Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Trip to the cardiologist

Trey went to the cardiologist today to diagnose his heart murmer. He was such a good boy. This made the visit alot more pleasant. First the nurse checked his blood pressure and O2 saturation which were all good. He was grabbing at the cords so I had to hold his arms, but other than that he was an angel. The nurse said he was her favorite patient. His Dad was at the appointment too and helped put him to sleep at one point in time. Tony was such a big help. We were there for over 2 hours. When he went for his EKG, the nurse asked if he would take a pacifier. Of course he does, but he didn't need it at all. He stayed still during the EKG so it only took a few minutes. He also had an ultrasound of his heart. This went well until she needed me to hold his head back. He screamed and screamed. The Dr. was so great and explained everything to us. Trey does have a heart murmer. On a scale from 1 to 6 it is a level 2. The Dr. diagnosed it as trileaflet aortic valve acting as a bilateral valve. He should have no issues from it. We have a follow up appointment next year to check on it. Everything is OK though. We are so relieved and thankful. This kid really likes to scare and worry his parents. I am sure this is just the beginning though :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trey Birthday Blog (Dad's Perspective)

Melissa has detailed most of what happened from her point of view - while the facts remain the same, the way they were viewed are different.

On Wednesday June 13, 2010, I got home from work about 90 minutes before Melissa (as usual). Typically when she's coming home that late, she will plan on stopping to grab something for dinner - however, this is the first I've read of a BLT AND a corn dog. For those of you that know me well, you are aware that hot dogs are a forbidden food for my pregnant wife. Nevertheless - she enjoyed it!

When she came in she was on the phone with her mom talking about "slight contractions". As you can imagine, this caught my interest. Following the conversation with her mother, she proceeded to tell me that she had been having contractions but that she thought it was related to her doctor appointment that was earlier that morning. So I filed it away in my brain, but as an extra precaution, I increased the birth threat level from Yellow to Orange with the grandparents. Later that evening, she was still complaining of contractions, but they hadn't really increased yet...oh no...Trey wanted to wait until daddy was fast asleep to pick up the action.

At around 3:00 AM or so, Melissa turned on the light to the bedroom and told me that I needed to call the doctor - the contractions are getting more frequent. I called the answering service and they relayed my message to the nurse on call. I paced around like a mad man while Melissa sat in a chair in the living room waiting for a phone call from the nurse. Finally, after seeing Melissa continue to wince in pain, I made the call that it was time to pack the bag. I called the office back and told them that this was more of a notification than a request - we are going to the hospital.

We got in the car around 3:15 AM and I tried to be calm driving as Melissa's breathing and "yoga sounds" increased. I called my parents and then Melissa's parents and officially raised the Birth Threat Level to Code Red...meaning birth is imminent!! I found that I was able to control my speed on the windy roads but once I hit the interstate - we were outta here!!

We walked into the hospital around 3:30AM and Melissa was placed in the triage room where they wanted to make sure she was in true labor. After about 30 minutes of testing, we were admitted around 4:00 AM.

Melissa's contractions had increased significantly by this time - she was in some serious pain and begging for an epidural. Just about the time I was about to grab a little doctor by the neck, take his white coat, and walk into an operating room to find an anesthesiologist, the fella walked in (close call for the one wormy looking little doctor I saw curiously looking into our room).

Melissa's details of the birth are as I remember them. One thing she failed to mention was when the doctor looked at me and mouthed "tell them to sit down" (Grandma Bonk and Gammaw Kirkland). Thankfully, they did without a fight. The biggest thing I remember is when Trey was born, staring at him and thinking "come on bud...breathe, scream, anything!!!". After what seemed like an hour, but was probably only 5 seconds or so - Trey let out a good scream - and I felt better.

After a few minutes of the nurses poking him, measuring him, and scrubbing him down, they handed Trey to his momma. Shortly thereafter, he was whisked away to have a few additional tests run. I asked the nurse when she was taking him if I could go too - she said they typically don't let parents back when they are running the tests - but she could tell by the look in my eye that was easier just to say "ok" rather than tell me no.

My time back there when he was getting tested was a blur - all I remember was that he was below 20 in blood sugar and had to be admitted immediately until his blood sugar stabilized.

That's how Dad remembers Trey's first day on this planet - the emotions were wild. At 2:00 AM I was sleepy, at 3:15 AM I was adrenalized, at 4:00 AM I was excited, at 9:00 AM I was terrified, 9:36 AM is the happiest time of my life, and at 9:50 AM or so - I was terrified beyond belief again. Was a wild an exhausting day - I can only imagine how exhausting it was for Trey and Melissa. Melissa was so strong and I was and am so proud of her.

I was able to emotionally hold it together for the most part the first day. The second day, it came crashing down on me. There's a commercial out - it's a stupid insurance commercial that has the Jackson 5 song "I'll be there"....that commercial came on and a broke down - and then Melissa broke down - we were a mess. But the whole time, thanks to loving and praying family and friends, along with an amazing medical staff at Women's East - Trey was healthy and we took him home that following Monday.

I plan to write another post detailing our experience in the Special Care Nursery - particularly the wonderful nurses and doctors that helped us.


1st Blog - Trey's Birth Story


This is the 1st blog for the Kirkland Family. Our sweet baby, Trey Kirkland was born Jan 14, 2010. His journey into this world started over a year ago when Tony and I were trying to get pregnant. I can't believe that he is finally here.

His birth story started on Wed Jan 13th. It was my last Dr. appointment and due to several things, we decided to set an induction date for Tuesday Jan 19th. This was 1 week before his EDD of Jan 24th. Before this appointment I had not had any contractions. It was clear that night that Trey did not agree with these plans. My contractions started at work around 7pm. While I was driving home, my contractions were not painful and came approximately 10 minutes apart. My mom was helping me measure them over the phone. Because it was late, I stopped at Sonic to pick up dinner and had a BLT and tots, a corn dog, and a lemon berry slush. Not very healthy I know, but very yummy. That night before I went to sleep the contractions seemed less regular. At 1 am I woke up with stronger contractions but still not very painful. Tony helped me measure the time between contractions which were about 6 minutes apart. At 2 am, the contractions continued and I moved to the recliner in the living room. Everything that we read said they needed to be 4-5 minutes apart for 1 hour before going to the hospital. Mine were becoming stronger and for the next hour were 6 minutes apart consistently. At 3 am I asked Tony to call the on-call doctor. While we were waiting for the call back, I proceeded to get dressed and get the rest of my bag together for the hospital. The contractions were getting stronger and more painful. When the on-call nurse called back she said I had 2 options: I could stay home and wait or go to the hospital. I was ready to go. When we got to the hospital, I went to triage. They hooked me up to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. Since earlier that day I had progressed from 2cm to 3cm dilation. Over the next hour, my contractions became increasingly more painful. I was asking for an epidural. I was admitted and sent to a hospital room. I had to have fluids via an IV and antibiotics for GBS strep before getting the epidural. My contractions were so strong and painful, and I was dilated to 6cm. Once the anesthisiologist got to the hospital, they immediately sent him to me. I was given the epidural while I was having contractions and would not have been able to make it without Tony's help. I was squeezing his hands so hard through every contraction. At about 7am my parents arrived and thankfully the epidural was working and I felt much better. I felt numbness but could still feel the slight pressure of the contractions. My body was also shivering all over - I could not stop shaking.

The doctor came in to check me again. I was dilated to 10cm. Every time I had a contraction the baby's heartbeat dropped off dramatically, but then resumed after the contraction was over. This was concerning to the nurses and the doctor. They kept coming in and having me lay on my side to reorient the baby. I was also given supplemental oxygen. At 9am the doctor proceeded with the delivery. Tony's parents had still not arrived. I was afraid they were going to miss it. The doctor was concerned that the baby had a cord wrapped around its neck. He tried to deliver via vacuum and forceps. If this didn't work, I was going to have to have an emergency C-section. During contractions, they had me push. The nurse encouraged me by saying "push like you don't want a C-section". I did not want one, but just wanted Trey to be OK. At 9:36am, Trey was born. Tony's mom came into the delivery room minutes before he was born. She just barely made it. Thanks to Dr. White for delivering our baby safely. The cord was wrapped around his neck twice. We were very lucky it was a very long cord. Trey was pretty small and measured 19in 5 lb 7 oz. This is officially considered low birth weight. His muscle tone was also low, but recovered after a few minutes.
After the family took many happy 1st pictures with Trey, the nurse had everyone leave so that I could try to breastfeed. While I was trying, the nurse checked his blood sugar a 2nd time (30 minutes after delivery per normal protocal). His blood sugar was measuring low, and she wanted to have it double checked in the special care nursery. Tony was able to go with the nurse and Trey. When they returned, Trey was not with them. He had to be admitted to the special care nursery (similar to the NICU) due to low blood sugar. It was less than 20.

Tony and I were very scared and sad. We were so worried about Trey. We weren't able to visit him for about an hour. When we saw him he was hooked up to an IV and his heart rate, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate were being monitored. They took a picture of Tony and I to put on his crib. He looked so little. It broke my heart. I felt so helpless. Tony and I visited with him, talking with him and rubbing his cute little head. His blood sugar was increasing slowly which was a good sign, but we were not out of the woods yet. He was going to have to stay in the special care nursery for a minimum of 48 hours and this was pending his blood work. The grandparents were allowed to visit him, but not hold him. Tony and I visited him as much as possible and fed him. The nurses were very nice and helpful. They made the experience as comfortable and painless as possible.  (story to continue in next blog)