Born October 9, 2010, at 9:03pm, Hudsyn Ann Seitz officially launched us into our new journey as parents. She weighed 8lbs, 7oz and was 20 inches long. Sharing the same birthday as John Lennon, Miss H came into the world with some big shoes to fill (no, really...her feet were huge!). The most common comment from the nurses was the size of her feet.
Then again, both her dad and I are 6' tall, so it's to be expected, I guess.
The Birth Defying all plans for a natural childbirth, Hudsyn was born during an emergency C-section. I was diagnosed with a placenta abruption late into labor (after 19 hours of non-stop back labor and contractions to be exact).
Shortly after being delivered, Hudsyn was immediately sent to the NICU for monitoring. She had trouble breathing and her Apgar (tone) was low. She came out with a 1-5-8 score. Initially they just thought she'd had some shock from the C-Section, but it turns out she had brain swelling which was causing a whole host of problems (breathing issues, liver and kidney issues, as well as, seizures). The morning after her birth she was quickly transferred to Children's Mercy Hospital for more specialized treatment in their NICU.
Bottom line, she was not OK.
In addition, I would be forced to wait four days before I could be released from my hospital due to the extreme amount of blood loss I experienced. My placenta had separated over 75% and I had all but lost my uterus. This also meant a blood transfusion and a whole host of other stuff I'd rather not remember. But it also meant four more days before I could hold our new baby.
This is where she was diagnosed with HIE...or more formally pronounced hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (Grade II-III), a form of severe brain damage. They told us it was caused from oxygen deprivation at birth. Her EEG and MRI's revealed global damage to her brain. She had a feeding tube in her nose, a central line in her right hand, monitors for her heart, lungs and blood pressure, an IV in her head and another one in her belly button. She was swollen from the amount of fluids they were giving her in addition to the seizures she was experiencing daily. They administered two loading doses of Phenobarbital which kept her in a coma-like state for nearly a week.
We had a very sick, little baby.
There were times when the doctors told us she wouldn't survive...and if she did, she'd be a vegetable that would require full time care for the rest of her life. One doctor told me it'd be unlikely that she'd live past her teenage years.
As a first-time parent, these things are so far out of the scope of what you'd planned for a birth that you can imagine how devastated Dan and I were upon hearing all of this. Not to mention the shock of this after having a pregnancy that was so normal and healthy, my OB was beginning to wonder if I needed him at all.
This wasn't the birth we'd planned, nor wanted. We had been taking Bradley classes for the last 10 weeks and had read nearly every natural childbirth book and resource we could get our hands on. We'd done the exercises, hired a doula, had a support team in place and our bags packed. We. Were. Ready.
But not for this...not to be told our new little girl might not come home with us. No book prepares you for that news.
Remember, though, I said it was a roller coaster...so after a tough day, there would then come days, like October 19, when Hudsyn cried for the first time...
We hadn't heard her cry at that point, so the sound of it gave us tears of joy. It meant she was becoming more and more like a regular infant...and one with an attitude! (lol) Over time she not only surpassed all the doctors' expectations of her (gagging, feeding by mouth, breastfeeding and regular muscle tone), she won many peoples' hearts while at CMH.
News of her recovery and great leaps in healing spread throughout the floor quickly. There were mornings that a line had formed outside her NICU room. Nurses, students, chaplain, other neonatologists, neurologists, receptionists, etc who had come to visit the "Miracle Baby."
Thank You Because we'd been posting regular updates on Facebook...she also became pretty famous online amongst our friends and family. This is also the main reason behind our intention to start this blog. We wanted to give more information, more stories, more videos and photos for all of you to see. But we also wanted a family blog to document all of our fun times and memories going forward.
It's because of all of her fans that Hudsyn is here today. Her miracle came from the prayers, support and amazing kindnesses that were given. I could post hundreds of emails and stories from fellow moms who had experiences in a NICU and extreme fear during labor/birth. Dan could give you thousands of Facebook comments from friends and family telling us how much they were praying for her recovery. And, the village of women who came to my rescue when my breastmilk volume was too low (from my blood loss) and Hudsyn needed donated reinforcements for her recovery to continue without formula.
It brings tears of joy to my eyes to know that humanity is definitely still in tact. That strangers, even, sent love and words of inspiration for us to hang onto during those dark nights when we didn't know what was going to happen.
So we dedicate this blog to all of you...THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. We hope you enjoy this little slice of life as we try to keep up with the little human that so boldly came into our lives called Hudsyn Ann Seitz.