Saturday, August 13, 2005

SugarBug's Story part 3

Part 1 Part 2

Thanks for being patient with me. I was surprised at how emotional that made me. We'll see if I can get through this last part. I can promise you a happy ending!

It was several hours (or at least it seemed like it) since I had seen my baby. I finally went down to the nursery to see if I could catch a glimpse of him. I could hear him screaming. I wanted to die. I washed my hands at the basin & went in. I asked if I could go into the critical care area with SugarBug. They said of course. There were several nurses around him trying to get an IV in to start the antibiotics and blood transfusion. They had tried his arm, leg, foot, and head. He was screaming so loudly and intensely that it was all I could do not to punch one of them and scream at them to stop it. Instead, I stuck my pinky in his mouth for him to suck, told them to try it in his head again and, BINGO, the IV was in. All he needed was his Mommy.

They started the blood transfusion. Then they hooked him up to a heart monitor and a pulse oximeter. There he lay hooked up to all of these machines. Then they told me that I might not be able to stay at the hospital. The ward was full and they might need my room. I swore that they would see me on way or another. If I didn't have a room, then I would just camp on the couches in the waiting room. But, once again, God is good. One by one, the ward emptied and miraculously, our insurance agreed to pay for the extra days since I was nursing. (This is a big deal for TriCare. They are notorious tight asses!)

The nurses were all so nice. Particularly the night nurse. She sent me to bed. She said that I was no good to him exhausted. She called me every couple of hours to nurse him and talked with me while I rocked him. She was so encouraging. SugarBug started to "pink up." Earlier in the evening I met my folks and kids out in the waiting room so that I could see SugarBear without passing his virus on to the baby. We let him look in the nursery window at his brother. I took SugarPlum back to visit Bug. She was so sweet. He started to get fussy and she sang to him the lullaby that she sang while he was in my belly. The little guy started to calm down immediately. His heart rate slowed and he went to sleep. I nearly melted.

The next day the pediatrician, Dr L, came in to catch me up on what he had found out. None of the tests had shown any reason for him having so little blood. No indications of any internal bleeding, no sign of infection. He talked to Dr. Dingbat, who told him that there was nothing unusual about the birth except that there was a lot of blood. Idiot. I told him about the placenta having two lobes. Since she hadn't sent it to pathology, there was no way to know.

On the fourth day, my little pink baby and I got to go home. I have never been so happy or relieved. I told the nurses that, while they were very nice, I hoped that I would never have to see them again, unless they wanted to have a nice lunch someday. They laughed and said that they understood! We had several pediatric appointments over the next few weeks. SugarBug was great. His blood count stayed up and he was healthy and hearty. I thank God every day for this outcome. I know that so many families aren't so lucky.

Several weeks after we came home, I was reading the paper about a woman who's baby died in childbirth. It was a condition called
Vasa Previa . The circumstances sounded so much like SugarBug's that I started to do more research. What happens is that some of fetal the blood vessels are exposed and unprotected by the umbilical cord and the coating around it. When my contractions started or at the latest, when my water broke, the blood vessels ruptured and started hemorrhaging. If may labor had been longer or if I hadn't pushed him out so quickly, he would have most likely bled to death. I know that that is why my epidural wore off. If I hadn't hurt so much, I wouldn't have felt the need to push and make it stop. I see God's hand in so much of this as I look back. The mortality rate among babies with the condition is 50 to 100% . This is why we call him our miracle baby.
Here is the most infuriating part. A multi-lobed placenta is a hallmark of vasa previa. Obstetricians learn this in medical school. It is something they all should know. Did Dr. Dingbat miss that day? Or, is she just, quite simply a grossly inadequate, incompetent, IDIOTIC obstetrician? She got lucky. If my baby had died, you can bet your ass I would have raised some hell. No amount of money would have made up for her unbelievably poor judgment and abysmal standard of care.

I made it my mission while we were at that base to keep women away from her. People must have thought I was crazy. If I saw a pregnant woman on base, I would ask her who she had seen at OB and told her to stay away from Dr. D. I had at least two friends who insisted that another doctor be called when they went into labor. One friend called me crying when her water broke and Dr. D was on call. Her husband called back and made it clear that that woman would NOT be delivering his baby. SugarDaddy had spread the word as well, I learned.

So, now you know all about SugarBug and his many, many miracles. The baby who should have never been conceived. Should have never made it past 7 weeks gestation. Should have never survived childbirth. He beat the odds to become the funny, smart, clever, beautiful blessing to our lives. God is good. He is so, so very good.

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