Well, it has been a whirl wind past couple of days! I did indeed go into the hospital and was admitted about 10:00 pm on Wed night the 23rd at 4 cm dilated with bloody show and 80% effaced in absolutely no pain. Doc broke my water shortly thereafter and I was ready to get the show on the road! Well, this little girl was VERY STUBBORN and decided she wanted to hang out with Mom a while longer, so after 18 hours at 4 cm with no change, I had a tablet inserted near my cervix to irritate it - I do not "do" needles, IV's, pitossin etc so this was my best option. At 6:30 pm on Thurs evening the 24th, I had the tablet and within 1 hour, had reg contractions. By 10:30 that evening I was at 7 cm still with no pain. At this point, I was concentrating on listening to my Ipod and imagining what my daughter would look like with every contraction. At about midnight, doc checked me again and I was at 8 cm and 90% and thought it would be no longer than another 30 mins. I started having back labor and rolled over onto my left side while the nurse massaged my back - after 2 contractions of being on my side, I had the urge to push. The nurse checked me and I had gone from 8 to 9.5 cm in about 10 mins - she called 911 for doc, back up nurse and started breaking down the bed so I could push. The next 5 mins was the hardest as I had to breathe through the contractions until they were set up for me to push. Within 5 mins and 3 pushes, our princess Caroline Grace was born at 36 weeks, 1 day at 12:20 am Friday, 24th weighing in at 5 lbs 12 ozs and 19.5 in long - absolutely beautiful! She was having some labored breathing, which we expected with her prematurity, but what happened after that was totally unexpected.
By lunchtime that day, Friday the 24th, about 12 hours after she was born, it was decided she should be flown out to Johns Hopkins Hospital for further treatment and evaluation as the NICU at our local hospital was not equipped to handle her. That was the most traumatic event DH and I have ever gone through - he left immediately to drive to Hopkins while I was not to be released from the hospital until the following day (yesterday, Sat 26th). We are so very lucky to live within 1.5 hours driving distance to the best hospital in the US and she was here within 20 mins by copter. I arrived here yesterday and got to see her for the first time with her eyes open! I am so happy to say that she is doing extremely well and looks wonderful! She had some fluid in her lungs and a small air bubble between her lungs and chest which is diminishing on its own with no intervention. The docs here are optimistic that she will be released this coming Thurs, 30th at which time they consider her 37 weeks gestation. I have not gotten to hold her yet but I am so hoping that I can do that today. I have waited a lifetime to hold my daughter and will wait as long as I have to so long as she is recovering. My SIL (bless her heart!) and DH's parents and my Mom have been taking turns with the other boys and they can hardly wait to meet their sister. For now, DH and I are alternating staying up here at Hopkins with Caroline so the other can be at home with the boys for some sense of normalcy.
Please say a little prayer for her and I will be sure to post pics when she has the oxygen hood off so you can see her beautiful face. Best wishes to everyone else and I'll check in as I can!
Hugs to all - Mom, Dad, the "fab 5 boys" and our Princess, Caroline