I am in tears having just read all of your stories. I am another one who didn't expect to not take her baby home with her.
I had an awesome pregnancy, wasn't sick, felt great, swam up until the day I went into labour. Labour wasn't even that bad.
I was nearly at 42 weeks when I went into labour.
I had been in labour for about 18 hours by that stage and was fully dialated, but had no urge to push. My dr. was on vacation (she had warned that she was going to be away during spring break at my very first appt and we had joked at the time that I would definately have my baby then) and the OB who was covering for her thought that breaking my water might allow her to move into position and allow me to need to push. (Breaking my water was the only invervention that I had had at that point)
When they broke my water, everything started to break loose. I looked as though I had pooped myself. My water was brown and thick with meconium. They figured that she had had some type of stress at least a week prior and had been practice breathing the meconium for that entire time.
Her (we didn't know the sex at this time) heart rate started decelerating with every contraction and we decided to go with the emergency c-section. There were two drs. an OB, four nurses and an anthes. in the room. The Anthes was trying to make me laugh by cracking stupid jokes ( I don't think that they realised the seriousness of her problems at that stage).
When they got Jade out she was green from soaking in meconium for so long, the inside of my uterus was green. They pumped her lungs and stomach and got a greater volume of meconium out than a newborns lungs and stomach could possibly hold. They literally ran out the door with her, giving me a 10-second look as they raced to the nursery to get her on o2.
DH went with her leaving me alone in recovery in serious denial that I had even had a baby, let alone one with serious problems. By the time I had made it back to the mat ward, they had arranged for a paediatrician and transport team to fly in to bring her to the nearest major centre.
When the paed. came in, he told us that she had a 15% chance of even making through the night and if she did there were so many potential side-effects - CP, brain bleeds, seizures etc etc etc. They were going to put her on an occillator ( sp) which is a super-industrial strength ventilator which shakes to help force air into the lungs. If that didn't work they were going to have to do heart-lung bypass surgery to place her on a machine called ECMO ( extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) to breathe for her.
ECMO works by inserting two catheters into the jugular vein, down to the heart, one brings old blood out and runs it through a circuit to re-oxygenate the blood and the other brings the new blood into her body to help her breathe.
She did really well on this and was off in five days ( they had told us that she would be on it for two weeks) and on a ventilator for a week after that ( had been told four weeks for the vent). She did amazingly well and was out of NICU and SCN after a total of five weeks.
I have been amazed by the stories of non-AP hospital staff that the majority of you have experienced.
My experience couldn't have been more different that yours. As soon as Jade was disconnected from the tubes in her belly button ( were using those instead of IVs) I was able to hold her and could hold her as much as I could. Every dr and nurse encouraged me to pump, bring her to my breast, hold her spend as much time as I wanted in the nursery.
When the only reason that she was still in the hospital was because she wasn't eating they actively tried to discourage me from bottle-feeding my EBM to prevent nipple confusion. I had been getting major pressure from DH and SIL to just give her the bottle so we could get out of there and try and get BF established at home.
I had not had any problems pumping and ended up donating over 1000 oz to the milk bank and got named the "dairy queen"
We got out when Jade was five weeks old and finally got bf established at eight weeks, after working with seven different LCs and OTs.
She is 26 months old, still nursing, no problems at all.
We are truly blessed and like a pp said, definately see the world and parenting through different eyes than I would have without this experience. I believe that Jade is here and went through this horror in order to do amazing things in this world. I have learned so much about the human spirit, the sheer will to live and the incredible strength that these tiny bodies have. I never take her for granted because I recognise the incredible gift that I have been given.
Thank-you all for sharing your stories with us.