Thursday, December 15, 2011

From the start, my pregnancy was a worrisome one. I had a miscarriage prior to finding out I was pregnant, so I was on pins and needles worried that I may miscarry again. I got past the 1st trimester and all seemed well. That was until I found out my AFP came back with an increased risk for Down’s Syndrome. So, DH and I had to go to a hospital an hour away and have a Leve II ultrasound and an amniocentesis and meet with a Genetic Counselor. Everything ended up being perfectly normal and we got the definite confirmation that she was a girl.

Throughout the 2nd trimester, I started to gradually develop more and more swelling in my feet and hands. I couldn’t wear my normal shoes or wedding ring by the time I hit 23 weeks. I was assured this was normal. I was already on blood pressure medication for chronic hypertension, so I knew pre-eclampsia was a possibility- it was always in the back of my mind. Around 27 weeks, my blood pressure started to increase a little and the swelling was a little worse, so my doctor did a 24 hour urine to check for protein. It came back fine. So, I was told not to worry.

At 28 weeks, I had more and more swelling and my blood pressure was up and I just felt bad. So, I went in and they checked my BP and urine for protein. It was a little elevated and my protein was 1+, so again I was told not to worry and just take it easy. They did an NST and everything was fine also. That night, I checked my BP at home and it was around 180/100 even after lying on my left side for over an hour. So, I called the dr on call and she told me to take another BP pill and go to bed and come see her in the morning. So, I did. That morning they did an NST, checked my BP (high) and checked my urine. She told me they were going to take me out of work and put me on bed rest. I was definitely okay with this. The next thing I knew, the nurse comes into the room and says my urine showed 4+ protein (on the dip, which is as high as it goes). So, things immediately changed. She said she was sending me to the hospital and that “28 week babies do just fine”. I was in shock. 28 week babies? What? I’m having my baby?!

So, I arrive at L&D without my husband. He had worked 3rd shift and was at home sleeping. I didn’t think there was any reason to wake him for the appointment. So, on my way, I call him and tell him to meet me at the hospital. So, I arrive alone, scared to death and they are getting me set up in my room on the monitors and such. It was like I wasn’t even there. This wasn’t happening. They had me start collecting a 24 hour urine and gave me my first round of steroids for her lungs. They had trouble keeping her in the monitor because she was so small, she could move around a lot. The doctor tells me I can’t have TV, no lights, no cell phones, only 2 visitors at a time and I can’t eat or drink anything. Talk about torture. I wished I had eaten that day but I went straight to the doctors first thing that morning. I remember as they were hooking everything up, I just looked down at my growing belly, with my sweet baby girl inside. I knew that I would probably not be leaving that hospital with her still inside it. I just didn’t know how soon that would be. It was so wonderful hearing her little heartbeat on the monitor. It was such a reassurance for me. In the meantime, the ultrasound tech came in to measure the baby and check to see if she was “practicing breathing”. She said she was roughly 3 pounds and she was practicing breathing. She had plenty of fluid and everything looked fine.

So, DH finally gets there and we wait… the next day comes and my 24 hour urine results come back and it was 1900. This means I’m not going anywhere. The doctor comes in and says I have severe pre-eclampsia. I have to have my blood drawn 3 times a day to make sure things aren’t getting worse.
The next couple of days pass and were pure hell. Some days I could eat, some days they wouldn’t let me. I had to beg them to let me shower. They were so afraid that my blood pressure would get too high and I would have a seizure, I guess. One day they didn’t even let me up to go to the bathroom. I had to use a bed pan. How embarrassing.

On Easter Sunday, I had a terrible head ache. I couldn’t keep any food down and I was mad because they were actually letting me eat. My baby shower was the day before and my family had brought some goodies for me to eat since I wasn’t able to attend. DH had to open the gifts in my place. My headache was terrible and I was seeing spots DH had gone to work because everything seemed pretty stable as far as blood work. The doctor came in to check on me after the ultrasound tech did another ultrasound. I guess they noticed the baby was having a little more trouble than before and since my headache was so bad and I was vomiting, she said to me “We are going to deliver you within the next 30 minutes” DD was breech, so I knew it would be a c-section. So, someone called DH and told him to hurry back. They then started the mag sulfate to prevent seizures and inserted a foley catheter. (which I was NOT happy about). They then wheeled me to the OR where I met DH coming off the elevator. He quickly changed and they took me into the OR to do the spinal block and set up. A little while later, DH came back in. All I remember was being SO sick. I kept throwing up. It was terrible. I felt a little pressure but nothing too significant. After a few minutes, I heard the most beautiful little cry. She sounded like a little kitten crying. I didn’t think I would hear her cry- I wasn’t sure how her lungs would be. I was SO relieved to hear that beautiful sound. They quickly held her up for me to see. She was so beautiful and so tiny. They took her over to the NICU team to be weighed and examined. She was 2 pounds, 11 ounces and 15 inches long. She was breathing on her own. All seemed right with the world. She was going to be okay.
I couldn’t see her again for 24 hours because of the mag sulfate, I couldn’t get out of bed. I quickly started pumping though as soon as they would let me. I was determined to get milk for her. After the longest 24 hours of my life, I was getting ready to be wheeled into the NICU when they told me we couldn’t come in. There was a complication and the doctor would be in to see me in a minute. My heart sunk. I knew that something was wrong with my baby. Was I going to lose her before I even got a chance to hold her? It seemed like forever until the doctor came in to see us. He said that Reagan had popped right lung. It was called a pneumothorax. He said this was rare but it happens. He said most likely, the other one will do the same. So, they had to insert a chest tube and put her on a vent. I was able to go see her after that. She was the smallest, most fragile little person I had ever seen. She was hooked up to so many things and she seemed to uncomfortable. My only thought was that she would have been more comfortable and safe inside of me. I broke down. The next say, the other lung collapsed but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the last one. They never actually told me, but I think she crashed the first time. They wouldn’t let ANYONE in the NICU at that time and some of the nurses told me they were crying. They never actually told me that though-just that it was bad.
As the days passed, she slowly got the chest tubes taken out and she was moved to room air. I finally got to hold her on day 3, as soon as the chest tubes were removed. All was right with the world. I had my baby girl in my arms. She was SO tiny and fragile.

Time passed and she continued to grow and finally graduated to the level II NICU. She was then just a feeder/grower. She came home on Father’s Day, June 19th at 37 weeks gestation after an 8 week NICU stay.
It’s hard to believe it has almost been 8 months. She is a perfect, happy little baby. She has thrived meeting all of her milestones. She has some reflux issues but other than that she is perfectly healthy. She is truly living proof that miracles DO happen. She is my little hero.


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Hello. This is Dick and Lenay
I am a cancer survivor and a domestic abuse survivor. I have three sons, two of whom have juvenile diabetes. I have worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity for the past 30 years and as an entrepreneur. I am now combining my passion for both fields in this blog with a goal to provide helpful information on health, wellness, stress and internet marketing. My bigger goal is to help fund a cure for juvenile diabetes. - See more at: About Us For A Natural Approach To Health .
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