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Five years ago today

Five years ago today, I was moved to the antepartum unit. I had my own room. Small, but mine. I had windows that looked out at……the other wing of the hospital! The neonatologist came to see us. We were 23 weeks and 5 days, but measuring more in the late 22 range. The guessed the baby’s weight to be about 1 lb 4 ozs. They wanted to get the baby up to at least 2 lbs, holding off as long as we could, if possible. Bigger and longer would of course be optimal. I was given my first steroid shot that morning. They gave the baby a 10% at best shot of survival if we delivered. I still couldn’t believe what was happening. I was still in complete denial. Why are you telling me this? We aren’t going to have this baby yet! It’s not time. I was still bleeding, still on the mag, and on STRICT bedrest. No getting up for anything, at all. On a more comedic note, my father in law walked into the room while I was taking care of some personal business. In my drugged state, I proudly announced that I was going pee! He turned completely red and left the room. I felt so bad afterwards, but blame it on the mag sulfate!! Poor guy….I’ve put him through the ringer.

Michael had put out the calls the night before. My dad was flying in two days later, as well as my mother in law. We had no idea what was going to happen. I had another ultrasound that day. We still did not find out what sex the baby was. For me, it was still admitting defeat. I was supposed to take an insurance test that day. LIfe has a way of working out NOT how you’ve planned.

I had never been in a hospital for myself before. That was the scariest part. My nurses that day were wonderful and so helpful, so full of optimism that we were going to keep that baby in and that I would be sent home on bedrest soon. Little did we know what was ahead. By Friday (I was admitted on a Wednesday night), the bleeding had slowed considerably, but still didn’t stop entirely. The contractions had stopped and the mag was slowed. The peri came in. If the bleeding stopped by the next morning, I would be able to go home. Another steriod shot was administered. Saturday, I woke up and was bleeding heavily again. Up went the mag. My Daddy arrived, my mother in law arrived, and we had visitors galore. We found out there were two other pregnant moms in the antepartum area. One of them was practically standing on her head in the hospital bed trying to keep her twins in. For some weird reason, that made me feel better. As bad as it was, someone else had it worse. That’s awful I know. Sunday came and the bleeding slowed again. I was anxious to go home, even if it meant moving our house around to accomodate me. My mother in law essentially quit her brand new job to stay with me. The emotions started to hit. This was real. My baby was in real danger. The child we had waited for so long for, worked so hard for, could die. I was all over the board, frustrated, angry, in denial, devastated.

Monday morning came. My Dad was going to come spend the morning with me, then my mil would take the afternoon shift. The 7am nurse came in. I didn’t like her immediately. She frightened the crap out of me. First thing she did was put me on a scale. I’d lost 8 pounds in 5 days! I had only gained 14 up to that point of my pregnancy and was down to being 6 up from my starting weight. Bring on the food!!! They fed me morning, mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon, tea-time, night, and late night!!! The nurses told my husband to bring me whatever I would eat, preferably high fat stuff. HAH! All the milkshakes, ice cream, cheeseburgers and fries I could take. Unfortunately, the mag and laying down all the time took away most of my appetite. That nurse was MEAN!! She brought in preemie birth videos for me to watch, told me my baby was going to come soon and would be severely disabled, etc. I called her the “Water-Nazi” (ie the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame) because she literally measured every drop of water I drank and wouldn’t let me go over a certain quota. Okay, lost myself there for a minute. After water nazi weighed me, the perinatologist came on rounds. He walked in, read my chart and told me that because I was still bleeding, had lost so much weight, and because I lived 45 minutes away (without any traffic), I would be staying with them at Summit for the duration, or 32 weeks, whichever came first. I completely LOST IT! I cried more than I thought I could cry. My dad arrived and he just didn’t know what to do for me. After a couple of hours, I settled down. I realized it was for the best of my baby, and there wasn’t really anything I could do to change it. The good news was, they had determined that my water had not broken and since the bleeding had slowed, I was allowed up to go to the bathroom, and could have a QUICK shower once every three days. I called Michael to give him the news of my new residence. He went shopping. That night he brought in my body pillow, a tv/vcr combo with an antenna (the hospital didn’t have cable of any kind and I couldn’t watch my baseball team in their last month of the season! They were on a tear, headed towards the playoffs and I couldn’t miss it), a boom box so I could at least LISTEN to the baseball games I couldn’t see on tv, and my favorite pregnancy gift one of my friends had given me…..the softest stuffed froggie ever (he stayed with me for my hospital stay, then watched over Ryley for his entire NICU stay). We unpacked and settled in for a long stay.

9 thoughts on “Five years ago today

  1. It’s strange because I’ve read Ryley’s birth story before but now it’s like I’ve never heard it before. I love the details. Like Denise, I’m sitting like I would with a page-turner of a novel waiting for the next installation. hugs* for your trip down memory lane! Darcy

  2. Thanks Denise and Darcy….I think we tend to share the shortened version in SYS. Blog style gets the whole thing out. I’ve never written it down before, except in Ryley’s pregnancy/baby journal when I was actually living it! It’s weird to relive it again, and it’s bringing alot of it back. Thanks for reading. You guys are so awesome. HUGS back!
    Donna

  3. OK, I’m waiting for the rest….can you finish before I leave work for the day? (Kidding, of course….maybe I could do some work????) You know what I did (and still do)? I wrote a “letter” to Leighton the week after she was born. And I’ve done it every year on her birthday. I will continue to do it (I journal some and compile it so I won’t forget anything come the next year). It’s helped me to not forget one moment. Especially when I look back at her rough first year of life.

  4. Denise, That’s a great idea! I started a journal for each of my kids as soon as we found out we were pregnant. I don’t keep up with them as much as I would like, but they have those special moments, stories of firsts, tales of how much I love them, what they do that frustrates me, funny things they say, their personalities, etc. I love to bring them back out and read them from the beginning. When they turn 18, I’ll give them their books. HUGS
    Donna

  5. That’s good, too. Another thing I did is when Leighton was baptized (and I will do it again when Emerson is baptized) I bought her a 14k charm bracelet. I then asked in lieu of “gifts” for everyone to give her a charm, and then to write her a letter about them and their feelings/hopes for her. I did that becasue my father has been ill, and while I know how much he loves her, he won’t be around to see her grown, and I want her to know. I asked them to write “do not open until 2018” on the outside of the envelope. I put them with her charms, and will give them to her when she turns 16 to open and read.

  6. Okay, now I’m hooked!! You’ve shared your story before, but I like reading it all again. I have to point out, once again, the similarities in our lives. I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 17, have had 4 laproscopies/laperotomies. My water broke at 23 weeks 3 days. I had my first ever ambulance ride as a result of this. I had my first hospital stay (other than having Ian), that wasn’t for a joyous occasion, with no end in sight. Kirk brought me videos, and a full computer set up so I could email, and surf the web. I too became personal friends with the bedpan, and stunk up the hospital, due to the no shower rule. I couldn’t shower at all!! No wonder they make these rooms private. We really are living mirror image lives miles apart!! Okay so I’m ready for the rest of the story….. toe tapping!! Karri

  7. Oh what a story! It is incredible how well we get to know each other on SHARE … and because of SHARE…yet the story that brought us to SHARE in the first place is often forgotten about. What an incredible story you have to share. I remember feeling so many of the same feelings….experiencing the same thoughts…worrying about the same things….yet, your story is all your own…very unique…and extremely touching. God Bless froggies….good parents…and sweet babies like Ryley. Hugs! Melissa

  8. Karri and Melissa, You guys are amazing. Your words just bring my spirit up. I remember so many things from that time of my life, but block so much of it out, until I relive it by telling it. Did you try the waterless shampoo? I think it made my hair dirtier rather than cleaner, but my night nurse was awesome and wanted to make me feel better. My mom came in with a razor after a week and shaved my legs after she heard them scratching on the sheet! YUCK!! TMI I know, but you’ve been there! It was so hot in that room, or maybe that was just the mag! Thanks for reading, and for reliving it with me. It helps this time around to have friends along for the ride! HUGS!
    Donna

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