Share your preemie birth stories here!
The Wednesday before my pumpkin arrived I started having back pains while I was at college. They hurt so badly that my teacher sent me home. I took some Tylenol and everything was fine, I fell asleep and the pains went away. The next day I had an OB appt and explained about my episode the previous day. She decided to check me to see if I was dilated but I wasn’t. My ob then suggested it might be a bladder infection so she prescribed me some meds to take and sent me on my way. That was at 4:30 Thursday afternoon. Friday morning at 1am I was having the worst back pains again. I thought it was due to constipation so I went into the bathroom. These pains were just horrible and they kept coming and going. I'd get into a comfortable position on the bathroom floor and it'd stop, and then it'd start again. These pains hurt so much that I was huddled up in a little ball in my bathroom crying. I managed to crawl back into bed where my oh so loving fiancé sleepily rubbed my back, thinking he was helping. Around 2:15 am, thinking I was still constipated, I went to the bathroom, figuring I’d try and go. Like every paranoid pregnant person I checked the toilet paper and to my surprise I was bleeding and had passed a clot. I vaguely remember what happened after that. I remember running into the bedroom and in the calmest voice telling my fiancé, Dave, that we needed to go to the hospital. He jumped out of bed, calls the on call dr. and my mom and then we’re on our way. I remember writhing in agony in the front seat and realizing that these were contractions and that they fricking hurt! I get to the hospital and they hook me up to a fetal monitor. They showed me my contractions compared to other women who were in labor at the same time. I remember thinking how tiny mine were; yet how could something hurt so badly and not register the highest peek on the screen? There were two nurses in my small room and Dave informed one of them that I had just received meds for my so-called bladder infection. One of the nurses was like "You're having contractions because of your bladder infection. We'll give you a shot, then they should stop and you can go home.” I guess the Dr. had instructed the other nurse to check my cervix to make sure nothing was wrong. So the other nurse checks my cervix. She looks at the first nurse, shakes her head and they both leave. The doctor came in with both the nurses and she's like "We're going to look and check your cervix just to see if you're alright." She looks, then she checks, nodded to the nurses who then rushed out of the room. She looked at Dave and I and said "You're dilated to 10 and the baby's feet are sticking out of your cervix. We're delivering your baby tonight via c-section!" Nothing, absolutely nothing, could describe the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head!!! I mean, I showed up in my pj's. We had nothing.. no hospital bag ready, nothing really ready for Phoenix and here she is, telling us that at 28 weeks our daughter is going to be born! So David is panic stricken, and was getting in everyone’s way while he's trying to comprehend what is going on. In an instant every single nurse in the hospital (I swear it!) is in my room, shaving me, trying to put IV's in my arms, trying to talk to me about what's happening and I lost it and started crying! I had no clue what was happening to me, my baby, Dave.. I was so scared! They told me Dave couldn't be in the room with me so they wheeled me out of the labor room (after bumping back 2 emergency c-sections to do mine) and I remember seeing Dave stand in the doorway looking at me just bawling as they wheeled me away! They wheeled me into the OR where a nurse in a mask turned to me and was like "Okay Carly, everyone in here is going to be wearing masks, it's going to be busy, you're doing great staying calm. We're putting you under a general so you won't be awake at all. It's going to be okay." I was then transferred to the operating table and they strap my arms down and in my mind I started to panic. They put a mask over my face and it wasn't on all the way right so I started wiggling my nose around and it finally got on right. I'm thinking the whole time "oh my god, I'm going to be out of it, but still feel everything like you see on TV.. it's going to hurt what the hell is going on!" I remember they didn’t even ask me to count down from 100. Everything just went fuzzy and I was out. At 4:42am on March 26th, I gave birth to a beautiful 3lb 8.4 oz 15 1/2 inch long baby girl named Phoenix! I woke up a couple of hours later as they were wheeling me to a room and the first thing I forced myself to say was "Is my baby okay?" The nurse was like "We don't know they didn't tell us!" and I was gone again. I woke up to the sound of my mom’s voice and my whole family was there, all red eyed and smiling. Dave told me that Phoenix was fine. She was beautiful and in the SCU (special care unit) and was just as perfect as could be. My heart rate had sky rocketed while I was out so they made me wait 10 ½ hours until I could see my little girl. I've never felt such love in the entire world! No one could describe what I was feeling. Being in the NICU was scary at first. No one can prepare you for that first moment when you see your precious tiny baby laying there. She had wires stuck all over her body. Machines were beeping and a ventilator was running because it was hooked up to the baby next to us. During her stay there we never once thought she wouldn’t make it. I remember the first time I saw her in an incubator. Her nametag said “Big Baby Bowen” because for being a 28 weeker, she was huge! The neo-natologists thought it was hilarious. She was a favorite between the nurses and daily they’d fight to be the one to take care of her. Because she was born at such a young gestation, she never learned how to breast-feed. Out of my whole experience with her, that tore me up the most. Phoenix spent 6 weeks in the NICU and came home to us on the Friday before Mother’s Day. I cried the day she left. It was bittersweet. I had shed many tears next to her bedside thinking that I was failing as a mother with my first child because I couldn’t even carry her to term and now, as we were leaving, I was shedding even more tears because of all the memories and friends that the NICU walls contained. Today, Phoenix is a very healthy, very chunky 7½ month old. I thank God each day for keeping her safe. She has no medical problems we need to worry about and has continued to grow more beautiful each and every day. She is now learning how to crawl but can only go backwards and is currently getting her first tooth. It should break through any day now. I am so thankful that everything turned out perfect with my little girl.
Janessa was due Nov 4/01 and until around my 27th week I had a very normal, routine, dull, boring pregnancy (as if pregnancy is dull and boring LOL). I had seen my ob/gyn around 20 weeks or so and everything was A-OK and I was to be followed by my family doctor until closer to my due date. However, things have a way of changing rather quickly... in early August it was noted that my blood pressure was a little elevated, my doctor saw me the following week and said it was down so she decided to recheck it 2 weeks later. During the month of July I had some swelling in my ankles but it was quite hot and nothing too extreme. During my 28th week my ankles and feet were starting to swell considerably (I actually had huge grooves when I took my sandals off at the end of the day) and being a medical secretary can have its downside... in some cases we know too much. And so while I knew that some swelling is normal, I also knew that it, in combination with my blood pressure, could be a sign of pre-eclampsia and all that entails.
My anniversary was on a Tuesday (Aug 21st) and we went out to dinner and my ankles were quite.... large. The next day at work I hummed and hawed and stewed about whether or not I should call the dr (I was to see her the following week to recheck the BP). Finally, I decided to call my ob/gyn’s office as they were in the same building I worked in... of course they weren’t in, so I called my doctor and got an appointment for that afternoon. When she checked my BP it was 160/100. She told me I’d have to take a few days off work and she’d see me on Monday. Of course, stupid me... I walked home... very brilliant, eh? I spent the next 2 days laying around as much as possible... and worrying about my BP (which I’m sure didn’t help it any).
By Saturday, my ankles had completely returned to normal. However, by then I had found something else to worry about... I wasn’t sure that I had felt the baby move a whole lot in within the last 24 hours. I didn’t know if the blood pressure was doing something or if it meant something was wrong. So I stewed and worried some more. Finally, I called my aunt (an RN) who lives out of town and asked her what she thought about it/what I should do. Then I called the hospital and they suggested that I come up and they’d hook me up to the monitor just to make sure everything was OK. By then I’m almost in tears because I’m worrying so much... all I can think of is what COULD happen, etc. I woke Mike up from his nap and we went to the hospital. At the hospital, they hooked me up to the fetal monitor and baby was perfectly fine. We could hear the heartbeat clearly for the first time and we could tell from the strip that it was moving and everything it was supposed to be doing. Great... right? Wrong. My BP was 150/100... still too high. They called the ob/gyn on-call (also the one with the worst reputation/bedside manner/etc. in town). Anyway, he admitted me, telling me that they’d monitor things and I’d probably be able to go home Monday or Tuesday.
Sunday came and I was exactly 30 weeks pregnant. I was only allowed out of bed to shower, get weighed and go to the bathroom. I was hooked up to the fetal monitor 2 or 3 times a day, had PIH blood work everyday, a couple of 24-hour urine collections, I was to have an ultrasound the next day, I had to measure how much I drank, how much I peed and tred to choke down enough horrible hospital food to sustain me. But since I wasn’t going to be in all that long... or so I thought at the time... it was tolerable) Unfortunately my blood pressure wasn’t cooperating. Sunday afternoon the nurse came in to tell me that I’m to receive 2 steroid (Celestone) injections (to help develop the baby’s lungs... quickly), 13 hours apart, as a precaution in case I needed to be delivered early. My comment to that was "I won’t be going home Monday or Tuesday, will I?" "Probably not".. Big needles... in the butt... they HURT! Especially when one of them is at 3 a.m!
Monday, another ob/gyn was on call... this one was very nice, very patient, excellent bedside manner (though I’ve heard through the grapevine that he is a devil to work for), answered any and all questions I asked. That afternoon, I went down for the ultrasound... baby was moving like a fish and just doesn’t want to stay still for the tech (I think that was a sign of things to come LOL). That evening the doctor returned to see me with the u/s results, my aunt (the RN) was with me and he gave us the results. Baby was measuring size-wise around 27 weeks, but head was measuring on target at 30 weeks, weight was estimated around 1100 grams, my fluid levels were moderately low and he said that there is a good chance that they would need to deliver me within the next 2 days. The pediatricians were all out of town/going out of town and they were waiting for the replacement to arrive from Ottawa that night. At 9 p.m., the doctor returned and after talking with the covering ped, they came into talk to me, Mike, my parents and my aunt about what one can expect from a 30-week preemie. Of course, while they do tell you that there is good chance of survival, etc., they also tend to tell you more of the bad stuff. I ask if, IF we do have to deliver early, can I request a C-section? My gut reaction is that IF my baby is going to be early, I just want it delivered and taken to the NICU asap where it can be looked after, instead of putting an already very fragile and stressed baby through the added stress of a normal delivery. And I want to be knocked out... I cannot bear the thought of that needle going into my back for an epidural. By the time everybody leaves, my emotions are so spun out of whack... I know a lot more than they (the drs/nurses) think I do and way more than dh does... and my mind is going a mile a minute. Dh asks the nurse if I can have a sleeping pill and makes me take it... thinking that if I don’t I won’t get any sleep that night, he was probably right (but don’t tell him that)... but MAN, did I pee in the morning!! (usually I was up 3 or 4 times/night) LOL At that time, Mike was normally when out of town Wed/Thurs for his job, so he rearranged that to Thurs/Fri so that he could be here in case.
Tuesday, the doctor who admitted me is back and his attitude is to just wait and see what my regular ob/gyn says when he’s back the next day. I think it was this day that they also started me on BP pills twice a day.
Wednesday, my own ob/gyn came to see me. He reviewed the chart/tests and decided that I will most likely not be delivering that week (oh blessed relief!), he said they’d try to get me to 32 weeks, at which time they’d do another u/s... see how things were and if they could hold off some more... all depending on that fine line between the environment being better or worse of the baby inside the womb
Between Thurs - Sat, my meds were upped until I was taking them 4 x/day. I had to sleep half sitting up because I have an awful heavy weighty feeling in my chest ... they even called the on-call doctor in to check me out but he couldn’t figure it out, said it was just the baby pressing on my diaphragm, but I know now it was the increasing BP, and I keep getting headaches (also from the rising BP). Saturday a.m., my BP was up to 170/100 but after I got up to go to the bathroom, it went down.
At 6 a.m. Sunday, at exactly 31 weeks, my BP was up and stayed up... bounced around from 170/110 to 169/113 to 174/109 to 180/100 and up and down like that. The nurse called my ob/gyn who just happened to be there delivering a baby. She then hooked my up to an IV with more BP meds... but it still stayed up. She also asked me if I’d drank anything that a.m. (I had had a couple sips of water that was it) and tolds me not to drink any more. I asked her if she thought they might need to deliver and if I should call Mike just in case... she very vaguely agreed (how stupid does she think I am????) My doctor arrived and then had to consult with another ob/gyn (the 2nd one I’d seen) as he was going off call at 7 a.m. In the meantime they had me hooked up to an automatic BP cuff that is checking my BP every minute or so. I call my aunt, Mike arrives and calls my parents. The day nurse was more forthcoming with info and told us that she figures it would be sometime in the afternoon by the time things were ready if they decided to go ahead and deliver. Then we have to talk to another ped (also a covering one) about what one expects from a 31-weeker. My aunt arrived just before they whisk me down to the OR (in the end I didn’t have to fight for a c-section... they wanted baby out asap! LOL). And they did give me an epidural. So much for "sometime in the afternoon".
Mike says he watched the whole thing via the reflection in the mirrors around the lights... all I could feel was sensations of pulling and tugging... it was weird but neat. At 11:53 a.m. Janessa Belén Nancy was born.... kicking and screaming! You can not imagine how it felt to hear her cry... nobody could tell us if she would even be breathing on her own (despite the steroid injections). All I could say was "she’s crying!" After they did whatever it is they did to her and wrapped her in a blanket, they brought her over just long enough to put the matching bands on my wrist/her ankle. All I remember is letting her grab hold of my finger and seeing this purplish/red wrinkled screaming face and black, black eyes and thinking she looked just like a purple monkey. I’m sorry, but it’s true. LOL Mike says I took her hand and put her thumb in her mouth to try to calm/quiet her, but I don’t remember it that way.
She weighed the grand total of 2 lbs. 12 oz and was only 16 inches long, due to IUGR she was closer to the size of a 27-28 weeker, her back from buttocks to neck would have fit perfectly in the palm of our hand. She spent the first day or part of the day under an oxyhood and then was in the incubator. She was breathing completely on her own and was only on supplemental O2 for 6 days because she was working too hard and had an IV for those 6 days as well. For 2 of those first 6 days she was on a CPAP machine for some apnea spells and spent a day under the bili lights for a touch of jaundice. Because of my condition I was unable to see her for the first 2 days. I was on all kinds of lovely meds including magnesium sulfate that made me drift and float and not care about anything and they were also afraid I was going to go into convulsions and other lovely things that can happen with pre-eclampsia when it gets really, really bad. I had to make due with 2 poleroids from the NICU and a collage my parents made with pictures from their digital camera.
Janessa was a week or so old before I was allowed to hold her, spent 3.5 weeks in the incubator and then she was moved to a regular cot (they said that was earlier than normal but even with the temperature down she was sweating like you wouldn’t believe), she took to the bottle and breast like a champ (and got mad when they’d tube her to give her a break), and came home just in time for Thanksgiving after only 33 days in the NICU weighing 4 lbs. 6 oz (also earlier than initially anticipated).
She has been a fighter from day one, never really having any of the problems they expect a preemie to have... the biggest hurdles for her were to gain weight, learn to eat, and maintain her temperature.
Today she is a happy, healthy 3-year-old, weighes over 30 lbs, and over 36 inches tall. She has been caught up since well before her first birthday (even walking at 11.5 months actual/9.5 corrected!) and has absolutely no lasting effects from being a preemie She is a true miracle in so many ways.
(I was just going to copy my original birth story, but realized I should probably lead up to that day)
Exactly a week before Caitlin was born, I started having problems. On January 3, 2004 (a Saturday) we had a Christmas party with my dad's side of the family. It was late when we left so Mike and I went straight home. I can't remember the exact times here, but I know we headed right to bed because it had been a long day. Again, I don't know what time it was in the morning, but very early in the morning I woke up unable to breath, with horrible pains in the upper part of my stomach, and feeling like I was going to be sick (not a pleasant combination, let me tell you). I ran out of bad and sat myself in front of the toilet. I never threw up, but felt like I was about to several times. After about five or ten minutes, I picked myself up off the floor (at this point I was in severe pain and having trouble getting around) and dragged myself back to our bed. By the time I got back into bed, I was in tears. Mike had woken up when I jumped out of bed and so when I came back in tears he asked what was wrong. I told him that I didn't know, but that I couldn't breath and that I hurt...A LOT. He asked if we needed to call the doctor, I said no (as dumb as it sounds, I was always scared to call the doctor incase there was bad news...), and then he asked if there was anything he could do. I told him I didn't know (at this point I'm sobbing). I got back out of bed and he helped me run a hot bath and get into the tub (I had read somewhere that warm baths help with your stomach cramps up, so I figured it would be worth a shot). I stayed in that tub until I looked like a prune. While I was in there, it did help ease the pain, so I thought it was okay to get out. Boy was I wrong. As soon as I was out and dried off, the pain was back and I could barely stand up straight. I didn't know what to do, so we just went back to bed and eventually the pain lessened and I got a few hours of sleep. The next day I seemed to be fine, so I just ignored it.
During the next week of work, I went home twice and called in one night (I was on third shift) because of the same problems (the first night I had to go home, it was so bad that Mike had to drive me home..we work at the same place). After the first night of having to go home, I called the doctor and explained what had happened to them. Instead of seeing me to make sure everything was okay, they said that the shortness of breath was probably just due to the baby pushing up into my ribs. They said that if I started running a fever, to call them back and they would get me in. Now, even though they didn't seem worried, I knew something wasn't right..especially when it continued to happen.
Oh before I go on, I need to note that at that time we were working 6 and 7 days a week.
So, the Friday before Caitlin was born, we worked that night. I was usually was just seated in a chair at the end of the production line (we work in a factory) because I was on restricted duty due to earlier back pain (my job requires a lot of lifting and I tend to lift 800 to 1000lbs a night). Well that night I was bored and they were having a little trouble in another spot. So I decided that since all I had to do was stand there and fix rows of cookies that came down the line, I figured I could help out. The whole time I was there, people kept checking on me. The supervisor came over several times to make sure I was okay and would ask if I wanted a chair to sit on or anything. And then the lady running the wrapper (the thing that puts the cookies into packages) was always checking too. At one point during the night she said something about how I needed to take it easy because she didn't want that baby born on the production line (let me tell you, she got crap for that one when I finally saw her again..LOL). We finished work at 7am and then headed home to get a little nap in before the baby shower (our baby shower was at 2:00pm on January 10 (that Saturday). Mike and I both had vacation in for that night, so we weren't too worried about getting tons of sleep.
So we got up at about noon and got ready to go. We met my mom at the church (where the shower was taking place) at about 1:00pm or so and helped set things up (even though I still wasn't allowed to do much). Guests started arriving a little after 2:00pm and the shower got started. They started out with a couple games and then took a break for some food. Mike and I had barely gotten to eat anything when they decided that we should open our presents since some people had to get going soon. That really wasn't a big deal to us, we figured we will just eat as we open (I didn't get much of anything to eat..which wasn't real nice..lol). So we proceded to open gifts. We got to our last gift (this is probably around 4:00pm or so). It was a stroller/carseat combo from Mike's parents (we only knew that because they told us what they were getting a long time before that). As I squatted down to unwrap it, I felt the strangest sensation. It was kind of a 'plop' feeling. Kind of like if you were getting your period or something. It's hard to explain. Even though I really had no idea what it was, I knew I needed to leave the room (keep in mind our birthing classes weren't scheduled until the following Saturday..). I started to back up and my mom gave me a weird look and asked were I was going. I looked at her, lowered my voice, and said "I think my water broke". She gave me this horrified/shocked look and said "what?!" I repeated myself and we left for the bathroom..without saying a word to anyone..even my poor husband (I didn't want to freak him out incase it was nothing). We weren't even down the hall when my mom looked at me and said 'oh ****'. I kept going towards the bathroom and she ran back for Mike. I had no idea what she saw, but as soon as I was in a stall I found out. When I lowered my pants, all I saw was blood...and lots of it. I immediately started shaking. My mom and Cheri (Mike's mom) came into the bathroom and asked if I was okay (they were a lot calmer than me, which helped a lot). I said that I thought so, but that there was a lot of blood. A friend of mine was in there at this time too (she had just had a baby about 5 months before) and she said that it was okay, that she had some blood when her water broke too (I think she was honestly just trying to help keep me calm...every time I spoke, my voice just shook I was so scared). Mike came to check on me and then ran to get the car ready. I came out of the stall and stood in the doorway waiting for him to come back in. As I stood there, I everything got blurry and I almost passed out (not sure if it was from the blood loss or the shock of everything that was happening). Mike came back to get me and I was helped to the car (the poor people inside still had no idea what was going on). We got in the car and followed my mom to the hospital here in town (the hospital here actually doesn't deliver babies anymore...the hospital we had planned on is about 20 minutes from here, but mom asked where I wanted to go, and I said it was safer to go here in town first...good choice on my part). My mom went in first and came back out with an ER nurse and a wheelchair. I was taken into one of the emergency room, rooms and they helped me undress and get onto the table. Now, it wasn't until they got the fetal monitor hooked onto my belly and the nurse asked me if I was having contractions, that they started. And let me tell you, they were horrible (I will explain why later). My doctor got there (my mom made them call him..apparently they weren't going to) within probably the first ten minutes we were there.
The first thing he says to me is "what are you trying to do? get me in trouble? I missed your birth, do you think I'm going to miss this one too? I don't think so". That was the only smile they got out of me (my doctor is awesome). He checked me to see if I had dialated, which I never did, told the nurses to give me something to stop the contractions (I can't remember what it was called though..I'm sure someone else can help me with that), and he left to see if he could get an ultrasound done immediately. So while we waited, they got an IV going in my right arm/hand (can't remember which IV was in the hand and which was just below in my wrist) to stop contractions. Whatever they used only worked for a few minutes (maybe 10 at the most and it could only be given every half hour I believe..) and it made my whole arm ice cold. They were also trying to keep an eye on the baby's heartbeat, but couldn't keep it on the monitor, which seemed to worry everyone. My doctor came back in and I was taken off to another room for an ultrasound (Mike was by my side the whole time). When the ultrasound was performed, all they could see was blood. They couldn't see where it was coming from or what it was coming from (they didn't tell us all that though..they were trying to keep us calm, which I do appreciate...there was an awesome staff working in the ER that night..we were very lucky to have such great people). I was wheeled back into the other room and waited for my doctor.
He told the staff that they needed to prepare for an emergency c-section. I don't know who, but one of the doctors working that night told him that they weren't set up for that situation and he told him that they better be really quick or he was going to be doing the c-section himself, right there in that room. He said that he wasn't losing anyone that night. So a surgeon from our original hospital was called and he was there in nothing flat (remember he was about 20 minutes away, but he was there in about 10...not sure how fast he was going). He came in and explained that they were going to be performing an emergency c-section, but that there was still a chance that the baby may not make it. When he finished, he left the room, and I broke into tears. I was so scared. Mike was trying to be strong and trying to tell me it was going to be okay (he never cried while I was there, but as soon as I was in surgery I guess he went and broke down in the chapel...he's amazing...he was so strong for me). The nurses came back in and started another IV in my left hand/arm that was going to be used for the blood transfusion (I had lost a lot of blood and needed more). I was wheeled to the elevator and then to the OR. At the doors of the OR, is where Mike and I parted. Because of the seriousness of the situation, they didn't have time for him to scrub up, and so he wasn't allowed in the room. They finished prepping me (putting a cathetor, strapping my arms down, and other things...it happened so fast, I'm not really sure of what all was done) and then I was knocked out (they had no time to wait for a spinal or epidural to take effect, so I was not awake for Caitlin's birth). I don't remember ever going under, I just remember the mask being put on and me getting really scared. That's it.
Caitlin Aeris Gehrke was born at 6:54pm and I was told that she came out pink and screaming. I guess when she was born, one of the nurses came running out to find Mike. She ran into the waiting room and said "It's a....wait, where's dad?". They pointed her into another room and she went running in there to tell him "It's a girl! And she's pink and screaming!" and then he was allowed to see her.
I was taken into a recovery room and prepped for my ambulance ride to another hospital. I was still out of it when they wheeled her to by me before she was loaded onto the helicopter (she was flighted to the NICU of the other hospital we were headed to). I couldn't really see her, but it was good to know she was okay (at that time I was in so much pain that I couldn't concentrate on much anyways).
Caitlin Aeris Gehrke was born on January 10, 2004 at 6:54pm. She was born 6 weeks early by an emergency c-section due to a placenta abruption (which was the cause of my contractions being so bad..apparently that causes the contractions to come one on top of another, with no breaks in between).
Caitlin spent the next 17 days in the NICU of the Theda Clark hospital (I spent 4 days in the hospital). I was probably a good week before we were allowed to hold her. She was only on a ventilator for about 4 days due to her lungs not being completely formed, but she stayed in the isolet for a couple weeks. She never learned how to latch on properly so I pumped breastmilk for 3 weeks before it was too painful and we had to switch to formula (I still feel bad about that, but I was in tears every time I pumped..which was every three hours night and day).
When she came home she had to be woken up every three hours to eat (again, night and day) and was wrapped like a little baby burrito (I'm sure you all now that look). At 8 weeks old we finally asked if she could sleep through the night, since she had done it already (she had started waking every three hours, so we didn't set an alarm at night..one night she slept all night). So she started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old and still does it now (12 to 14 hours a night thank you). She honestly hasn't been behind in anything so far. She's actually ahead of or right with other babies born when she was and she ahead of babies that were born when she was suppose to be born (she's been able to stand alone since she was five months old...no she couldn't pull up, but when you picked her up she would grab onto things and stand there and get mad if you took her away..lol).
She's now almost 11 months old (9.5 I think in her adjusted age..I'm not positive because I never go by that since she's ahead of those that age..for the most part) and getting ready to walk. She is honestly the best baby you could ask for. She is so happy and never fusses (and she has 8 teeth..8th one I felt today actually ) and she hasn't been sick once since she was born (that actually scares me..LOL). We've definitely been blessed with a little angel.
Caitlin Aeris 1/10/2004; 4lbs 4oz; 17.5 inches
Sebastian Michael 12/13/2005; 7lbs 8oz; 20 inches
At about 28wks I started to have really bad headaches. One day they were super bad and made me cry so my MIL who is a nurse said one of the things she knew that caused headaches was high blood pressure. So she layed me down and took my bp which I do believe was something like 140/90 something(dont remember all details). She then told me I should call my doctor and see what he thought about this. He told me to come to the hospital to be monitered. With this being my first pregnancy and so young I was totally freaked out and couldnt stop crying. So we spent the night at the hospital being monitered and the next day we were sent home and put on bedrest. I then started weekly appointments to moniter my bp. It stayed elevated but I had no other side effects of pre elclampsia til my 33wk check up. I went into see the doctor on Feb.12th. I did my urine drop and then sat in the room ready for the rest of my appointment. The nurse then came in and asked me what I had had to drink that day and I told her only water. She then checked my bp and it was up so she had me lay down on my side and went and got the doctor. He then came in and retook my bp and it was still up so he told me he would like me to go to the hospital to be monitered and to do a 24hr urine drop to test to see how much protein was in it. I couldnt stop crying and didnt understand what I had done wrong for this to be happening to me. So we drove home and packed up the things we would need for the hospital and went there. Well we were monitered and did the urine drop and everything was pretty much staying the same even with strict bedrest so on Feb 16th we were sent for an ultrasound to see how much the baby weighed it was at this time we found out we were having a little boy and that he was close to 5lbs. After the doctor found out the results of the ultrasound he told us it was in the best interest to deliever the baby. So that night they gave me a sleeping pill so I could get a full nights rest and ready to be induced the next morning. Even with the pill I couldnt sleep all that well I was just to scared and worried for my baby. So that next morning I was woke at 6am to take a shower and do what I had to do to be ready and at 7am all my family and Dh's family showed up at the hospital and wished me well and goo luck. Dh was the only one allowed in the room with me. At 7 the put a pill like thing into my cervix to help soften it and told me this could possibly have me contracting and it did. They werent all that strong but I still cried with them. Around noon or so they checked me and I was 2cm and then broke my water and started pitocen. Around this time I also started to feel real shaky and told the nurse who told my doctor and he yelled at her about not giving me the magnesium(sp) for my bp. When they put that in I got extremly hot and thought I was on fire and even got sick. Now Im not to sure of times because I could have cared less with trying to deal with the contractions. But I do know it took me forever to dilate btu at about 5 or 6 I was checked and only about 4cm so they gave me a shot of Nubane(sp). This put me asleep and helped me to rest a bit. At about 830pm I was woke back up by my contractions and checked by my doctor I was at 9cm. All I could do was cry because they hurt so bad and then I had this huge urge to go to the bathroom and I told Dh to go get the nurse. So the doctor tried to check me and I kicked him because it hurt so bad and he told me to push. I screamed at him and the nurse that I didnt have any idea what I was doing and there was no way this baby was coming out of me. At this time there was about 5 nurses, a pedi, my doctor, and Dh in the room. With 3 strong pushes in 6mintues and at 911pm Quinton Trey was brought into this world screaming his little head off weighing 4lbs 9oz and 17in long. He was then taken away to be worked on and I was fixed up and tooken back to my room. I then fell right to sleep with everyone speaking to me as I was exhausted. At about 2am or so I was woken telling me my baby had gone into respitary(sp) distress and was being sent to Childrens Hospital. All I could do was cry cause I had yet to even see my baby. I called Dh and my mother and told them to get back to the hospital. Everyone was there within an half hour. They brought Quinton into me so I could touch him and see him then took my baby away. Dh followed him to hospial to make sure he got checked in ok. I was not discharged from the hospital til Thur. and I had had him on Mon. all I could do was cry in the hospital everytime I heard a baby cry. When I finally got to see him he was so tiny but I got to hold him and feed him. And that Sunday he was discharged home. He is now a very active almost 2yr old weighing about 23lbs and 33in long. He does have asthma and allergies but other then that is perfect.
Kaya Elisabeth’s Birth Story
At 30wks. I went into the OB's for a normal check up and while doing an internal they noted that I was a fingertip dialated and 80% effaced. So off to the hospital I went. I was given 2 shots of Terbutaline and stayed over night. I went home and was told not to do anything. So I went back 2 days later for another check up and was now effaced 90%. So it was off to the hospital again for 3 days and was given 2 steroid shots to develope the babies lungs. I was released home on strict bed rest and Terbutaline pills until 34 weeks, and then what I call "house arrest" until 36 weeks.
Well I guess I would say that it all started with me going off of the Terbutaline on Thursday December 11. Nothing that I noticed unusual except for some loose bowl moments. Friday all day I was having slight lower back pain and shrugged it off as constipation, as it had been so many times before. Well the lower back pain progressively got worse, so I took some stool softeners. My sister was here, and when Josh got home from work around 7:30 he went to get stuff to fix us hamburgers for dinner. We ate dinner and I was just having a time with the back pain. Around 10:30pm I tried to go to the bathroom but had no success. It was then that I noticed when I wiped I had some red blood streaks in my vaginal discharge. I called my midwife and she said that it was probably bloody show and that it could mean that labor was immanent or could be a few days off and to just watch it. And if I noticed any other symptoms to call back.
I decided to go up to bed around 11:00pm, and Josh followed. Well as soon as I got comfortable I notice a small popping feeling and something in my underwear. I got up to go to the bathroom and realized really soon that it was not pee… my water had broke. I called my midwife back and she asked me if it was clear, which it was, and that to take my time to get ready and come to the hospital. We got there a little after 11:30pm and I was taken to a holding room, as they needed to clean a LDR room for my use. While in the holding room they checked my cervix, and I was already dilated to 4cm and 90% effaced. I still had no real contractions and was then moved to my LDR room. Unfortunately I had to get an IV stared right away since I had my Strep B test on Wednesday. But they did not have the results, and to be safe they needed to start me on antibiotics. I had just gotten into the bed a little after midnight and started to get some noticeable contractions. Then they started to come with a vengeance to the point where I was about to rip the rails off the bed. My lower back was in so much pain, and the contractions were not letting me rest in between. One would start, peak, come down and go right back up again. Around 1:00am I decided that there was no way that I was going to be able to have enough energy to push when the time came, so I asked for an epidural. I had gone natural for long enough. They check my cervix, and in just a little over an hour I had gone from 4cm to 7cm. No wonder I was in pain. Things were going a little too fast, so I went to empty my bladder and came back and braved the epidural. Which to my amazement I took with no flinching at all.
Finally I was able to rest and get some sleep, and the contractions slowed down just enough so that I had a chance to catch my breath. I woke up around 5:30am and told Josh that I was starting to get a lot of pressure in my back; they gave me another round of epidural and that seemed to help. A little after 6:30am I needed to push, so the midwife came in, and to my surprise my very first push was very productive. Unfortunately, though, my contractions were coming in clusters and not in a steady pattern. I would push for a good three to five times and then have period of about 5 to 10 min. rest. This went on for a while, close to 2 hours in fact. A little before 9:00am my midwife left the room and came back with the OB on call. They explained to me that I had been pushing for over 2 hours and the baby’s head just would not pass my pelvic bone and my cervix was starting to swell. They had to use the vacuum to get the head out. At that point I was so tired that I just wanted it out. The room soon filled with several nurses and doctors and they applied the Kiwi Palm Vacuum pump; we had seen it at our childbirth classes, so we knew what it was. The OB put the pump on and told me to push; there was some advancement but the pump came off. It took two more tries, and on the final try the head popped out followed by the shoulders, and then the rest of the baby just slipped out. Kaya was here at 9:15am weighing 6lb. 7oz. after about 9 hours of labor. They had Josh cut the cord and took her to the warmer to have the neonatologist check her over. Then they put her in a blanket and brought her over for me to see her. But she was then going to be taken to the Special Care Nursery because her blood pressure and color needed to be checked. But I was not done, because of the vacuum and the apparent reason of her having a bigger head I had torn very badly. Sorry for the TMI but I had a 3rd degree tear into my muscle straight down to my rectum. It did not go into my rectum, which was good, but I did require a lot of stitches. The OB said that had I gone full term that she would have put on too much weight that I would have not been able to have a vaginal birth.
Kaya spent 9 days in the SCN because of Jaundice and a Bradicardia episode soon after birth. She came home on December 22, 2003 a wonderful present for christmas.
My preemie, Gabriella, is my second child. I had a very boring first pregnancy. I went to term and had a healthy 8 lb, 9 oz baby boy, Justin. We did have fertility problems, but after taking clomid for 1 month I conceived Justin. We had the same fertility problems trying to conceive Gabriella, only it took 3 months of clomid before we got pregnant. I was very sick with this pregnancy. The "morning sickness" hit me every single night. I did not gain much weight at all. By the time I hit 28 weeks I had only gained 6 pounds. At my 28 week appointment my blood pressure was elevated. I laughed it off and told the nurse it was because I had just been with my mother. There was trace amount of protein in my urine and I gained 2 pounds in two weeks. That was a lot for me since I had only gained 6 pounds my entire pregnancy up until that point. She had me lay down on my left side and my pressure went back to normal. My doctor attributed it to the season (it was 1 week before Christmas) and told me to take it easy. I went back the following week and had a 6 pound gain...in 1 week. I was a little puffy, my gorgeous brand new high heeled boots didn't fit and I just bought them 2 weeks ago. Again, I figured because I was running around getting ready for Christmas. I had +1 protein in my urine and my blood pressure was sky high. I also told my doctor that I had a pain under my rib cage. She asked if I had a headache and I told her I've had the same headache for the past week, and I've been seeing spots. I figured it was just my usual migraine that I always get so I blew it off. My doctor was even more concerned now and sent me for stat blood work at the hospital (this was on December 23rd). She told me she feared I had the starts of pre-eclampsia. But the blood work results were in the next day and all came back okay. My doctor was still concerned and told me to have my brother in law (an ER nurse) check my blood pressure the following week to be sure it was okay.
My brother in law came over on December 31st and was concerned because I was just sitting there and my face was flushed and my heart was racing. My blood pressure was very high. He told me to call my doctor immediately or he was going to drive me straight to the ER. I called my doc. She told me to go get checked at L&D. By this point I was just starting my 31st week. When I went to the hospital my blood pressure was sky high. They immediately put me in a bed and had me lay on my left side. They gave me aldomet (a blood pressure med) and waited to see if my pressure came down. It came down a bit so they told me I could go home, but I was to get right into bed and lay on my left side. They also had me do a 24 hour urine. I had to go back to the hospital the next morning for another blood pressure check. When I went back it was still sky high, even with the medication. They put me in bed and told me they were admitting me. She told me I would not be leaving any time soon. I was not even aloud to get up to use the bathroom, nor was I aloud to shower, walk around, or even sit up. I had to lay on my left side. The way the room was set up, laying on my left side was facing me right into the bathroom. The TV was behind me so I couldn't even watch TV.
I wasn't passing any urine at all. I attributed it to the fact I had to use a bed pan, and I could NOT use a bed pan. I begged them to let me get up to pee, but my blood pressure was at 198/110. They told me I could have a seizure or stroke if I got up. Everything was in a daze. A neonatologist came in to see me and tell me what would happen with the baby once delivered. I don't remember what she said because all I kept thinking is, "she's in the wrong room, I'm going home tomorrow, I'm not delivering early". But the next day they transferred me out of L&D and put me in a private room on the post pardum wing (right around the corner from L&D). The blood pressure medication was increased and my pressure came down nicely. My doctor told me I could get up to use the bathroom but then I had to get right back into bed and back on the monitor. I was on a continuous fetal monitor. The baby's heart beat sounded great and strong, but she was non reactive. I didn't think it was serious. I figured she was just lazy or sleepy. But NOW (1 year after the fact) I know how serious it was. They did ultrasounds daily and did blood work twice a day. When they did the ultrasounds they would stare at the screen until they saw her arm twitch. Most babies are moving around and kicking, they were praying for at least a twitch. But I figured as long as we heard a heart beat she was okay. Boy was I wrong.
On Jan 6th my doctor was very concerned with the results of the constant fetal monitoring and the ultrasound. She told me they would most likely deliver within the week. My blood work was also starting to change. The next morning, Jan 7th, my blood work came back bad. My kidney's were failing, I had +4 protein in my urine (it had been around +2 up until that point), my platelets were going down and my uric acid was going up (or vice versa...I can't remember). But whatever it was, my doctor said we needed to deliver immediately. They brought me back to the OR and gave me a spinal block. The baby was out within 10 minutes. She wasn't crying, I was panicking, and my husband was trying to reassure me that she was okay. She finally cried and I was relieved. I saw her briefly and gave her a little kiss, then off to the NICU. She weighed 4 pounds 3.5 ounces and was 17 inches long. A big preemie.
I was still in pretty bad shape during recovery. My blood pressure was still very high. It slowly came back down and the next day I was able to go see Gabriella in the NICU. I couldn't walk though, I was still very sick and could barely keep my eyes open. The first time we saw her, after the vigorous scrubbing in process, I stood next to her and she stopped breathing. Scared the crap out of me. The next few weeks it was the norm, but I wasn't expecting it at that point.
Gabriella was on CPAP for like 2 weeks and had a feeding intolerance. They did x-rays every day, gave her several rounds of antibiotics, and kept her in the incubator. We were only aloud to hold her for 15 minutes at a time. When she was being treated for jaundice we weren't aloud to hold her at all.
The day I left the hospital without my daughter was the hardest day of my life. I was in a serious depression, but had to push through it because I had a 2 year old at home. I went to the hospital every day and sat with my baby. She wasn't getting any better, so after 3 weeks we had her transferred to a Children's Hospital.
At the Children's Hospital we were aloud to be active with her care. We took her temp every 3 hours, changed all of her diapers, held her ALL day long, sang to her and rocked her, gave her baths, changed the sheets on her crib, etc. I was very happy with her being there. But she was still not getting any better. We would drop my 2 year old off at my mom's by 7:00 a.m. every morning and were at the hospital in time for rounds at 7:30. We stayed with her until 11:00 every night. The only time I left her side while we were there was to go pump my breast milk, but my husband was with her while I did that.
After lots of tests her digestive tract was finally mature enough to tolerate feeds. We started her off with 1 cc every 3 hours, then increased it to 3, etc. Very small amounts, very small increases. By the time she was discharged she weighed 7 pounds even and was eating 80 cc's every 3 hours. She came home on February 24th, three days before her due date (February 27th). She was in the NICU for 7 very long weeks. The hardest 7 weeks of my life.
We brought her brother up to meet her for the first time on Valentine's Day. The first time he saw her he looked at me and said, "Mommy, baby has an ouchy on her nose (and pointed to the feeding tube). I'll kiss it all better (and he proceeded to kiss her nose). We then sat him on the rocking chair and put the bundled baby on his lap. He looked around proudly telling all of the nurses (who were all around watching and crying) that this was HIS baby sister. It was so sweet. Justin is Gabriella's first Valentine. It is one I will never forget. So when Gabriella came home on the 24th it was like she was always there. Justin adored her and is very protective of her.
Now Gabriella is 1 and doing great. She seems to be where she is supposed to be for a 1 year old. She weighs just about 23 pounds and is 30 inches long, in the 75th percentile for both. She crawls, stands, pulls herself up, waves high and bye, says dada, mama, baba, and of course HI which is her favorite. She's not walking yet, but I'm not worried at all. She has overcome so many obstacles already in her short life, I'm sure she will continue to overcome anything that gets in her way. She's going to be tested next week for food allergies, as she has real bad excema and her ped thinks it could be related to a food allergy. But we'll deal with it. She's my little fighter. My precious angel.
As for me, my doctor suggested that I not have any more babies because she feels the pre-eclampsia will come back, but next time it will be earlier and more severe. If I decide I do want more kids I will go see a specialist first. If he/she says no way, then we will adopt in the future. But if he/she says it's a possibility then we MAY try. But that's FAR in the future.
Thanks for letting me share.
Married to Bryan, 10/02/99
Justin Matthew, 12/18/01
Gabriella Rose, 1/7/04
I went into labor at around 11pm on Nov. 30 at 29wks 6days. I was taken to our local hospital, but they were more concerned about the amount of bleeding I was having than the labor. I had blood basically pouring out of me. They thought something had ruptured. I was flown to a hospital about 45 minutes away from my home. They were able to get the labor and bleeding stopped by around 4 am on Dec 1st. I stayed in the hospital in the high risk momuntil Dec 10. Around 5 am on that morning I woke up and just didn't feel right. I was all the sudden very restless. I couldn't sit still, didn't want to eat, just felt funny. Around 8:30 they came down to take me to the monitoring center (every day I was there I was taken to the monitoring center for about 45 minutes so they could listen to his heartbeat and check for contractions). During my monitoring session, I had 5 contractions in about a half hour. They decided they wanted to keep monitoring me back in my room. They watched for about half an hour and the nurse said that she didn't see that I was having any contractions. I still felt like I was though. Around 11:30 the Dr came in and decided to move to labor and delivery just to be safe (at this point I had been on the High risk moms floor). They still hadn't done anything except for monitor for contractions. Around 12:30 the dr came in and decided they should check my cervix because I was having contractions about every 4-5 minutes. I was at 5 cm. They dr told the nurse to shut off the Magnesium Sulfate (that I had been on since Nov 30 to try and stop the contractions) and then told me that we were going to have a baby that day! Well I cried first because of the inital shock, but then I just started to do what I needed to get through it. They moved me to a birthing room about 1:30. At 2 they came in and gave me my epidural. By 2:30 that was running and things were feeling a little better for me. They checked me then and I was at around 6-7cm. They went ahead and broke my water. At around 4 the midwife came in (the team of doctors that I was being cared for by included four drs and a midwife). He asked how everything was checked the contractions and then left. He told my Dr that he thought I had a few more hours left. At about 4:30 I called the nurse and told her I felt like I needed to push. She checked me and I was at 10 cm and his head was starting to crown. She called the dr and I started pushing at about 4:40. Connor came at 4:52! They were all amazed at how big he was being I was at 31 wks. He started to make a little gurgling sound , so they rushed him over to the NICU team that was in the room. They did a little suction and then he started to cry. When I heard that, I started to cry too. THey got him stable and wrapped up in the blanket and then brought him over to me for a quick kiss on the cheek. It happened so fast, I didn't even get to really see what he looked like. After that, they delivered the placenta. They were shocked by what they had found. Hidden behind the placenta was a blood clot about 1/3 the size of the placenta. They are amazed that no one knew it was there. It never showed up on any of the u/s they did. They took cultures of the placenta and the clot to see if they can determine what may have caused the clot to form. After the birth I had to lay still until i was stable and they were certain my uterus was firming up. They had told me around 6:45 I would be able to go see Connor, but they weren't ready yet. I then had to wait until they did shift change at 7 It was about 7:45 that night before I finally got to go see Connor. And he looked beautiful! He is still doing amazing! So I guess that's it for his birth story.
Well, I actually wasn't even due until April 22, 2004.
I started having these "cramps" on the 12th of February, walking around, of all places, a scrapbooking store!! I can't even tell you what they felt like, not like period cramps and not painful, just different. I called my OB's office and they told me to just keep track of them and if they got worse to call. This was Wednesday, around 1:30 in the afternoon. I just thought maybe I was doing too much, I had worked all day the day before and figured my body was telling me to rest. It wasn't that at all...
Thursday rolls around and I'm still having them, at this point I'm thinking, what is going on. So, I went to the hospital, where they told me I was having Braxton Hicks and sent me home. (I had gone Wed also, and had been sent home) Now, i know Braxton Hicks don't get closer together and more intense, so Friday morning, around 6am, they were worse. On the way to the hospital, I was having them 4 minutes apart!! And I was ready to rip someone's head off at the hospital for sending me home. I was in Triage and my cervix was checked, by the nurse-I was 2 centimeters dialated-a few minutes later (might have been 10-30mins) I was checked by the on duty Doc, not two minutes after he checked me, my water broke....I thought I was just leaking, you know, pee. I could have sworn that's what it was!! It was amniotic fluid. This is freaking me out, I didn't want to have her early, her room wasn't even ready!!
So, I get admitted,and I told that I have to stay in bed until it's time. Thye put me on MagSulfate, which I had breakthrough contractions and they decided to give me the steriod injections for her lungs, since she's only 30 weeks gestation. I'm praying the whole time, Please God, let her be safe and healthy...I've never prayed so much in my LIFE!!!
I was having this pain in my lower abdomen and they thought I was having kidney stones again (I'd had them at Christmas) so they just assumed that's what it was this time. A renal untrasound was done, but no sign of stones. At the same time, I asked the tech if she could check on the size of the baby. She told me 2lbs 3 oz....I was scared out of my mind. This was Saturday-late afternoon. Well, I just didn't know what to think. It seemed like the pain slowed down, and I slept....then I wake up-in complete darkness, which surprised me, since nurses usually have some kind of light on. I felt this pressure in my pelvis and felt like I really had to poo and it's not stopping, there's no one around and I was yelling, not screaming, since it didn't really hurt. I just didn't know what to do and I don't know why it never occured to me to press the nurses call button!! I felt like a total spaz. I remember someone telling me I was 6 centimeters and after that, it was a whirlwind of nurses and doctors. I was told not to push, which seemed like the hardest thing to NOT do!! Finally, I was told to push and I did, two times with this wildly burning sensation all the while, and my daughter was born. Just like that, she was here and I only got to see her for a few seconds-long enough to kiss her. I didn't even find out until later how much she weighed. it was Sunday, February 15th at 7:19am. Thalia was whisked away to the NICU, I got to hold her for the first time 5pm that day. (I was told I had to rest-I didn't want to-I wanted to see and hold my daughter so badly) She came so quickly, that my family missed it. My aunt got there just in time to hold my hand so I could deliver the placenta, everyone else came after...
I found out a few days later that i had a ruptured appendix (duh) which brought on my labor. I had my appendix removed that Friday (to go through labor without being torn or cut, then to have surgery anyway!!)
Thank God my girl is fine. She was 3lbs 8oz when she was born. My little miracle. Those first days in the NICU, what a scary time for a first time mom!! (single mom, too) I got to bring her home when she was 3 weeks old, on a apnea/brady monitor (hated it!!) Now to look at her, you wouldn't even know that she was premature.[/quote]
i had a pretty normal pregnancy, no morning sickness, but a lack of energy. every once in a while i would have spotting and when i went to the hosp. they would send me home and tell me to take it easy. try telling your 20 y/o DH that the Dr. said no more ! well we still did on occasion and on april 20th at 11:30pm after doing so, i got the worst cramps. so, thinking it was just dinner, i went and sat on the toilet with a magazine. after a little while it got worse and then i saw the blood. i wasn't just spotting this time. i screamed for my DH and we rushed to the hosp. we were in the army and i had a midwife so i had only one u/s at about 10-12 weeks. when i got to the hosp. i was looked at by several different people, with no help. i remember at one point there were about 8 people standing around me and someone said "theres so much blood i can't see anything" i remember getting the IVs and feeling so cold. i was going into shock and my body was just trembling. i thought i was having a miscarraige. what really happened was that i had a septate uterus. a deformaty that can't be seen until you are far enough along. there was a septum that caused my uterus to be in 2 seperate chambers. my daughter got so big that she couldn't move, and my placenta was tearing away. there was a Dr. who was just visiting from washington DC who ended up delivering my daughter by c-section. at 12:45am. i was knocked out completely and when i was woken up i saw an incubator next to me with my tiny baby inside. i had only been 26 weeks along and she was only 1 lb. 12 oz. 13 3/4 in. long. the Dr. said "this is your little girl. she has 10 fingers and 10 toes but she can't breathe on her own so we have to take her to another hospital where she can be taken care of." i didn't see her for a week. when i got out of the hosp i went to visit her in the NICU once but because my c/s wasn't healing properly they called it an open wound and told me that i had to stay home until it closed. i felt so guilty. it was my body that caused the baby to be so early and sick and i couldn't even hold her. finally i got to go see her, and i stayed with her from open to close. when she finally reached 2 1/2 lbs we could hold her but only for a 1/2 hour per day. Tatum was intubated for a long time until her lungs developed enough for her to try room air. she went many times from the resporator to the canula and c-pap. at 2 weeks old Tatums bowels ruptured from NEC and she had to have surgery. they didn't have to remove any of her intestnes, they just overlapped some and she had to have a g-tube and an illiostomy bag. the surgery was reversed at 3 months old and Tatum got to come home on July 29th. exactly 100 days later. 2 days after her due date! she was 3 1/2 months old and weighed 5 lb. 8 oz. she is now almost 7 years old and besides the scars on her belly you would never know she was ever a preemie. she is a beautiful healthy little girl. i do think she has seperation anxiaties from being left alone every night. a year later i went to wash.DC and had a procedure done to correct my uterus. they basically hollowed it with a tiny mellon baller! before the surgery i was told i had a very high chance of another premature delivery or even misscarraige. afterwards i was given an 85% chance of going full term. in 2002 i had my son, also by c/s but at 39 weeks! i am now on my 3rd pregnancy and i have the exact same due date as my daughter, July 27th! trust me the tubes will be tied after this! congrats to all the parents of preemies! they are true miracles and the people of the NICU are guardian angels!