My husband and I have been trying for years for a baby, and after six miscarriages, we were so happy to have a pregnancy that was finally going normally. That is, until I was admitted to the hospital with severe pre-eclampsia at 27+5 weeks.
I had a birth plan written out by week 14. I wanted a natural drug-free delivery; I wanted to do delayed clamping and to have baby placed on me immediately after birth so he could breastfeed; I wanted no hep B or vitamin K shots; etc. etc. etc. etc.
Enter pre-eclampsia. Hospital bed rest only got me to 29+1 weeks before baby was showing signs of distress from my continued blood pressure spikes, and I was told that I needed an emergency c-section.
I felt like I was in a nightmare. I bawled my eyes out as I got prepped for surgery. I just wasn't ready for my baby to come that early, and certainly not in such a traumatic way. I told my OB I would ONLY consent to a c-section if she would do delayed clamping. She hesitated and said that if the baby had to be intubated she couldn't do that. "But," she said, "he could come out screaming, so you never know." I begged her to do it if she was able.
My baby did come out screaming, but my OB still clamped immediately. :( I was so upset because my baby needed every milliliter of his blood, and she cut it off from him!! Later she justified it and said at that age, the cord is teeny-tiny. I thought, WHO CARES??? I asked you to delay clamping and you did exactly the opposite!!!
I didn't get to hold my baby... they held his head next to mine for three seconds for a photo, and this was after washing him and letting him cry for what seemed to be an eternity. Then he was whisked off to the NICU and I wasn't allowed to see him for over 30 hours.
The entire experience has been so traumatic on me knowing how traumatic it's been on him. I feel like I've had to give up on everything I wanted for my son to give him the best start in life. We even agreed to the vitamin K shot (after confirming it was thimerosal-free and finding out they won't do oral vit K) since he's so premature and I knew I wouldn't be able to breastfeed immediately, and the idea of brain bleeds etc. scared the daylights out of me. Even little things, I've had to give up on... e.g. they have been giving him a pacifier in the NICU without my permission.
I know some hard decisions will be coming up. The doctors will push us to give all the usual vaccinations. We had been adamant that we would NOT vaccinate at all, and yet preemies have risks that full-term babies don't have, so all the preemie moms I know are making it sound like I'm planning to murder my baby if I don't allow all the recommended vaccines.
Those of you who are more natural/crunchy/AP types like we are, how did you reconcile all that with the fact that you have a preemie? Did you agree to some of the vaccines or not? How on earth did you decide? Do you feel your baby is harmed for life because you weren't able to give him the healthy start you wanted for him/her?