But at last the stick said + and my jaw dropped. I cried... plans interrupted, plans changed, worry triggered. Beta levels would place me about 7 weeks pregnant. A miracle was happening to my husband and I. We were scared I am not going to lie. We were never planning on having more then 2 children. We thought we were done. Fate had something else planned. The shock would take a while but the reality that my body was being pushed hard would catch up quick.
Having 2 previous semi-complicated pregnancies worried my doctors. They decided to start ultrasounds early and categorize me as high risk. This time around I experienced all the things pregnancy brings - the cravings, the sickness, the crazy dreams. Things I didn't really experience with my first 2 pregnancies,I told the the doctors that I felt great and I wanted to be treated like a normal healthy pregnancy unless a test came out concerning so they backed off - well for a while.
Enter the 20 wk ultrasound. An evil thing this time around. The ultrasound announced that we had a boy!!! Yay!! (we would have taken a girl too but thought a boy would be a lot more convenient.) The ultrasound was almost done and then the tech said "I can't see the cervix, I am going to have to do a different type on ultrasound." She set up the ultrasound finally found my cervix, took the measurement and said, "I have to speak with the Dr., don't move". Not the thing an expectant mom wants to hear. A "everything is great you can go home" would have been preferred.
Enter a high risk maternal medicine doctor - not an ob - not a resident but a high risk guy. He took another look at my cervix, took more measurements and then instructed me to get dressed and we would talk. I never dressed so quick in my life!!! Turned out that my cervix was starting to shorten. This is the first thing that happens before you go into labor (it can take weeks for it to shorten and thin out) but at 20 weeks it is concerning that the process had started. I was sent home on strict bed rest with a drug that helped slow the process. I would have an ultra sound once a week for the next 4 weeks. 24 weeks is considered a viable pregnancy in CT so that was their goal.
For the next 4 ultrasounds it was looking like my cervix was holding up so they set my ultrasound for every 2 weeks. At 26 wks the ultrasound was perfect so they gave me back my body and took me off bed rest. It would not last. 28 wks came, a NST (non-stress test) was ordered along with an u/s. U/s showed cervix starting to shorten again but this is typical so they told me not to worry but then they sent me to NST. The NST showed our baby's heart rate dip during these tests along with catching frequent contractions. They watch me for a little longer and then admitted me to triage to be watched. they did a pelvic exam which had me dilated to 4 CM but no effacement. I didn't feel good, I was worried about my baby but they sent me home. "Don't worry everything is fine, your doing great, heart rate drops happen all the time, come back if you start having contractions". Ummmm didn't you see that I am having contractions???
32 wks I developed unmanageable gestational diabetes and found myself again in the L&D. This time for a few days. Babies heart rate continued to have periodic drops, I started having symptoms such as vision changes, headaches, rapid heart beats. It took them several days but they ruled out PreEclampsia. 34 wks and still walking around at 4CM, still having all the symptoms of labor or PreE and still seeing the heart rate drops on NST along with uncontrolled GD.
Very frustrated with the doctors I was home the rest of the pregnancy being watched closely by my in laws, my husband and my mother. Labor could happen any second, baby could go into arrest any second, mom could stroke any minute with sugars in the 200s and climbing - it was extremely stressful.
Handsome was born at 36 weeks. The day before I was admitted into the hospital for hives (a weird symptom that happens in some pregnancies before labor starts - I didn't know it was that and neither did the doctors until the next day). My BP was high so they wanted to watch me for a couple of hours. they discharged me a few hours later (without checking my cervix) with instructions to complete a 24 hour catch and return it to the hospital the next morning. The next morning I delivered my sample and headed home. There I got bored so begged my mother to take me and the kids shopping. So that is what we did. The first store I got extremely tired, the second store I said to mom that I really wasn't feeling good and that we should head home. We had one more stop to make so I sent Mom in without me and I weighted in the car. When she came out I told I just wanted to get home, that I was having some really harsh braxton hicks and wanted to take a nap, that was at 4:40p. We got back to the house and I laid down and feel asleep till 6:30p. I still felt a little crampy so I decided to take a shower. My mom asked if I had been timing the braxton hicks and I said "no - they are just braxton hicks - I am fine". After my shower I moved into the living room and started timing the contractions. At 7:20 I called the doctor and said that the cramping was getting closer and I think I was in labor. The doctor said take your time but come on in to the hospital so we can check.
Handsome was born at 8:16p. I don't think I have to tell you how many red lights my husband ran or how painful the walk to L&D was. My water broke on the toilet, the nurse saw the head she rushed me over the bed holding her hands below to make sure baby didn't fall out, the resident checked me - said "yup your ready - push" (clothes still around my ankles btw) in the middle of the push the resident said "stop - stop pushing" so I did and that was it. Handsome had made his entrance into the world. We had a few minutes to adore him and then he was whisked away to NICU.
Handsome had been in fetal distress - for how long we just do not know. He was surrounded by meconium, the heartbeat they were able to get from him was 81 (130-160 is what is healthy), his blood sugar was 14 (60-110 is healthy), and his lungs were collapsing.
I could have been released the next day - I was feeling fine. It didn't even feel like I pushed out a 7lbs 5 oz baby the night before. But the longer I was in the hospital, the more often I got to see my baby. There is nothing more sobering then being alone with no baby in a maternity room. You can hear the other moms and their babies crying for the familiarity of their mother. I wanted to scream - "pick up your baby!! they need you - you need them!" My arms ached to hold my baby - like they didn't belong to me, they belonged to him and they just did not know what to do but ache. I spent every minute I could in the NICU beside his heat table and every minute I couldn't be in the NICU I slept or pumped milk for my baby. After 48 hours they kicked me out.
I visited Handsome for hours at a time every day - sometimes into the night. I tried to stay home for my kids but my heart just need to be close to him. When he was 4 days old I finally got to hold him, he arched right for my breasts - a smart little buddy. It was a tease the short amount of time, I would have held him forever at that point. We as a family were one of the lucky ones. Handsome came off the oxygen on day 6 and was discharged on day 7. We had another beautiful baby. His brother & sister were in awe. We were in awe. We were a family in awe.
Handsome is a healthy 4mth old now, he is exclusively breastfed, gaining weight normally, breathing normally and continues to be an amazing part of our family. Even if he has decided as of today that he can move in circles on the floor and given the right position can turn himself from stomach to back and do with his daddy calls "the turtle".
|4mths with Sissy & Bubba (Punka & Little Man)|