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Britton's Birth Story, Part III


After my c-section, I had to lay in the recovery room with my nurse, Kim, for an hour. I still hadn't seen my new baby, and Landon was all the way on the other side of the labor and delivery ward with Britton as the nursery staff attempted to make her more stable after her difficult delivery. As I lay there, all I could do was sob and shake uncontrollably. My delivery had been anything but expected, and I was terrified about what was going on with my hour-old baby. 

At eleven o'clock that night (an hour after I came out of surgery), the neonatalogist who was directing Britton's treatment came into the recovery room and told me that Britton had been stabilized in the level II nursery. Britton was having trouble breathing because of the meconium that she'd aspirated, but the nursing staff had gotten her breathing under control enough to have me visit quickly.

Landon took this picture while I was in recovery and brought them to me so I could see our daughter.
Landon came down to escort me to the nursery, and I was wheeled in on my gurney to meet my daughter. Because of the epidural, I couldn't do much more than touch her little foot, but the nurses did get my gurney as close to her tiny bed so I could see her. She was so small and beautiful, and she looked exactly as I had imagined: she had a swatch of dark hair and my nose. I hated that I couldn't pick her up and hold her, but I knew that she and I had both gone through a difficult time, and we needed to rest. 

The nurses pushed me back to my room, and I saw my parents, Landon's parents, my sister, and Landon's brother for a few minutes before I passed out from exhaustion and my pain medication. 

The next day, Thursday, Landon took me to the nursery so I could interact with Britton more. I even got to hold her for the first time!




I hated seeing all of the medical stuff that she had on her, but her breathing and oxygen saturation had to be monitored. She was doing really well until Thursday afternoon when my sister and mom came to visit; they both held her and her blood oxygen level plummeted. Because of that, Landon and I had to be very careful about overstimulating her during our nursery visits. 

By Friday, she was still having trouble regulating her breathing and oxygen level, and the nurses talked with us about the possibility of her staying in the hospital for several more days until those issues had been taken care of. I couldn't be discharged until late Saturday or Sunday, but the nursing staff ran us through their "Rest Easy" program, which would be available to us if Britton did have to stay extra days--through that program, Landon and I would have a room to ourselves for the duration of Britton's hospital stay for free. We were feeling optimistic that her medical issues would soon be over, and that we would be able to stay near her until the nursing staff was ready to send her home. 

Around four p.m. on Friday, I lay down for nap. Landon told me he was going to spend my nap time in the nursery with Britton, and I fell asleep comforted by the fact that Britton wouldn't be by herself for a little while.

I hadn't been asleep even an hour when I woke up to Landon shaking me. I knew as soon as I looked at him that something was very, very wrong. Landon choked back tears as he told me that Britton had taken a turn for the worse, and the neonatalogist on call was recommending an immediate transfer to a level III nursery at a local research hospital. Britton had been throwing up in the last hour, and the nursing staff was concerned because the vomit was green, which can be a sign of intestinal obstruction.

The neonatalogist came into my room to explain what needed to be done: Britton needed x-rays and tests done to determine if she had an obstruction. If she did, then she would be rushed into surgery to correct the obstruction, or she could risk dying. Needless to say, Landon and I were an absolute wreck.

In less than an hour, the pediatric ambulance from MUSC came to pick up Britton. She was wheeled into my room so that I could see her again before she was transferred. She looked so small in the transport incubator that they had her in, and I cried as I was allowed to hold her little hand. I gave Landon one more hug, and the two of them were rushed out of the room by the transport team.

Part IV here.