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My pregnancy started off great. No morning sickness what so ever, so I was very pleased. Everything went great until 16 weeks-this is when my little "trouble maker" developed his attitude I went in for my normal check up-my OB tried to find the heartbeat with the doppler...nothing. She tried for several more minutes before sending me over for an ultrasound. Everything was fine though, he just decided to hide and worry mommy. We had several ultrasounds to find out the gender, but he never would cooperate. We accepted the fact that it would be a surprise, and it was really exciting.
Everything went great until my glucose test. I failed my 1 hour, then went on to fail my 3 hour. I had gestational diabetes, and wasn't too happy about it. I had to meet with a nurse once a week to check my weight, blood pressure and go over what I was eating. At my first appointment my blood pressure was high-something like 148/90. Normally, I run about 110/60. She was a little concerned so she called my dr. I was told to lie down and take it easy, and if I had any symptoms of pre-e to come in immediately.
I was sitting at home watching TV with my 2 year old and I wasn't feeling right. My heart was racing at about 130 bpm...resting. After several hours of that, I went to the ER. They hooked me up to several monitors to watch my heart rate, and baby's. While I was there, Evan's heart rate dipped to 60 bpm for 30 seconds. Only once though, but enough to freak me out. My OB decided to do NST's twice a week, and bio physical profiles once a week. I was only 31 weeks at the time.
The first few went ok, but at 32 weeks I went in for my NST and it showed I was contracting every 4 minutes. They checked my cervix and I was about 1 cm dilated. They kept me for a while, gave me some water and a shot of terb. I was given 2 shots of betamethasone-a steroid shot to mature the lungs. I was allowed to go home. A few days later I went in, again, because I was having contractions. They hooked me up, and again I was contracting every minutes. I spent the night in the hospital after being given 3 more shots of terb. My dr sent me home the next morning with a prescription for Procardia to be taken every 6 hours on the nose. It worked...for a few weeks. At 34 1/2 weeks I was in again for another u/s and NST. This time, I was contracting every 2 minutes, but didn't know it. They checked my cervix and I was now 2 cm dilated. More terb and another night in the hospital-I was home again the next morning.
That day went by perfectly. Not one contraction all day. Until about 6 pm when I started getting a really intense feeling like I was going to start my period. I was timing them and they were coming every 5 minutes. Not as close as they were before, but a lot more intense. I cried to my husband because I was tired of being in and out of the hospital. I took a hot bath then had some bloody show. Off to the hospital we went. I was still contracting every 5 minutes and they were painful. Still 2 cm dilated. My OB gave me 3 more shots of terb and upped my Procardia dose. At that time I was 35 weeks exactly. She decided she was going to keep me in the hospital until 36 weeks then do an amnio. I was devasted. I was very upset about being away from my son. All through that night I was contracting on and off. At 9 am my dr came to check my cervix. I was 5 cm dilated! The hospital here isn't equipted with babies under 36 weeks, so I rode via ambulance to the next town about 40 miles away. Before we left, they checked me again and I was 6 cm.
We got to the next hospital and I was already 7 cm and begging for an epidural. I had to have some blood work done and wait on that. At 8 cm they broke my water and gave me my epidural...thank God! I had a previous c section so I was really hoping on a VBAC. I labored for a few hours and finally got to 10 cm. After 20 minutes of pushing Evan Michael was born weighing 6 pounds 3/10 of an ounce and 19 inches long. His apgars were 8/9. He cried for the first few minutes, but it sooned turned into grunting.
He was taken to the NICU and put on a little oxygen. The next day he got worse, so he was intubated and put on a ventilator. We got to hold him right after he was born, but didn't hold him again for 5 more days, once he was taken off the ventilator. He also had a PICC line put in his arm, and 2 catheters put in his belly button. I can't explain what a feeling it is, to watch a machine breathe for your baby, not being able to hold him. After he was taken off the ventilator, he was put under an oxyhood and soon moved to a nasal canula and into an incubator. I was also finally able to breastfeed him. He did *ok.* He didn't have much energy to eat, so most of it went into his feeding tube. After just a few days he was taken out of the incubator and put into a crib. But the feedings weren't going very well.
He soon started to vomit most of his feedings, and wasn't digesting anything. They did an x ray to check for pyloric stenois, which thank God, wasn't the cause. It took about a week for them to figure out what was wrong...he was lactose intolerant. Not true lactose intolerance, but because he was a preemie. I tried the diet they gave me, but with all the stress I just couldn't do it. He was put on Neocate formula and soon was holding it down and gaining weight. But he wasn't eating enough to come home.
After 27 very long days in the NICU, Evan was finally able to come home. His birth and that whole experience really took a toll on me emotionally. Since we lived 40 miles away and I had a 2 year old, it was very hard. I went to see him every day but was really torn-I left my 2 year old every day to go to the hospital. I feel bad for not spending much time with him. His birthday was 2 weeks after Evan and I still feel like a terrible mom for not making it as special as it could have been. DH and I had never been through anything like that in our lives. We tried so hard to stay strong for eachother. But, I remember one day, we both walked out of the NICU, held eachother and just cried...and cried...and cried.
Sometimes when people hear that Evan was a preemie, they ask me how early. When I tell them 5 weeks, they kind of look at me like it's not a big deal. I know that some babies born at 35 weeks are fine, and go home with their parents the next day. But not my preemie. They don't understand how many problems he had and what a rollercoaster it was when he was in the NICU. I still have a hard time looking at the pictures, and watching the video tapes. Heck, I'm crying now as I type this. That experience is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Man, reading this even more makes me wish that I had been a bigger part of the PR, I didn't realize that some of you had GD, I should have been there talking out with you when I was so emotional over my GD!!!
I can't believe how small he looks in the onesie with the monkeys, I remember Rock in the same onesie and it was never that big on him!
I'm so glad you are all getting along now! *hugs*
It is so true that gestational age doesn't necessarily mean anything about how awful your NICU experience was. One day in the NICU is too much. I'm so glad to hear that your little one is doing well now--I love the pictures you posted!