Friday, August 26, 2011

GrEeR's 1st biRtHdAy BaSh!

Greer's rough start gave us a big reason to celebrate when he turned one!  I had been planning this day since about January!  I was sad that the holidays were over, but knew we still had so much to look forward to and to be thankful for.  What better event to get a jump start on than the celebration of Greer's first year!  The wagon theme came to me easily!  I knew I wanted it to be something "boy" themed, but child friendly and age appropriate too!  The internet was my friend, including Etsy!  I was able to order his invites from here as well as get ideas to go along with our theme.  The day was perfect!  Everything ran smoothly.  The weather was even pleasant, and that is a big deal for an August Saturday afternoon in Alabama!  I was worried about not being able to enjoy the actual birthday.  It all started reminding me of my wedding and how stressed I was....and how I still wish to this day that I had taken more time to enjoy the day and reason we were there!  So I prayed about it and took advice from my sweet friend Jessica and made sure I made time to spend the party with Greer and take lots of pictures of him and with him and not just the decorations.  My prayers were answered, because his birthday was perfect!  Most all of our favorite people were able to come.  Those who didn't make it were there in spirit!  I almost put Greer down at his regular bed time and am SO glad I did not!  He found a second wind of energy from somewhere (probably the cake) and stayed up and opened every single birthday present.  The real Greer personality came out and he was entertaining us all!  He was "hamming" it up pretty good and even played the drums for us.  I think we have a little class clown in the making!  I love this little boy and am so thankful for this very special day!        

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's almost been a year since....

our lives changed forever!!!!!  When I say forever, it is the very truth!  Jeremy and I planned to have children around two years after being married.  That seemed to go as planned other than it took a few months of trying to get pregnant.  The part that did not go as planned is now the moment that has changed my life forever.  His name is Greer!  There is a story that goes with this name and it goes a little something like this....I woke up with contractions, fever, pain, and feelings of flu like symptoms in the middle of the night.  Similar to what people told me to expect.  We called the nurse on call in the middle of the night who told us to take some Tylenol and see how it goes (especially since Tylenol is known for helping with contractions and stopping labor-LOL!!!!)  Before you know it, the pain was overwhelming and my instinct was telling me something is not right!  When your gut kicks in, you roll with it....and especially trust your motherly instincts.  (Thank you God for that power you share with us moms!  It makes me feel like supermom on crappy days like this one!).  We arrive to St. Vincents to a station of nurses who are laughing and giggling.  Something must have been hilarious!  Probably the fact that we had the "hello, we are first time parents" look written all over our face.  Keep laughing girls, because you were wrong and did not have a clue what was going on!  It only gets better (or actually MUCH worse!!!!  I have to laugh to keep from crying!).  We were taken to a triage room where we had the worst nurse in the history of nurses.  Her name is ____________.  I really want to type her name, but will take the high road on this one.  I'll leave this night between her and her conscious!  By the way, this person should NOT be allowed to work as a nurse.  I could spot her across the room right now, but hope to never have to see this person in my life again!!!!!!!  Along with Dr. S___________ as well! (the other person who I don't know how she sleeps at night).  In the mean time, pains are getting much worse, we are constantly asking to see a doctor.  Where is she?  Who is she?  Where is she?  Can she please come check on us?  Something is not right!  Several excuses were given, all of which were pathetic!  She is not here, she is on her way, she is in the shower, she is making rounds.  The shower one really gets me.  It is nice to know if you are ever in labor at St. Vincents, that your doctor is going to clean up really nice for you before delivering your baby, because that is very important!  Doesn't that make you feel safe.  Oh, and the birthing suites are amazing!  They are 100% guaranteed to deliver healthy babies.  (I can't even go there yet!)  So in the meantime, I have gone to the bathroom 3 times and every time this nurse hits me in the ankle with the iv cart.  Seriously, she must have been in her 60s and she does not know how to walk alongside a patient without knocking their heels with a cart.  Don't you learn that in nursing school?  How many years do you have to be a nurse to get this down pat.  She is also more concerned about my bracelet and where I got it from than what is going on with Greer.  The fetal heart monitor is indicating major decels and Greer is in major distress throughout our stay in triage.  Still no doctor, no oxygen for me, and she never attempted to move me from side to side.  We have called our parents by now and let them know what is going on.  Several hours have passed and it is now 7:00.  Thank God for this shift change or our child may not be here today.  I AM NOT KIDDING!  This is when doctors came through to make rounds and suddenly there are 3 doctors standing over me and they are handing Jeremy scrubs and prepping me for a c section.  Really???  Why in the world did this not happen 3.5 hours ago?  We are now in the o.r.(I am leaving out lots of details here for obvious reasons) and they have me prepped and ready for delivery.  Jeremy takes one picture before they begin and the next thing I know the doctor is telling me we are not going to hear Greer cry.  Instead the code lights and alarms are going off and the nurses are yelling back and forth to each other for different devices.  Before I know it, Greer is being rushed to the NICU, which is on the other end of the hospital...makes a lot of sense right?????  I can't stand this hospital!  The one thing I remember is seeing Jeremy run out of the room after Greer.  All I remember seeing is his scrub jacket blowing in the wind because he was moving so fast!  Greer was basically swimming in meconium when they pulled him out.  The child's skin color was gray from lack of oxygen with black meconium stains all over his body, and embedded in his finger nails.  He does not look alive in the pictures we took, which is why we chose to never share them on Caring Bridge.  One of our doctors at Children's described it best.  His lungs were like a balloon with super glue in them.  Every time he tried to breathe, he couldn't.  Greer had been without oxygen for a while now.  His blood no longer had oxygen in it, so the blood in his body is not doing him much good at this point!  Imagine that!  I barely can!  Every doctor at UAB and Children's told us he had to have been in the meconium for hours.  Really!  I am not surprised.  He was swimming in this tar like substance the 3.5 hours while we waited and waited and waited!  Oh, and we have yet to see Dr. S_______... and it is probably best this way!  Anyone who knows Jeremy, knows he is one of the calmest people I know, and he can barely think about this, much less talk about it without turning red!  Greer is immediately transferred from SVs shortly after he was born.  There was absolutely NOTHING they could do to help him.  Really?  Could they not have mentioned their NICU is a feeder-grower unit and you may be left high and dry if your child was anything more than premature.  It was also very interesting to hear a doctor at Children's tell us he did not know St. Vincents had a NICU.  Enough said!  So, to document what happens for the next LONG month (yes, we spent a month in the hospital-thanks to the crappy care at st.v's). I am going to copy our caring bridge posts into our blog.  I have yet to read them since last year.  I am still not sure I am ready.  My goal is to have everything in one place, so that is why they may soon appear here.     

It has taken me almost a year to write this!  I wanted to be respectful to anyone I knew delivering at this place they call a hospital.  Interesting enough, we have several friends who have transferred since this incident.  Need I say more!  Also, the thoughts that go through my mind when I think about Greer's birth make me sick to my stomach, considering they still have not taken any credit for their wrongdoing.  That is okay!  I pity the doctors and nurses who lie to innocent families saying they did all they could and that waiting around for three and a half hours to see a doctor while your child nearly dies inside you is normal.  It's okay!  We didn't need St. Vincent's any way!  God intervened and placed our family where we needed to be!  Greer did his part and fought for his little life like a trooper while the nurses and doctors at UAB and Children's Hospital served as guardian angels AND SAVED OUR CHILD'S LIFE!  I still get warm and fuzzy feelings when I visit Children's!  That is amazing to me, considering he stayed in the hospital here for so long.  Like I always say, they are good at doing what they do best!
A few lessons to be learned here:

1. The obvious:  DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!  We did and regret it every day of our lives.  We chose the hospital with the nicest birthing suites (at the time), the cutest commercials, and one of the largest practices in Birmingham!  Lesson learned!   Stay away from this place!  They need to invest their money into research and trauma care and stop blowing it away to advertising and decorations!  We know what's really inside and will NEVER go back! 
2.  Just when you think you have it all planned out, God is still in control!

3.  THE POWER OF PRAYER IS TRULY AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I promise to be more positive in my next posts.  This is a topic I think about every day of my life, and felt I needed to share.  Jeremy and I have done a lot of research and have chosen UAB as our hospital if we ever work up the courage to try for more children!  For now, we are enjoying every day with one of God's miracles right here in our home!  I feel so lucky to be this little boy's mommy!