I'm just seeing this thread for the first time and I wanted to share my story. It will be long
Kaiden is the 4th of my babies. My oldest dd was born 9 days past my due date, I was 15 years old. She was 9lbs, 13 oz. My next dd was born 4 days past my due date at 6lbs, 15 oz. I was 18. My first ds was induced 12 days early (I was severely uninformed about induction at the time) and was 7lbs, 8oz. I was 22 years old. All 3 of them were perfect, healthy, amazing children. I had very uneventful pregnancies. No morning sickness, no hearburn, I was adorable pregnant (the basketball under the shirt syndrome) I loved it! My oldest dd latched on right away and nursed until I went back to work when she was 6 months old. My next dd didn't enjoy nursing. She really hated being that close and when she was 6 weeks old I had my wisdom teeth pulled and was told I couldn't nurse with the antibiotics and pain killers they gave me and so she was given a bottle. Sadly, she was much happier that way. My first ds latched on quickly and nursed until he was 2 when I weaned him, much to his dismay. All 3 of the children were born easily with no pain medication. I was made to have babies! When I got pregnant with Kaiden I decided I would go with a midwife. There was no reason not to.
My dh had been begging me to have another baby and I kept telling him that it wasn't the right time. I'd just gone back to school and was only in my first term. Finally I agree'd saying that he had 2 months to get me pregnant. If it didn't happen I was going back on the pill. That way I would have the baby in the summer and when it was time to go back to school in the fall the baby would be old enough that I could take him with me. My dh took that challenge and fulfilled it! The morning before finals I went in and had a pregnancy test done. I just "knew". It came back positive and I went on to finals glowing and happy. I aced it!
I waited 2 weeks to tell dh. It was going to be his Christmas present but I couldn't hold it in anymore. I wrapped up a big box of rocks with a pillow on top and the pregnancy results on top of the pillow. I pulled him into the bedroom and told him that the kids couldn't see the present, that it was very private. I pulled out the video recorder and recorded him opening the gift. It took him a minute to register what was going on and then he started crying. He was so happy! We found something for the kids to do downstairs and went to make love. As soon as I laid down something didn't feel right. I ran into the bathroom and blood was running down my leg. Ryan came in a little bit after me and didn't know what to say or do. We thought we'd lost the pregnancy. I took the kids to my friends house and went to the ER. They did an ultrasound and blood work and said my hormone levels were great. The pregnancy stuck and they weren't sure what was going on. I went in for another u/s the next day and went to see my midwife for the first time (my actual 1st appt wasn't for 2 more weeks). She said that it appeared that I had lost a twin, that I would continue to bleed for a few days, that I may still lose the one that stuck, and to be prepared. I prepared and prepared. The bleeding stopped...and then started again worse than before. More blood work. My hormone levels were unusually high, my midwife didn't know why but she was concerned. She told me to take it easy.
I made it to 12 weeks without many more difficulties. My midwife sent me to a specialist for another u/s and they found a mass. They weren't sure what it was but it was growing. That thing that they originally thought was a twin was getting bigger. They couldn't explain what was going on. More roller coasters. I continued to bleed a little bit and was put on modified bedrest at home. I quit my winter term at school and started taking care of myself. By the time the spring term started I was feeling great. I was past the point of miscarriage. I was able to be up and about. Nothing special had happened so I enrolled in a couple classes. Two weeks after classes started I was at home and I stood up and gushed blood. I was back at the midwife's and then to the specialist. I was told to prepare for a spontanious abortion. The baby wasn't going to stick. There was nothing we could do, but I may as well take it easy anyhow. I made it to 20 weeks. I found out I was having a boy. I was still, all this time, preparing not to ever be able to parent this baby and would not allow myself to bond with him. My emotions had been so up and down that I just couldn't. Finally my dh said that I needed to be strong, the baby was going to make it, and I needed to let myself love him. He was right and so I did.
At 23 weeks I was put into the hospital to be monitored. They thought the mass in my u/s's was my placenta pulling away from my uterine wall. We discussed what would happen if the baby were to be born at 23, 24, and 25 weeks. I told them that I didn't want them to take any heroic measures if he were to be born before 26 weeks but it didn't matter because he was going to be just fine. I prepared myself to have the baby early and not survive anyhow. They told me that it was highly unlikely that I would be able to have the baby naturally and to prepair for a c -section. I spent most of the next 9 weeks in the hospital. They allowed me to go home a couple times but I always ended up back in the hospital. I was on fetal heart monitors and the contraction monitor morning, noon, and night. I was given shots every 3 hours. I was having blood work done regularly. I got very little sleep. I was on magnesium to stop my contractions. It took quite a while for the magnesium to work well enough so that I could be taken off of it and given (brain fart) some pill that stopped my contrax. I was finally sent home with a prescription for the pills and was told to take them every 4 hours.
When I was 31 weeks, 3 days, I was having contractions. I felt great and knew that the baby was going to be just fine. The pills weren't stopping them this time and I knew that Kaiden was ready to be born so I went about my day. I packed a bag and finished up the things that I needed to do. When dh woke up for work I said "you need to call into work, it's time." He started to freak out and I reassured him that it was going to be just fine, there was no rush. He said "ok, then I can have a cigarrette?" LOL. I took my kids to my friends house and went to the hospital. They hooked me up the the contrax monitor and they stopped! I was dialated to 1, but they weren't concerned. I was sent home.
The next morning Ryan went to work and I went over to my friend's house. It was her mom's birthday and I was tired of laying around the house all day, I decided to go lay around hers
That afternoon I'd been having contractions all day but they weren't bad. I'd have one here and there but wasn't about to go back to the hospital just to have them send me back home. My friends mom was a doula so she kept me relaxed and smiling. By the time my dh showed up to pick us up I was laying on my friends bed in pain. He asked if we needed to go to the doctor and I said "oh, let's just see how these next few contrax feel". When I couldn't talk through them I said "ok, we're going!" When I got to the hospital the specialist came in and checked my dialation and said "oh, that's no good". I was dialated to 5 and he could stretch me to 7 during a contraction. He said "well, we can possibly buy you a couple days if we put you back on the magnesium. It may not work, though and at this point you need a couple of weeks to make any difference at all". We decided to just let it happen. We did want to buy a couple of hours to get antibiotics in me, though, and I have a history of VERY quick labors and deliveries. I was worried that I would lose my cool and allowed them to give me an epideral. My doctor came in a couple hours later and checked my cervix and said "ok, time to go". We headed to the O.R.
In the OR the doctor broke my water and my contrax stopped! They finally started back up and with just a couple pushes Kaiden Ryder Malone was born into this world, pink and pissed off! He was beautiful and my first words were "OMG look at how big he is!" My doctor said "yeah, he's probably about 3 1/2 lbs." I just shook my head. They took him away and rolled me back into my room. It was a few hours before I found out any info about him. When I finally did hear, I was ecstatic. He was born 4lbs, 8oz and was 17" long. His apgar scores were 8 and 8. His gestation was 31 weeks, 5 days. He was perfect!
He never needed oxygen and was breathing on his own from the start. He had some jaundice issues and was under the bili lights for a bit. He couldn't keep his temp up so was in an incubator for most of his NICU stay. He took a while to learn the whole suck, swallow, breathe thing. He was only hooked up to the mandatory machines that they have on all the babies though. He was the biggest baby in the NICU. I pumped, and pumped, and pumped like crazy to make sure that my baby was given as little formula as possible. I had an overflow of ebm in the hospital's freezer! They told me I could have fed all the babies there, lol. It was difficult though, with 3 other kids. They didn't want my kids in the NICU all the time, but I couldn't go w/o them usually. Also, I thought it was very important for the other kids to bond with their brother. The kids and I went to the NICU once a day and then I went alone once a day. There were plenty of times where I went in there and they had a tube in his nose and the feeder taped to the top of the incubator. Plenty of times I had to remind the nurses that I was planning to bf and that if they knew I was coming NOT to feed him and could they please at least hold him while they fed him? Of course, they were busy with other babies, blah, blah, blah, and he would probably never nurse exclusively, blah, blah, blah. There were days when they wouldn't let me hold him at all and we could only touch him for a short period of time. Most of the nurses refused to let the kids hold him and reprimanded me when I allowed it. I did not feel like his mother most of the time and more like a visitor.
After 3 weeks in the NICU I was allowed to take Kaiden home. He was still not keeping his temp up well, so even in the hot of summer I had to keep him bundled in layers of clothes. He still wouldn't nurse regularly so I was still pumping like crazy and giving him bottles of ebm. After being home for 2 weeks though he was nursing exclusively and to this day, he is exclusively nursing. In fact, I can't get him to take anything other than mommy milk! He caught up in length and weight and at his doctors appt's they don't don't adjust his size because he's such a big boy. In fact, the other day when someone asked how old he was and I said "8 months" they said "wow, he's a big boy!"
He is healthy, happy, and sooo smart! He is developmentally right where he should be for his adjusted age. He will be 9 months old in 11 days and he is just starting to sit up on his own and has begun pushing up on his toes but not crawling yet. He rolls all over the place and thinks he's very funny! He "talks" like crazy and laughes all the time. He is amazed by his brother and sisters.
I feel like as soon as I allowed myself to become attached to him he spoke to me. He let me know he would be fine and that everything happens for a reason. Because he was born prematurely he was uncirc'd and I allowed myself to become informed on circing. My experience has also brought me to decide what I want to do with my life. I've decided to become a midwife. I think that the communication between a mother and a child is amazing and important and doctors don't always encourage or nurture that. I'm grateful for his early birth, there was a reason for it, and he is just an amazing little boy.
Check out Kaiden's growth here.