Friday, July 21, 2006

Having a Preemie

I'm writing this entry just in case, God forbid, you would ever have a baby earlier than expected. I just want to you to know someone has been through it and it turned out just fine...

First off, I loved being pregnant! It was so exciting. Feeling her kick for the first time. Seeing the ultrasound. Discovering if it was a boy or girl. Many tears of joy were shed. I can't wait to go through it all again.

When I was pregnant with Gracie, I developed preeclampsya (I'm not sure that's spelled right, sorry). Well, anyways, for those of you who don't know what that is it's where you get high blood pressure while your pregnant. It usually goes away after you have the baby.

They had to watch me really close to make sure she was still growing and developing like she had to. I would go to the doctor twice a week to be checked once by my doc and then again to be hooked up to a fetal monitor (monitors babys vitals) for about an hour. They told me to take it easy and get as much rest as possible, so I had to quit work. Which was ok, cause I was SO exhausted most of the time.

They had told me to watch for pain in my side and blurred vision and such. Which I didn't have until one morning....

I woke up around 4:30 am and had such a bad pain in my side. I felt kind of icky and decided to check my blood pressure. Well it was high of course. I don't remember exactly but it was something like 150/110 - not good for mama or baby. So I called my midwife and she said go to the hospital and be checked out. I woke Robby up, called mom and got there as fast as I could. I was so scared.

Check in at RGH went fast and before I knew it I was hooked up to another fetal monitor and having my blood pressure taken often. They took blood then moved me to a room. Dr. Webb came in and said I was definitly going to be induced. Oh Lord, it took about everything I had not to start sobbing. What about my baby - she was 6 weeks early. Would she be ok?

They gave me some meds to induce. I won't go into detail, esp. for you guys ou tthere. But I was having contractions within the hour. After I got to around 3 cms I was like give me an epidural. lol I know it was only 3 - but I don't like pain! They had given me a shot to help develop the baby's lungs. They say they aren't fully developed til the 35th week. I was only 34. The nurses were constantly checking on me, and were really great! I remember the most painful part of all of this was them breaking my water. The epidural didn't hurt - even though I had been told it would. So here I am no pain and FINALLY starting to rest. I had drifted off to sleep when suddenly I woke up with a feeling something wasn't right. I looked over at the monitor and saw the baby's heart rate had dropped. Normal rate is around 130-150 well her's was 85. The nurses rushed in and so did the doc. Then Dr. Rosas announced it was time. They had to do a c-section. It was too unsafe for the baby now. So I was preped and taken into surgery. I was beyond terrified but knew I had to have it done.

Elizabeth Grace Peck arrived at 8:21pm weighing a whopping 3 lbs 2 oz. and measured 16 inches long. They took her off to the neonatal unit. And checked her out. She was watched very closely and was given oxygen for about 8 hours. And for a preemie that is not a lot. We were told she was healthy, just very small.

I wasn't able to see her until 2 days after I had her - I wasn't able to get out of bed. Robby stayed with her as much as they would let him and with me the rest of the time. They gave me lots of pictures, but it wasn't the same as seeing her. I was so grateful she was healthy. She was kept in the neonatal unit for 17 days until she gained the weight she needed. We were able to take her home Septemeber 1st and she weighed 4 lbs 1 oz.

When we would visit the neonatal unit we saw many sick babies, and I have to say that they all received excellent care. I feel I was so lucky to have the doctors and nurses that we did. They took great care of us both. I will always be grateful for their support.

After we had her home we had heard such horror stories about preemies and all the problems they could have. We had WV Birth to 3 come to the house. We had a nurse and a developmental specialist that came to see Gracie. She really benefited from this. They were there to help in many ways. She had all of this until right before she turned 2, that's when they quit coming. Ever since she has grown in so many ways and we feel as if she will not have any serious problems as a result of being a preemie. She continues to be small but seems to average to all kids her age. She is a true little miracle.