Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I had a really great pregnancy without any morning sickness or the usual complaints.  I was loving feeling my little guy kicking all the time and had just had my baby shower and we were so excited.  I went in to a regular checkup on Monday, May 23, 2011, and was sent to the hospital because my blood pressure was higher than normal and I had protein in my urine.  I had just had a really hard weekend, my husband had an emergency appendectomy and his mom was being horrible to me, so I felt the stress all weekend.  So I wasn't terribly shocked about having high bp, in fact I had a feeling when I went that morning that something was off.  I remember trying so hard not to cry in the doctors office, I was trying to act like it was okay and everything would be fine, but as soon as I got out to my car I lost it.  My husband was at home sleeping off his surgery, so I called my sister who had gotten preeclampsia with her first daughter at 35 weeks.  Then I called my mom because I needed her to drive us to the hospital (my husband was on pain medicine and couldn't drive, and I was in no condition to drive).  

We went to the hospital and they set me up to monitor my bp, hoping it would calm down, but it didn't.  I was only 31 weeks and 4 days, so I had to be transferred by ambulance to another hospital with a level 3 NICU.  They had started a magnesium drip before we left and I felt like I was on fire, so that drive made me sick.  The new hospital was beautiful, the room was HUGE and everything was brand new, so I was happy to be there.  I was having contractions but since they didn't hurt I didn't realize they were contractions until they hooked the baby up to a monitor and told me.  

We were visited by a lot of doctors that first night, including the parinatologist and neonatologist who went over what was going on and what we could expect having our son that early.  The lab came in every 2-3 hours to take blood, and the nurse came in every hour to check my bp.  I don't remember sleeping more than a couple of hours that night, or any night while I was there.  I was on the magnesium until Wednesday, then moved out of labor and delivery into an antipartum room, and finally allowed to eat something.  Then Thursday, at 32 weeks, I just knew that was the day.  All week I just kept telling myself "I have to make it to Thursday, he'll be okay if he's 32 weeks", and Thursday I felt different.  I saw stars, and my reflexes were crazy.  So Thursday night I had an emergency c section, and Liam Parker was born at 3lbs 4oz and 15.35" long.  

The operating room was really strange for me and I was shaking uncontrollably the entire time.  I felt them pull him out of me and he didn't cry right away, which scared me.  As soon as he cried I threw up.  They wheeled him by us quickly and he looked exactly like my husband, then took him to the NICU.  Since my bp was still not controlled they continued the magnesium drip and took me back to my room.  A few hours went by before the doctor came in to tell us how our son was doing.  They had to intubate him, but he was stable.

I didn't get to visit my son until Saturday.  That was the hardest part of it all for me because our family got to see him before I did, which to this day breaks my heart.  I stayed in the hospital until the following Wednesday because they couldn't find a medicine to control my bp and heart rate.  When they finally released me I knew my bp was still high, I could feel it, but I so badly wanted to sleep in my own bed.  I cried when we left because I felt so awful having to leave my son.  I was supposed to take it easy but I had to keep busy to keep from crying, so if I wasn't at the NICU I was spending time with my 5 month old and 3 year old nieces.  

The day after I was released we went to the NICU and found out that Liam's heart rate was too high and they didn't know why.  On top of that I was breaking out in a rash, presumably from one of the medicines they had given me.  I was barely getting any sleep, waking up every 3 hours to pump and not being able to turn my brain off.  I had my husband call the NICU every night because I was too afraid to call and get bad news.  They gave Liam medicine that lowered his heart rate, and then found out that his calcium level was really high.  That led to genetic testing, which all came back negative but scared us.  

For some reason Liam just couldn't handle being off of oxygen.  He was intubated for 1 day, on CPAP for 3 days, then had the nasal canulla for most of the remaining 37 day stay.  They tried many times and he'd do great, and then we'd go back the next day and it'd be back on.  That was sooo hard.  It was also really hard to see other babies come and go quicker than Liam.  It wasn't until a 26 weeker came in that I realized how lucky we were, and I tried to be positive from that day on.  

Today Liam is almost 13 months, he's 21.5lbs and 30" tall.  He's almost walking and can stand independently with a little trickery on our part.  You would never know he was early unless we told you, and the entire experience has made me a much stronger person.  It made things clear to me, and although I would never wish it on anyone I also know that it has made us who we are today. 


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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