On Tuesday April 19th my family welcomed our fourth lovely little lady. All three of my previous pregnancies ended with inductions because once those little babies get in there they don’t like to leave. So fully believing that I would once again be induced I decided to give castor oil a try for the fourth time. While finishing up a few things around the house I started to have a few contractions. I didn’t really think too much about them so I carried on with getting my girls ready for bed and finishing a sewing project for Glory.
My whole labour this time around from first contraction to holding little miss lasted two hours and forty-five minutes. Such an easy labour, no drugs, she was posterior and still came out in one push. I was blissful happy. It was such a blessing to have the labour that I had always wanted. After the delivery I continued to bleed quite a lot and after I had lost 3 liters of blood it was decided that I needed to go to the OR to stop the bleeding. I was warned that I might wake up with an incision and\or a hysterectomy if they were unable to control it.
I woke up from the surgery and happily trucked along. Wednesday was full of visitors and enjoying our new addition. Because of the blood loss we had to stay for an extra night. About 3:30 in the morning I was feeding Camryn and noticed that she was having some trouble breathing and her heart was racing. I went out to the night nurse and asked her if she would have a look at her to make sure she was ok. The nurse said she was fine and carried on her way. I was worried but decided to just watch her and see how the rest of the night went.
In the morning at shift change I asked my new nurse if she would have a look at Camryn because she was still breathing hard and having a really difficult time nursing. The nurse had a look and said she was going to call the paediatrician. He was there in less than 3 minutes and before he even got to her he said they were going to take her to the NICU. Her color had gone to grey between the time the nurse called him and when he arrived.
Watching them take her down the hall was horrible. I asked the nurse if she could call my husband because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to speak. She took me down to the NICU all I could do was stand back and watch as they all crowded around my tiny little girl. They hooked her up to monitors, did an ECG and put 2 lines into her umbilical stump and an IV into her hand.
She was in SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). Her heartbeat was bouncing all over the place 280-300 bpm. It was beating so fast that it wasn’t able to fill with blood and her organs were beginning to shut down. The nurses tried repeatedly to get me out of the room and I wouldn’t leave, I knew if I left they wouldn’t let me back in. As hard as it was to watch her and all the things they were doing for/to her I knew that I couldn’t leave her. The paediatrician came over and told me they were going to try a drug to slow her heart down but that there was a possibility that it would stop her heart and that if that happened they would need to use the paddles to get it going again. I was told that if that happened I would have to leave.
The doctors tried drug after drug to get her heart rate down and they weren’t working. There was a point where I left to find out where Chris was and as I expected they wouldn’t let us back in.
For almost 5 hours her heart continued at that pace. The cardiologist was on vacation and the doctors were consulting with the cardiologists at BC Children’s Hospital. They were watching her heart monitors from Vancouver. There was one more drug to try and we were told that if this drug didn’t work they were going to fly her to Children’s Hospital because they didn’t know what else to do for her. They finally let Chris and I sit beside her while they waited for the last med to work. There is no worse feeling than watching your child struggle and not knowing if they are going to make it. Knowing that you are completely helpless and that the doctors have done everything they know to do
We sat beside her and just watched her struggle. When they said we could touch her I put my hand on her head and just prayed. Instantly her heart rate went into normal sinus rhythm. Instantly. From that point on there wasn’t a single blip on the monitor. Her heart rate remained stable.
For the next five days we watched as her body recovered from the stress and damage that being in SVT for long had done to her organs. The liver enzymes slowly returned to normal, the renal function as well. The lines came out one by one, then the IV and then finally they took her off the monitors ( a truly scary day).
She was released from the hospital 2 days ago, and is on heart medication 3 times a day. We have a stethoscope that we use to check her heart rate several times a day. We have cardiologist appointments, paediatrician appointments, paediatric Nephrologist appointments for her multi-cystic dysplastic kidney ( a condition that we discovered at our 18 week ultrasound) but most importantly we have our daughter. She will be on medication for at least the next six months but likely for the next couple of years. We don’t know if there will be another episode or not but we are prepared if it does.
So we are home and thankful and very, very tired. We have been so blessed by the care we received at the hospital, by all the people who watched our kids while we were in the hospital, by all the people who prayed for our baby and the rest of our family. SO THANKFUL for the ladies at church who have been preparing meals for us, they mean more than you know! And most of all so thankful for a God who was with us through the scariest time of my whole life.
Camryn’s first night home.