Saturday, June 20, 2009

Welcome Luke!

Lucas Hermon Chisholm
May 11, 2009
6:06 pm
5 lbs 10 oz
19 in

Originally posted May 14, 2009

Thanks for your continued prayers everyone!!!
I wanted to take the time to update everyone on the arrival and survival of our brand new son, Luke. Here's the rundown.
Sunday night I went into the hospital to begin my induction in the morning. Both sets of our parents and David's sisters arrived in Dallas that evening as well and stayed in a nearby hotel. Monday morning, a little later than expected, they finally took me to Labor and Delivery. After I got my epidural, they started me on the drug to get my labor going. Unexpected thing number one happened. Right after they gave me the test dose of epidural, my blood pressure dropped suddenly and significantly and I almost passed out. After I recovered (yay for L&D nurses!), they told me that I was especially sensitive to the epidural. They told me not to wait until I was in pain to ask to get started on the drug (I was going to wait until I had some painful contractions to start receiving drugs) because a strong dose at the beginning would be harmful to me (and probably to Luke). So I began pushing my "button" right after that. I "labored" (not in pain, so it wasn't really hard work) from about 10am to almost 5 (leaving out the gory details). At around noon, my OB told me that Luke was having some trouble keeping his heart rate up after each of my contractions. They put me on oxygen to try and remedy that, but around 5, I had dilated to about 4cm, and Dr. Napier said that oxygen wasn't working for us. She said had I been closer to 10 cm, she might have let me deliver naturally, but as it was I was still about 5 hours away from pushing. So, she made the decision to have Luke delivered by C-section. I was disappointed, but we wanted what is best for Luke, so no protest.
David scrubbed in and they wheeled me to the OR. I was having a lot of trouble controlling my tears. David sat with me on my side of the sheet and talked with me and encouraged me. Lucas Hermon Chisholm was born at 6:06 pm Monday night. They didn't show him to me over the curtain, but I heard him cry very briefly (a treasured sound when I haven't heard him since). David went over as the neonatologist examined him right away. A few minutes later they brought him over to me. My arms were numb, and I couldn't hold him, but the nurse put him right next to my face, cheek to cheek, and I got to kiss his tiny face a few times before they whisked him away. We had decided ahead of time that David would go with him down to the NICU, and my mom would go into recovery with me. It seemed like forever for them to sew me up and get me into recovery, and I don't think I've ever felt so alone.
Finally, in recovery, I saw several people, but my mom stayed with me the whole time. David came back up and told me that Luke was stable and that he was 19 inches long. Later we found out that he weighed 5 lb. 10 oz. Such a big boy! I was not even hoping for a normal sized baby, but God answers even unspoken prayers. He may be small, but he's still within my range of normal.
So I got to see him on my way down to the post partum unit for about 10 minutes, but I could not reach him. He was already connected to so many wires and tubes, that it made holding him impossible. I think that is still the most difficult part, that I can't hold him. They started him on the medication that will keep his PDA artery open and allow blood to bypass the faulty valve and get to the lungs to get oxygenated. He is stable and doing well on this medication.
Today we had our first big scare. My mom and I came back from lunch today back up to the NICU (David had gone down to Terrell to take care of some things). When I arrived, the neonatologist and two nurses were standing around his tiny bed. The nurse told me that she had looked up at his monitors a minute ago and saw that his heart rate had skyrocketed. His heart rate was above 200 bpm and irregular. The neonatologist asked me to go to the waiting room while they got him stable and they would come and tell me what was going on as soon as they could. Scariest walk down a hallway in my life. David came soon after I texted him (his phone wasn't receiving calls for some reason). The doctor came out after a long time and told us that he's okay. The way his heart is built, the fast and irregular heart rate are expected. They put him on some medication to get this symptom under control, but won't be surprised if the same thing happens again. They will be monitoring him even more carefully.
Some hopeful news, we got to talk to the cardiologist this evening before we left. She reviewed his echocardiogram with the surgeon. They have decided to wait on making a decision about surgery. They will keep him on the prostiglandin which will keep his PDA open. Since he is stable and the meds are doing what they are supposed to, this is basically buying us some time to allow his lungs to get bigger and more developed before they re-evaluated surgery options. They will keep him on this medication, as long as it is still working properly for a few days to two weeks, then they will reevaluate what we want to do for surgery. The surgeon believes that we can still go the three-surgery route that I've talked about in other notes and not have to do a transplant. That's good news.
I personally am doing okay. I got discharged from the hospital today, a day early. I'm getting around fine, but have a little pain. My greatest triumph from the last few days (besides bringing my son into this world) is that I'm finally beginning to produce enough milk to supply Luke for all of his feedings. That's one thing that I can do to give Luke the best chance for survival. There are a lot more little details of Luke's treatment and progress. I'd love to share them with you if you want to know, but not here, as this note is very long already.
I just want to thank all of you for your continued prayers. Prayers got us through the last couple of days, and have gotten us through the trauma today, not to mention the entire pregnancy. Thank those of you who came to visit and who will visit. Thank you for understanding that while we want to see you when you come, Luke is our first priority, and we might not get to visit. We love you all. Again, thank you.

Rachael & David

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