Thank you for visiting our CaringBridge website for our Divine Miracle, River Calud Staudinger. We appreciate your support, prayers and words of hope and encouragement.
Thursday, January 5, 2017 we were scheduled to see our OB/GYN for a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes. I was confident that test results would be negative since diabetes does not seem an issue on either side of my family. The appointment began as any other with the dreaded "weigh in", a run down of symptoms including swelling, discomfort, and change in vision etc. I was feeling great other than the challenge of putting on socks and trying to tie my shoes.
Before seeing the doctor they took my blood pressure. Numbers had been creeping up since the pregnancy but today it was alarmingly high. We were ordered to go directly to the Emergency Room at the Women's Hospital across the street. I don't think the gravity and severity registered completely as we waited to checkout . Thankfully, one of the nurses kindly but firmly ordered us , "Do not checkout here. Go straight to the ER!"
ER nurses and staff tossed around a tapestry of medical terms but two words kept coming up repeatedly. "Preeclampsia" and "Serious". Once the blood pressure numbers were under control we were whisked upstairs and admitted. Within 30 minutes we went from having a glucose tolerance test to being diagnosed with Preeclampsia and being admitted to the hospital for an indeterminate amount of time.
To say we were unprepared and shellshocked would be an understatement. Rob and I spent the night in the hospital hoping that Friday morning would bring better news. Rob went home Friday morning to grab a few things for our surprise hospital stay. As he walked back in our room at the hospital around 10:30am, our OB/GYN followed right behind him with our nurse. The nurse gasped a sigh of relief and said "Oh my gosh! Thank GOD you're HERE!" as she pulled out a white sterile jumpsuit with surgical cap and shoe covers for Rob. Dr. Tomblin explained that baby monitor readings over night showed abnormal activity. I am certain he said much more than that, none of which I can recall. I do remember looking at Rob as his big blue eyes seemed to dislodge from his eye sockets and hearing him ask the doctor "So what does this all mean?". Dr. Tomblin replied quickly without batting an eye "It means we are doing an emergency c-section in the next 30 minutes".
Rob's phone was at 6% battery and our whole world turned upside down. By God's grace he was able to contact our Greensboro family and our Huntersville family. God was in it every step of the way. One of Rob's cousins happened to be working in the OR. She talked me through my anesthesia. Everything was moving at the speed of sound. There was nothing to do but completely surrender and pray.
Rob's family rushed to the hospital. His sister, Dawn, works at Moses Cone Hospital heading up the Endoscopy department. She was still in her scrubs when she arrived at Women's Hospital looking for Rob. The staff was kind enough to bring her straight back to the OR where she found Rob sitting alone in his sterile gown and cap waiting to be called in for the c-section. Dawn provided the comfort and strength Rob needed as our world swirled around us.
Just seconds before we started the procedure they brought Rob in to be at my side. He held my hand through the entire procedure, maintaining such heroic composure and strength, most of which certainly came from Rob leaning on God at every turn.
At 11:15am Friday, January 6, 2017 River Calud Staudinger made his grand entrance feet first via emergency C-Section weighing in at 2.12 lbs and 14" long just 27 weeks old. He is under the care of an extraordinary and compassionate team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Women's Hospital in Greensboro, NC. We are all getting quite the education on Preemie development. He is a spirited feisty little peanut with gorgeous long fingers and toes. He is a mini-me of daddy with a slender athletic build mixed with a Calud-Filipino nose, dark hair and olive skin. River has Staudinger ears and his daddy's expressive angry eyebrows when he is displeased. We can see he will be a fierce piano/keyboard player like his big Bro Ricky from his already expansive hand span.
Rob shared this with me as we discussed the details of Friday, January 6, 2017. Not only was it the biggest snow storm in recent memory, it was a day he will never forget and still feels the emotions every time he recounts his experience that day.
"The emotions I felt that day are still crisp and sometimes I can pin point the exact moment I felt them. I had no idea my family was at the hospital, my sister barely got there just moments before River was born. It's a long drive for both my parents to get to Women's Hospital. It was a whirl wind that was moving fast. There you were in the OR. There was no time to prepare, just barely 45 seconds for a quick prayer! And they were telling me I could follow them with River or stay with you. I was so torn and then you just had this super woman composure. You looked at me and said "go, go be with our son! " You were so amazing!! Rock solid, so bold! I tear up thinking about all that!!! Then as I stepped out of the OR the doors opened and wham! There was all my family, all of them!! Eli the Respiratory Therapist was rushing River up to the NICU. He told all of them to hop on the elevator to ride to the second floor with me and River!! My family being there made me stronger! Straight through into the NICU with a crowd of staff poking, measuring, listening to our little River."
River's developmental progress is a long road. He is expected to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) until his original due date, April 8, 2017. He is now 18 days old and has conquered some challenges, had many good days and a few less than stellar days. He's been on and off a ventilator, was successfully treated for a PDA, is battling occasional bradycardia and apnea to name a few hurdles and obstacles with many more to come. He has an amazing staff and team caring for him around the clock. We ask for much needed daily prayers for him.
I was released from the hospital Tuesday, January 10, 2017 after experiencing magnesium toxicity Friday evening January 6, 2017. Rob saved my life with his tenacity and persistence as my condition declined and worsened. God was definitely with us and brought us through such a horrific experience, especially for Rob. Thank you to our family here in Greensboro for all their love and support. They have shown up for us daily, taken care of our Mali and Cooper, done our grocery shopping, tidied our house, brought us delicious home cooked meals, stayed at the hospital to visit River and boost our spirits. And thank you to our Huntersville family for all their love and support, driving to Greensboro to deliver fresh fruit, flowers, balloons with surprise goodies, give River lots of love and support. God is so GREAT and we are blessed beyond words.
Rob has been my pillar of strength through all of this. He is at the hospital every morning for the doctors' rounds to get the updates on River each day. He has no medical background but he has been a sponge learning and retaining everything he can concerning River's preemie condition. He keeps me home to rest and sleep and then takes me to see River for skin to skin snuggle time AND keeps working on home renovations. He also has been updating our family daily with pictures, videos and details of River's progress. And he is at the hospital greeting and hosting all of River's visitors.
We will post updates and photos as we are able. Thank you for your prayers for our little River Boo.