"On September 10, I had a routine 35 week appointment with the clinic to take a few tests and check the baby’s heart rate, just like we had done for the past few months. Jeff liked to come with me to my appointments to hear the heartbeat and see how everything was going (also ditching work for an hour was pretty nice too). When they used the Doppler monitor, Jeff and I looked totally shocked. The machine was saying her heart rate was at 130 beats a minute, but just listening to it, it was definitely much faster than usual. The doctor and Jeff counted the beats over and over and they both agreed that it was actually double, 260 beats a minute! At this point, Jeff is really starting to worry but didn’t show it at all, meanwhile I’m calm as a cucumber, not thinking it was that serious because everyone else was acting so calm. An hour later, I was laying on the operating table, waiting for them to make the first incision!! Olive was experiencing SVT (heart rate above 230 bpm) and they weren’t sure why, so they explained to us that they would need to perform an emergency c-section. They might as well have told me they were going to kill me because my reaction was about the same. By this time, Jeff was really wetting his pants. He was able to quickly call a few family members, gave me a blessing, and then out the door to get changed into his OR attire.
They wheeled me over to the OR and I was given the spinal thingy (thankfully I didn’t even feel the shot they gave me) that made everything below my chest numb. I was shamelessly bawling my head off in front of all the nurses and doctors until this point, and then I was totally calm (maybe they put something good in my IV). They started the operation and brought Jeff in. Poor Jeff was so shocked to see me lying on the table with all my guts hanging out! While they were working, I thought it was the coolest thing I have ever felt, it was so fascinating (in a sick way) and I was actually smiling and excited about the whole thing! Literally five minutes into it, they pulled the curtain down to show us our sweet Liv girl, kicking and screaming, so exciting! I sent Jeff to be with Liv in the NICU, and I was wheeled to recovery.
For the first two hours, there wasn’t any problem with SVT. Her heart rate regulated itself when she was born but then she had another episode and they tried a few maneuvers to shock her body into coming out of SVT naturally like pumping her knees to her chest and covering her entire face and mouth in ice for 30 seconds. It was heartbreaking. Finally, she was treated with medicine and the fast heart rate stopped. Every few days Liv would have another episode but mostly they did lots tests and EKGs to investigate what was causing this problem, however, we weren’t at a children’s hospital and they didn’t have many answers for us, or specialists to look at the test results. Thankfully, her body was compensating beautifully and her stats were great whenever she had this high heart rate every few days or so. She wasn’t even aware anything was happening, usually sleeping through it. Finally, a week after she was born, the cardiologist working with us decided this was beyond his training and transferred us up to Seattle Children’s Hospital, which turned out to be an enormous blessing. Before she was transferred, the doctors weren't sure how her body was handling the SVT and the nurses made it very plain that they didn't think she would make it. It was the hardest night of our lives. Since she was a preemie, she was on a ventilator and had wires and tubes attatched everywhere. The nurses unhooked her as much as they could so Jeff and I could hold her for the first and, they implied it maybe the last time.
At the new hospital, we had a team of several cardiologists and electro cardiologists working to solve the problems she was experiencing. Being at a children’s hospital made all the difference. Everything seemed to slowly improve from then on. They determined that the irregular arrhythmia she had was fairly common and babies grow out of it within a few months, but most importantly, it was not life threatening for her. The SVT doesn’t hurt her heart unless it goes untreated for long periods of time. Eventually we can expect to have another episode with SVT, but the older she gets, the further apart they have become. After we got her SVT under control (three more weeks in the hospital), they finally sent us home once we got her to eat more (thanks Nana D) and thankfully establish some breastfeeding (pumping is the worst!)
Little Girl is home and doing so good! At least the month while she was in the hospital I was able to heal from the c-section. I may not have had any discomfort during the operation or the day after the c-section, but let me tell you, that shiz was terrible! I would never choose to have it done ever again, just zipping up my pants drives me crazy! Olive hasn’t had any SVT for about 10 days and everyday she is getting bigger, she is a little over a month old and weighs just over six pounds! She is such a happy girl, smiling ALL the time. We feel so blessed for all the messages and prayers and fasting done on behalf of our girl. Thank you all so much! It was such a comfort knowing that even though we are away from friends and family, we still had so much support and love from everyone and we can’t wait to be back in Utah! I’m literally counting down the days!! Can’t wait to show Liv off to everyone!" Love- Claire and Jeff
|Liv in a basket...|
Olive has such a sweet gentle personality...she really has captured all our hearts! I can't wait to get back to Utah, too! I want to see all the cousins together-it's gonna be a party! (guess what's at the top of my list when I count my many blessings?...I will give you 4 guesses...)