At my 30 week appointment my doctor got out her tape measure and cocked her head. "It's probably nothing," she probed my belly, "but you're feeling a bit small. I'm going to send you in for an NST and another ultrasound."
|30 weeks with Stinky|
The first-time-mom in me heard "another ultrasound" and went WOOHOO! The "feeling small" part didn't really register. I went to the hospital straight from my appointment for the non-stress test, which went swimmingly. Because the baby performed so well on the NST they didn't do an ultrasound that day and encouraged me to schedule one that week with my doctor's preferred provider.
Christmas wasn't too far off and I knew if I dragged my feet long enough then my sister would be in town and could come to the ultrasound. I put it off for a week and managed to have both my sister and my mom there. The tech didn't say much but did ask if they measured my fluid levels at the hospital the week before. "Nope! He did great on his NST. They weren't worried." I went back to admiring my baby.
Given the tech's question I shouldn't have been too surprised to get a panicked phone call the next day from my doctor's office ordering me to get to the hospital immediately.
As it turns out, the situation wasn't quite as dire as they originally thought, but my fluid levels were uncomfortably low. They would expect someone around 31 weeks to have fluid measuring in the mid teens but I was below an 8. They put me on modified bed rest and told me to drink water like it was my job.
The next couple weeks saw me going to the hospital twice a week for NSTs and ultrasounds plus regular visits with my doctor. I laid on the couch a lot, read a bunch of books, took naps, and drank a TON of water.
On January 3rd I had an NST, BPP (biophysical profile aka a high level ultrasound), and an appointment with my doctor. My fluid levels had dropped a bit more and I was put on strict bed rest (I was only allowed to get up to pee and take the world's shortest showers). Also, the baby was still breech and, with the drop in fluid, very likely had no room to turn head down. Cord compression began to be a very real fear. We had discussed it before but it finally sunk in that I would be having a c-section. Also, they gave me a steroid shot to speed baby's lung development. I turned to my mom and said, "Any time I've heard of someone getting a steroid shot their baby was born within 24 hours."
They wanted me to come in again the next day for the second steroid shot and another round of testing.
On January 4th my mom drove me to my NST and BPP at the hospital. He did well on his NST, they gave me the second steroid shot, then wheeled me up for the BPP. Afterward, we waited in triage for over 2 hours for the results. There was some sort of computer issue and my results were stuck in tech limbo. We were hungry, grumpy, and ready to go home. I talked a nurse into bringing me some graham crackers and peanut butter. Finally, 6 hours after we had arrived, a nurse came in. She explained that she needed to start an IV and that my doctor was on her way to talk to me.
My mom called my dad and I called Aaron. He had just gotten home from work so I asked him to grab my hospital bag, just in case. My doctor arrived and told me that my fluids were down into the 2s and the baby was no longer better off inside. I would be having a c-section in 45 minutes.
The next 45 minutes were a blur of consent forms, information about anesthesia, what would happen to my baby, the surgery, etc. By 7:30 I was laying on the table in the freezing OR, numb from the armpits down, with Aaron in full scrubs sitting by my head. He told me I looked beautiful.
I could see them scrubbing my belly in the reflection of the overhead light. I panicked and asked them to move the drape up a bit to block my view. I had no interest in seeing my own insides.
The anesthesiologist told me that my doctor had started and I replied that I didn't want to know, to please tell me when it was over.
Within just a few minutes we heard a tiny cry.
Baby Stinky was born one day shy of 34 weeks and weighed 4 pounds 15 ounces. He had a little head of fuzzy blonde hair and a dent in the back of his skull from where he had been pressed up against my ribs with no fluid to act as a cushion.
He spent 13 days in the NICU learning to breathe and eat on his own and gaining a little bit of weight. My recovery was a piece of cake- I skipped the last 6 weeks of pregnancy and I didn't have a baby to take care of for almost 2 weeks! Still, we were thrilled when he came home.
|With my dad in the hospital|
He was on an apnea monitor for a few months but by his first birthday he was all caught up!
Since I generally keep my kids off this blog I don't get to brag on them much so I'm going to get a little bit in now! Stinky is tall, handsome, and has his dad's engineering brain. He's the quieter and more contemplative of our kids, which jibes with his laid-back fetal behavior (I didn't feel so much as a wiggle from him until almost 24 weeks and they frequently had to use the buzzer on him at ultrasounds). He's a good soul. Regardless of how he got here, we're happy to have him!
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