Thursday, January 22, 2009

My 1/22/07 Account of Austin's Birthday

As today is Austin's 2nd B-Day, I thought I'd recount the day of his birth as it was a bit of a miracle in my book...

On Monday, January 22, 2007, we were blessed with our newest addition to our family, Austin Henry Thomas. He weighed in at 8 pounds 2.4 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long. He has straight dark brown hair.

We were truly blessed with this birth as little Austin was literally in a "life or death" situation as he was transitioning to this world.

Corinne awakened me at approximately 4:40am Monday morning telling me she was in labor and that her contractions had started about an hour earlier. When she woke me her contractions were about 15 minutes apart. Corinne showered and did her hair. I also showered. We called grandma Wilma to inform her we needed her to come out and watch Benjamin while we went to Washington Hospital in Fremont, CA.

Our memories are already beginning to fade. But when I originally called my mom I told her the contractions were 15mins. apart. She at first thought she had some time to shower and prepare grandpa's lunch. However, Corinne quickly went from 15mins to 5mins apart. I called my mom and told her she needed to leave ASAP! It took her to about 35mins to get here and we got to the hospital.

It think it took us about 20-25 minutes to get to the hospital. I think we got to the hospital around 6:15-6:30am. They checked Corinne and she was at 3cm. They had her hooked up to monitor her and the baby's heart rate. Corinne said that she didn't remember the contractions hurting this much last time. At the next check she was about 6-7cms. Since Corinne's water had not yet broken the doctor decided to break it for her.

Both the doctor and nurse were amazed at how much water was insider Corinne. A few minutes passed as they clean up, but the nurse quickly discovered that something was not right. Corinne looked at me with a very worried look on her face and mouthed "something is wrong!"
Apparently, right after the water was broke, Austin's blood pressure dropped drastically. Within minutes the doctor and nurses were literally racing Corinne on her bed down the hallway towards the operating room for an emergency c-section. Unbeknownst to me at the time, as Dr. Siobhan Calhoun was wheeling Corinne to the OR she had her hand up Corinne and was trying to keep the baby in its place.

Apparently, Austin had developed a short umbilical cord which was wrapped around his little neck like a loose fitting noose. While he was suspended in the watery cocoon that was Corinne's uterus, he was just fine-the cord was loose around his neck. However, once the water was broken and the uterus collapse around Austin, apparently the umbilical cord either tightened and caused his blood pressure to drop drastically. This tightening was worsened by the fact that with the loss of the water Austin had moved farther south which increased the tightness around his neck.

From the time the nurse discovered something was wrong, until the time Austin was pulled from his mother's womb, literally not more than 5 minutes seemed to pass. However, I think they were the longest and most terrifying few minutes of my life. I had no idea what was going wrong. Corinne's pregnancy had progressed very well-no complications.

Corinne was placed under general anesthetic because that is the quickest acting stuff. I was not allowed in the operating room. I stood out side the doors and could barely see a couple of the doctors and nurses shoulders and heads as they stood around Corinne.

As I stood outside, I prayed. I prayed that Corinne and the baby would come out of there fine. I prayed that the doctors would know what to do to help them both. I called my mom frantic telling her to start praying because they had taken Corinne in for an emergency c-section, because the baby's blood pressure had dropped drastically once they broke the water. I called the Prices and told Dan that Cary needed to hurry (she was in the shower) to the hospital because Corinne was in an emergency c-section.

Not more than 2 minutes passed from the time Corinne was wheeled into the OR until Austin was pulled out - but it felt a lot longer than that. From my position. I could see them pull Austin out screaming. I could also seem them pulling out bloody gook from Corinne. Shortly there after the nurse brought Austin to me and I got to hold him. They told me he was doing great. They also said that Corinne was fine.

After the doctor finished sewing up/stapling Corinne, she came into the recovery room to do some paperwork. I commented to her that it sure didn't take long to get him out. She told me that normally the whole procedure takes about 2o minutes. However, that this situation was life or death for the baby and that that was why they worked so quickly.

Later when the doctor came to Corinne's room to check on her and the baby, I asked if there was any chance the baby had suffered any kind of damage from the loss of blood pressure. She told me no, that baby's can apparently go close to 18mins under such circumstances without causing brain damage. We were very happy to hear that.

Austin looked perfect. Needless to say were were truly blessed throughout this whole experience. We were blessed Corinne's water did not break at home, because it is very unlikely we would have known anything could be wrong with the baby and it is very unlikely that we would have gotten to the hospital in 18mins. Austin could have easily died or suffered severe brain damage had Corinne's water broken at home. We were blessed that the nurse noticed so quickly that something was wrong and we were blessed that the doctor acted so quickly and so proficiently.

Needless to say, I'm never going to forget this experience and how blessed were truly were.


Natalie said...

Ah! What a scary experience! How grateful you must be for a quick acting medical staff. That is a nice remembrance for your son to have in future years.

Ben and Camille said...

Wow...scary and amazing all at the same time. You guys are great and Happy Birthday to Aus-boss!! We miss him so much! Tell them both hi for us! Hope you guys are doing great!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing Brian! It's so great to get a father's perspective! Tell your wife to get online sometime!

Teri said...

ok, I will dry my eyes and reapply my mascara!! (thanks brian!)
Happy late birthday Austin!

Keyonna said...

I know you already told me that but I am crying! What a touching story. So glad he made it safely!

The Stapletons said...

Wow! So glad that it turned out well.

Sharlene said...

Indeed, you witnessed a miracle when Austin was born. I'm so glad that your prayers were answered, that Corinne had a competent doctor and good nurses and that the technology that saves lives in high risk situations was available.