Thursday, June 28, 2012

delivery story (part 4)

wednesday we went to lydia's doctor appointment.  she is weighing in at 4lbs. 8oz. the doctor says that she is looking good.  quite a few people have asked if we have to go to the doctor more often with her.  the answer is no.  the next time she has a routine appointment is in a month.  they are treating her like a regular newborn.  the only things the doctors say they will treat differently is her weight, size, and development.  development, as in talking, crawling, walking, etc.  she could be up to six weeks behind in those things because of being six weeks premature.  with her being the "pistol" that she is, i kinda doubt she will be far behind, if at all. 

this next part of the delivery story is pretty lengthy, but it's the final section and i didn't want to break it up.  enjoy.

Around 1:30pm Sunday afternoon, I felt like my water had broke. I called in the nurse and asked her to check. She said that it wasn't my water but a little bit of blood, and that she needed to get the doctor. Dr. Madden came in and took a quick look. Looking at your dad and I, he told us that blood at this point was not a good thing. He described it as a placenta abruption. He further explained that he had no idea how the bleeding would continue and that we could risk losing me and you by continuing with the regular delivery, or we could move onto his suggestion...c-section...right then. Your dad didn't even look at me before he agreed with the doctor. I am sure the thought of losing both of us was one of the worst thoughts that had ever gone thru his mind.

I will take a time out of the delivery story to brag on your dad. I cannot tell you in words how much he means to me. The entire time I was in the hospital, he didn't leave my side. He slept on an air mattress for the entire 10 days that I was there. And he has been here everyday that you have been in the NICU. He loves me so well. As I am typing this story, you are a week old. The way that I have watched him express his love for you is amazing. It only makes my love for him stronger. He is both of our first loves, Lydia. I am so thankful for him and I pray that we will not take his love for granted. He is an amazing man of God. Please allow him to be a good standard of what kind of man to look for when you get older.

Back to the delivery story. Once we agreed to the c-section, it only took about 10 minutes before they were prepping me in the OR. Apparently, I have tiny veins. This caused a problem the entire hospital stay when it was time for them to take blood for my lab work. It was worse when the anesthesiologist was looking to put in another IV for the medicine to numb me for surgery. He couldn't put it in either arm, so he had to put in a "central line." That would be an IV in my neck. I was pretty scared. Your dad couldn't be in the OR as they were prepping me, so that made me even more anxious, but luckily the anesthesiologist was really nice and talked me thru the process. 

Once I was prepped, they brought your dad into the room. He sat beside me while they began the process of bringing you into this world. On Sunday, May 20th, 2012 at 1:59pm, the doctor pulled you out. At that moment, I heard the most amazing sound. You were crying! All 3lbs and 1oz of you was crying!!! That was the best sound I have ever heard. You see, I think Dad and I had half prepared for the possibility of you needing breathing support. The neonatologist had come into the room earlier in the week to explain what the possibilities and risks were with a preterm baby at the size and age you were. The need for breathing support was one of those. I am so thankful I heard that cry from you. I knew that you were ok. The doctor called you a "pistol," because you were kicking and screaming, yet you were so tiny. 

Dad stayed with me while the nurses rolled you to the NICU. Nonnie and Granny were in the hallway as the nurses wheeled you by, so they were able to see you for a second. I am sure there were tears from both of them. After they got me stitched back up, your dad came to the NICU with you. I had to be in recovery for a little while before I was able to see you. During the time that I was in recovery, you were doing so well that they moved you out of the NICU and into the Intermediate nursery. You never had to be on any type of breathing support or oxygen. Glory to God!!

After my recovery stay, they moved me to a different room in the Antepartum side. As they were wheeling me to my room, they took me inside of the nursery and let me reach in the incubator that you were in to touch you. You looked perfect!

I had to stay on the magnesium sulfate for 24 hours after I delivered you. With preeclampsia, the symptoms don't go away for me immediately. It could actually take up to a month for everything to regulate back to normal. Because of being on the mag and the epidural, they made me stay in the bed. This caused me to have to wait awhile before I was able to hold you. Friends and family were coming up to visit, and Dad was able to show you off to everyone. In the nursery, they had you right next to a window where we could open the blinds for everyone to see you.

Once the medicine was out of my system, I was able to be wheeled down to the nursery in a wheelchair and see you. You were so beautiful! It was Wednesday before I was able to hold you. The first time that I held you, I was able to feed you some of your bottle. Drinking the bottles really wore you out because you were so tiny. Every other time you ate, they gave it to you thru a feeding tube so that you could gain weight and get stronger.

As I write, I am sitting in the room with you. You have been in this nursery for 12 days. You are getting a little stronger each day! Dad and I are so ready to bring you home!! We pray everyday for you! We cannot express our love for you. You are truly a gift given to us by God. Our lives are better with you in it.

We love you very much!  Love, Mom 

part 1, part 2, and part you can read the whole story

Sunday, June 24, 2012

delivery story (part 3)

i apologize that it has been a couple of days. i have been running on coffee and adrenaline. who knew that babies would keep you up at night?!? since my last post, lydia became a month old. we had a huge party! not really. you see, preemie babies are pretty much banned from being around a lot of people at one time for a few weeks. this mom is not one to stay indoors or at home for long periods of time. i am very thankful that i am married to a man who knows that and encourages me to have some time away. frozen yogurt with a good friend is always needed. and daddy-daughter time is very important too. love that man!!!

onto part 3 of the delivery story.

Back to the hospital stay, Tuesday and Wednesday's lab work just showed the protein in my urine. Therefore, I was just monitored closely. Thursday is when things began to change. My lab work resulted in my liver enzymes doubling. With that showing up, the doctors put me on a medication called magnesium sulfate. This was to slow down the progression of symptoms and to keep me from seizing (which is another symptom). Basically, it made me feel extremely heavy and hot. At this point, I was only able to go from the bathroom to the bed. Complete bed rest. 

The crazy thing about all of this is that I, up to this point, had felt like I was fine. All the things that were going on were happening inside my body. Not on the outside for me to be able to tell that something was wrong. Therefore, it was hard to lay there and feel "ok," besides the magnesium.

On Friday, there wasn't much change, so they continued to monitor me closely. Saturday is when things got interesting. At that point my labs were showing high blood pressure, protein in my urine, problems with liver, and new on the scene, extremely low platelet count. Your platelet count is supposed to be in the 130,000s. Mine had dropped to 80,000. I had begun to have pain on my right side in the middle of my back, which I later found out was due to my liver issue. Headaches and swelling had also begun. The docs didn't want to continue waiting because they were nervous of the possibility of my platelet count dropping further, and my liver to continue failing. Time to begin induction of labor. 

When the choice was made to begin labor, the doctor on call explained the risks of a c-section and a regular delivery. Her explanation was NOT awesome. Basically, the risks of c-section were higher. Surgery equals more blood, and with a low platelet count, the risks go up. A regular delivery would probably have to be done naturally, because the anesthesiologist wouldn't put in an epidural with my platelet count being below 100,000. After explaining, she said she would leave the room so we could decide how to precede. We asked for her advice as a doctor, but she did not give us a straight answer. Upon her stepping out of our room, your dad hit his knees and prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide us in making our decision. We had no clue what to do. We were scared of the risks of the c-section, and we didn't know if my body was strong enough to deliver naturally due to the magnesium sulfate (which I had to remain on up to 24 hrs. after your delivery). After our prayer, the doctor came back in and said she had gotten anesthesia on the phone, and they were willing to put my epidural in right then, because my most recent labs had just come back saying that my platelet count had risen back to 101,000. They didn't want to wait and take the chance of them dropping again. We agreed to the epidural, which made our decision to proceed with a regular delivery. Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayer! 

I will leave out a lot of the details here. Just know that for them to begin the process of labor was not fun for me. There was checking things and placing things inside that were quite painful. I pushed through because I knew I would meet you soon enough! One thing that I can explain, was that my blood pressure had begun to spike even higher. They pushed a blood pressure medicine through my IV, and I immediately felt like my face was burning.  I called the nurse back in and told her what was happening. I was having an allergic reaction. Your dad had stepped out to get himself some dinner. When he came back, my face looked like a tomato, and Nonnie (my mom) was wiping my face with a cold rag. Crazy, huh?!?

After that, we had to wait 12 hours to see if what they used to begin labor was working. It didn't work as well as they wanted, but i had progressed a little. The next doctor on call was Dr. Madden. It was now Sunday May 20th, 2012. When he saw that I had progressed enough for pitocin, that is what was next. This is when the contractions were supposed to begin. The epidural was working great. I felt the tightness of my belly contracting, but not the pain. The mag was still making me feel heavy so I slept a lot...  

(to be continued...)

links to part 1 and part 2 in case you missed any of the story

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

delivery story (part 2)

just another part to the letter i have written to lydia about her delivery story. you can find part 1 here.

1st full day in hospital (braid by hannah)

Monday morning came. Our appointment was with Dr. Miles at 9am. They did the regular check up things. My weight (151lbs. I had gained 25lbs), my blood pressure, and urine check. She then came in and did a detailed ultrasound of you. The pictures of you looked good. You were just measuring small for 33 weeks. The doc came in and talked with us. She said that my blood pressure was high. Basically, you were either smaller because you would just be petite, or because you weren't getting the nutrients from my placenta that you needed. Because of my high blood pressure, I was at risk for preeclampsia, so they wanted to begin monitoring me closely. I had a follow up appointment for that Thursday and was placed on bed rest for the week.

We began the texting and calling marathon. We wanted everyone covering you in prayer. Thankfully, we have friends and family in the medical field. Lindsay Patton had become one of my closest friends. She is a registered nurse. Upon hearing about my high blood pressure, she went out and bought me a blood pressure cuff to keep at home.

I spent the entire afternoon on the couch that Monday. After dinner, Lindsay texted me asking me to check my BP and send her the numbers. It was 137/107. Apparently that bottom number is extremely high. Lindz called immediately and told me "not to be mad at her, but she wanted me to call the doctor." I was a good patient and did as told. The doctor on call told me to lay on my left side all night and to go back to the doc Tuesday morning for a BP check.

Following directions, I found myself back at the doctor Tuesday morning (May 15th). My blood pressure was still high, so the doc was about to send me back home on complete bed rest. That was until he got the results of my urine sample. There was +3 protein in my urine. This is yet another sign of preeclampsia. Dr. Crossing sent me to the hospital. Your dad and I went home, packed a few things, figured out where to send Ringo (our Australian Shepherd pup), and were on our way. 

We checked in and got settled in a room at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. We knew we were there for at least 24 hours because they were running labs on me. Labs included blood work and a 24hr urine sample.

After looking at the lab results the doctors diagnosed me with "mild" preeclampsia. Basically, when they see that you have preeclampsia, they keep you at the hospital until you deliver your baby. The reason for this is because preeclampsia can progress so quickly from "mild" to "severe."

The entire time I had two monitors on my belly. One was monitoring your heartbeat. The other was to gauge if I was having contractions. Just so you know, you were strong the entire time! They never were worried about you...

(to be continued...)

Monday, June 18, 2012

the delivery story (part 1)

it's been a wonderful week at home for the 3 of us.  i think that we are all adjusting well.  one good thing about being at the hospital nursery for three weeks was that they already had lydia on a schedule.  they advised us to stick with that until she gains more weight.  speaking of weight, we went to the pediatrician on wednesday and she has gained a whole pound since birth.  she is now a whopping 4lbs. 1oz.

after lydia arrived, i began to write out the story of her delivery.  one day, especially when she is getting ready to have her own child, she will have questions.  i want to be able to share with her exactly what happened.  so, i wrote it in a letter to her.  i know that a lot of people had questions about what happened.  i think this letter will help.  it is pretty lengthy, so i will break it up over a few different posts.
Lydia Bailey McDonald

32 week ultrasound
From the moment that your dad and I found out about you, we've covered you in prayer. We want you to know the amazing God that we love. We constantly prayed to Him about your salvation and your health the entire time you were growing inside of me.

Most of my pregnancy with you was, as the doctors described it, "boring." Apparently that is their word for healthy and normal. We were pleased with that every time we heard it. The only issue had been a low platelet count. Platelets are the things that help clot your blood. They weren't too concerned with this. Other than that, things were normal up until you were 32 weeks. At my 32 week check up, you were measuring a little smaller than you were scheduled for. They called for an ultrasound, so they could get some measurements. They took pictures of you on a Thursday morning. I had followed up with an email to the doctor on Friday, and received word back that things looked good. A big sigh of relief.

Saturday is a busy day for me at work. You may end up thinking it is lame that your mom is a hairstylist, but I love it! I am able to do my hobby as my job.  I was working away on Saturday, May 12th. Upon taking a short break, I saw I had 3 missed calls. 2 were from the doctor, and 1 was from my insurance company on behalf of the doctor. I struggle daily with the sin of worry. That is why I have the tattoo (you will either love it or hate it that your dad and I have tattoos) on my arm. It says "worship" to remind me to "worship rather than worry."  I hate to admit it, but the worry took over. I freaked out. It took me 30 minutes to get the doctor on the phone. She said that she was reviewing your scans again, and wanted to send me to the specialist first thing Monday morning.

All weekend, your dad and I covered you twice as much with prayer. We rested in that the God we serve is sovereign, and He already knew what would take place with you. Our family and friends kept saying that you would just be petite, because your dad and I were smaller...

(to be continued...)

Monday, June 11, 2012



incubator -> regular bed -> HOME!!

They are packing up and heading out! Lydia will get one more bottle feeding at 2pm, then she will be on her way!! The only thing they will be taking home is that sweet baby and some vitamin drops. No cords. No monitors. Nothing.

God is good. 


just a quick update.

lydia passed her car seat test yesterday. she had to sit in it for a certain amount of time while keeping all her vitals right where they should be. check!

so, today may be the day she heads home!!

waiting to hear news. i'll update as soon as i hear!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

outta the box.

incubator -> regular bed -> HOME.

today was a glorious day. miss lydia was moved outta the incubator and into a regular bed. a huge step in getting home! since she has been a temperature regulating champion, it didn't take the complete 48 hours to wean her from the incubator. (like it normally does.)  good news, folks. good news. 

man, i love that girl.

so. there's that. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


big news people! the feeding tube is gone! and it was lydia herself who removed it. which is exactly how i think it should've happened. squirmy wormy pulled it out, yet again, late this afternoon. and since they bumped her up to ALL 8 feedings by bottle she no longer needs it. so, they let her little nose be. and oh! is that little nose divine.

if she gains weight nicely tomorrow, they will begin to wean her off the incubator, which is a 48 hour process. here is the text i got from chelsea earlier today:

bumped to 8 feedings and beginning the process of discharge. could be monday or later depending on how she does with bottles, weight, and moving out of the incubator.

so! continue to pray that she keeps her strength and that drinking all 8 feedings won't take so much energy she doesn't gain weight well. i think i see little rays of light sneaking their way in through the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

lydia the model.

isn't she lovely? i can't get over it. kelly did a phenomenal job of capturing her sweet sweet face. i adore them. both the pictures and lydia. and well, chelsea and kelly for that matter. they are all the good kind. (kirk is neat too.) to see more pictures, you can scoot on over to chelsea's facebook page.

as far as updates go, lydia has knocked all 5 of her bottle feedings back so far today. she has one more tonight. praying she can finish that one as well. the sooner she finishes each of her six bottle feedings every day, the sooner she gets bumped up to all 8 feedings by bottle, the sooner she goes home.

she also still needs to be able to regulate her body temperature, something she can't quite do yet. but, that should become easier as she puts more meat on the those precious bones. (she is up to 3lbs 9ozs! grow baby grow!) we want her outta that incubator.

incubator -> regular bed -> HOME!

so! pray specifically that she can continue to keep up her strength - that she has no really puny days. and that she can regulate her body temperature.

(all photos by kelly is nice photography)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

with great affection


I am sure you have heard your mom and dad tell you how special and beautiful you are.  And you know what... they are right.  You are made in the image of the Almighty God.  And although you are small now, God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought you into this world.  God’s Holy Word talks about a woman named Lydia.  The Bible says she was a worshiper of God and that the Lord opened her heart.  Lydia, that has been my prayer for you since I have known you.  I pray that you are transformed into a worshiper of God.  That your heart will sing praises to the God who made you.  I pray the Lord opens your heart so that you may receive His amazing grace.  You have two amazing parents who first love Christ whole-heartedly and secondly, love each other with a beautiful covenantal love.  And from their love of the Father and their love of each other came you.  Your mom and dad have loved you and prayed for you long before you were born.  Trust them, obey them, learn from them, love them.  I can’t wait to watch you grow.  What a beautiful woman you will become.

With great affection,

the letter above is from chelsea's dear friend shannon. if that doesn't make you weepy, then i am pretty sure your soul is made of stone. 
i think the idea of writing lydia a letter is phenomenal. in fact, i think we should all do it. i have a picture in my head of kirk and chelsea handing lydia a fat stack of letters when she turns 16 or when the timing is just right. maybe when she needs to find the courage to fight like she did the day she was born or a gentle reminder that she is fearfully and wonderfully made.

so, write her if you'd like. it can be short. it can be long. write her something sentimental. or even something silly. i'm sure that lydia will like silly. but, all with great affection. 
you can email the letter to me  - yesyoumaigh at or mail one to the mcdonald home.

Monday, June 4, 2012

feedings & facial hair

this picture. seriously. is it still cool to use the term LOL? no? whatever.

today they officially moved lydia to 6 bottle feedings a day! that leaves a measly two feedings to the tube. i'm pretty sure i'll be getting her a prize for such great work.

they also did an ultrasound of her little noggin. it is normal procedure to do one on a babe born before 36 weeks, just to make sure there is no hemorrhaging or swelling. thankfully all looked well!

continue to lift them all up in prayer. the days are long and they are more than ready to get home. good thing she seems to have no problem entertaining everyone with an impressive moustache.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

i was thrilled to be able to see lydia outside of the incubator last night while she had a bottle. i'm not sure that the pictures really show how teeny she is. the thing that kinda boggles my mind is she is only that. just teeny. she looks exactly as i would picture her if she had been carried full term, only a mini version. perfect in every way. with the sweetest full cheeks.

she was a little sleepy peanut, making her 8pm feeding a little tough. chelsea said that they usually have the hardest time getting her to finish her last bottle each day. makes sense. girl is worn out by then. tonight however, was a different story. she finished her bottle in 16 minutes, setting another record for herself! that paired with being able to hold lydia more than usual seemed to have wrapped up a better day for kirk and chelsea.

and that makes me happy. very happy.

Friday, June 1, 2012


four! the number of bottles completely finished in a row! a record for lydia, that i'm sure will be broken soon.

i snapped a few pictures while visiting this evening. i'll be sure to get them posted in the morning.