Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Prematurity Awareness Month - Tanya's Stories

Another story to share with you during prematurity awareness month. This is written by my friend Tanya - here is her experience

Both of my babies were preemies. My son was born at 33 weeks 3 days via emergency c-section and my daughter was born at 35 weeks 6 days via scheduled c-section. I had gestational diabetes for both pregnancies but luckily it was controlled by diet and exercise. I had control over that part of my pregnancies however, I had absolutely no control over developing mild pre-eclampsia and HELPP syndrome.

I was seeing an endocrinologist for regular bi-weekly appointments on Wednesdays, once I hit 28 weeks and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I had gone to the hospital for my routine appointment and the doctor noticed that my blood pressure was slightly elevated. I went on to tell her that my Dad had just passed away less than a week before and that I was under a lot of stress. They told me to check myself in just to make sure I was okay. My test results came back abnormal and I was admitted into the hospital due to abnormal liver enzyme levels. I was basically told that I’d be having my baby sometime that weekend.

The next few hours and days were an absolute whirlwind. I ended up having to stay at the QCH overnight for observation because the Civic didn’t have any beds available. I couldn’t be induced at QCH because they don’t deliver babies earlier than 34 weeks. I told my husband to go home and get some rest, take care of the dog and make arrangements because I’d be switching hospitals the next morning. I was transferred by ambulance to the Civic where I met up with my husband and a high-risk team. They planned to induce me as soon as possible. They induced me around 1pm and by 6am the following morning, I hadn’t dilated even 1cm. I was told that my condition was worsening and it would be best for me to have an emergency c-section. We welcomed our son into the world at 7:22 am on October 16, 2010 weighing 6 lbs, 2 ounces. I had been on anti-seizure medication and God only knows what else, so my son’s birth is a little “shaky.” I remember seeing his blue face and then he was whisked away to the NICU. I was able to touch my son for the first time about an hour after his birth and then I was in and out of consciousness for the rest of the day. I didn’t get to hold him until he was over 12 hours old.

Then and Now
The nurses in the NICU are VERY special people. They made us feel right at “home” when it came to caring for our son and what he was going through. They explained anything and everything they could and gave him absolutely tremendous care. He was born so early that he hadn’t learned the sucking reflex and therefore had to be fed through a tube for the first few days of his life. He had IV’s in the most horrendous places but he was a champ and was able to come home with us when he was 16 days old. He had some little hiccups along the way. They call them “spells.” He would be eating and as he was drinking he had 2 moments where he would “choke” on the milk and stop breathing for a second and the nurses would have to help him through it, hence the 16 day stay. Every time he had a spell, that added an extra 7 days to his stay in order to ensure he was “prepared” to come home. November 1st was THE longest day of our lives but also THE best, all at once. We were extremely nervous to bring such a tiny baby home but for us, it was a moment we had been “impatiently” waiting for.

We got pregnant for our daughter in late March 2012. Everything about this pregnancy was normal up until my appointment with my high-risk OB around 30 weeks. I started showing signs that my blood pressure was slowly rising and blood tests began to confirm that my liver enzyme levels were slowly becoming abnormal. I had a routine appointment on October 15th and was instructed to go on sick leave on my son’s 2nd birthday. I was required to buy a blood pressure monitor and had to check my levels at least 5 to 6 times per day and keep track of them. I had weekly appointments with my OB and everything seemed to be going well. We were hoping she’d “bake” until at least 37 weeks but my body had other plans, yet again. I saw the doctor on November 7th and he scheduled my c-section for November 8th at 10am.

We arrived at the Civic around 9:45am and due to delays, our daughter was born at 3:56pm, weighing exactly 7lbs. It was an entirely different experience the second time around, like night and day. I was able to walk myself into the operating room. I sat myself down for the spinal and then laid there listening to the nurses bustling around me. My husband joined me and then they began to operate. I remember hearing my daughter cry first before I got to see her being held above me. I cried because I was SO happy to see colour in her face, she was breathing and spitting out amniotic fluid. She was immediately passed over to NICU attendants and my husband followed them into a resuscitation room. She had stopped breathing and was put on a CPAP machine for the first 14 hours of her life and with that, her 9 day NICU stay began. She seemed fine after the first 14 hours however, she suffered one “spell” that kept her in the NICU for an additional 7 days. We were much more patient the second time around because we knew what to expect, she was in good hands.

Then and Now
We actually saw one of the nurses who had cared for our son 2 years before and we reminisced about our experience and filled her in on how he was doing, showed her pictures. They are so pleased and look forward to receiving updates on children they have cared for. They love to see how well the preemies have thrived. On November 17th our daughter came home, our son met his sister for the first time and we became a family of four. I will never forget what the doctors and nurses did to help bring my children into the world and I really appreciate the care I was given. My children helped me recover very quickly from both my surgeries and I look back and have absolutely no regrets. I wouldn’t change a thing

Click to read about our Preemie Story

1 comment:

  1. wow, my best friend had a preemie (3 m early) and it was so chaotic but worth every second as she's now 6 and they love her so much of course. thank you for sharing your story!


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