Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eleanor Charlotte

Welcome to the world, Eleanor Charlotte! We are thankful and rejoicing with this new addition to our family. A girl!

Eleanor was born two days early on May 14th. This is very unusual for me as I've been late with all the other kids (2 weeks, 6 days and 5 days). I have always needed to be induced to get things really happening. Well Eleanor needed to break the mold; baby number four needs to be remembered!

Pardon the pjs, I said to Ben, "better take a picture juuuust in case this baby is actually born today." This was just minutes before my water broke. 

I woke up just before 4am with some back contractions and a quick peek at the clock (not too obviously so babe wouldn't know) told me they were about 10ish minutes apart. About 4:30, I said to Ben, "maybe we should get up and make up the bed and get a few things ready... just in case this goes anywhere......" So we did that(we planned was another home birth, like Alex) and I went downstairs to put the kettle on and make a cup of tea. I didn't want to labour on an empty stomach. My contractions were picking up and I thought I'd better shower just in case it was my last one before a baby and just before I stepped into the shower, my water broke. Not much, but enough that I knew it was my water. It was strange; the midwives have always had to break my water so for it to rupture on its own was new for me! So 5am I'm in the shower and contractions are becoming 3-5ish minutes apart. Ben had called the midwife when my water broke so she was on her way. He called my parents next to come and get the kids because we didn't want them waking up and wanting breakfast etc. (I thought I'd be going for a couple hours). Ben told my parents to come about 6am, and they arrived 5:45ish. By 5:30 I was back upstairs with good, solid contractions. The midwife checked me and I was fearful she would tell me I was only at three or four cm and I had a long time to go. But.... I was a full 10 cm and ready to push! What?!?!? I didn't really feel much urge to push and since I pushed too soon with Alex, I was determined to not "overpush" with this baby. The second midwife arrived and my parents got the girls up and brought them downstairs ready to go. Ben went downstairs to talk to them for a minute and help settle the girls who were a bit upset from being woken up from sleep. The second midwife then called him, "uhh, Ben? You're gonna want to get back in here."  By the time he got upstairs, Eleanor's head was out and with the rest of that contraction, she was out. One big contraction and out she came! Phew! I couldn't believe I was done so quickly! And I couldn't believe we had a girl!! I was very unsure in the beginning, but these last few months I was SO sure she was a boy. But we are thrilled with another girl and so in love. She looks different than the others and yet the same and fits into our family.  Our family. A family of four kids. We have four children. I'm still in shock.
Fresh baby--nothing like it.
So happy
She was born at 5:50 am weighing 8lbs 13 oz and 20.5 inches long. She's my smallest baby (makes sense for being born a week ahead of my usual schedule). She has a head of dark hair, also different since my other babies were born blond and mostly bald! Another way she needs to make her mark I guess! She reminds me the most of Emma and has a bit of Alex too I think.
 Look at those shining eyes! Katie is completely smitten.

Three sisters--special
 Tired/sleepy family
 My heart is full

 Still not all the way awake....

Everything went well for the first initial hours after Eleanor was born; the kids and my parents came up to see her a while later and Katie couldn't be more in love. Her eyes were just shining! Emma was full of questions and Alex patted my belly and said, "All done baby? all done?"

Before the midwives left at 8am, they took Eleanor's vitals again and her temperature was too low for their liking. That can be a sign of infection, so we put her skin to skin with lots of blankets to see if that would regulate it again. The midwife came back an hour later, but her temperature still hadn't gone up so we went to the hospital to get it checked out. Babies can get sick very very quickly, so one doesn't waste time.  The doc was concerned with her temperature and she was also very lethargic and not responding appropriately to stimulation. The poor girl just lay there as they poked and prodded and took blood and started an IV. It was heartbreaking to watch. It was clear that something was not right, so they started her on two antibiotics to cover a range of issues. They also attempted a lumbar puncture to see if there was an infection in the spinal fluid. This wasn't successful as they couldn't get any fluid. She was put into an isolate bed which is temperature controlled to keep her warm. Within hours of starting the antibiotics she was already improving and kept improving each time we saw her.

All the blood cultures came back negative for which we are very, very thankful. Even though they don't have actual proof, based on her symptoms and how well she responded to the antibiotics, the doctors are assuming she had GBS sepsis. Group B Strep is a natural bacteria found in your digestive system and comes and goes. It's only an issue when you're pregnant however. I was positive for this and usually that means IV antibiotics for me before labour. However, as you read above, there was no time for antibiotics before she was born. Also, GBS infection is very low risk when having such quick deliveries. I was also GBS positive with Emma and Alex (Emma I had one dose of antibiotics before she was born and Alex nothing) but they were both healthy with no issues.


So we spent a week in the hospital while Eleanor received IV antibiotics several times a day. She was in the isolate unit until Monday and hooked up to the monitors until Tuesday when she was moved from the Special Care Nursery to my private room down the hall.

We've been very blessed to have our own room, bathroom and be down the hall from any busyness going on in the unit. The docs have been great and the majority of nurses wonderful and helpful.

Eleanor thankfully hasn't seemed too bothered by all the goingson. Her first IV lasted a long time and when it failed was moved to the other arm. The second IV failed in the middle of the night and when she wouldn't nurse I checked the sight and could tell right away it was no good anymore. Her poor hand and arm was all swollen, hot and red. I got the nurse right away and we walked down to the nursery to get it taken out. Thankfully the swelling subsided pretty quickly and they were able to put the IV in her foot. It bothered her much less there and she had both hands free to chomp on. I'm hoping she'll find her thumb soon!

She's a bit fussier and seems to have some tummy trouble and pukes quite a bit. I'm hoping that's just a result of the antibiotics and that it'll settle down once they're out of her system.

She's had a bit of trouble gaining weight, but that's typical of my kids. They drop a bit more than average, but then turn the corner and take off.  Eleanor seemed to be the same and just before we left the hospital she started gaining.

We are so in love with our little peanut and can't imagine our family without her now. God has blessed us richly!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Ben and Heather and family! She is certainly a beauty and we are thankful that things improved quickly and that she is doing well now! Enjoy her!! Another wonderful blessing from the LORD!