Friday, May 31, 2013

Desmond Allan is Here!

So, I apologize that it has taken me so long to post about Desmond’s birth. The Saturday before he was born, we moved into an new apartment and it doesn't have internet. Unfortunately we still haven’t gotten this resolved and so now in order to go online I have to try to catch some stray network and hope that it stays for more that a couple minutes. Also, we recently had a computer go out and so I had no way to even get online if I wanted to.  

Anyway, here you go.

After the hard time I had with Hyrum's birth, the 27 hour labor and feeling brushed off by hospital staff to start with, I went into this birth with a better idea of what I wanted to happen.  We practiced for a natural delivery but I wasn't against an epidural if I felt that I needed it. However, I did not want to do an induction again!

Starting on March 19th, The Tuesday before Desmond was born, I started to have abdominal pain. As the week went on , it got worse. I went in to my OB on Thursday, had some tests run and was told that it was just because the baby was putting pressure on my stomach. My normal check-up on Saturday was fine even though the pain persisted. By Monday night the pain was horrible. I slept for an hour that night and woke up crying. I was in so much pain that I ended up walking  to the ER at 3 am  with snow and ice on the sidewalk(until I slipped on the sidewalk and was driven the rest of the way by a kind taxi driver) and was given an antacid and told to go to my OB when he opened.

When I did get in to the OB's office, more tests were performed and my fears from the start were confirmed: high blood pressure and extremely high protein in my urine, a very bad case of pre-eclampsia.  It was decided that my case was too severe for the private woman's hospital that I had been visiting to deal with so I was taken to the larger hospital in Gangneung, about an hour south of Sokcho (where we live). There the decision was made, based on my condition and because of the stress Desmond was under, that I would need an emergency C-section. 

I was pretty freaked out at this point. Let's just say that  horrible pain, a serious medical condition and emergency surgery make for a bad day. I'm glad that the anesthesiologist let me have an epidural instead of general anesthesia though because I was able to hear Desmond's first cry before he was taken to the NICU. Because of my condition and his I didn't even get to see him about 24 hours. 

My recovery took longer than for a normal C-section because after surgery it was discovered that I did not have pre-eclampsia but rather a similar but more serious condition called HELLP Syndrome. You should look it up.  (It was strange at first to be on the other side of someone's blood donation at first. Even though I  try to give blood three or so times a year, about as often as I am allowed, I have an even greater desire to continue to do so when I get home. )

One of the best things about this whole ordeal, aside from going home with a healthy,  8 lb, 20 in baby, is that we had a friend from church stay at the hospital for almost the while week I was there. In February, Kyujin came to Sokcho to stay with her parents until she left for her mission on April 22. Before that she had lived in the U.S. for a couple years and so she spoke really good English. She went with us to all of my doctors appointments before the birth and accompanied me to the hospital for the birth. I was lucky that most of the doctors that saw me spoke some English but almost none of the nursing staff did. Having her there looking out for me and helping by translating for both the doctors and the nurses made the already stressful situation much more bearable. Also, it gave me someone to feed my Korean hospital food to. ;) (Seriously though, the first four or five meals with seaweed soup were fine but the other eight or nine were just tedious.)

All in all though, this was a good experience. I have to say that the staff in Gangneung has the staff at Kaiser Fontana beat. Here, I actually knew who my nurses and doctors were. At Kaiser in the course of 24 hours I had four or five different nurses, most of which I would only see once. Also my whole bill for Desmond before insurance was only $1,000  more than what I paid after insurance in the US at Kaiser, and Desmond's birth was more complicated and involved a longer hospital stay. There were things about this hospital stay that I was not happy about but I am not sorry that we decided to have Desmond here in Korea.

Now, at almost two months, Desmond weighs 12 lbs and is 23 inches long. Hyrum absolutely loves him! He loves to lay down next to him and give him kisses. On a couple occasions he has even shared his toys with him. I think that I will savor Hyrum's love for him now before it it replaced with "He's breathing my air!!"  

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