Sierra Dawn's Arrival By Aimee Print
Birth Stories - Premature Birth Stories
Thursday, 05 February 2009 11:27
Sierra Dawn is my little miracle angel. It took my husband and I 9 months to conceiver her after his vasectomy reversal and with me taking Clomid for irregular ovulation, so she was special right from the beginning. My pregnancy was very easy, with no morning sickness or other ill effects...I felt wonderful!

At 28 weeks of pregnancy, I was typing on the computer and suddenly my shorts were soaked. I immediately went to my doctor who did an ultrasound and said there was "plenty of fluid left". They never tested to see if it was amniotic fluid and brushed it off as no big deal. Three weeks later this occured again (31 weeks) and we went to the hospital. There they determined that it was indeed amniotic fluid and rushed me to a specialty hospital with a NICU by ambulance. I was dilated to 2, 90 % effaced, and having painless contractions every three minutes.

The contractions were stopped with a magnesium sulfate drip (this in itself is horrible). It caused me to run a fever, feel achy all over, spacey, and extremely nauseated. For two weeks I lay in the hospital experiencing contractions every night and every night they would be stopped with more mag sulfate and IV fluids. I was given steroid injections to develop the baby's lungs faster as well.

The worst part was what they told you. I was told my baby could be born not breathing and put on a ventilator, have a hemorrhage in her brain causing death or brain damage, be handicapped for life, blind, mentally retarded. I just cried and cried thinking that I was going to lose my precious gift or watch her suffer for the rest of her life.

At 33 weeks, Sierra decided she wasn't waiting any longer and nothing stopped me from dilating rapidly. After 3 pushes in delivery, she was born weighing 4lbs 9 oz and screaming. Just the screaming alone let me know she would be ok. They put my baby in an isolette and brought her beside my bed before rushing her down to NICU. I told my husband to stay right with her!

Sierra never needed to be intubated, in fact, she ripped the nasal cannula they gave her for oxygen right off of her face! As she was breathing very well on her own, they never did put the oxygen back on. I was surprised at how big she looked compared to what I had imagined a preemie looked like. She was shorter than full-term (18 inches long), but she had lots of fat rolls and actually looked chubby!

It as hard seeing my little baby hooked up to monitors and an IV, and her poor little heels looked like pin cushions. I was able to hold her right away, though, as soon as I could get up and walk down to the nursery. The hospital NICU staff was wonderful, I can't praise them enough on how well they kept us informed and encouraged us to take an active part in our daughters treatment (St Lukes in Kansas City, MO).

After only a slight draw-back with Jaundice, Sierra was discharged to go home just 2 weeks after her birth. Today she is a beautiful, intelligent, and extremely active 3 1/2 year old and well worth it all. There is absolutely no evidence of her having been premature! She's currently expecting a baby sister in 10 weeks (hopefully not any sooner).