Friday, November 13, 2009

She has arrived!



Yes, our beautiful baby GIRL (it's a girl!!!) arrived this past weekend. We couldn't be more in love with her if we tried.

I cannot believe it's been a month since I last posted on Pregosaur. I'm sorry for my silence, ladies, but the bed rest was getting to me and I really didn't feel like I had much to add to the blog. Mentally, I was just exhausted from thinking about all the medical information being thrown our way, and did not feel like writing about it...

Long story short, I started getting ultrasound monitoring (which still showed zero amniotic fluid, but growth on target), a fetal echo test, and daily home visits from ante-natal nurses (they did non-stress tests) starting in my 24th week. The nurses were optimistic and told me to hang in there. The doctors were mostly doom and gloom, preparing us for the worst.

We had a couple of labour scares, but we were able to complete a round of steroids in my 25th week.

And then the BIG EVENT happened on Sunday, November 8, 2009. Our daughter was born after 26 weeks, 1 day gestation.

My labour was pretty quick, which I understand is normal for pre-term babies. The evening before she was born, I started getting lots of pelvic pressure and I felt like the baby had dropped. I had talked to the nurse about it, but because I was not exhibiting any other symptoms of labour, she was unconcerned. I went to bed at my usual time, around 10:00 pm, and I slept well.

At 3:00 am, I woke up to pee and started feeling a backache and menstrual type cramps that were coming and going. After lying there for about 45 minutes, I woke up Mr. Legalosaur and got him to help me time them. We timed them for another 45 minutes or so, when it became obvious that they were coming and going every 4 minutes very predictably. Despite the fact that I was not having any contractions in the front pelvic region, we thought it best to go to the hospital to get assessed.

So we hopped in the car and made our way to the hospital. When I got there, the nurse hooked me up to the non-stress machine and walked away. The pains were now coming and going every 3 minutes. But there were no contractions showing up on the monitoring strip. I am no medical expert, but I had seen enough monitor strips over the few weeks previous that I could tell that the baby's heartrate was dipping every time I had one of my labour pains. Yet, they just let me sit there and wait.

I could tell the nurse did not believe I was truly in labour and thought that I was being a big baby. They had me sit on the monitor for almost an hour before the resident finally came in to see me. And that was only after I started vomiting that the nurse started to take me seriously and went to go get the resident.

A quick speculum check showed that I was already at 6 cm. (Turns out I had back labour only, which means no contractions showing up on the monitor!) The resident said, "I can see lots of black hair."

And that's when chaos broke out in my little assessment room. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity. Four nurses swooped in and started putting in my IV, filling out paperwork, adjusting my bed for transport, etc. I was very scared at that point, and in pain, so I don't really remember much of this point. I know I asked if I could get something for the pain, and they answered that I could...

They did another check of my cervix just 10 minutes later, and at that point I was at 9 cm. And they freaked out that I had progressed so quickly. The NICU team was called down stat, and I was wheeled away to the delivery room in the OR.

As I was being wheeled to the OR, I asked again about pain medication. I was told no, there was no time, we needed to get this baby out now. While I am not averse to the idea of a natural labour, I had intended to have some idea of how to breathe and focus, how to push, what to do... But I didn't have a clue. I wasn't ready. I was reeling from the idea that we were having our baby NOW and I wasn't ready for it. I really, truly thought we'd make it to at least 28 weeks.

In the OR suite, Mr. Legalosaur met with me after changing into scrubs and a fancy hairnet-shower-cap thingy. They put my legs into the air, and then I was told to push. And so push I did. It was painful, but not as painful as it could have been given my baby's tiny size. Really, the worst part was the resident pulling and stretching open my perineum so that there was lots of room for the baby to come out with minimal trauma. I think it took about 5 "episodes" of pushing (you push three or four quickly successive times when a contraction comes), about 15 minutes total, and our child was born.

They quickly cut her cord and rushed her over to the waiting NICU team. I heard one weak cry, and that was it. They didn't even tell me if I had a son or a daughter. I had to ask the ob-gyn to go check and let me know. She came back and told us it's a girl... and I remember thinking "A daughter! Our daughter." but mostly I was dying to see or hear her. And I was worried to death that she didn't survive the birth or was not going to live before I could feel her and touch her.

Sadly, the whole thing was such a whirlwind and we forgot our camera in the car. By the time we remembered and wanted to run down and get it, there was no time because baby was coming NOW. So all we have of our daughter's first hours of life are a couple of cell phone pictures on Mr. Legalosaur's blackberry. We had discussed previously that he should accompany her to the NICU, being that I would have to spend some time in recovery. If she did end up passing away, I didn't want her to pass on without a parent there. Luckily, he felt the same way.

I had to stay in the OR to deliver the placenta and to monitor my bleeding. I was there for almost an hour after the birth until I was finally put into a wheelchair and wheeled to my room on the recovery ward. Then they had to do vital monitoring, go through aftercare, and the nurse wanted me to go to bathroom with her watching to make sure that all was well down there. And then they forced me to eat breakfast before they would wheel me to the NICU, so I ate my food in record time and paged the nurse to take me up to see my baby girl.

The first time I saw her was almost two hours after she was born. I dissolved into tears at how tiny and fragile she looked. The neonatologist told me a bunch of stuff about her lungs and condition, but I don't really remember what she said now...

Turns out the likely reason for my early labour (aside from the premature rupture of my membranes) was infection. My placenta had areas of pus and infection on it.

Today, our little baby girl is doing amazingly well considering her prematurity (*knock on wood*). She is tiny, but feisty. She's proven to be the fighter I always knew she was, all throughout the pregnancy. When she grips my finger in the NICU, I cannot help but think that she would not be here if we had decided to terminate our pregnancy when my water broke at 20 weeks. I am soooo glad that we made the decision to wait and see what the future would bring. She is our miracle, the light of our lives. I treasure and cherish every moment I get to spend with her, and wouldn't trade them for the world.


And with that, this will be my last post on Pregosaur. I have decided that I have too much on my plate to go on and post on Littlesaur, as much as I would like to share my experience as a NICU parent. But I know I need to focus all my attention and energy on our daughter, and so that's what I'm going to do.

Thank you to all the readers for your thoughts, support and encouragement throughout my pregnancy. I will check back and see how the rest of the Pregosaurs are doing from time to time, and cheer you all on from the sidelines. Good luck to you all!

18 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS! She's such a beautiful little girl - I'm so, so happy for you guys! You had a rough ride, and I'm beyond thrilled for the happy ending (I cried when I read this post)...I wish I could give you a big congratulations hug in person!

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  2. Congratulations! So glad to hear she's doing well. 26 weeks is awesome, considering you ruptured at 20. It's a long road, and there will be good and bad days, but like you said, she's a fighter.

    Please let us know how she's doing. If you have any NICU questions for me, don't hesitate to email me. I know you have the nurses there to answer your questions, but just in case.

    Take care and know that you are in our thoughts.

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  3. Congratulations! Wow what a great time to pop over to say Happy Saturday SITS sharefest! Wish you and your family lots of joy, health, and love! Congrats again!

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  4. Congratulations! A bumpy ride but praise the Lord she is here. Continue to enjoy your little one and treasure every moment. Like you said she is your miracle.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

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  5. Congratulations! What a beautiful gift from God! Happy Saturday Sharefest!

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  6. Congratulations, I'm so incredibly happy for you! :) She is beautiful. You really have been an inspiration and are such a strong person. I hope and pray for your daughter to continue to be a fighter..she's definitely proved herself! I wish the best for your family, thank you for sharing your story. :)

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  7. I'm coming over from SITS today, thank you for sharing your wonderful story, prayerfully your angel will be fine and will grow up to be a wonderful little girl. My cousin has two boys (15 &11), they were both preemies and needed further surgeries once born, they were such fighters! They have now become intelligent and handsome boys. My heart has a special place for preemies due to them and I always make it a point to donate to my favorite charity "March of Dimes". I wish you many blessings and the best for you and your family!

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  8. Congrats on the beautiful baby girl. Your right she is such a fighter and I continue prayers for your family.

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  9. God bless you and your family! Your daughter is precious and I am so glad she's arrived safely and is doing well. She will continue to be in my daily prayers...congrats to you and your family.

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  10. All of us have been anxiously awaiting you f/u post. I am so happy your little girl is striving! God Bless you & your new little family! Good luck going forward!

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  11. Congrats! That is so great that she is doing so well :-)

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  12. Congratulations! I've been waiting for this post all month. I'm glad she hung on so long, what a strong little girl! Good luck and stay strong for the future ahead, I'm sure she'll be a wonderful fighter and come home soon.

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  13. So glad to hear she's doing well, and that you are too! We've all been thinking about you, and you and your family will continue to be in my thoughts. Congratulations on your baby girl!

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  14. Congratulations! I'm happy that your baby girl is doing well up to this point. She is a doll!

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  15. Thanks so much for your update. I continue to pray for you, your husband and your beautiful daughter. I will miss your posts here. Congrats again! I am amazed again at your strength and at Einin's fighting spirit!

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  16. Congratulations! I'm so glad this story has a happy ending! What a strong little family you have, and that's all you'll need to make it through any tough times. I wish you all the best and thanks for sharing your story with all of us :)

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  17. Oh, congratulations! She is gorgeous and I wish you all the happiest of family times.

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