Ariel's Birth Story By Brenda Print
Birth Stories - Premature Birth Stories
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 07:52
We found out in August of 1996 that we were expecting our first baby. We were thrilled. My DH & I had been trying to get pregnant since our 1 year wedding anniversary (which was May 20, 1996). After about a month I began experiencing the morning sickness, but in my case it was all day sickness.

When that was over (around my 4th month), I began having severe headaches. My headaches came often and had all the symptoms of migranes. I was finally able to get a prescription for them and it helped for a while. At this time my DH & I were living in Corpus Christi. I was sick so often from the migranes that I couldn't hold a job even if I wanted to. My DH was in the Navy so I really didn't have to have a job, thank goodness.

In February of 1997 my husband finished his term in the Navy and we moved back home to Dallas. We had to stay with friends because my husband wasn't able to take on a job until all the discharge papers were completed.

Meanwhile, the migranes kept coming and my new ob prescribed a new medication because the old one wasn't working as well anymore. On the Saturday before Easter Sunday I had a headache that was especially difficult to get rid of. It lasted all day and into the night even though I was taking the prescription from my dr.

About 6 am on Easter Sunday I woke up feeling sick at my stomach (naturally from the migrane that I still had). I went to the bathroom and threw up which immediately woke my DH. I told him to call the dr because this shouldn't be happening. The dr told us to come in for observation. Once admitted, they started an iv and gave me something to take away the pain. I immediately felt wonderful. The pain was gone and I was finally able to rest.

Some blood work was done since my blood pressure was unusually high. Sure enough, I had preeclampsia. The dr put me on bedrest. I was released from the hospital Monday afternoon with a bottle of strips to test the protein in my urine. If the levels got too high, I was to call the dr immediately. At this time we were staying with my in laws.

On Wednesday evening my protein levels were beginning to rise. We called the dr & she said to keep monitoring it and to call if they kept rising. Needless to say, that's exactly what happened. So once again we called the dr and she said to go on in for observation. Unfortunately, our car was not drivable. We had to call a friend at 11:00 pm to take us to the hospital.

When we got there the nurse told my DH to go home & get some sleep since they would only be observing me overnight. Some blood work was done and my blood pressure was still quite high. When the results came back from the blood test my dr came into the room looking none to happy. She said that the tests showed that my liver was beginning to shut down and that they would have to induce labor immediately.

Naturally, I was excited about the idea of having my baby but I was worried as well (I was only 31 wks along). I paged my DH immediately with our "baby time" code of 911. He was at the hospital in no time. I was wheeled to the ldr room and they began the pitocin drip around 6:00 a.m. on Thursday.

Through all the excitement I was unable to sleep at all the night before. The nurse told me that I would begin to feel some mild menstrual-like cramping. Well, if those cramps were mild, I was in for quite a ride. I was only dialated to 1cm when the drip was started. I had a long way to go. I have no idea how much time passed before I got to 2cm.

All I know is that by that time I was begging for drugs. Apparently, my ob and the dr who diagnosed the preeclampsia were having a problem deciding who was to give the order to administer the pain killers, and the nurse had the meds in her pocket the whole time.

Well, I finally get to 4cm and a decision has been made to administer the drugs. I don't think you've ever seen a happier person. I immediately was able to sleep, though I don't know how long. I was rudely awakened by some of the most horrific contractions.

Once again, I wanted drugs. The nurse obliged and I was able to sleep a little longer. Again, I awoke to hard contractions that barely gave me time to catch my breath in between them. I was at 5cm when the epidural was administered. I was told to sit Indian style while leaning over and putting my arms around my DH neck, and all of this during hard contractions.

Once the epidural was in it took about fifteen minutes for me to feel the effects. Once the pain was gone I again fell asleep and didn't wake up until it was time to push. I could still feel the contractions but they were all pressure and no pain. I knew when I needed to push and even felt the urge to do so. It took about three pushes before the baby's head started crowning. MY ob then came in with the neonatal staff. My dr told me to push and out came the baby's head. After a moment the rest of her body was delivered & my DH cut the cord.

We had a very little baby girl. Ariel was born at 5:35 pm that Thursday. The nurses immediately took her and cleaned her up a little. They wrapped her up and brought her to me but wouldn't let me hold her. All I could do was touch her tiny head. The dr said she weighed 4 lbs 13 1/2 ounces. She was taken to the NICU and put on oxygen because she was having a hard time breathing.

I was told that I could not hold her because of the magnesium sulfate I was on for high blood pressure and also because the baby was so premature. I was crushed. But no sooner had she been born and I was asleep again. When I awoke my family and some friends were in my room. I don't remember much about all that due to the magnesium sulfate.

It made me a little absent minded. I fell asleep again and woke up around midnight to find my DH sleeping on the sofa in my room. Early that morning we were moved to the intensive care room because there was an immediate rush of women in labor and my room was needed. As for me, I still wasn't out of the woods yet. The magnesium sulfate was still in my system and my blood pressure wasn't quite normal yet.

Friday morning I was brought breakfast (I hadn't eaten since dinner Wednesday night) and gave most of it to my DH. I was still too weak to eat much. Once the mag sulf was out of my system & my blood pressure was in more acceptable ranges, I was moved to a post partum room. For someone who had just given birth to a baby girl you'd think I'd be thrilled. I was just the opposite. All that work and so far all I had was a breast pump.

By Friday evening I was finally able to go to the NICU and see my little Ariel. Other than the nurses, I was the first one to get to hold her. She was soooo tiny and delicate. They let me feed her by injecting the milk into her feeding tube that went down her throat. Ariel opened her eyes once and I thought I would cry. They were a beautiful deep grey. Though I wanted to spend eternity there with her I was beginning to feel my body telling me it was time to get back in bed. I reluctantly obeyed.

I spent more time with my little Ariel on Saturday before I went home (without her). It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. My husband told me that weekend that my dr had told him that had we waited one more day to call, we would have died of renal failure. I had no clue that it was that serious.

Ariel continued to grow stronger throughout the week and was finally released on Friday, April 11. She was only in the NICU for a week. I was so happy to have her with me, yet I was going through a tremendous fear of having her taken away from me again. My DH was the only one who I was willing to give her to. No one else could hold her without having me watch them like a hawk. It was awful. I literally shook in agony whenever anyone other than my DH held her. I guess you could say it was a form of post partum depression.

Ariel is now 2 1/2 years old and is as normal as any other 2yr old child. She is also about to be a big sister. We are expecting our second child in September 1999. We have had none of the problems from the last pregnancy and it looks like this one will go to term.

It's amazing to me when I think about the migrane that saved my life. If we hadn't gone to the hospital that Easter morning, we would have never known about the condition and would have likely not survived. God was watching over us that day. I will never be able to thank Him enough for that migrane.