody that if he’d like to bring our sisters in to the recovery room, they could see her as there were no other babies in there. He came to ask me if it was ok, since I had yet to actually meet her and see her up close, but we wanted them to see her before she was taken to CHEO’s NICU. Jody went to find them while my team completed the closure surgery. I had a lot of difficulty with some of the medication and closure and so dry-heaving and nausea set in fast. My team was so great through the entire process, making sure I was kept comfortable and calm until they were ready to move me into my own recovery room.
The CHEO transport team arrived shortly after with their baby spaceship to ensure she was as comfortable as possible for her trip through the breezeways from the General to CHEO. They looked at her IV’s and worked up some of their own attachments for her before placing her in the incubator in the middle of her spaceship. In the end, none of it really mattered because she ended up pulling most, if not all, of the leads from her tiny body over the course of the trip. Seriously, this kid is strong and fierce! The transport team was kind enough to stop in at the recovery room and let me ‘officially’ see and meet my baby girl. I could only reach through and touch her wee hand, but she was as soft as what I imagine unicorns feel like. They let me see her for less than 4 minutes and then took her to CHEO where Jody followed.
Once at CHEO, the surgeons, transport team, NICU doctors, and nursing staff all had a huddle in her NICU pod where the transport team leader read out her brief case history since her birth. They then discussed her condition and their plans for treatment. The surgical resident who we met previously had what can only be described as THE biggest smile as he unwrapped the omphalocele and manipulated it to see its pliability. He had been waiting all morning to get things going for our baby girl! The surgical team then wrapped the O in mesh and rolls of gauze with a slight compression. Of course, our Boolie then kept kicking at it so that the dressing started coming off. The nurses then attached a foam block to her right hand where she had the IV line in to prevent her from pulling it out. The surgical team spoke to Jody and explained everything that was going on and advised that they would attempt surgery on her O on Wednesday morning. Jody signed a number of consent forms for the surgery and potential blood transfusion. Over the course of the next little while, she had a visit from the anesthesiologist to consult on the family history for the purpose of preparing her for her surgery. The nursing staff made sure she was warm and comfortable because her little feet were slightly purple in colour and quite cold (just like her mum). Jody was able to have some close up time with her and give her some wee pets on the head and hold her soother in her mouth, where he said she was crying just like a baby goat.
Once she was stable, Jody came back to my room at the Ottawa Hospital and showed me the latest photos and video of our baby girl sleeping. He also gave me a rundown of what had been happening while I was trying to recover. Jody went for supper and left me his phone where I watched a video of our baby Boolie on repeat for nearly 30 minutes before finally falling asleep for a bit. The hardest part of recovery in a situation like this is not being able to be there for your baby and wanting to stay awake ‘just in case’, so I was running on no food and no sleep when he finally came back, but it was well worth staying awake for just so I could find out what was going on. Later that night he went back to CHEO to check up on our girl and get a few more photos, videos, pets and kisses in before he went home for the night.
I had an AMAZING team at the Mother-Baby Unit of the Ottawa General that took such good care of me. (Side note: turns out my sister actually used to baby-sit my day nurse who was beyond wonderful to me. End of aside). They all knew of our situation and made sure that I was not only well taken care of physically in my recovery, but were always asking for updates on our girl. I also finally got food the next morning – and let me tell you, it was THE most glorious Rice Krispies and pancakes I have ever eaten (45hrs after my last meal as I was only permitted to have water and ice chips in conjunction with my IV).
UPDATE as of 02-March: our Boolie is in surgery now for her omphalocele (we will update on that very shortly!), but will be out soon be out back into her pod … until then (later this afternoon possibly or this evening), we want to thank you all for your kind words and support during this time!
Ange & Jody