*revised* Alexander's birth - Not what I expected .. Delivery @ 32 weeks! By Tracy Print
Birth Stories - Premature Birth Stories
Monday, 16 February 2009 08:25
Here's my story ....it's pretty long ...

I had had an uneventful pregnancy until I was 32 weeks. At 3:15 am on Wednesday, February 14, 2001 after getting out of the bath I started to bleed pretty heavily. My husband rushed me to the hospital (only 2 miles away). Once there they hooked me up to the monitors and found that I was having mild, but regular contractions. To me it felt like very slight menstrual cramps or intestinal discomfort (something I ate?). After being examined I was told that it may have been a placental abbruption, but they couldn't tell for sure. They started me on Magnesium Sulfate (pretty mean stuff if you've ever had it) to stop the contractions and then I was kept for observation for a few days. While I was there they gave me 2 Betamethasone shots 24 hours apart to mature his lungs in the even he was born premature. By Sunday, February 18, I thought that I would be coming home. The bleeding had stopped completely and the contractions had stopped 3 days before, but by that evening my blood pressure started going up. I had had NO problems with high blood pressure ever!! As the evening progressed so did my blood pressure and I developed the WORST headache ever ( I couldn't even see)!!! By this time they had transferred me back to Labor & Delivery ( I had been in Maternity) so they could monitor me constantly. In the very early hours of February 19th (2 am) a blood test confirmed that I had preeclampsia and that I was advised that I was going to be transferred to a hospital 25 miles away that had a NICU to care for the needs of my son after I delivered. Prior to being transferred they started me on Magnesium Sulfate again to try and lower my blood pressure and prevent seizures. After I arrived (at 3:30 am) I was immediatly given pain medication in my IV for my headache and induced with a catheter on my cervix and Pitocin. That wasn't working very well, so at 2:30 pm the catheter was removed and continued Pitocin. At 3:45 pm they then tried Laminaria (some type of seaweed sticks inserted into the cervix to help dialate), but after all this was only dialted to 1 1/2 cm . All the while I was being given Magnesium Sulfate to help lower my blood pressure (wasn't helping) and prevent seizures, but it also stops contractions. I don't remember most of this, only bits after about 9 am. Shortly after 6 pm with my husband by my side I had a seizure and then 15 minutes later I had another. At which point I was rushed to the OR for an emergency c- section. Alexander John Paul was born 2.19.01 at 8:08 pm 3 lbs 11 oz and 16 inches long!!! You can see photos at www.pauljherring.com. (don't forget to sign the guest book) He had trouble breathing initially because I was given Valium to stop the seizures, but shortly after his birth was breathing on his own. His one minute Apgar score was 6 and 5 minute was 8. And was virtually trouble free his entire stay in the hospital 3 1/2 weeks. He just needed to learn the sucking reflex and be able to take a bottle ( he was fed through a NG tube initially - a tube that went down his nose into his stomach), gain weight steadily, and maintain his body temperature and then he could go home.

I wasn't able to see Alexander until he was 3 days old because I was so medicated. I couldn't stand up, I could bearly open my eyes and when I did I saw double, I have very little memory of the next couple days. He didn't have a name until he was 4 days old because I wanted to see him first to see what name would suit him. I wasn't able to breastfeed him right away so I pumped in the beginning so that he could have the benefits breastmilk.

I didn't know I'd had a c-section until I woke the next day in ICU and my husband told me. I had wondered how long my labor was!!! Since it was an emergency c-section, I was under general anesthetic and my husband couldn't be in the room with me.

The Dr. has advised me that I have a 30-40% chance of this happening again. My husband and I have discussed having another child and initially I didn't want to go through all that again, but we have decided that we will try again and pray for the best.

I feel I missed out on something. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I was in the hospital and was so medicated I didn't know what was going on and then next thing I know I wake up and I've had all these things happen and have no memory of them. I have no memory of the birth of my beautiful baby boy!!!!!

It's just sad that I missed that transition into motherhood. But I am thankful that I have a PERFECT, Beautiful baby boy!!!!

Alexander is now almost 5 months old (3 months adjusted - based on his due date) and is just a perfect, happy baby (most of the time :-) and we are so thankful for that.

Tracy

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best friend to Paul and mom to:
Alexander 2.19.01 (edd 4.11.01)