As I was about to give birth to my baby girl, I was rewinding to my first time in the O.R. I know now that each pregnancy and delivery is totally different. You can never assume what will happen, until the baby comes out.
In Part 1 of this post, I shared that I was not able to witness the birth of my daughter. I woke up in the recovery room with mixed feelings and wild thoughts about what might have happened:
How was the baby? Is there something wrong with the delivery? with the baby?
Where's my husband? Where's the doctor? When can I see my baby?
I was scared at first. My husband showed me a recording of the procedure that the doctor performed on her. For a moment, I felt crushed. She was so tiny, and was crying hysterically as a thin, long rubber tube is pushed up and down her throat! Maybe I would have panicked in the O.R. if I didn't hear her first scream or cry, have I seen her with a breathing problem when she came out...God is good, He knocked me out to spare me the agony.
We were partly relieved that this is not uncommon to newborns, especially to babies delivered via C-sec.
Here's an overview of TTN.
Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn (TTN)
TTN, also called "wet lungs", usually can be diagnosed in the hours after birth. It's not possible to detect before the birth whether a child will have it. It can occur in both preemies (because their lungs are not yet fully developed) and full-term babies.Thank God my girl was off the oxygen treatment on the third day. I was able to breastfeed her thereafter. We took her home on her fourth day.
Newborns at higher risk for TTN include those who are:
During vaginal births, especially with full-term babies, the pressure of passing through the birth canal squeezes some of the fluid out of the lungs. Hormonal changes during labor may also lead to absorption of some of the fluid.
- delivered by cesarean section (C-section)
- born to mothers with diabetes
- born to mothers with asthma
- small for gestational age (small at birth)
Babies who are small or premature, or who are delivered via rapid vaginal deliveries or C-section don't undergo the usual squeezing and hormone changes of a vaginal birth. So they tend to have more fluid than normal in their lungs when they take their first breaths.
As for treatment, some are simply monitored to ensure that their breathing rates slow down and their oxygen levels remain normal. Others might need to receive extra oxygen through a mask, a small tube under the nose, or under a plastic oxygen hood.
Within 24 to 48 hours, the breathing of infants with TTN usually improves and returns to normal, and within 72 hours, all symptoms of TTN end.
If fluid stays in a baby's lungs beyond that, or if an infant is not improving, doctors will look for other medical problems.
We are blessed with another miracle.
Here's my experience with the boy in Part 1.