Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Ilse

Monday the doctor said my blood pressure was very high, and I needed to head to the hospital to get it monitored.  After being there through Tuesday evening, we were just about headed out the door when the told us we couldn't go yet after all, that Ilse had a de-cel and my bp was getting worse.  Also, Ilse wasn't moving as much as they'd expect her to.

By Wednesday late morning, the doctors had decided to do a c-section since I wasn't inducible, and since it would probably be dangerous to induce me anyway with my blood pressure.  Ilse was born at 3:35pm on Wednesday, May 4, 2011.  She is our precious baby girl.

They laid her on my chest very briefly and I got to touch her cheek with my finger; then I kissed my finger and gave her the kiss. 

The magnesium sulfate I was on was affecting me very badly, so I did and said some pretty crazy things, probably.  Also, the anesthesia gave me the sensation of ants crawling under my skin.  They gave me some medicine for the ichy feeling, and thankfully it went away.  I was very nauseated and couldn't even lift my head up from the bed. 

Apparently there were some problems with our baby girl that were discussed out in the waiting room.... Tim didn't get to tell me all about it until around 5:30 in the morning on Thursday.  Once I understood what was going on, that they wanted to transfer Ilse to a hospital with a better NICU, I gave my ok (the doctors wouldn't have done it if I had said no) and they made sure that I knew I could go see her before she left.

That was the most stressful part.  I had been told that I would come off the magnesium sulfate around 3pm on Thursday, and that I would have a couple hours to recuperate before I'd even need to get out of bed.  Of course, this all changed when Ilse was going to leave, so I had to get out of the bed all nauseated and dizzy, falling asleep every couple seconds.... so I could see my baby girl.  I wouldn't say no, I had to see her.  I made myself get into the wheel chair and go down the hall to the NICU, and I don't know how long I was in there holding her hand before I said I had to go because I was going to throw up with all the movement.

A few hours later the transport team brought Ilse in to see me again right before they left with her.  I was so happy to get to touch her without a glove.  I held her little hand. 

Sometime I'll be able to write down all the emotions that went with these days, but I don't know that now is the time.  I'll keep it to myself for a while.

One thing I will say: I am not falling apart.  Yes, I'm sad, but that is objectively ok.  Any normal person would be, and I am not going to apologize for it.  I am doing physically ok.  Yes, a c-section hurts, but it isn't the worst physical pain that I've had.  That was the dislocated shoulder that I had a week before Ivy's wedding.  I'm not the same girl that screamed louder than the ambulance when Kim got hit by a truck.  I've grown, learned, and become a woman who is capable and can make good decisions. 

After the transport team left, I slept for a while since that was a very hard experience.  I slept better that night.  In the morning I got a call from the doctor down at Medical City.  She said Ilse's problem was my undiagnosed gestational diabetes and obesity.  What a horrible and blaming thing to say to someone who loved, carried, took care of, went through a c-section, and didn't get to take their baby girl home.  I consulted with my doctor, and she says, Hogwash!  (And a few other choice words I won't repeat.)  If I feel like sharing the results of the test that will determine who's right (to be done on Monday) I will. My doctor said I did all I needed to.  I followed all their directions and I got prenatal care. 

Since I progressed quickly in healing... could walk alone to the bathroom, could shower alone, my bp was stable and down, my doctor released me early today (Friday.)  She has me on antibiotics since I have an ant bite with staph in it, pain meds, and one other very temporary medication (usually only for six weeks.)  Marcus came to pick us up, and we took all our belongings home.  Then Marc took us to see Ilse at Medical City.  I wish I could write down how that place makes me feel, but I can't.  Suffice it to say that I don't feel supported down there.

They tell me that Ilse is doing better today even than she was yesterday.  Yesterday she was eating twice a day, 10 ml each time.  Today it was every three hours for 20 ml. 

The doctor said our precious baby girl can come home as soon as she can breathe and eat on her own. 

I am very thankful that God worked out her birth the way he did, regardless of why she came early or what exactly the problem was.  I'm not going to blame myself for anything, because God made these plans for our good and for Ilse's good long before we even dreamed of an Ilse Joy.

I'm going to be down there with her as much as I possibly can.  I know family can take me sometimes, but I will take the bus if I have to when I can walk .42 miles, or the train when I can get to the Parker station.  I will also talk to the doctor as soon as Monday about getting cleared to drive.  If I am only taking ibuprofen that doesn't make me sleepy enough not to drive.  Ilse is more important.

Now I'm going to get a shower and head to bed.  Tim will take care of the boys tomorrow morning so I can rest, and tomorrow afternoon Ivy, Christie, and I will go see Ilse. 

Even though her birth was hard, Lord willing there are many days ahead to make happy memories.  I'm eagerly going to await them.


  1. Thank you for sharing! I've been dying to get details. Been through so many similar things...Courtney and Christopher were born at 33 weeks. Preeclampsia with Natalie, etc. But mostly I know how hard it is to not hold that baby! It is amazing to look back, and say," how did I ever do that?". God is good! Glad you are trusting in Him. Praying for strength, health and peace for you all in the days to come. Let us know when we can meet that precious little one. How much did she weigh?!

  2. God bless you, Emily! We all know that you, Tim, "the boys", and baby are well taken care of with our Master in charge!
    I know it must be very frustrating (and a huge inconvenience) to not have baby at home yet, but she WILL be in THAT Girlie bedroom SOON!

    You are all in my prayers,
    Aunt Jodie in California

  3. Em's I loved your post and the sweet PICTURES! :) Praise the Lord for Sweet Ilse doing so well!
    You are a wonderful mama.....

    AND... just think about what Thanksgiving is going to be like this year! :)

  4. I too loved your post. It brought tears to my eyes. You are joining a league of so many mama's who have gone through these things of being unable to take their babies home, of feeling blamed, of knowing you did what you knew to do or were told to do as best you could. God bless you dear Em. You are a work of grace. Love, Susan

  5. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your precious baby girl. She is beautiful and you'll be holding that sweet baby in your arms before you know it...I hope the hospital staff gets their butt in gear and gives you the support/information/encouragement that you need...goodness, it makes me upset that you left feeling the way you did! :(

    The fact that she is eating more is encouraging. Pump, pump, pump and you should be able to bring her your milk while she's in the NICU. I did that with Eli and it was comforting that even though I couldn't feed him he was still getting his nourishment from me.

    And as for driving, if you're able mash your foot down hard and fast on the car brakes then you should be okay. That is the main concern with driving post-op...that the pain or fear from pain from the incision site will impair your ability to make a quick reaction. I kept on top of my pain meds post op with Eli and had no problem driving after a few days, even though technically I was supposed to wait a couple weeks...a baby in the NICU is a very high motivator tho!

    You're in my prayers and so is that precious baby girl!

  6. I get to go see ilse! nanny nanny boo boo! yay! yay! hooray!!!!!!! *cart wheels* *disco dance* *Head wag with the handwave* :-)

    And then.... why don't we hit up starbucks? they ARE having 1/2 price frapps.... :-)

  7. Em I am soooo happy for you and Tim. You are wonderful friends and Great parents. It is very hard and if you ever want to go see your baby I will personally drive you and do school work in the waiting room. It is tough but our LORD and Savior gives us strength and will carry us when we are too weak. I don't know how many day I didn't have the strength to go to the NICU but I knew Isaac needed me and God made a way. You can call me at any hour if you just need to talk I can not believe that the staff at any hospital would blame a mother the way they blamed you and its not just bad bedside manner its just rudeness and a god complex you are totally correct it is not your fault and it is in Gods plans for His glory. I want you and Tim to know Nate and I are praying for you and little Ilsa are in my prayers continually.


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