January 31, 2013

32 Week Birth Story


March 15 – Just a few minutes after birth, Jamison was given a breathing tube and hooked up to monitors.

Thank you for your wonderful blog. I have always been a researcher and a planner, and pregnancy was no different. I sought out resources online that would prepare me for the personal side of motherhood – what will my body look like? I’m in great shape – will labor really be that tough? (for the record, yes!) and on and on… I would check in once a week or so to scroll through the stories and pictures posted on your website, and found great relief in the knowledge so many strong women have shared! I felt compelled to return the favor. Here is our birth story:

I had a very easy, active pregnancy. I continued to run, hike, bike and travel through my second trimester. Around 28 weeks, I started having signs of pre-term labor. Without sharing too much of the bloody (literally) details, I lost my mucus plug and had some strong Braxton Hicks. I was given a shot of Progesterone to stop the contractions and two steroid shots to develop baby’s lungs – just in case. After an ultrasound showed that baby was healthy and growing well, my OB/GYN put me on modified bedrest for a few weeks to monitor the situation. I am NOT a bedrest kind of person! At my appointment at 32 weeks, the dr. gave me the “all clear” to exercise again. A growth scan showed a healthy 4lb 7oz (estimated) boy, and I was feeling good. The baby was in a breech position, and I am petite, so the dr. recommended trying some “at home” flipping techniques sooner rather than later – before he ran out of room. I spent the rest of the day laying upside down with an ice pack on top of my belly, and a heating pad and music towards the bottom (if you’ve never heard of this, does a much better job describing the technique that I can). I signed up for a few passes to the local indoor swimming pool – apparently, somersaults in the water have been known to inspire some acrobatic moves from baby. I scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor that specializes in maternal issues. And, I attended my favorite spinning class at the local gym – it felt good to exercise again!

At around 10pm, I laid down for the night. Almost exactly an hour later, I was startled awake. I shook Husb, and, turning red with embarrassment, confessed that I think I had wet the bed. It felt like the baby had kicked my bladder. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom, trailing what seemed like gallons of water down the hallway. The gush continued while I was on the toilet, and it occurred to me that this probably wasn’t your average, run of the mill, pregnancy-related loss of bladder control. I called my OB/GYN to let him know that I thought my water broke. Because I was so early (32 weeks 1 day), he told me to get to the hospital immediately. We were not prepared at all. No bag packed. Hardly a nursery to speak of. No diapers in the house. Nothing.

I was in denial. Husb asked me what I wanted in my hospital bag. I replied, “No way that we’re having this baby tonight. Let’s just go so he can check me out and send us home. I have an early meeting tomorrow morning.” Famous last words. The hospital is only 10 minutes from our house, so we arrived before midnight. I had my first contraction in the parking garage. When the nurses checked me in, I was not dilated, but they confirmed that my water had broken and I was in labor. The contractions started coming on strong and with little rest between. I had devoured books on The Bradley Method and other natural childbirth techniques, but we hadn’t planned on taking our birthing class until next month and my coach (Husb) was woefully unprepared. I tried to remember the breathing techniques. The dr. ordered a shot of Progesterone and told me he would be back in a few hours to see how I was doing. Best case scenario, they could stop my labor for a week or two more, time which I would spend on strict hospital bedrest, and then deliver the baby. The contractions slowed considerably for about a half hour after the shot, but came back full force by 2am.

Husb was watching the contractions spike off the charts on the monitor. I was breathing through each set, praying that our baby was healthy. Husb called the nurse back into the room. When she checked me, I was fully dilated. The OB/GYN manually checked me, and with a straight face declared, “There is a foot in your vagina!”. (Remember, our little bundle was sitting breech, and despite my best efforts earlier that day, he hadn’t flipped.) Baby had engaged in the birth canal but the dr. decided an emergency c-section was the only safe way to deliver him. Within minutes, I was being wheeled to the O/R and Husb was “scrubbing up”. We called parents to let them know that their grandson was on his way. When the spinal was administered, I was shaking uncontrollably. I had gone into shock. I was not prepared for baby yet, not this early. It was becoming real that he was making his arrival whether we were ready or not. When I was laboring naturally, I was so focused on the breathing and relaxing techniques that I didn’t have much time to think about what was actually happening – this was the first moment I had to process.

At 4:18am, Jamison joined us at a whopping 4lb 6 oz. After running a ton of tests on both of us, and ruling out all sorts of medical reasons that my water may have broken (bacterial infection, etc.), the OB/GYN thinks that our future sports star kicked my water sac and ruptured it (rare, but possible). Due in part to shock, and largely because of a medicine-induced haze, I don’t remember much of his first few hours. Husb was amazing, running between the NICU and my recovery room. Jamison spent 20 days in the NICU learning to breath and regulate his temperature before coming home. He was on antibiotics for the first seven days for a lung infection, and spent some time under the lights for jaundice. Overall, though, he was incredibly healthy and we had no major set-backs. Our NICU provides individual rooms for each baby, so we were able to spend most of our time watching our little boy grow, cuddling a few times a day when he was able to come out of the “box”. It was an exhausting few weeks for us. One of the few times that I left the hospital was to attend my baby shower. Ten months later (how time flies!) , he is over 19lbs and cruising around the house. You would never know he had such an early entrance to the world. We are so blessed that he is such a strong, healthy baby. The planner in me has had a hard time adjusting to the fact that baby has his own schedules in mind, but he has been in charge since day 1!


April 12 – Newborn photos (taken when he was almost a month old)

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Comments (3)

  1. Thanks for sharing!! Does she have a blog?

  2. not sure, Melanie. I just emailed to ask her, shari

  3. Pingback: 32 Week Birth Story « Spearmint Baby | Baby Story

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