The day after Rachelle Tambeau was induced at BC Women’s – Mother’s Day – is a day she’ll never forget.
Even now, when Rachelle tells the story of waiting to hear news of her newborn, she’s pulled back into the painful emotions of the delivery room. No one is ever ready to hear that they may need to think about the worst, especially after having carried a healthy baby to full term.
When the doctor told Rachelle that her daughter was “currently stable” she naturally felt confused and was afraid that her baby might die. She said, “I realized later that was exactly what the doctor was trying to prepare me for.”
In the last five minutes of delivery, Rachelle’s baby began showing signs of distress. She had aspirated meconium, which affects a baby’s breathing, and the level of severity was quite high.
“I was so impressed by the quick response of the hospital team,” she continued. “Right after the diagnosis was given, people began filling the room, and they did everything to avoid putting my baby on cardiopulmonary bypass.”
The response team knew that should an infant need to go on a bypass machine, the chances of her recovering would be greatly reduced.
When Rachelle’s baby girl, Kaidryn–was born, she was immediately taken to critical care where her lungs were drained and then aspirated. She was then treated with surfactant therapy, which helps to keep the air sacs open.
Two anxious hours later, Rachelle saw her little girl for the first time. Poor Kaidryn was hooked up to an aspirator and had been given painkillers to minimize stress and pain. “When I first saw her she was so tired and drugged up, and she had been paralyzed to stop her from breathing on her own,” she explained. “I was so grateful to the nurse who was with her for explaining all the equipment and how it was helping to save my daughter’s life.”
For the next five days, Rachelle camped out in the family room of the hospital–ready to feed Kaidryn at a moment’s notice. There was no way she was going to stay home when she knew that every time she fed Kaidryn was one less tube feeding, and one step closer to getting her home. “The nurses were all so awesome,” said Rachelle. “They would come and wake me whenever it was time for a feeding.”
In the end, what was expected to be a two or three-week recovery period lasted just four days, and it took another day to ensure that Kaidryn was eating well enough to be released.
When asked if she would go to BC Women’s again, there is no hesitation: “Yes! The help and support is amazing.”
An update and a new beautiful photo from Rachelle
"Kaidryn turned 6 this Spring and now in Grade one! This has been a big year for Kaidryn - she learned to ski last winter, water ski this summer, and is a great swimmer!
She can ride a 2 wheeler, lost 5 teeth and just learned to tie her own shoes!! She is feeling very grown up as you can imagine! Above all, Kaidryn loves arts and crafts. She is forever making crafts and special presents for us!"