I’ve had some people ask about this, so I thought I would share a little bit about my story. Some people don’t know why their child is born premature, but I know exactly why.
My whole pregnancy was miserable. I had maybe one day where I actually felt okay. I was gaining a lot of weight, and it didn’t really make sense because I could barely eat. I was constantly nauseous. I also had a lot of swelling, but it was also summer and pretty hot.
After about a week of really not feeling well, and having what I described as tightness in my chest, I decided to go to my doctor’s office. I had a week and a half until my next regular check up, but my husband didn’t want me to wait. When I went, they checked my blood pressure probably three times. The doctor went to talk to someone else, and another person came to check my blood pressure. The doctor then asked if I was alone or had someone with me, I knew this wasn’t going to be good news.
She wanted me to go to the hospital to be checked because my blood pressure was high and she didn’t want me to drive. My husband and my mom came to meet me and we went to the hospital I was planning to deliver at. I was 31 weeks pregnant. This hospital started an IV of magnesium sulfate, which is routinely given for preeclampsia – this was my diagnosis. They won’t deliver babies at 31 weeks so they had an ambulance bring me to a bigger hospital that had a NICU.
This is where I stayed until my daughter was born. After about 5 days of being on hospital bedrest, my blood pressure started going up even more. I had just hit 32 weeks and at this point they decided to induce as my baby would be safer growing on the outside.
The induction took a long time, started late Saturday night and my daughter was born at 9:57 Tuesday morning. I got to see her very quickly, and then she went straight to the NICU. I had to wait 24 hours to see her – when they started my induction I got started on magnesium again and the protocol was to stay on it until 24 hours after delivery.
My daughter weighed 2 lbs 14 oz and was 16.25 inches at birth. She was diagnosed as having intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), meaning that she had not been growing properly and was smaller than expected for her gestational age. She spent 36 hours in the NICU and then was sent to the special care nursery where she stayed for four weeks.
She was described as a feeder and grower, meaning she was mainly working on learning how to eat and grow. When she came home she ended up being diagnosed with severe reflux. We had many doctors appointments, including gastroenterology, nutrition, ophthalmology, pulmonology, audiology, and her regular pediatrician. Managing all these appointments was like a full time job!
Needless to say, this birth experience was very scary and was not what I had been planning on. But, it is what brought me my amazing daughter. I am extremely lucky that we are both currently healthy. No one plans to become a preemie parent, and it hasn’t been easy, but it is a big part of our story now.
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