Lydia Ruth Engelhardt was born June 22nd, 2010, at 1:48 PM. She was not expected until July 23rd, 2010.
Last Friday, Jamie's doctor informed her that she was testing with high blood pressure and high protein in her urine. We were directed to go to Sherman Hospital for blood work and a 24-hour urine sample. The urine sample was turned in Monday morning, and Monday afternoon, at around 4:30 PM, we received a call from Jamie's doctor. She informed us that the urine sample came back with abnormally high levels of protein, and that we needed to go to labor and delivery as soon as possible. Neither one of us were fearful at this point, as we were both thinking that we were being directed to the unit in order to have more tests run.
When we arrived at Sherman, the nurses had obviously been expecting us with a little "too zealous" angst; it appeared that the entire nursing staff on third floor new our names already. We were directed to the room, and without explanation, Jamie was instructed to put the infamous hospital gown on and leave her other clothes "until it was time to leave" (still having no idea that this was "it").
We met our first nurse, Jennifer, shortly thereafter, and she informed us that they would probably be inducing tonight…WHAT?! It was exciting at this point. We had known that the high blood pressure and protein in urine were markers of pre-eclampsia or toxemia, and that the cure for this was to give birth to the baby. So for the next three hours we enjoyed the thought of being with our daughter sometime this week.
At 8:00 PM we finally met with the doctor. This is when it became troubling. She informed us that, typically, doctors get nervous about a patients level of protein in urine when it is at 300. Jamie, however, tested at 6,800 (I made no mistake by adding an extra zero). The doctor said that she had a consult with the high-risk doctor on the unit, and neither had seen protein this high before. The next move was to start Jamie on cervidil in order to prepare mommy for giving birth.
Neither one of us slept well during the night.
At 8:30 in the morning, we met with another doctor. She said that there had been no improvements in any of the labs. The cervidil had not worked, and every minute/hour that we waited meant a greater danger to both Jamie and the baby because of the life-threatening possibilities of eclampsia. We were informed that a cesarean section would be necessary, and necessary very soon.
BTW – Jamie, at this point, had been on high doses of Magnesium for nearly 16 hours (Mg is given to ward off the seizures that come with eclampsia), which meant that she was very foggy.
When the doctor informed us that a C-section was needed, Jamie and I instantly knew that there was not much of a question. Sure, if her levels had been questionable, or even if there was "risk" of pre-eclampsia, we would have had to think long and hard about the benefits and risks of the operation (not to mention the disappointment of this pregnancy not being "what we had expected"). However, Jamie's was an exceptional case with record breaking and terrifying markers.
Jamie was wheeled into surgery around 1:25, and Lydia Ruth Engelhardt was born at 1:48 PM. She weighed 5 pounds 2 ounces, was 19.25 in. in length, and more beautiful than we could have imagined. Lydia appears to be doing very well, although she is still in the Special Care Unit, due to being so early. However, her organs appear to be strong, her respiratory response is good, and she shows no infections. Jamie is also doing very well. She will be on Magnesium until 1:30 PM today, and then will hopefully get to see her daughter soon.
There were so many things that could have gone horribly wrong. I wrote a post a few days ago, where I expressed "how few" miracles I have prayed for in my life. We prayed for many miracles in the last 48 hours, and it appears that many of them were answered. She is a beautiful and healthy girl, made strong by her mommy, who gave her the greatest care imaginable for eight months. I am so proud of my wife. I love this little girl. And I am so thankful for all of the blessings over the last 48 hours.