Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thursday, June 23rd - Welcome to the world Whitney Renee White

(Sarah)I had a scheduled induction for June 23rd and had orders to arrive at the hospital by 5:00 AM. Andy and I arrived at the hospital very excited to finally meet our baby and find out whether it was a boy or a girl.

The entire day of labor the nurses and doctors were monitoring baby’s heartbeat and everything was normal. After dilating to 10cm it was time to start pushing. After pushing for about 3 hours she was not progressing down any further, however still maintaining a good heart rate. It was then decided to proceed to a c-section. After about 45 minutes of prep work it was time for the surgery.

During the surgery there is no way to monitor the baby’s heartbeat but prior to entering the surgery all was still normal. We were told the baby was very far down in the birth canal it was a struggle to get her up and out. It required two doctors to push and pull her out, and when she came out she did not have a heartbeat. The entire surgery lasted 15 minutes, but there is no way of telling when her heart had stopped.
Once Whitney entered the world she was brought to a room in which 5 doctors and nurses were working on her doing chest compression and intubated her to help her breathe,  and gave medication to jump start her heart. After 19 minutes her heart started beating.
It was decided she needed to be transported to McLeod Hospital in Florence, SC. They have a great NICU facility and it was planned to put her on a “cooling blanket”, which is new technology in the last 10 years. The cooling blanket is intended to lower an infant’s body temperature to slow brain activity and prevent seizure activity; they are placed on the cooler for 72 hours.

Whitney was placed on the cooling blanket as soon as she arrived at McLeod.

We DID have a baby girl though, Whitney Renee White. 7 pounds 7 ounces and 21 inches long

(Andy)  I was in the operating room holding Sarah’s hand during the c-section.  There was definitely more of a struggle to get baby Whitney out then what I had seen in our birthing class.  At the time I thought everything was going ok though.  When Whitney was born Sarah and I both swear we heard her cry.  We looked at each other and said “That’s our baby”.  We then were told she was a girl and we were both overjoyed.  (I had been dreaming of and predicting a girl for a while)  In hindsight I should have known something wasn’t quite right.  I remember hearing the doctor say to prep the room.  If everything was going as planned a necessary “room” would have already been prepped.  We also did not get to see Whitney after the birth, even though we were told months ago we would if a c-section was needed.
After birth, I got to stay with Sarah for about 10 minutes and they said it was time to go back to the room and wait for Sarah and baby Whitney to join me.  I was up there for about 30 minutes before a nurse came to get me with a very concerned look on her face.  She didn’t tell me much; I just remember walking very fast to a dim lit hallway where I met our pediatrician for the first time.  It was him and a nurse who explained to me that she was born with no heartbeat and it took a long time to establish one. 
He explained she would be at a very high risk of brain damage and possibly not surviving at all.  Pryor to having the baby, Sarah had to pick a local pediatrician from a list of 6.  We had no clue who to pick, so she went with the one name she recognized that a friend of hers uses and recommends.  I believe this was God’s will helping her choose.  The pediatrician was calm and soothing and very informative.  He explained the seriousness of this, but also explained how resilient babies are and when he left I was feeling cautiously optimistic. 
The pediatrician, the delivering doctor, and I all went into the next room to explain the situation to Sarah.  Even though I could barely get it out, I felt she needed to hear it from me and not them.  After  10-20 minutes we were able to go to another room where Whitney had a team of people tending to her.  It was the first time we saw our beautiful girl.  My emotions of this moment cannot be described in a blog….  We were then taken back our room.  Looking back, I have very little recollection of getting there.  I just remember it was the first time Sarah and I had been alone and was truly able to comfort each other.  A couple hours later, nurses from McLeod Hospital showed up and wheeled Whitney in one last time to see her that night before she was taken to Florence. 

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