Friday, January 17, 2014

Livi June's Birth Story, Part 2

August 24, 2013

I couldn't believe she was finally here! My little girl was finally here! I started to panic and asked the nurses to wash my hands. I was paranoid that I had been taking care of Ty and hadn't washed my hands. I was worried that I had "Hand Foot and Mouth" germs on me. She looked so blue to me. I know most babies come out a little blue, but I was immediately worried. They placed her on my chest, and started vigorously rubbing her up and down. A nurse was washing down my arms, and so I didn't really hold her, she was just laying on my chest. Clarke cut the chord. I kept asking why she was so blue, and they reassured me that she just needed to pink up a bit, and that she was fine. I knew though. Something wasn't right. I told them something was wrong. She wasn't getting any more pink, if anything her coloring was getting worse. Clarke kept telling me how proud he was of me that I did it, I went natural. It felt funny to me because I knew that it wasn't exactly by choice that I went natural, but it was sweet anyway. They finally took her from me, and went across the room to see if everything was ok. They hooked her up to the monitors, and things got serious really quick. Her oxygen levels were at 40%. A normal baby should be anywhere from 90-100%. They very calmly explained that they needed to take her to the nursery to run some tests, get an x-ray, and get her on oxygen. I was worried about the x-ray of all things. I didn't want her to be exposed to radiation at such a small age. Clarke and my mom went with the baby, and I was left all alone. Luckily, my labor really did go smoothly, and I didn't have any rips, or tears down under. Small miracle right there. There was a really sweet nurse there with me who didn't leave my side, and helped clean me up. I think I was in shock. Everything had happened so fast. It didn't feel real. It was the strangest feeling knowing that I had just had a baby, and now everyone was gone. I asked the nurse to get me my phone. It felt really weird just hanging out waiting for news.

Clarke finally called and told me that they had done an x-ray and were going to life flight her up to Primary Children's hospital, because of something with her heart. I started to panic. The nurse told me that they wouldn't take her without letting me say goodbye, but that I needed to stay in bed. I wasn't having any of that. I knew I needed to get to the nursery. I told the nurse that she could wheel me there, or I would walk myself. By no small miracle, I felt great. I honestly did not feel like I had just had a baby. As crazy as it sounds, I feel so grateful that my labor progressed as fast as it did, and that I barely made it in time to the hospital to have her. If I had gotten an epidural, I wouldn't have been able to move my lower body. There is no way they would have let me go into the nursery. I would have had to wait alone, while everything happened.

When I got to the nursery, which didn't look like a nursery to me, I don't remember there being any other babies in there. It might have been a room for situations like ours, but I'm not really sure. There was a lot of commotion. The life flight crew was already there. My mom called my dad who was working at the fire station and told him what was going on. She also called my brother Mason and told him to come. They were trying to get an IV on her, but kept missing. It made me angry, and I remember thinking I could do a better job getting an IV than they were doing. There were so many people surrounding her, that I could barely see what was going on. They finally got an IV on her, and were working on trying to get her stabilized enough to transport. At this point, she wasn't doing very well at all, and things weren't looking good. Even on oxygen, they still weren't able to bring her oxygen levels up. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitors. They explained that they needed to intubate her. My dad was there, and asked if he and Clarke could give her a blessing before they intubated her. The life flight nurse wasn't too happy about it, but my dad was a little pushy about it, which I'm so grateful for. Both he and Clarke reached in, through all the chords, tubes, and nurses and gave her a priesthood blessing. There was way too much chaos and noise in the room for me to hear it, and afterwards I asked my dad what was said. He didn't give great detail, it was a short blessing, but he did tell me that he blessed her that she would live. I held onto that, kept repeating it in my head, and felt a small amount of peace.

I remember a couple people being really concerned with me, and asking me if I needed anything. I really felt great, I was way too concerned about my baby to worry about anything. The only thing I could think of that I needed was food. I was starving! We knew we had time before they were going to leave with the baby, so my mom ran to the car to grab some food. While she was gone, something happened. The intubation tube slipped, causing her to go into cardiac arrest. Everyone was in a panic. The monitors starting going off like crazy, and I watched in horror as they started doing CPR on her. The whole thing was very surreal. I've worked in the ER and had seen this scene so many times, only from the other side. I've done CPR, I've been in traumas and been one of the people working as quickly as I can to safe a life. I've seen some happy endings, but in most situations not so happy endings. I knew what they were shouting, I knew what the colors of their scrubs meant. In some ways it was good that I understood what was happening, but I almost wish I didn't know what was happening. I knew she was going to die. I knew it was bad. I could sense the panic in the doctors voices. I started bawling. I felt so alone. Clarke was to the side of the commotion, standing, watching. He looked scared, but calm. My dad was close by the doctors so he could see everything, silently crying. I was in a wheelchair, close by, but not in the way. No one was with me, and I desperately needed someone. Never in my life have I prayed so hard for anything. I begged and pleaded with Heavenly Father not to take her away from me. I was angry. I thought, how can she have had a blessing less than 5 min ago, saying she would live, and now she was going to die?? She didn't even have a name. I hadn't even held her. Her brother would never meet her. I thought about what they do when a baby dies, I knew that the bereavement team would come, clean her up, wrap her in a blanket, take pictures of her, and take footprints, and handprints etc. I'd seen it all before. I couldn't believe that I was going to loose her so soon. I started to loose faith. My chest felt a weight that I can't describe in words. I begged and pleaded for her to LIVE. One of the names we had previously talked about as an option, was Livi. I pleaded over and over and over again for her to please just live. I needed her to live. I started to call her Livi, even though I knew that Clarke needed to help make the decision. I just felt like that would be her name (We didn't officially name her for 3 days).  I called out to my dad, and had him come sit with me. I cried to my dad and told him I needed him to help me because I had lost all faith. My dad through his tears held me, and spoke words I can only describe as ones that my Heavenly Father wanted me to hear. I don't remember everything he said. He did say that he didn't understand why God takes children away so young, but that I would be able to raise her in the after life. He talked about eternal families. But mostly, he just held me and we cried together.
They did CPR on her for 6 minutes. To some that might seem like a short amount of time, but those 6 minutes were the longest 6 minutes of my life. They finally got a pulse again,  and her heart started beating on it's own. I prayed silently, thanking my Heavenly Father for bringing her back to me. I again felt a sense of peace that things were going to be ok. My chest was still heavy though, and I feared that when life flight took her, that I might never see her again.
My brother Mason arrived shortly after they revived her, and it may not seem important to the story that he was there, but having him there meant the world to me. My dad and Clarke were close by the baby, asking questions, and watching closely as they continued to try to stabilize her enough for flight. There were still a ton of people crowded around her, and all I wanted to do was hold my baby. Mason came in, and was emotional, but such a good support. He sat with me, and held my hand. I honestly just really needed someone to talk to me, to hold me, and to make me feel not so alone.

Clarke asked the life flight pilot if he would allow him to fly with the baby. Normally this isn't an option, and parents have to drive separately to the hospital. The pilot agreed to let him fly with them, which made me feel so much better about having her go. They allowed me to come next to her little bed, hold her hand, kiss her, and tell her goodbye. She was hooked up to so many cords and wires, I honestly couldn't even get a good idea of what she would look like without them. I worried that if something happened to her, I wouldn't even remember what she looked like. Before I knew it, they had loaded her into a small little box on the gurney, and were wheeling her away. I followed them for as long as they would let me, and then stood at a window on the 3rd floor, and watched as the helicopter took off with my husband and baby girl.

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