Saturday, August 17, 2013

She's so tiny!

Sept. 17, 2012

The nurses came to my room to take me to see Isabelle. Adam stayed behind to watch Chloe and said that he would go later. So off I went. As the nurses pushed me along in my bed, the ceiling lights passed over my head, I felt the heat set in on my face again. I was afraid I was going to get ill again; hoping it would pass quickly, I really wanted and needed to see my baby girl! 

The NICU doors opened, they turned my bed to the left then again to the right and we stopped. There she was, our sweet Izzy .... she looked SO tiny!  She weighed 5lbs 13 oz and was 18 inches long. 
Izzy's tiny foot prints
All I could do was smile at her, which surprised me, I thought I'd be a basket case! A nurse told me that I could touch her tiny feet, but try not to rub them because for some "preemie" babies it is irritating to them because of their delicate skin, so I held her feet and lightly patted them. What I REALLY wanted to do was hold her close to my chest, cuddle her and kiss her head. I brought our little camera along with me, not sure if I would even use it but a nurse came over and offered to take some photos of my "reunion" with Izzy.  I was a little reluctant, but she knew best... she said that I'd really appreciate the photos later. She was 100% correct! 

Mommy's first look at Izzy
Mommy & Izzy

After looking at her photos over and over, I noticed from the very first picture of her taken right after she was born to just hours later in the photos above, she already had gained weight from fluid retention, but that's my personal opinion. 

I am not sure how long I stayed next to Izzy's bedside, holding her foot, talking to her and just in Aww of her. What I wouldn't have given to be able to stand up and touch and kiss her head that night! I recall the nurses saying they'd better take me back, they must have noticed something before I did about myself. I was REALLY warm and just thought it was emotions or hormones! Well, we didn't even get out of the NICU and I asked for a basin and another cool rag because I wasn't feeling well at all!! I just laid back in my bed, with the cloth on my head and shut my eyes for the ride back to my room. Honestly, I don't even remember going back to my room, or talking to Adam about Izzy or anything. 
The next thing I do recall was when some of the nurses came to our room with another nurse to sit with Chloe, because the flight team had arrived and were prepping Izzy for her flight.  They wanted us to come down to the NICU for the entire process and to see our daughter before she left.  I remember it being VERY late, it seems like it was after midnight, but I am not for sure. 

(As I mentioned before, the weather did not corporate very well the day Izzy was born.  It is why WE could not be life-lined too Ann Arbor, nor could the flight crew coming to get Izzy could take a helicopter.  The life flight crew, as I understood, took a winged aircraft, then by ambulance to the hospital.  This was the way they would ALL go back as well. Our sweet Izzy was going to ride in her first airplane!)

We entered the NICU, this time I was being wheeled straight in and around to the left, so I was facing Izzy the opposite was as I was before, but not next to her bed. This is because the flight crew was there and had the transport isolette that Izzy would be placed in. They worked diligently, buzzing from here to there checking monitors, listening to Izzy's heart, disconnecting this tube or wire and reconnecting it with another. 
This time, and his first time, Adam got to go up to her bedside and talk to her, touch her and let her know we're all here for her and that we love her so. It wasn't easy to watch from afar, nor was it easy to see the tears in my husbands eyes. I remember Adam's back facing me as he leaned on and over the warmer Izzy was in and one of the flight crew members came around to his side and put his arm across Adam's shoulders, giving him encouraging words and support (I am almost that's what this crew member was doing).  Again, one of the NICU nurses was snapping photos and literally printing them off right there for us. I am sure this was an experience they'll never forget as well.  
Daddy's First time seeing Izzy! 

Then Adam came back over to my bed side, and we both could do nothing but watch, cry, hope and pray. It is hard to watch your baby like this. It makes one feel so helpless. Again, another flight crew member came over to us, reassured us that they will take GREAT CARE of her, that's she's in good hands! I can't explain how thoughtful that was, that WE.. the parents are ALSO remembered and cared for by this talented, and special group people. 
Here you can see one of the flight crew members by my bedside
 telling us they are going to take GREAT care of her! 

Transfer to her isolette

After taking great measures and care, they moved Isabelle to her new isolette for her trip to C.S Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Izzy did not like the transfer very well, so one of the flight crew members got on the phone to someone to give them vitals, and reading of other things going on to get her re-stabilized before they left. There were so many things to look after and watch that if more of one drug was given that in turn would set an alarm of on a different problem then they had to decrease or increase another drug, so it took a lot of meticulous detail, time and care to get it JUST right! Once it was okay to leave, it felt like they left at lighting speed. Izzy was now on her way and my heart and I am sure Adam's as well, went right along with her.

I felt so helpless and wished I could have flown back to Michigan with her! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The eve of Sept. 17, 2012

Monday Evening

Isabelle will arrive tonight! 

As I sat there in the hospital bed of my "delivery" room, I worried about everything! I worried about Adam leaving safely in a panicked rush from his job to be by my side and to care for Chloe. I worried about Chloe getting lunch and her needing to take her nap because I knew we were facing a long stressful evening. I worried about Isabelle, unsure of what was going on and why this was happening! WHY? I couldn't HELP but worry by this point! 

My nurses would come in to check on me, and to check on all the other important things they needed to do.  Once they received my full record and got a better understand for themselves as to what was going on and learned about Isabelle's heart condition, I could almost feel their concern and worry. Every once in a while they'd come in to check and see if I or Chloe needed anything and told me that my doctor, Dr. Schroeder, was on her way to see me.  

The door opened again, only this time it was Adam and I felt so relieved to see him! It was in that moment of seeing Adam, I could feel the "lump" in my throat form and the tears beginning to fill my eyes.  I can't recall exactly what I said to him, but like any mom I shared my worries about Chloe getting what she needed.  As far as me and Izzy, we were still unsure of what was going on or what was going to happen.  I just remember feeling so much better once Adam was there. 

At some point, Dr. Schroeder came into the room. She was obviously quite concerned and expressed to us that Isabelle must be delivered tonight. Dr. Schroeder had been watching the monitors out at the nurses station, I assume, because she commented on how even since my admittance, Izzy's condition has declined ~ that her "scores" were low. So she was going to be making phone calls to Mott's in Michigan to get their opinions and thoughts on what we should do.  She even made the comment that she'll deliver me here, but she'd rather not, just because of the extensive care Izzy was going to need. She said she'd be back in a little bit to tell us what was going on. 

Evansville had been experiencing lower than normal rainfall amounts for 2012, that is until September 17th.  I even looked it up on the web ( and here's what it said, "The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was September 17. That day saw 2.217" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.190""
So, what's all the mean for us at this point? Well, Dr. Schroeder came back into the room and sighed a BIG sigh, and said that Mott's could not "take me" now because of the low scores Izzy presented during our BPP study earlier that day.  Mott's wouldn't want something to go wrong mid-flight, nor could they send a helicopter because of the weather conditions but they would work on getting a team together to fly down by a "winged" plane to pick Isabelle up and take her back to Mott's. She also said that she called Riley Children's Hospital asking about me being transported there, and they also said no based on  the BPP scores, it was just too risky; plus the weather was too bad. So, now you can see how the weather played into all this mix! THANKS Mother Nature!!!!  So Dr. Schroeder said she needed conformation that we'd go ahead and do the c-section here, in Evansville, and she'd notify Mott's.  Of course we agreed, what choice did we really have? Dr. Schroeder came back moments later to tell us that we'd be going back for the c-section once she was notified by Mott's that a team was formed and on their way here, to Evansville.  

I can't recall the timeline of the above events, it all blurs together now. I do know that Adam had taken Chloe home to try to get her a short nap, and to RELOAD the car with our suit cases. Naturally, I was in the middle of changing out most of Chloe's suit case from mostly summer stuff  to add some fall clothing, because the weather was much colder in Michigan than I thought it would be, and knowing we'd be in Michigan a while, I wanted some kind of warmer clothes for Chloe.  I just told Adam to shut the suitcase and we'd deal with that all later. I felt SO BAD for Adam, I know he had to be under a TON of stress! Having to deal with all the suit cases, making sure he grabbed Izzy's suit case along with all the other "important" items and papers and repack the car after we JUST had unpacked it from our previous trip thinking that Mott's MIGHT just keep me there and deliver us then ~ back on the previous Thursday! On top of all that, I am absolutely certain he was worried Izzy and I; and he's having to call family to tell them what's going on ~ and he's alone! No family, no friends to call to have them come help us out during this crisis. Everyone we knew lived at least 4 hours away! 

Things just weren't going as we'd planned!! And of ALL DAYS... it's raining TODAY! 

Well, like I said, I can't remember the timeline of all the events, but I do remember having to call Adam and tell him to forget packing, they are going to be doing the c-section soon, as in the next 1/2 hour. I just remember crying to him, telling him "Forget packing, come back now". Next thing I know, in comes Adam & Chloe. They gave Adam these paper type surgical clothes to put on over his own clothes for the surgery. We looked at the nurses and asked about what we are supposed to do with our daughter? Who can watch her because we have NO ONE here that can. They said they'd find someone and not to worry. 
They did, they found a sweet nurse who took Chloe by the hand to walk her to the BIG fish tank and just hang out with her.  We said it was okay to give her what ever to eat, she's not allergic so do what you need to do to keep her happy and we thank them profusely!! 

  Chloe wasn't really thrilled about taking a photo!!
In tears by this point, I am taken back to the OR for my spinal. Compared to my epidural with Chloe, this spinal was a nightmare, and my epidural was no walk in the park either! After the anesthesiologist finally got it placed, at the VERY end it hit a nerve or something and my right leg, uncontrollably, kicked up straight into the air! THEN a horrible pain set in! It felt like from the tips of my toes to my rib cage the tingles from when your foot falls asleep, you know how some times that tingle sensation hurts a bit; well multiply that by 1000! EVERY single thing hurt, from them touching me, the sterile prep they were placing on my tummy to even "feeling" the sterile drapes being placed on my body! Being a surgical technician, knowing what's happening behind those drapes makes things worse sometimes. THIS was one of those times. I was terrified the whole surgery was going to feel this way because this sensation lasted FOREVER! I remember Adam being brought in, I was crying, he was trying to console me and then that pain was gone. What a huge relief! 

I heard the clinking of surgical instruments the other surgical "noises". The room was FULL of doctors and nurses all patiently waiting for Izzy to be born ~ yet it was SO quite! Before I knew it, I felt "the pressure" from when the nurse or surgical tech is pressing on my upper abdomen to help push the baby out and I knew Izzy was on her way and the tears began again. At 5:21 pm on Sept. 17, 2012 Isabelle Grace flew into our world! Then, there it was, the most beautiful sound in the universe ~ her tiny little cry; ohh so sweet, so fragile, and it was much too short! Whisked away to the warmer to be cared for and worked on ... and intubated. I recall asking (or telling) Adam to go get a picture of her quickly before they intubated her, but as I looked up at him, I saw his tears and he was shaking his head "no" ~ So I knew then... it wasn't a good time and I just shut my eyes and cried some more. But at some point, he must have gotten up to snap a photo of her, just after they intubated her and before they wiped her clean and wrapped her up. Then I remember a man, a Doctor, with a STRONG accent leaning down and telling me where they were going to go with Izzy and what they were going to do but he wanted me her adorable little face before they left with her. To this day, I have no memory of what he even said to me. 
Then he was gone in a flash, I must have panicked or something because I felt as if I couldn't not breath, or that I was beginning to suffocate and I just remember calling out for Adam. 
I don't remember much else, expect after I felt better, Adam left to go be with Chloe as they finished up sewing me back together and then I was back in a post-op room and there waiting was Adam and Chloe. 

Happy Birthday Sweet Isabelle Grace Groninger!
9/17/2012 at 5:21pm 
18 in long, 5lbs 13oz
A quick kiss from Mommy!

Then it happened, I started feeling quite ill to my stomach! Oh-no, this is going to hurt I though to myself! Then Adam was at my side, trying to help me the best he could. I don't know what I would do with out this man in my life! He's ALWAYS there for me, I love him SO MUCH! 

Unfortunately, during this indecent moment, the Chaplin knocked on the door and peeked into our room, seeing it wasn't a good time, he quickly left. Come to find out much later, he was there to tell us he was going to go see Isabelle and baptize her as we had requested. I have no idea what time it was at this point, but some nurses came into the room to take me down to the NICU to see Izzy. Adam decided to stay behind and stay with Chloe (she wasn't allowed in the NICU) and he'd go at a later time. 

If I could have walked myself ... I would have RAN to her ... but instead, I had to be wheeled in my bed .... which felt like the longest trip of my life! 

"Here I come Isabelle ... Mommy's coming ......"