March for Babies

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Hindsight Questions and Introducing... Azure

Were the back spasms I had on Monday the beginnings of the preterm labor? They checked me that day and I was not dilated at all. This of course can change very quickly. The severe spasms went away by Monday night, Tuesday I was a bit sore but it felt like a relief after what I had been through on Monday. Wednesday I had a massage and she really worked around my left hip which may have been the source of the pain. Thursday I felt nothing of those spasms. The low back pain I felt Thursday afternoon felt very much related to the cramping just like a “normal” period. You know, normal for someone with Endo.

My doctor came to see me in the delivery room about 10 minutes after the birth. She said she was in surgery that morning but was going to contact me about the polyhydramnios which she had decided was a problem and we would need to do something about that. Um, a bit late I think. T is sort of upset by this. Looking back at things, I went from not looking pregnant at all to looking quite pregnant in the span of about a week. I always heard of people “popping overnight” so this did not concern me at the time. At my January prenatal appointment the doctor really got on me about having gained 10 pounds since my last monthly appointment. I blamed it on indulging over the holidays. Besides, T gained 10 pounds too, why is this all my fault. I was still going to the gym and eating good foods. I buckled down and really watched what I ate. At my February check up, you know, last week Thursday, I had gained another 9 pounds and she again made mention that I was gaining too fast, like it was my fault that I figured I was pregnant so could eat like a horse. I pulled my socks off and showed her my puffed ankles and asked if that could have anything to do with it. She agreed I would weigh more that late in the afternoon and with the extra fluid. She told me to rest more, put my feet up, put a foot stool under my desk at work. I did all of these things. I cut down my salt and made sure I was drinking TONS of water a day.

My ankles started swelling around 20 weeks. The very same day as my big anatomy ultrasound actually. The day they told me she was going to be a she, and a “big baby” and that everything looked good. People seemed to question my swelling that early. I wasn’t really worried about it, I knew it was a common pregnancy thing and having no morning sickness or anything I felt it was finally something normal to experience with this pregnancy since I still wasn’t feeling her move much. Funny thing is, she squirms all over the place and always has, I just couldn’t feel it. Most likely the extra fluid cushioned her movements so I couldn't feel them.

I was measuring ahead. My fundal height was four weeks ahead of where it should have been for two appointments in a row. This caused her to double check the notes from my January ultrasound and see they had mentioned a large amount of amniotic fluid. This is when the discussion of polyhydramnios came up. She would send me for another scan to rule this out. I had the scan four days later and was told by the tech that I had 23.5cm of fluid around the baby. She said some doctors say that “excessive fluid” was marked at 20cm and others say 25cm. I did not know which way my doctor thought. I was waiting until the end of the week to call her about this but wasn’t too worried since I seemed to fall in between a set of parameters. Even when I Googled it I saw more people using 25 as a cut off and I was below that. No worries. They would probably just tell me to rest more and possibly give me some medication. I didn’t think it was even enough to warrant the removal of fluid (sort of like an amniocentesis).

The big question is…did I have an incompetent cervix? This will always be a question since no one had ever checked it. With the exception of being checked for dilation on Monday I hadn’t removed my pants at the doctor’s since October. The theory that T and I came up with is that I just had too much fluid and the cervix couldn’t hold the pressure and I just popped like an overfilled water balloon. I am hoping to get answers to some of these questions at my follow up appointment. She wants to see me in a couple weeks.

Light Blue:
We decided on a name two weeks ago. However, this experience has made T more paranoid about our privacy than he was before so I shall not be sharing her real name or her photos online. I am sorry, I know you are all thinking of her and sending her good wishes. The best I can do is give you the name Azure which is of course a shade of blue and relatively close to her real name. I can tell you she has fair features, very light blonde hair and eyebrows. She is long and lean and has long fingers. We can’t figure out where the long fingers came from since T and I both have stubby short fingers. She has a long torso and wide feet just like her mother. She continues to do well. She is in a covered isollette to control the environmental moisture since her skin cannot hold onto her fluids yet. Her blood sugar goes up and down so they give her insulin when she needs it. She is breathing above the ventilator and they have continued to turn it down and she is tolerating that well. We did find out last night that she does have a ventricular septal defect which will require heart surgery somewhere between 6 and 12 months of age but she should be well out of the NICU by then. They will patch the hole and that should solve the problem.

We will have a long road ahead of us. There will be ups and downs and she will not come home until a time much closer to her actual due date which will be the end of May or early June. At this time she is getting excellent care and she is better off in the hospital. I am pumping every three hours and taking the colostrum/milk into the NICU where they will keep it frozen until she is ready to be able to take it. They said the best thing I could do for her right now is to pump and keep up my supply so that is what I will do.

I never in a million years thought I would have a 24 weeker in the NICU but I find myself in this situation. I will say that should anything have gone differently on Friday, I do not think she would have made it. I almost didn’t call the doctor because we were short-staffed on Friday and I thought I shouldn’t leave the office. If I had been held up in traffic or by the weather I would not have made it to the hospital on time. If the elevator in the hospital we rode on had stalled for much longer than it did (I was thinking it was a bad thing because I would have to pee soon, I could have had the baby in the damn elevator with no one there but T to help). There are countless things that could have gone wrong and any one of them would have completely changed the way things went.

The stars aligned in our favor and we have a beautiful little girl.

23 comments:

EJW said...

What an incredible story. You guys were amazing under pressure, staying so calm and collected.

Congrats and good luck.

amanda said...

Oh, Blue. Thank you for sharing all of that. You are so amazingly strong. You, your husband, and precious Azure will continue to be in my thoughts.

ThreeBees said...

I am so glad that everything came togeher as it did for the birth and life of your daughter!

I don't even know what to say except I am so very glad you are all okay. Much love and good thoughts for you!

Stacy said...

I cried as I read your updates. Our due dates are just 2 days apart. It gives me hope to know your little girl is doing so well. I hope things stay that way. I will be thinking of you all.

Heather said...

Wow. What an amazing, terrifying experience. I'm just so thankful everything has worked out this well so far, and I pray it will continue to do so. Thinking of all three of you.

Jen P said...

A much belated Happy Birthday Azure. Thinking of you guys and sending nothing but warm, warm wishes.

Maribeth said...

I have just found your sight, but wanted to send my best wishes to you on the birth of your daughter. I pray for her continued good health and that you will be in my prayers.

suzanne said...

I named your baby! I named your baby!
Okay, I internet named your baby.
I am so sorry that your birth experience and her entry in the world was so scary. But i am encouraged by your positive attitude and faith in your baby's ability to surpass all expectations.
Until she is home and her surgery is over, I will keep Azure and you in my thoughts.
Congratulations, Mommy.

lala said...

just shock and awe, my dear, shock and awe.

JJ said...

I'm in awe and at a loss for words too, but you sound great, and it sounds like your little girl is doing great -- and that's just... great. Keep up the great.

Karen said...

What a story! Thank goodness you are all OK. Congratulations on your little girl.

Caroline said...

Holy cow - I go away for one long weekend and come back to you giving birth!!! Huge congratulations and hugs for an unbelievable story! I hope things continue to go well with you and Azure! Stay strong!

Vacant Uterus said...

Wow, I'm sorry I'm behind on your posts. congratualtions...what an amazing story. You must have been so terrified but I give you so much credit for taking a hold of yourself during one of the most stressful situation a person can endure.

Azure, you and your hubby are all in my thoughts and prayers. May she come home soon.

averyjenn said...

Delurking... Wow, just got back from vacation and came to check up on you. Congrats on the birth of your daughter Azure and many prayers coming your way for continued good health for your baby.

TracyB said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. Amazing, scary, beautiful, wonderful! Stay strong - for your family and for yourself. So many good thoughts with you!!

daysgoby said...

Blue, honey. I'm so glad everything turned out well and you and your husband have your beautiful Azure. We will be thinking of you and your little family and hoping everything goes like clockwork and your baby is home soon!

lagiulia said...

Congratulations on your daughter's birth! I really admire your outlook. My two guys were born at 34 weeks and had problems, were in the NICU for 4 and 5 weeks. It was the most intense, terrifying time of my life. I don't pretend to know exactly how you feel, your daughter being a 24-weeker, but I know it's not easy. My thoughts are with you. It is nothing short of miraculous what they can do in NICUs that leads to parents bringing home healthy babies.

April said...

Oh Blue!

I am so amazed by your beautiful story. I am just beyond words to tell you how inspired I am by your strength and love for your daughter.

Wishing you love, happiness and strength in the weeks ahead.

You - all three - will be in my thoughts.

Jenn said...

Thinking of you and your family.

Dooneybug said...

Wow. I can't even imagine what you've just been through. I'm 25 weeks right now and can't fathom the emotions you are feeling. Much love and happiness to you and your family, especially your daughter, for quick growth and health.

liz said...

I was sent here by Miss W. and just wanted to welcome Azure.

I'll be praying for her to come home soon!!

AKA Megan said...

Holy shit! I don't read for a week and look what happens! Wow.
Congratulations on the birth of your little baby girl! Will keep you all in my prayers!

DeadBug said...

Just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and little Azure.

With sincerest hopes for her speedy progress and your peace of mind,

Bugs