Preemies

My Story

Hi everybody,

I have had quite a long journey so far, and know I have much further to go. I have a long story to tell, but figured this would be the best place to post, as you ladies will understand what I am going through. I am 21 years old, and this was my first pregnancy. I also just needed somewhere to spill my guts, so here we go!

It all started during my 19th week of pregnancy. I was expecting twins and patiently awaiting my 19 week ultrasound to determine the gender of my twins. During my visit I learned I was expecting twin boys! Along with that information, I also found that one of the twins had a two vessel umbilical cord (doc said not to worry, as this is found in a LOT of babies and usually is not a problem, and if it is it would be way later on and would be taken care of at that point.) I also found out that the other twin had a small spot in his heart (again, according to the doc this was not a big issue as it is very common and usually disappears on its own.) The third thing that I learned was that I had a shortened cervix. I was measuring at 1.6cm, when a normal cervix would measure between 3-4cm. I was immediately put on bed rest, and was scheduled ultrasounds every 2 weeks from that point. 2 weeks later was my 21 week ultrasound. I was feeling great until during my exam  I found out that I had lost Baby A. I had no symptoms, so until the doctor gave me the news I had no idea that this had happened. I was experiencing every emotion possible. Sadness, Grief, and Happieness/Hopefulness that I still had one healthy baby. The weeks went on and I continued getting checked every week. My cervix went from 1.6cm to 1.3cm. At this point my doctor decided that I should get a dose of steroids for my babies lungs, in case he delivered early. During my 24th week I stayed in the hospital for 3 days to get two doses of steroids. My cervix was checked before discharge, and I was then 1cm dialated. After I was discharged, it was Thursday October 18 and I was headed back home on complete bed rest. On the night of Friday October 19, I was up all night with excurciating back pain. I thought that I pulled a muscle because I had pain like this in the past. It was never this bad but again, I thought nothing of it until 6AM on October 20. (24 weeks pregnant at this time) After being up all night with the back pain, I noticed a gush of fluid come out of me and decided right away to call my doctor, and head to the hospital because the pain was getting worse something was not right. After arriving at the hospital I was told I was having contractions and the pain I was feeling was commonly known as back labor. I was rushed by ambulance to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. when I arrived in boston, I was checked out and it was decided that I lost my mucous plug. I was put on several IV's to try and control my contractions with muscle relaxers and fluids to keep me hydrated. Later that afternoon my contractions were timing at 2 minutes apart and my cervix was dialated to 3cm. They had given me an epidural to ease some pain. Not long after the epidural I started feeling some awkward pressure, and brought my hand down to feel something was there. I called the doctor in and immediately he checked and told me "OK, DO NOT PUSH" .. At that moment I was in shock, and had no idea what was going on. Shortly after, I delivered Baby A. They decided to leave his placenta in place, because they did not want to risk me delivering Baby B so soon, and by removing baby A's placenta could cause that. Things seemed to settle down after that. It was about 2AM on Sunday October 21 when I noticed I was bleeding. The doctor told me that the bleeding could be cervical change, or baby A's placenta beginning to detach. They monitored my bleeding and that settled down as well. Although I did not get any sleep that night, my morning nurse was especially happy to start her shift Sunday morning to see that I was in fact still pregnant! Sunday was a mostly uneventful day, until about 8PM. My mother had left for the night because everything was stable, she was thinking that she would just return to see me in the morning. My boyfriend and I were ready for bed after not sleeping for a few nights. I started to notice progressivly worse pain, and started to feel myself bleeding again, so I called the nurse in to check my epidural, and check my bleeding becuase i couldn't tell how much blood there was and it was especialy hard for me to move. The first thing she said was "Let me get the doctor to check on this" A doctor came in, checked me and decided we needed to deliver this baby NOW.. This all came as a shock to me, because earlier a different doctor had told me that he thought I may keep baby B inside me for a few more weeks, and that my labor may have been my body trying to filter out baby A because he had passed 5 weeks before. My boyfriend called my mother, and instantly 15 various doctors, nurses and students flooded into my room. (Tufts Medical Center is a teaching hospital, so along with each doctor was a student). They did an ultrasound which showed the baby head down and ready. They broke my water and started feeling around to check his position manually. The doctor thought he had moved to breech position, she continued to feel around and was having a hard time telling what it was she was feeling, but she knew it was not his head, and not his foot. Another doctor came in for a second opinion and they decided to have me start pushing. I pushed for several minutes trying so hard to get this baby out quickly and safely. His heart rate was going up and down, mostly up but a few times it went down. They check via ultrasound again and figure out that he was shoulder first, and he just was not going to come out as quickly as they needed him to vaginally. They ordered an emergency C-Section and everyone was running around like crazy. I was scared, worried, in shock, and didn't know what to think at the same time. They immediately wheeled me into the OR. Again, there were 15 or so people in the room all running around crazy, but somehow they were organized about it. They gave me more and more anesthesia until I was numb from the chest down. I was in the OR for about an hour all together. I was 24 weeks and 5 days pregnant when Brayden Patrick was born at 8:54PM, on October 21, 2012, He was 1lb 9oz and 13.25 inches long. I only got a quick glimpse of him as they were wheeling him away to the NICU. I was so nervous for him, at this point I had no idea what was going on, and all I wanted was to see and hold my baby boy. When the surgery finally finished I was wheeled out, and waited in one of the rooms for about 3 hours before being able to go down and take a peek at my son. I began to get feeling in my legs back within an hour or so, and just waiting to go see my son was the worst feeling i've ever felt. I had no idea how his condition was, I barely got to see him as they wheeled him out, and I didn't know what was going on. When I finally got to see him, he was the tiniest, most beautiful little baby I had ever seen in my life.

He is now 5 days old, and doing great so far. He is breathing without a breathing tube, and no extra oxygen added. He has lost some weight, and is currently 1lb 4.5oz, but the doctors have told me that it is normal for any baby to loose weight at first, and they do not expect him to loose any more. We all know that this process is going to be a very long, difficult journey, but I am staying hopeful and cannot wait until the day I will be able to hold my precious boy. I was discharged from the hospital yesterday, which was such a horrible feeling to be leaving the hospital empty handed. I live about 45 minutes from the hospital that Brayden is currently at. I am very thankful that he is there of all places, because I know that hospital has one of the best NICU around and he is in great care.

Thank you all for listening, I know this was quite a long story, but like I said I needed to get this all out of me. If anybody has any helpful information, or any pointers on how to cope with having such a tiny baby in the NICU for such a long time (He will be there until my due date, Feb 4th.) Please let me know!

My email is megan.salem53@yahoo.com  I honestly do not know how to private message on here, so any private messages feel free to send to my email and we can chat.Smile

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Re: My Story

  • I'm so sorry you have to be here, but you are totally at the right place. This board is filled with amazingly strong, supportive women. Welcome.

    What a long, scary journey you've already had. I'm so sorry for your precious baby A. Sounds like Brayden is doing great so far, esp for a 24 weeker! My DS1 was also born at 24w 5d. He had a 98 day NICU stay and came home 9 days before his due date. We had lots of ups and downs in the NICU, as is so common, but our doctors and nurses, family, friends, and even strangers were all wonderful and we all got through it.

    A book that i found very helpful is  The Premature Baby Book by Dr. Sears.

    Wishing you and your family all the best. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers. 

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  • Hello! I'm sorry that welcoming you means that you had to go through such a scary experience to get here, but we are happy to be here for you! I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Baby A, but I'm glad that Brayden is here safely and that he is doing so very well! It is amazing and wonderful that he is breathing on his own without extra oxygen. That is so impressive for 24-25 weeker--how awesome! I'm sure his brother is looking out for him! :)

    The advice that I always like to give to new preemie moms is to be as involved as you possibly can. Does your hospital allow for kangaroo care/skin-to-skin time with your baby? That did wonders for me and my husband as far as morale. Also, make sure to take advantage of the support/amenities they have at the hospital for preemie parents. If you plan on breastfeeding or pumping, they should have lactation consultants that you can speak to and a room at the hospital that you can use to pump, or they will likely even let you do so at the bedside. If your hospital is anything like mine they probably also have a food/drink pantry for use by preemie parents if you want to keep some snacks there or use the ones they supply. (I had no idea this existed until the last week my daughter was in NICU, and really wish I had, considering how much time I spent there!) I know it's difficult to feel "at home" in a hospital especially after discharge, but try not to feel like you're imposing by being there. You're still the most important person in your baby's care. There were some nights that I came in at 2 AM because I just HAD to see my daughter, or even spent the night in a reclining chair next to her bed, and I don't regret a thing. Do what feels right for you.

     If you have any questions, feel free to ask us! I hope Brayden's stay in NICU is as short and uneventful as it possibly can be! 

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    Me: 25, DH: 31 -- Married 4/23/2012 -- DD: 6/27/2012, DS: 4/25/2014!
    Skye Elise born at 29 weeks via CS due to preeclampsia/HELLP.
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  • Congratulations on the birth of your son! I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your other son. I can't even begin to imagine all the emotions that you must be going through.

    My little girl was born at 26w2days. she spent 84 days in the NICU. I hope that your NICU journey is as uneventful as possible. Remember that imthe NICU is a marathon, not a sprint.

    This board is a great place for support. Welcome. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. The women here are all Awesome!
    TTC Since July 2008.
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  • Congratulations on the birth of your son! I am so sorry to hear about the loss of his twin. That is great that Brayden is no longer on the breathing tube or oxygen. Is he on any breathing support at all? Have they mentioned starting feeds with him yet? Keep in mind that your EDD is the general expectation for discharge. Some babies are released a few weeks before, some a few weeks after. (DD was one who stayed 2 weeks after her due date, which we didn't expect.) I just recommend you try and take care of yourself throughout his NICU stay. You won't be able to take care of your son if you are run-down. I also found it helpful to attend rounds as often as possible. Good luck and keep us updated on his progress!

    BFP #1 6/11 - Heterotopic pregnancy (cervical & uterine) 8/11- 2 surgeries for cervical ectopic followed by m/c. BFP #2 1/12 - EDD 9.15 - DD Born 7.2 due to severe pre-e

    Lilypie - (YrsO)
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  • Welcome and congrats on the birth of your little guy!  He sounds like a fighter, and that's a very good thing.  Smile

    I can totally sympathize with being 45 minutes away from your LO in the NICU - we had a 45 minute to an hour drive (depending on traffic) as well, and it can make things rough.  But once you get into a routine, it's not so bad.

    I hope Brayden's NICU stay is as short and uneventful as possible! 

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  • I'm sorry that you have to be here so soon and that you lost Brayden's brother Sad

    Brayden sounds like a quite a little fighter!  Lots of good thoughts for you all.

  • Welcome! Like pp said, I'm sorry you have to be here but this is a great place to be. The women are all extremely helpful and kind. No snark like some of the other boards. No question is dumb and no one will say "that's been asked before" because we've all been there and every baby is different.

    Your family is in my tp's. I'm so sorry for the loss of Brayden's brother. It sounds like he is a little fighter!!! Off oxygen already? What a show off : he is absolutely adorable.

    Here's my advice:
    Take care of yourself. Nicu parents are far more likely to be involved in accidents than other new parents. I forget the stats but its much higher. You don't do Brayden any good if you aren't healthy yourself!

    Ask questions. The nicu is a scary place, especially if you don't know what the monitors mean or they are doing

    Call and check in when you can't be there. You need sleep. We called right before bed and as soon as we woke up.

    Leave a camera bedside for the nurses. Some of my favorite pictures are the ones the nurses took at night when he did something. Like when they found him with his ng tube out just looking up like what??? I don't need that anymore! His expression is awesome and I would have missed that.

    We did a nicu journal. Although you feel like you'll never forget those long days they blur together.

    If you feel comfortable and your hospital offers it, talk to someone. Post traumatic stress disorder is common in nicu moms. On top of basic post partum horemones it can be a lot.

    Finally, let people help you. They can cook and clean and walk the dog so you can be with Brayden.

    Again, welcome and you are in our thoughts.
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    Our little hippo was as impatient as mom!

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    Hoping for a full 40 weeks!! 

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  • I'm new here myself. I had my son, Jack, a day before Brayden arrived at 32.5 weeks! Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry to hear about Baby A. I agree with a PP that he's watching out for his brother! Brayden sounds like he's doing so well! Prayers for continued progress!

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  • Thank you all for the support, thoughts and prayers. They are mich needd. I knew this would be a great board to join.

      Just a little update, yesterday I got a call that Brayden needed surgery. They started feeding through the tube and he was showing signs that he couldnt tolerate the feedings. It was found that he had a small tear in his intestines, which was letting fluid and air into his abdominal cavity. They inserted a small drain into his abdomen to release the air and fluid. The tear now will be able to heal on it's own, and the drain will be taken out within a few weeks depending on when the fluid finishes coming out. His blood pressure was a bit high, but it has already came back to normal and stabilized, so the blood pressure medication they had him on is already stopped! They also were afraid they may have to start insulin because his blood pressure went very high, but that has also came back down and stabilized on his own, so no insulin needed!

    Surgeons came back in this morning and checked on the drain and said everything looks good. He is still fighting and all of his levels are staying stable.

    I hope to be able to start kangaroo care as soon as possible, as of now he is intubated and not allowed that yet, but hopefully after a few weeks we will be able to start. Even though he is not yet eating, I am also breast pumping, which seems to be working out well for me so far, they have great lactation consultants and pumps/pumping rooms to use while I am visiting!

    Again, thank you all for your support! It is great to know that there are many others going through what I never imagined I would be going through.

    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
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