Premature Delivery Story from Kayla Moncur

May 12, 2010

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.

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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.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin May 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

My William was born at 34 weeks because I had pre-eclampsia ( iactually seized during the delivery, but that’s another story). He was 5 pounds and 18 inches, just like your little bundle. I didn’t know what he looked like for over 36 hours as I wasn’t allowed out of bed and he was in the special care nursery. I begged for pictures. When it finally came, my little one was on CPAP and had a zillion IV’s and wires. But I treasured that photo, because it was my little William. He’s 3 now, and 38 pounds. You’d never know he was a preemie.

I send you wondeful wishes. Welcome to the preemie club!

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2 Kristy May 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Great story Kayla – well written and witty as always!

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3 Katie May 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Congratulations on your miracle baby. I’m so glad everything came out okay.

Full-term I had the same problem, I sprung a leak. Back and forth to the hospital for three days and two sonograms I blatantly told the nurse that I’m not leaving the hospital without my baby in my arms.

Little did they know how low I was… the doctor finally took a look on Monday, very convenient for them. The last sonogram was on Friday so they didn’t take a look until Monday.

After being induced for a few hours, my son’s heartbeat dropped. He laid on his umbilical cord due to the low amount of fluid. After a few minutes, my heat beat dropped and flat lined for a couple of seconds. They revived me. And I had to end up getting an emergency c-section.

Everything is ok though. My son is three and the size of a seven year old. But a very scary experience.

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4 Sandi May 13, 2010 at 12:13 am

Early babies are so scary. My little boy arrived at 25 weeks. At 15 weeks premature he struggled for a long time. I’ve posted Sam’s story on my blog. “Sam’s Story” is on the tabs if anyone reading this is looking for another happy ending to a prem baby story.

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5 Cara May 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

What a well written birth story! I had a similar experience with my son. I had low amniotic fluid from about 25 weeks on, and was in the hospital several different times as a result. At 36 weeks, my little guy was still measuring small, and they finally decided he would be better off outside of me. I was induced, labored for 20 hours, then sent for an emergency C-section as his heartbeat dropped off the monitor. It was VERY scary. He was born with the cord wrapped around his neck TWICE (a common complication of low amniotic fluid), weighing 4 pounds 9 ounces, and 17 inches long. He spent 10 days in the NICU before we brought him home, but he’s now an extremely active and intelligent almost 3 year old (if still a little small for his age). I felt like my whole pregnancy and birth experience was more than a little rough, and it’s nice to find some other women with similar stories!!

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6 aunt spicy May 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm

what a beautiful story!

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