Friday, June 4, 2010

From Premie to Toddler and Beyond: Share Your Birth Stories

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.


  1. here is the journey we went on to have Ellanor

    she is 6 now and doing so very well, we feel very blessed

  2. I had my daughter at 37 weeks through an induction.

    When I was about 16 - 20 weeks they had discovered during my ultrasound that I had a heart shaped uterus that was causing her to only be on the left side, so because they were concerned about lack of space for her to grow adequately they put me on high risk bed rest. I wasn't allowed to cook or iron even. It made for a long pregnancy.

    During the blood sugar testing they discovered I had gestational diabetes so there went my daily hot fudge and nut sundaes. At about 30 weeks I was hospitalized so that they could ensure I made it over that 30 week hump and monitor my diet because I was so thin and diabetic, and so that I wouldn't deliver too early. I was there for about 2 weeks. When I did get to go home I still had to visit the hospital 3 times a week for fetal monitoring and a weekly ultrasound. I got to know many of the nurses very well.

    At the 37 week ultrasound they saw that she was in distress so they told me they were going to book me in for an induction - it would be some time between the next morning (a Thursday) and the weekend. Go home and wait for the call. So, the next morning at 6 am they called and said to come in as soon as I could get there. We headed up and they hooked me up again to the fetal monitor and did all the stuff. I think they started the induction at maybe 11 am. They did the epidural and I had this overwhelming voice in my head saying not to go to sleep, despite the nurses saying I ought to rest. Because her heart rate kept dropping they had to keep rolling me over, like a pig on a spit so I probably couldn't have slept anyway.

    At about 5:30, 6 pm, I was only 3 cm dilated so the nurses and Dr. cleared out for breaks and to see other patients and I told my boyfriend to go for a smoke and eat something - it was likely going to be a long night (thinking labour takes hours and hours)

    I was left alone with one nurse. After a bit I began to feel the baby coming and told her so. She said, that no that was impossible, I was just feeling the cord they had used to break my water. I spent like ten minutes arguing with her and then she huffily said, fine, I'll check you but you are fine. She looked and was like "Oh dear! you're 10 cm!" Everything went nuts then - my boyfriend had wandered back in as the staff came rushing in and was totally bewildered. Poor guy - haha!

    My daughter was born at 7:09 pm, october 1, 1992 weighing 4lb 12 oz. SCN was on site to check her over and stuff and to make sure she was okay for being early and small etc. Many unkind people throughout my pregnancy had said that due to my lack of weight gain (I weighed maybe about 120 lb at the time of her birth) and because of all the complications, she was going to be damaged or something and I felt so vindicated that she was totally healthy and spent the first night with me, and not in the nursery

    She graduates this month :D

  3. Both of my kids were born on time. The nine months of waiting was what got me. With both pregancy I become a giant whale the moment I pee on the stick. People would instantly ask me are you pregnant. I worked in a factory for the first seven months on my first pregancy and the first four months of the second one. I was so big and all the lifting,stress and over 100 degree condition in the building were awful. With both my kids I did have that little window of relief in the second trimester. When the seventh month hit I would one infection after the other. With my son I got bladder and kidney infections. I would have severe back pain which would make me vomit and just shake in pain. I pretty much stay on drugs for the remainder of the time. I was so glad on Dec 23 2006 he was born on his due date and weight at a healthy 8 lbs 2 ozs 19 inches long. My daughter I got bacterial infections and spent three different nights in the baby ward on a moniter and had to get those shots to stop my contractions. I stay on meds until she came two weeks early on Aug 12 2008 and weight 7lbs 13 and was 19 1/2 long. I love the outcome,but I don't enjoy the whole nine months, but at least I am gratful they didn't come early.

  4. George, my middle baby, was by far my most exciting pregnancy/ labor and delivery. at 20 weeks we found through ultrasound that he had a little hole in his heart. at 24 weeks after vising with a perinatologist and a pediatric cardiologist, did we discover that it wouldn't be a big issue.
    at 39 weeks I was admitted to the hospital at 4cm and regular contractions, but when I discovered which Doctor was on call I decided not to be in labor anymore and went home. my regular Doctor set an induction date at 42 weeks. at two days past 40 weeks we were spending the afternoon at my in-laws house out in the country, being outside, playing on the swings with Henry (baby #1- age 20 months). my mother in-law made meatloaf, mashed potatoes with real gravy, green beans and biscuits. I must have also had about a gallon of root beer. I remember feeling really good, and content. up until that evening hubby and I had been in great discussion about who would get to be there when the baby came. my mother and sister had each held a foot when Henry came, and hubby thought that his parents deserved the same chance. but we worked it out that we would play it by ear, but that I wasn't comfortable having them in the room when I pushed.
    we got home at about 10pm that night, and I went to bed. at about 3am I woke up to a loud pop and gushing water all over the bed. hubby was still up playing the playstation, and jumped right up. I, of course, called my mother because that is what you do. she told me to stay home, that she was coming to keep Henry and would see us soon. I didn't agree, scooped up Henry in pj's and no shoes and off we went to the hospital.
    my contractions didn't start until we got into triage and I was already 6cm! they decided to move me straight down to L&D, they also thought that I should walk. I made it two steps into the hallway and wanted to push. the nurse fetched a wheel chair, my only ride in all my babies, and whisked me away.
    the good doctor showed up, a nurse took Henry into the hall, and hubby couldn't get anyone to answer their phone and come to the hospital. but, the doctor looked at me and said " we are going to push and not stop until he is out". had I been thinking clearly I would have thought that was a warning of some kind. but, that is what I did. one big push and all 10lbs of George was born. I later realized that he very well could have stuck like a cork.
    George did spend two days in the nursery having tests done on his heart, never required surgery and is perfect today. but oh, the drama.

  5. Sarah, I know the feeling--I had just helped my mom book her flight to England so she could be there for my due date and right after she had her flight, I had the baby! We looked at it as she got to spend time with us and a real baby going sight-seeing and having fun instead of watching me give birth and staying in our flat with a newborn...I'm just glad my husband got there in time, although I could have done without him peering over the drape and giving me a play by play that was a little too gross hehehe

  6. I forgot the funny part of my story---once we got into the operating theatre one of the interns that did my neck line realized that he'd forgotten to have me take off my t-shirt (i'd been in a t-shirt and boxers) so they were worried about my t-shirt....they had to cut it off...remember i'm totally drugged up on morphine for the headache plus what they gave me for the i said "it's ok, i got it on sale" ...and proceded to tell them it was from the Eddie Bauer outlet store...and then my husband who is trying to stay on his chair because he's laughing so hard at me, tries to explain to them what Eddie Bauer is....we still have the front half of the shirt :)

  7. I became pregnant with our fourth and last child while I was in nursing school. I always said it was the nursery rotation that did it!

    He wasn't due until about a month after graduation so we thought everything would be OK. However, I developed pre eclampsia during that last month and had to go on bedrest. That meant missing my last two weeks of clinical.

    They ended up inducing labor and Dan was born a month early and weighing 5 pounds. That night they called me to come down to the nursery to see him because he wasn't doing very well and they were afraid he wouldn't make it through the night. It was a Christian hospital and the staff prayed with me. By morning he was fine!

    My husband had taken our three girls and moved ahead of me for work reasons and so I was alone in Portland Ore when our baby was born and my family was in Minnesota. I was allowed to stay in the Nurses dorm and brought the baby back there when he was about a week old. It seemed like each time I would leave my room to go to the bathroom I would come back and he would be missing. He was very popular with my fellow students.

    The school was going to make me repeat the semester even though I had an "A" in all my classes. My classmates filled out a petition to let me graduate, and they did but dropped my grade to a "C" for those two days of missed clinicals. I thought they should have just let me make up the clinicals but nobody wanted to supervise I guess. Anyway, my whole family was more than a thousand miles away so I accepted and Dan and I flew home when he was just a couple weeks old. I did not attend graduation ceremonies which were held the weekend he was born. All ended well and it certainly didn't affect my ability to get a job.