An Unexpected Delivery | A Premature Birth Story

In the first 24 hours of his lift, tiny and jaundice.

From the time I was in my twentieth week of pregnancy, I knew I was going to have my baby early I just never thought it would be as early as it was. My guess was 35-36 weeks, not 33 weeks and 6 days. 
 
 
 

Two days before I went into labor. 33 weeks.

His due date was April 20th, but after some scheduling conflicts we opted for a c-section and planned it for April 5th, but I still just had the feeling in the pit of my stomach that he was going to arrive earlier then anticipated. With that thought in the back of my mind, we pretty much had everything we needed and almost had the nursery completed. We were basically ready for his arrival.
During the week of February 27 – March 2 I felt odd. I was having stomach aches and food just wasn’t agreeing with me. I read online that it could be a sign of labor, so I took that information with my to my prenatal appointment on Friday, March 2. After discussing my symptoms with my Doctor he just figured I had the flu that was going around. I doubted it from the moment he said it but just put it in the back of my mind.
Saturday, March 3 I noticed I had some uncomfortable cramping and became weary. I had braxton hicks from week twenty and these were different. Not painful, just uncomfortable but they went away and thought nothing much more.
Sunday, March 4. This is when it all started. In the morning I had some abdominal cramps, and in time they were slowly getting stronger. It wasn’t until I noticed a little bit of blood I decided go in to emergency. Before I went, I decided to pack a few things (just in case) and tidy the house a little. Finally at about two we drove the two minute drive to the hospital, to be hooked up to that little contraction machine and find out that I was indeed in labor.
After a long two hour wait a lot of questions I was ambulanced to the Red Deer hospital. They had a NICU and were a lot more capable then where I’m from. Within the first few hours I was given two nitro glycerin (yes, you heard right) patches to slow down the labor and a steroid shot to mature the baby’s lungs. The glycerin patches didn’t work and were only caused distress, so those came off. The nurses and my doctor wanted to prolong the inevitable to at least the twenty four hour mark of the first steroid injection.

My husband trying to get some rest on night #1 in the hospital. During our three night stay (the first time around), he slept on this chair or shared my hospital chair.

 

Early Monday morning is when I started to get scared. My little guy’s heart rate went from a happy 150 bpm to 88 bpm. The nurses and my doctor grew concerned and a consult was done to the head of some department at the University Of Alberta Hospital. It took two hours for the doctor to get back to my OB and during those two hours there were a lot of tears. I had a stillborn once before, and the thought of losing this little guy was more then I could stomach. After the Dr. at the U of A went over the tracings, my medical history and the special ultrasound my doctor did (in which my baby received a perfect score of 8/8) the first thing he said to my doctor was, “Is it a boy?”. Turns out boys are doing this now for some reason, and he was actually doing some research on why. He wasn’t worried about my situation and that is when it was decided to turn off the monitors so I didn’t stress out as much. The nurses were ordered to only assess me once every six hours, and I was then moved into a shared room (boo).
Wednesday morning I was discharged. Labor wasn’t progressing and even though my FFN test stated I was in labor, for all the doctor knew it could take another week or two.
That evening when my husband and I settled into bed, I felt funny. There is no other way to explain it. I turned to my husband (who was so excited to finally get some sleep after three exhausting nights at the hospital) and said, “We shouldn’t have left Red Deer.” The moment I finished my sentence, my water broke.
Back to the local hospital we went, and I was given another round of the steroid shot (since this was it) and was ambulenced back to Red Deer. This time it was a little more nerve racking, and I couldn’t stop shaking. I was worried about how early he was and I didn’t know what to expect. 
I arrived into Red Deer at about 11:30 pm and got settled in. I was briefed that they were going to let things progress, but if I didn’t have him by morning that I would be induced, as they were worried about infection.
 

My poor husband sleeping on the floor. The hospital no longer had those nice fold our chairs that they used to and he had no where to sleep.

After another long, sleepless night, morning arrived and still no progression. The agreement was Pitocin, and since I have been induced in the past and vividly remember the pain I made it clear that before the Pitocin drip goes in my body, I am getting an epideral.
Nine blissfull, painless hours later my little man was ready to make his arrival. After about 45 minutes of pushing, I heard the cries that immediately melted my heart. We were so fortunate that Carter was able to breathe on his own, and I was even able to hold him for a few minutes (something I was told not to expect). 
 

My first moments with my baby boy.

After a few short moments holding him, he was transfered to the NICU and Eric followed. I instructed him to take lots of photos that I could look at while waiting for the epidural to wear off and he came back with this gem:
 

 
Carter Linden was born at 4 lbs 8 oz and was 18 1/4″ long. I was in the hospital for a total of five weeks, four of those being in the NICU & The Ronald McDonald House. I will post about those two experiences later.

Comments

  1. Shannon Jaymesmom Gallagher says:

    He is absolutely adorable! I am so glad that things have worked out and he was in such good health at an early birth. :)

  2. taterbug78 says:

    God bless Carter and your family!

  3. What an amazing birth story. I knew my little guy would be early too and my water broke at 36 weeks 6 days. I’m so happy to see he’s home and you both are doing well.

  4. Beloved says:

    Welcome, little Carter. You really wanted to get here, eh? Thank God that you were attuned to your body and had access to all the care resources you and he needed. What a blessing to your entire family.
    All the best.
    Peace and good.

  5. Clancy Cash Harrison MS, RD, LDN says:

    Amazing story! I have been thinking of you. I hope all is well and I hope you are enjoying your blessing. It is an amazing felling to be a mother. To bring life into this world. Now to shape this little mans future which will be a great one b/c he has a great mommy!

  6. Michelle Maskaly says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. So glad he, and you, are OK. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.

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