Sunday, September 6, 2009

What a week!

So here it is Sunday again. Last Sunday my family headed back to Colorado without me so I could stay and help out as my Dad went to Salt Lake for heart surgery. Since last Sunday...

  • On Monday, Mom & Dad and I drove to Salt Lake for Dad's surgery. They took him off for his surgery and told us he'd be through in about an hour. 2 hours later we were a bit impatient for news. I went looking for someone - anyone - who might be able to tell us what was going on. I wandered all over that wing of the hospital looking for someone. I went places I probably wasn't supposed to go. And it was empty. Not a patient, not a doctor or a nurse. No one to be found. So we went back to watching the "pacemaker channel" as we called it - one of those informational channels on the hospital TV. Kind of interested, being that dad was currently in surgery to get a pacemaker, but not really my choice of entertainment on most days! ;) After 3 hours, we finally heard that Dad was out of surgery and were able to talk to the doctor and go with him to his room. Turns out that the surgery was so long because Dad required lots of extra sedation because the pain was getting to him and so they couldn't get him knocked out all the way at first. And then during the surgery his heart went into A-fib (similar to V-fib) and they had to shock it back into the right rhythm.
  • Also on Monday, my sister had more problems with her blood pressure. She went to a doctor's appointment and it was too high and her labs weren't looking good. So they sent her to the hospital, who sent her home. A couple of hours later she was REALLY sick, so she was sent back to the hospital. This time they decided to admit her so they could keep and eye on her and baby. Mom & I were trying to follow this developing story while looking out for Dad.
  • On Tuesday morning, (after an oh-so-restful night sleeping in the hospital waiting room) Dad was seen by the doctor who said he could go home after the pacemaker function was all tested out. As the doctor was there talking to him, Mom got a phone call from Melissa. Her doctor had decided that the preeclampsia was too advanced and she was going to be induced right away - even though she was only 35 weeks along. So then we were trying to get Dad's release taken care of so we could try and get there for Melissa. Once again, the people we needed seemed to have disappeared. I told Dad's nurse we needed to find them and get Dad released and why. She promised to see what she could do. After almost an hour, I went looking again. I found a different nurse who had taken care of Dad the previous night and told her what was going on. She told me that she WOULD take care of things. Within a few minutes she came back and informed us that she had several people looking for the pacemaker guys and the charge nurse for the shift was personally making calls and getting it taken care of. Bless her! Within a short time, the pacemaker guys arrived, the final checks were done, the paperwork was complete, and we left the hospital.
  • On Tuesday afternoon we arrived in Roosevelt - still about 30 minutes from home, but Melissa's hospital was in Roosevelt rather than Vernal where my family lives. We went to Melissa's room where we pulled out the sofa bed and made Dad lay down and rest for a while. Poor Melissa had a rough, rough time. The drugs used for induction can really make for a painful labor (having been induced a couple of times, and once without induction, I can tell you that induction is harder and more painful). The hospital staff were (STUPIDLY) insistent that Melissa had to dilate to 4" before she could receive an epidural. (Being that I do research into medical issues and studies every day for work, I can tell you that there are recent studies saying there is NO need to wait for the epidural - it doesn't negatively affect the progress of labor the way they claim... alright, stepping off soapbox now.) Melissa was in a lot of pain without a lot of progress.
  • On Tuesday night, Dad went home with my brother to get some better rest. My sister Emily and sister-in-law Sarah and I were getting ready to head home for the night as well around midnight or 1:00 (it all blurs) and planned to come back when they broke Melissa's water - which they assured us was hours away. As we were gathering our things, Mom came back and said they'd suddenly decided it was time to break the water and start the next drug (Pitocin) to move things along. So we stayed.
  • Throughout Wednesday morning, Emily, Sarah and I hung out in the waiting room with Kyron (Sarah's 6-week-old baby) and Dan (Brian's dad). My mom and Brian's mom were with Melissa in the delivery room. We had a little "slumber party" (not that there was a lot of slumbering involved) in the waiting room - making the 2nd night in a row that I attempted to get some sleep in a hospital waiting room.
  • At about 7:30 Wednesday morning, Abigail Lee was born! She was 6 lbs. 4 oz. 18" long. She was immediately whisked away to the nursery because she had problems breathing. She had her lungs suctioned, was placed on oxygen, and got an IV for a glucose drip (her blood sugar was also very low). Poor baby just had tubes everywhere. 5 hours after she was born, my sister was finally able to see her new baby.
  • By Thursday, Abi had lost the oxygen and IV. She was still tiny (at least from my perspective with my big 8 lb babies!), but very cute. I made several trips back and forth from Roosevelt (30 min each way) as I chauffeured people to see the baby.
  • On Friday, Melissa was released, but Abi had to stay in the hospital. She had developed jaundice and had to be under the phototherapy lights. Luckily, though Melissa was discharged from care by the nurses, she still got to stay in her room at the hospital so she didn't have to leave her baby. She barely SAW her baby, since she was always in the nursery under phototherapy lights, but she was at least close and could spend as much time as possible with her. Mom & I made more trips to Roosevelt to visit and help where we could.
  • On Saturday, Brian was told that he had to go to work! His wife and new baby were finally leaving the hospital and he couldn't be there. :( So I drove over first thing in the morning so I could be there when Brian left. Melissa and I waited for HOURS for the pediatrician to come around and officially release Abi. I carted loads and loads of loot for Abi out to the car. I figured out how to install a car seat for the first time (Aaron has always done that with our cars!) and when Abi was finally sprung, we all headed back to Vernal. We picked up Mom on the way back to Melissa's (Mom hadn't been able to go over to the hospital with me because she was taking care of Dad). Brian was waiting for us when we got there. It was a sweet moment to see them all home together at last. (I know some people have to wait a lot longer to have a preemie baby go home, but it felt long to us!) After we helped them settle in, we left them to enjoy some family time together.
  • On Saturday night, there was a BYU game. With the boys in my family, a BYU game is a big event. The plans had been for everyone to gather at Mom & Dad's house to watch the game on the big-screen - and apparently those plans were not to be changed for a minor event like Abi's first night home. So Brian headed off to Dad's with my brother, his dad, and another friend for a night of football. My mom and sister-in-law and I went to Melissa's to keep her company.
  • Today is Sunday and we're waiting to hear how the first night at home went. And Brian and Melissa are on their way back to Roosevelt with Abi for a bilirubin check and a weight check. Fingers crossed that those go well and Abi is not re-admitted (as they said was a possibility if the tests don't come out well). Hopefully all is great and they will be released to be home to stay after this appointment!
  • Tomorrow is Monday and I will finally be on my way home. I have a flight tomorrow afternoon and though I hate to fly, I am looking forward to it this time. I have been away from my kids for so long and I miss them and Aaron a lot! Aaron has been wonderful to let me have so long to help with the chaos here and the kids seem to be just fine without me (that's a little sad for me, but I'm glad they haven't been sad and missing me, I guess). I am ready to get back home!
Whew! That's a long post! But then... it's been a LONG week!


Pam said...

I am glad that everyone survived. Weeks like those are all sorts of full. Happy travels tomorrow!

Druciana said...

Wow! That sounds like some week! I hope you are able to get some rest when you get home.

Tera said...

Sounds like a completely exhausting week, and a very thrilling one as well. What a beautiful new baby and I am so glad that your dad's surgery went well. What a blessing you must have been to them with all that you did!

Katie said...

What an eventful week! I'm glad you were able to be there to help out. Good luck with your flight tomorrow!

merkley94 said...

WOW! So glad that everything is well. Give everyone my best and we well remember them in our prayers. I'm happy you are getting to go home. Have a safe flight.

Pink Ink said...

So many things this week, alright, Tara! I'm glad your family is recovering. Enjoy being back with the kids and hubby!