Josie is home and according to reports is doing very well. A lot of us have bonded over the shared experience of having a premie and how that experience affected us. I invite you to share your stories as Michelle as shared hers. Even if you didn't have pre-eclampsia, a c-section, or a premature birth, you're welcome to share your miracles with us. Today we're celebrating our baby stories!
I had my daughter when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. The nurses and I argued all through my pregnancy on my actual due date, but I knew which day I got pregnant, not them--you have to have sex on the conception date and they wouldn't listen when I said "That's not the day!" So while I knew it was 34 1/2 weeks, they kept saying 34. It's not much, but mothers know.
We were living in London and on weekends had a habit of going for drives either to my mother-in-law's at the beach or somewhere else I'd never been so my husband could show me more of the country a little at a time. This particular sunday in March we drove to Hastings on the coast. The drive was a typical English drive through the country--winding! I arrived in Hastings a little bit queasy and head-achey. That was unusual as I'd managed to make it through the entire pregnancy without getting sick to my stomach. I was queasy in the beginning, but never did get sick. I figured it was the winding road and not enough of a breakfast. We walked on the beach, cheered for some runners in a 10k, and went to a pub for lunch. Strangely I wasn't that hungry and just had some chips with melted cheese--and a lot of cola.
I had my scheduled appointment with the midwife on the coming Thursday and still had the headache. I let her know when she asked and she immediately did tests and took my blood pressure. My pressure was incredibly high and the protein level she checked was also very high. It was around 3pm and she told me to go directly to the Day Clinic at the hospital. I went outside, got on the bus, and rode down there. I checked in, explained the problems she'd found, and they drew blood and tried to hook me up to a fetal monitor. Unfortunately my little one kept swimming away as soon as they'd find her so the fetal monitor didn't work. Since it was so late in the afternoon by then, the doctor on call decided to admit me "overnight" to continue tests.
I have to say I really wasn't worried. She told me that they wanted to give me a shot to help develop the baby's lungs in case I had to deliver early, but even then I wasn't worried. They never seemed worried so I never worried. I just somehow knew that everything was ok. When I finally got settled in bed and talked to someone, I learned that it wasn't the baby they were worried about--she was fine--it was me. My pregnancy was killing me, literally. For the next 2 days they tried to get rid of my headache (it just got worse) and keep my blood pressure under control (it would be for awhile then go haywire again.) They told me, finally, that I had an ultrasound on Monday morning and if that was fine, I'd be going home--every day it was "one more test and you can probably go home tomorrow."
Sunday morning March 18 was Mothering Sunday in the UK--Mother's Day. We were supposed to take Mum to lunch with my sister-in-law and niece, but since I was in the hospital, hubby would have to do that without me. And then I woke up with the worst headache ever. All of a sudden I had 3 doctors in my room and was told we were moving to a private room with more space. I was so tired and so dizzy from the morphine for my headache that I wasn't aware of most of what was happening. I did tell a nurse to call my husband--it was about 8am. There were so many people in that room doing so many things. I was getting lines put in both arms and my neck. Ten minutes later I asked again for someone to call my husband--no one had told me what was going on, but something was going on. I was told that they called him again and he was in the lift on his way up. Then he was at the foot of my bed--in scrubs--something was definately up. I finally spoke and found out that, yes, we were delivering. I'd asked a few days previous if having pre-eclampsia meant I'd have to have a c-section and was told they always tried to do it naturally first. This time I asked if we were doing a c-section and was told we were. "Good," I said, "I don't think I could push."
The whole experience was pretty interesting. For a Sunday there were about 12 doctors in my operating room. Apparently, because it was a teaching hospital, I had the lead doctors, their residents, and their interns--for everything--anesthisia, surgery, and neonatal. The only sad part is the only time I got to see my new baby was as they wheeled her by my head and out the door. They assured me she was fine and just under 5 lbs (they told me in grams and hubby converted it for me!)
I spent the next few days in the hospital recovering. I didn't get to go see her until Tuesday--I was still on spinal blocks and numb from the waist down. So when I finally got to go down and see her it was amazing. They let me hold her and cuddle her and even though hubby had taken pictures for me, he refused to hold her until I held her first. She stayed for 2 weeks and then we got to take her home. They said the only reason they were keeping her was to wait until she fed on demand. We had no problems afterwards and she's 3 now.