Thank you so much ladies. It was an intense, hard experience, but I am of the opinion that everything happens for a reason. And one of the reasons in that experience I think was to prepare me for my next son. I think the other one was to give my mom a second chance to be the mom she wanted to be. She was just too stressed out with me and my brothers, and was not the worlds greatest mom. But by the time my youngest brothers were getting older, she had setttled down a lot and become a much better parent. So she got to "start over". And Nick is just thriving. I wish I could see him more often (I talk to him on the phone about once a week and see him about once a month), but he's doing really great.
And then we have Aidan. When I had Margaret, I did make it to full term, went into labor on my own at 40wks 4 days, had a nice VBAC (ok, I had the epidural, but it was WAY before I found MDC, so cut me some slack, ok?
). The only slight complication was mild pre-eclampsia when I was in labor. So by the time I got pregnant with Aidan, having had pre-e twice, my OB was on high alert, which I am exceedingly thankful for. At 29 wks, my bp started creeping up slowing, and I was showing just a trace of protein on my urine tests, so I went on strict bedrest. I was put on home monitoring, where I had to take my bp twice a day, and weigh myself and do a urine test and fetal kick count once a day and send it in by computer to a nursing agency. All went well for 7 wks, and I was scheduled for an induction the very day I'd be 37 wks. We knew he was a boy, and for reasons noone has figured out yet, statistically, caucasian baby boys do worse than any other gender/race combination when born early. So I really wanted to get to "term", but we couldn't risk my health by going much past that. Unfortunately, Aidan had other plans. At 36 wks, my bp shot up and wouldn't come down no matter how much water I drank, or how long I laid on my left side. Off to the hospital. They wanted to wait til the next day to do an amnio to check for lung maturity, but even in the hospital, and taking medication, my bp kept rising. At the point it hit 170/110, they decided not to wait any more, and gave me the Cervadil to start ripening my cervix. Told me it would probably give me some cramps, and MAYBE light contractions since I had had a baby before. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Those were so NOT my definition of "light" contractions. On the bright side, I avoided the need for Pitocin! LOL I was progressing at a fairly normal rate, things were looking good..........until the intern (teaching hospital) came to check me and said "That doesn't feel like a head". Um, you are KIDDING, right? He's been head down for weeks!!!! Nope, 3 more manual checks and an ultrasound later, we find that the little bugger has turned sideways in the middle of labor! I wish I had been in a state of mind to say "let me walk for awhile, change positions, anything, see if he will turn back", but I was sleep deprived, feeling miserable, and scared for my baby, so I just signed the consent for the c-section and off we went.
Luckily, this time the spinal took and I was able to be awake. What a different experience! Not as good as a vaginal birth, but SO much better than being out cold. Dh held my hand, we chatted with the doctor, and I'll never forget them holding him up over the curtain for me to see when he was out "Yep, it's a boy! Hi mom!"
He was pretty average size, at 6lbs 12oz, but he looked smallish to me after my 8lb dd with the bowling ball head! LOL Unfortunately, it wasn't all hearts and flowers for long. He did in fact have the dreaded "wimpy white boy syndrome", medically known as respiratory distress syndrome. They worked and worked and tryed everything, but ultimately, he had to be intubated. And since there were no more ventilator beds available in the hospital I delivered in, he had to be transported across town to Childrens Hospital. They brought him to my room first, but I could barely touch him, because it made him too upset.
So all this is setting up to sound even worse than the first time, right? WRONG! Completely sad and pathetic and WRONG, but it's amazing how much better they treat you when there is a Mrs. in front of your name and you have private health insurance rather than Medicaid.
The CH NICU was much nicer than the one at my delivering hospital too. And my OB was really great, she gave me a pass to leave the hospital to go see him the very next day, so long as I came back within 4 hours, since I was still fairly sick. And the day after that, the NICU nurses told me to bring a button down shirt, we were going to do kangaroo care
. Best experience EVER. His heartrate and breathing smoothed out almost instantly, and he just snuggled in and went to sleep. The nurses really supported me in bf, they only fed him my milk, they agreed to use Avent bottles instead of the regular NICU ones, they'd bring me a privacy screen immediately as soon as I asked for it, etc. He latched on the second day that we tried (he was a week old and finally off the vent). And according to the nurses, he never wanted bottles after that. He'd have to be screaming-mad hungry, and he'd still just play with them. But when I'd come in and offer the breast, he'd just chow down. Unfortunately, my bp was still high, and I had another child at home, so I was only able to be there about 6 hours a day. It was an incredibly happy day when I came in to see him sitting in a carseat, hooked up to the monitors, doing the "carseat test", because I knew that meant he was coming home.
Of course, to this day, he's never stopped surprising us and giving us trouble. He was diagnosed with autism at 22 mos old. Nick also has SID (sensory integration dysfunction), which can be part of autism, too. I really think it's a combination of family genetics ( I teeter on the brink of Aspergers myself) and being born before the nervous system is fully mature, for my boys. But I love them both and wouldn't trade them for anything!
Unfortunately, due to all of this, we probably won't be having any more biological children, but we are starting the licensing process to become foster parents, and they think we'll be in high demand because we have experience with NICU, SID, and autism.