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Forum: Preemies/NICU

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  #1  
June 28th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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children after their premie. The reason I ask is bc I was hoping to TTC soon and I thought I was ready but now every night I cannot sleep thinking about it. Flashbacks of my hospital stay and NICU visits is making me really nervous. I was diagnosed with sever pre-e and feel like all this stress will put me right back in that situation again. How did you cope with the decision of TTC? Or did you just agree to NTNP to relieve some stress?

It's been awhile since I've checked in so I'll give a quick bio too. My edd with my first baby was 2/28/11. Around 18 weeks I took the quad screen and my AFP levels were extremely high. We had a detailed sono to look for neural tube defects. Nothing was found and I was in perfect health so I did some more labs then an amnio. The amnio came back perfect so the doctors were determined I had some type of tumor causing the elevated AFP. During the next weeks I was put through more tests and a Ct scan and nothing relevant was found. At 25 weeks I was switched to high risk and at the consult my bp read high for the first time. They sent me home with the 24 urine and my protein came back in the thousands. 2 days later I came in for a sono and no fluid was around the baby and blood flow was bad. They admitted me on the spot and diagnosed me with severe pre-e. This was the Wed before Thanksgiving. I received the two steroid shots and then had sonos every 12 hours. She only could receive a score of 6 out of 10 since the fluid was so bad. They tried cervadil the early hours of the Sat after Thanksgiving but it was too much stress on the baby so I had an emergency c-sec. Michaela Elaine was born on Nov 27, 2010 10:03am at 26 weeks 5 days weighing 1 lb 2 oz and 10" long.
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Last edited by Erin_0225; June 28th, 2011 at 10:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
June 29th, 2011, 05:32 AM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2007
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I had severe pre-e as well. I got pregnant the second time "accidentally." He was stillborn at 33 weeks and although I did have pre-e again, it wasn't what caused his death (we just aren't sure what did). After that, I was very "gun-shy." It took another few years before we could consider getting pregnant again. We decided we really wanted another bio child, though, and started TTC. I was scared throughout my pregnancy and I spent a lot of days at L&D just to get checked because I was frightened. They were always very gracious and let me lay there and listen to my baby's heartbeat for an hour or so. I believe because I monitored myself so closely and really took it easy as much as possible, that helped me get as far as I did. I delivered Daniel at 35 weeks and he was able to come home with me from the hospital with no NICU stay at all. I did still get pre-e but not nearly as bad.

The likelihood that you'll have pre-e again is about 30%. Which means it is MUCH more likely that you WON'T. I think you and your DH have to come to the point where the fear of what could happen is outweighed by your desire to get pregnant and have another child. However, you shouldn't be in anyway afraid to get checked a lot... often... whenever you want. Go for a NST to the hospital starting in your 5th or 6th month or so. Go see your peri often and ask lots of questions. I think too many times we are ashamed, like we should be more brave, but we've seen some of the worst of it. You have a right to be a little fearful.
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  #3  
June 29th, 2011, 08:55 AM
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I haven't had another child YET but I am almost 24 weeks with my second. Thankfully for us, we actually found out what caused my son's early birth (Septate Uterus) and I was able to have it surgically repaired. So, in theory, we fixed the problem. Before getting pregnant I knew I would still be a nervous wreck because of everything I went through with Travis, even though I KNOW we fixed the problem. And of course I am still consiered high risk. I have actually been a lot more nervous than I even though I would be. I expected some sort of peace of mind knowing we fixed the problem but I still manage to be paranoid about every little thing. But at the same time, I agree that your desire to have another child outweighs your fears. This doesn't mean that you are no longer afraid, it just means you are able to to realize that your desire is stronger than your fear. I am feeling a lot better now that I have passed the milestone of when my son was born (23w2d) but of course I know I don't want this baby to come for MANY more weeks.

It is a hard decision to make, and I know it's probably even harder knowing that you cannot necessarily prevent or fix the problem that caused your daughter's early birth, but we do have lots of mama's here that have gone on to have beautiful full term (or close to it) babies. Good luck!
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  #4  
June 29th, 2011, 10:17 AM
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I'm pregnant now too, I'll be 25 weeks tomorrow. I had sworn after Jim was born that we wouldn't have any more kids, because it was just too terrifying to face a potential NICU stay again. When Jim was 2, DH and I started going to therapy to deal with our PTSD-type symptoms--he was having NICU nightmares almost every night, and I was incapable of dealing with stress anymore because I was spending so much energy coping with the trauma we'd experienced. Basically, we were a mess, and if it hadn't been for a great therapist who helped us develop coping techniques, we'd never have had the courage to try again.

We still don't know why my water broke so early--there are a few theories, but no real answers. But the odds they gave us of having the same thing happen again was about 10%, which we felt was a risk we could live with. I won't lie, we're still scared and DH especially is getting more scared the closer we get to 27 weeks, when Jim was born. There have been days when I've just cried and cried because I'm so scared. But in the end, I think it's going to be worth it to give Jim the gift of a little sister, and to make us feel like our family is complete. And I also feel like, if we hadn't tried, it would have been letting the trauma win, and I REALLY didn't want to let the trauma win.

Anyway, if you're having nightmares, I would HIGHLY recommend talking to a therapist. We found one who had experience with traumatic births, and that was actually really helpful because she got what we were going through. Even if we hadn't decided to have another, it still would have been worth it just to be able to learn how to cope with the trauma better.

Good luck with your decision!
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  #5  
June 29th, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Thank you so much for your stories! I never even considered talking to someone. Dh is fine with TTC. I think it didn't hit him as hard. It's like we are all invincible in his mind. I think I will look into finding someone tomorrow.
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  #6  
June 30th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin_0225 View Post
Thank you so much for your stories! I never even considered talking to someone. Dh is fine with TTC. I think it didn't hit him as hard. It's like we are all invincible in his mind. I think I will look into finding someone tomorrow.
I think it's great you're looking into it already! Honestly, I sooooo wish I'd thought to talk to someone sooner. Waiting 2 years after he was born was just silly and the whole time I was in therapy, I kept thinking, "Why didn't I do this sooner?!?!"

There was a study done recently that showed that a decent number of NICU parents have PTSD-style symptoms within a few months of bringing their baby home--and that dads tend to get symptoms later, rather than right away. So, just keep that in mind, your DH might be fine or he might have issues pop up later.
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