My pregnancy was sort of complicated from the get-go. I vomited almost nonstop from 6 weeks until he was born and was in and out of the hospital for dehydration. I had severe pain in my left side at 18 weeks that would come and go and no one could figure out what it was. I rarely felt him move, even as I hit the third trimester, so I was constantly getting sent to Labor & Delivery for NSTs to check on him.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise when I measured small at my 30 week appointment and my doctor decided to send me in for yet another ultrasound. Just one more thing, blah blah blah. I was sure he was fine.
I put off the ultrasound for a week because my sister was going to be in town for Christmas and, eh, what’s a week? I went in the day after Christmas and had a great time ooh-ing and ah-ing over my baby’s sweet chubby cheeks with my mom and sister. Everything looked just dandy to me and the only strange thing was when the tech asked if they had measured my fluid at any of my recent hospital visits. The baby had been performing well enough for the NSTs that ultrasounds had never been deemed necessary, so no. No one had measured my fluid levels.
The next day my phone was off for a few hours while I handled a speeding ticket at the courthouse. When I turned it back on again I had several frantic messages from my doctor’s office saying I needed to get to the hospital NOW. Turns out they had even called both my parents since they were listed as emergency contacts. According to the nurse, my fluid levels were dangerously low and I needed testing as soon as I could get my butt to the hospital.
So Aaron and I panicked and went straight to labor and delivery. Where we promptly waited an hour and a half. The upside of sitting in the waiting room with no reading material for that long is that panic quickly turns to boredom and I was much calmer by the time they called me back.
Again, my baby passed his NST with flying colors. The nurses were optimistic as they sent me up to ultrasound and I was feeling much more relaxed. After the ultrasound my doctor came to the hospital to talk to me. Amniotic fluid is measured in 4 pockets around the baby and then assigned a numerical level. They would expect to see fluid in the mid teens for someone at 31 weeks along but at some point I must have sprung a leak because I was barely at an 8.
And so I was put on bedrest with instructions to drink myself sick with water in hopes that it would raise my fluid levels. I could get up to pee and shower but that was about it. I spent a few weeks on the couch reading and blogging and getting tons of visitors and practically drowning myself. I went to the hospital twice a week for testing and watched my fluid levels slowly drop until they measured at a 6 on January 3rd.
My doctor was worried and wanted me to come back in on January 4th just to see what my fluid did over a 24 hour period.
That night I noticed things were a little…wet.
I wasn’t allowed to drive so my mom chauffeured me to the hospital the next day for my scheduled testing. For reasons I’m still not clear on we sat around for almost 6 hours waiting for my test results. I was starving and begging the nurses to just call me at home with my results when my doctor showed up. My fluid was a 2 and my sweet little boy was no longer better off inside. Because he was breech I’d be heading in for a c-section in 45 minutes.
The next thing I knew, I was on a table with Aaron sitting to the left of my head and the anesthesiologist sitting to the right. My poor husband was deathly white behind his mask as he put his hand on my surgical-capped head and told me I looked beautiful. A few minutes later I felt a ton of pressure as my doctor squished our sweet Wes out of my belly and into the freezing cold and bright lights of the OR. I was one day shy of 34 weeks pregnant. He weighed a hair under 5 pounds and was 18 inches long.
I only got to see him for a few moments before he was whisked away to the special care nursery that he would call home for the first two weeks of his life. The next 13 days were full of small triumphs and heart-breaking setbacks as he learned to breath and eat on his own. Finally, on January 17, 2008, still a full month before my due date, we got to take our tiny little miracle home. Now, two years later, that tiny miracle is not so tiny and we are very patiently awaiting the (full term!) arrival of his baby brother.
From Kayla of The Moncurs.
PS — Read about how Erica England got through her post-partum depression.
Note from Design Mom: throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. I just had my baby and am taking a blogging break for a week or so. I’ve received so many wonderful stories and thought it would be great to post as many as I can during this little “maternity leave.” You can find all the stories in this series by clicking here.