I went off BC October of 2008 to let nature take it's course for my husband and I. We found out April 2, 2009 that I was pregnant and we were super excited! I wouldn't call my pregnancy easy or hard...just a little complicated. I spotted at 4 weeks with implantation bleeding, then again at 8 weeks, which they said could still be more implantation bleeding. For the next few weeks I would spot or bleed off and on each week and then at 13 weeks I had some major bleeding like a heavy period. My husband and I got ourselves prepared for the worst and went to the hospital. After an internal exam and an ultrasound we found out everything was ok and I just needed to take it easy and they diagnosed a "threatened miscarriage" which is a really sucky term! For the next 2 weeks there was on and off bleeding until it finally stopped like magic at week 15. So at this point we hoped I would breeze through the rest of my pregnancy.
Fast forward 12 weeks to 26 weeks and 6 days, Labor Day. The only issue I have had in the mean time was a UTI. I go to the final baseball game my husband works for 2009. For some reason that evening I can't stand the smell of his breath! He says he has brushed and rinsed but for some reason I can't even breathe near him...which seems really weird to me! That evening I get home a little later than usual so I go straight to bed. My husband comes in late because they always celebrate the final game. He comes in, takes his shower, brushed and rinses and comes to bed. For the rest of the evening I am holding my breath because I can't stand the smell coming from him! I knew this was off because he always smells nice! I even go as far as spraying air freshener over him as he sleeps! For the remainder of the night I am feeling nauseous so I flip and sleep at the foot of the bed...again very unusual for me!
I get up the next morning and go into the bathroom and realize that my shorts are damp. I thought maybe it was just a heavy discharge so I get ready and go to work. When I got to work I decided to look up on the Internet heavy discharge during pregnancy and realized that based off of what it looked like it could be amniotic fluid, so I called the doctor and ask to speak to the nurse. I explained to her what happened and she said just in case I should come in to see the doctor. So I call my human resource manager and said I was going to the doctor to make sure my water wasn't broken and to be sure I wasn't in labor...man that was a loaded statement! I get to the doctor and they do an internal exam, I figured it would be like all of the other times and that everything would be ok. The doctor then says what I was least expecting...you are 5 cm dilated! The first thing I do is laugh...and then when it really hit me I started crying! She then decides to do an ultrasound to make sure Nathan was ok and he was...strong heartbeat and moving like a maniac! We call my husband to come pick me up and he takes me to the hospital.
At the hospital another one of my doctors does a more thorough check and finds that I am 3 cm dilated. They call the Neonatologist and he comes in to explain all of the things that can happen to him if he was born that day...which scared the hell out of us! I got the first steroid shot and we just waited. My doctor wanted to wait to see how things were progressing to decide what to do next. The hospital I was at could only deliver my baby if I was 28 weeks but I was only 27 weeks. They didn't know for sure if I could hold out that long. After a few more hours of waiting they decided they didn't want to risk it and put me in an ambulance and sent me 2 1/2 hours to Baltimore!
Flash forward we are now in Baltimore and it is midnight. They monitor me and pump me with fluids and antibiotics to be sure I don't get an infection. I have had a few contractions but none that I can feel. Throughout the next day I get the 2nd steroid shot and just wait some more...I am very cranky since I have not eaten solid food since the morning before...for dinner the night before they gave me liquids. This was my moment of being selfish! They do more internal exams and realize that I have not really progressed at all so they decide to admit me to antepardom (sp?) for bed rest. And the waiting begins. The goal was to get me to 34 weeks most likely in the hospital the entire time. My water hasn't fully broke and they are worried that if I get in the car and drive on bumpy roads 2 1/2 hours that I would break my water and since he was still so small I could have him during the drive.
Another week and a half goes by and my husband comes back after working for the week. It is Friday and he goes out to get us Taco Bell. I am feeling extra heartburn that evening (wonder why!) so I take some of the medicine they gave me and went to bed. At about 3 am I wake up thinking the Taco Bell is giving me stomach cramps. I lay in bed for about half an hour hoping they will go away. They are not so I try to go to the bathroom (sorry TMI). I think I feel better but then the cramps come back again about 10 minutes later. So I go back into the bathroom and wait...finally I decide to go get my phone and time each time the cramps come back, every 10 minute I get stomach cramps for 1 minute. Finally at about 4:30 I decide to wake up my husband and call the nurse. I tell her what is going on and she goes to get the monitor. Before she puts me on more nurses come in and said forget it we are taking her to L&D to monitor.
We get to L&D where they monitor and do ultrasounds and internal checks. Luckily my parents were coming that day so I gave them a warning before they left so they brought separate cars so my mom could stay. They keep me there trying to stop contractions and at 4 pm decide to do a final check and if I haven't progressed then they would send me back to my room. When they check me they find I am 5 cm dilated and then let me know that this is it, they will not be able to stop and he was coming! At this point they start Pitocin to move things along since it has already been 13 hours and I request an epidural so I can relax.
Unfortunately the epidural made me a little whacked out! My blood pressure dropped and I felt like for the next evening that I was in a tunnel telling myself I needed to breathe! It helped with the pain, but I felt like I was a hot mess. I also think it was because I was so exhausted! So we all try to go to bed that evening and wait things out. I get checked every few hours by the doctor and I keep progressing. Finally at about 4:45 am they break the rest of my water (I thought it fully broke 1 1/2 weeks earlier!) and I was 9 cm. They said they would check again in an hour. During this time I feel like I really have to go to the bathroom and they let try the bedpan (again TMI!). I try for 10 minutes and then the nurse came in said she was afraid I would push a baby out so she thought I should stop! So I did and all of a sudden every minute I started feeling intense pressure in my bottom that would make me shake and push.
So we finally get the doctor in at about 5:30-5:40 am and tell her what is going on, she checks me and sure enough I am 10 cm! She asked for me to hold off a few minutes from pushing because they need the NICU staff...unfortunately my body had different plans and started pushing on its own! Luckily within 2 minutes they were in the room and we were ready to push. From what I know it was about 5:50 am at this point and they said ok push! During the next few minutes everything went crazy...my husband almost passed out from not eating since lunch the day before so the nurses gave him juice and helped him out...and my mom popped out of nowhere to hold my hand since I decided at the last minute that she needed to stay in the room or I might loose it! I kept yelling that I was going to throw up (of course there was nothing to throw up). And then at 5:56 am...yes 6 minutes later, Nathan came into our world and rocked our universe!
He came out peeing on the table and they took him over to the incubator, cleaned him up, he peed on the nurse and started crying...and again my universe rocked! All of a sudden the room lightened when they realized he was ok and healthy. They let me hold him for a few minutes and then took him to the NICU.
2 hours later I was able to see him and he was perfect, all 3 lbs 9 oz of him! He stayed in Baltimore for 10 days and then was considered stable enough to make the 2 1/2 hour trip home to our hospital, where he stayed until his one month birthday. Today Nate is a happy and healthy 15 month old and you would never believe he was once a preemie! He is now in the 50th percentile for his height and weight and for the most part keeps up with children his age. I am so proud of my baby boy!
Nathan the day he was born...
Nathan and his daddy on Christmas Eve...