We are so happy for the arrival of our first born son, Siam Huu Nguyen. He is absolutely adorable. We are both recovering well.
The night of his birth was filled with exciting and scary moments for me.
Over the last several weeks, my blood pressure has been borderline high and creeping up slowly. When the doctor gave me a fetal non-stress test to check the baby’s heart rate and movements, the results were ok, not great. Like a little bit of movement, not a lot. Doctor ordered me to take it easy, rest at home, and come back in a few days to retake the test. Unless I start having contractions, bleeding, or don’t feel the baby move. Chances are, if the second tests show the same thing, the baby should come out. He might not be thriving in my womb anymore.
On Monday night I was getting ready for bed around 11:00pm and started feeling contractions. Everybody’s been telling me how many many hours it takes to deliver a baby and how I should stay home as long as possible.
But they were really close together. Like 5 minutes apart right from the beginning. So I woke Liem and my mom up and they started timing the contractions. Less than 5 minutes apart. Ok, it’s late at night, and without traffic we can get to the hospital by taxi in 5-7 minutes. Then around 1am I started bleeding. My OB/GYN nurse, certified midwife Mom looked concerned. Time to go.
When I got to the hospital, my blood pressure was normal, 120/81 and I was dilated 1 cm (10cm is when you actually push the baby out). But contracting every 5 minutes. So they hooked me up to a monitor for baby and found that he was decelerating: heart rate was dropping during the contractions. That’s not good. Mom is looking worried. So they said the baby would have to come out soon. Likely before morning, likely by c-section.
At 3:00am, my water broke. But there was the baby’s poo (meconium for all you healthcare people) in the water. Baby’s got to come now because there is a risk that he’ll inhale the poo. Which is also bad. At this point, I was only dilated to 3cm. My labor was progressing fast for a first timer, but he needed to come out immediately.
So they prepped me for surgery, and Liem got scrubbed down and came in to hold my hand. He watched the whole surgery. I was laying there, awake during surgery, numb from the chest down, arms spread, praying the entire time. Watching Liem’s facial expressions and listening closely to the dialog between the doctors.
Baby Siam came at 4:11am. 3180 grams (~7lbs), 51 cm (~20.5″). He didn’t cry for several seconds. The cord was wrapped loosely around his neck. He was a little blue. First APGAR score was a 7 (7-10 is good). They cleared his lungs. No meconium (poo) seen. Then he starts crying! Next APGAR (5 minutes later) was a 10. He’s pink! They prep him, wrap him, let me kiss him and whisk him away for tests.
I get stitched up. I fall asleep. Mmmm. morphine.
At 6:30am or so, the pediatrician came in. She said that Baby Siam was wheezing a bit so they put him on oxygen (see the video of the astronaut helmet in the previous blog) and a culture was taken to see if any bacteria from the poo had gotten into his blood. Antibiotics just in case. IV saline fluids. No breastfeeding yet, until the the doctor says he’s ok.
Meanwhile, I’ve just had abdominal surgery. So I’m on an IV and have to lay flat for what turns out to be 36 hours. It’s worse than being bedridden, because not many things are within arms reach when you have to be flat: light switches, ice chips, cell phone, remote control, etc.
The next day, the wheezing stops and his breathing improves and he no longer needs the oxygen helmet. And we get to try breastfeeding. I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty hard because he may be groggy from the medication and c-section, and I have to do it from a lying down position. But, he’s a natural. He’s so good that they say if he feeds well again, they’ll take him off the IV fluids. Good, because I was a little sad seeing his tiny little hand with the big needle and tubes coming out.
Now I’m upright, walking around the room, blogging, eating soft foods, and Siam is doing well enough for us to keep him with us in the room. He’s a really good eater, and all he does at this point is eat, sleep, and fill diapers, but it’s pretty hard to take my eyes off him.
So thanks a million for the prayers, even if you didn’t know what was going on in real time!