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Alright, I thought I'd start. Since I've got 2 I'll make them as short as possible...though I tend to be long winded


Kaiden Ryder's story:

I found out that I was pregnant with Kaiden on December 11, 2002. I remember the date because I was planning on waiting until Christmas to tell Ryan but then 7 days later I NEEDED to tell him, though I didn't know why. I'd wrapped a huge box up and filled it with rocks so it was super heavy and placed the positive pregnancy test on top. It had been sitting under the tree all week and he was going crazy trying to figure out what it was. So, on December 18th I told him to go get the box. When he opened it he cried he was so happy. After the excitement wore down a bit he wanted to make love so we crawled into bed and then I realized that something wasn't right. I reached down and noticed that I was bleeding. I ran to the bathroom without saying anything to be sure. There was a ton of bright red blood and I thought I was miscarrying. Ryan came in to see what was going on and found me on the floor crying. I called the urgent care nurse at the hospital and asked if I needed to come in since I'd never had a miscarriage before. She told me to come in just in case they had to do a D&C and said that it definately sounded like I was miscarrying. After many blood draws and an ultrasound it was determined that I had miscarried one baby but that the other was still there. I was told to go home and wait to miscarry the other. Every time I thought I was miscarrying, I never did. I was bleeding like crazy, I was passing clots. I was bleeding through pad after pad. Finally I was put on modified bedrest. I was to do very little. Once I hit 21 weeks they admitted me to the hospital because I was having contractions. I was told that there was something in there, but they weren't sure what. That I'd not miscarried a twin after all and whatever was in there was growing. I was told that maybe it was a placental abruption and the growth that they were seeing was where it was pulling away further and further. I was instructed that they wouldn't even attempt to save the baby before 24 weeks and that I had to tell them if I wanted them to try between 24 and 26 weeks and after that they would automatically try. I was also told that since it appeared that I had an abruption that I would have to have a c-section. I was terrified. I'd never even had pain meds in my first 3 births. After much magnesium eventually I made it past 26 weeks and the contractions mostly stopped. They let me go home with a presciption of (I want to say Tetrocycline?) something that is apparently generally used for heart conditions to stop the contractions. At about 30 weeks I had a heart to heart with myself and the baby and decided that it was time to quit taking the meds. I was afraid that the effects of the meds would be worse for both of us than if he were to be born at that time. On June 22, 2003 I was at a friends house celebrating her moms birthday. Because her mom was a doula and there were so many people around I spent the day on the couch lounging. I had still been having contractions even with the meds but that day they got pretty bad. I kept saying that they weren't that bad because I had gone to the hospital the day before convinced that I was in labor only to be sent home. I figured the same would happen this day but I also felt that I didn't want them to stop my labor. What was meant to be would be. I knew the baby would be fine. When Ryan got off work he came to pick me up and found me in my friends bed in pain. My friends mom whispered to him "she's in labor. Make her go to the hospital!" Ryan asked how I was feeling and I told him I was fine. That I didn't need to go to the hospital. After about 30 minutes of him being there, though, I told him "ok, we're going." He said "good, because I was about to make you go whether you wanted to go or not." I got to the hospital and the doctor checked me and told me that he could break my water now and the baby would be born but that he wanted me to hold out another 4 hours or so because he needed to get an antibiotic into me. I complied and then asked for an epideral. I was so scared that they were going to give me an emergancy c-section and I wanted to be as in control as I could be. The epideral was the strangest thing I'd ever experienced. Just after 11pm they told me I was to 10 and we went to the OR. I couldn't believe I'd gotten to 10 w/o realizing it. I couldn't push for a while, couldn't figure out how to or where my muscles were. Then my contractions stopped for a few minutes. Eventually they started back up and with just 2 pushes Kaiden was born. I looked at him and said "OH, he's so big!" and the doctor smirked and said "he's only about 3 lbs." He was 4lbs, 8oz and 17.5" long. He was put on oxygen right off the bat, though they said he didn't need it. He was taken off in a few hours. He developed jaundice in the NICU, which meant he had to stay longer than we'd originally hoped, though even then he was home in 2.5 weeks. He was very strong and healthy right off the bat.
 

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Áine Ciarán (Awn-yuh Keer-an) Born March 26, 2005 @ 5:03pm. 3lbs, 12.6oz, 16 1/4 in long.

On Saturday, March 19th I woke up and felt a little trickle. I thought it was just normal pregnant girl stuff so I ignored it. I took Alexis to gymnastics and while I was there Kaiden spilled my water all over the floor. I got a towel and cleaned it up with my foot, then bent over to pick up the towel. When I stood up I felt a small gush. Hoping that I'd just pee'd myself (when else would a woman wish to have wet her pants? LOL) I went to the restroom. I came back out and felt fine but thought I should "check" so I crouched down and stood back up. Sure enough, another gush. I called Ryan, who was about 5 minutes from work, and told him to come get me. He thought I was messing with him, but came anyhow. A while later we were at the hospital. I was feeling fine, no contractions, but worried. They checked to be sure I hadn't just pee'd myself and confirmed that my water was broken. They decided that I should stay but wouldn't give me a guess on how long I'd be staying, just that it could be weeks.

They gave me 2 steroid shots, 24 hours apart, and said that if I went into labor spontaniously that they wouldn't stop it...so there I sat...and waited.

On Thursday I had a minor breakdown with my nurse and explained how stressed out I was. She had my OB come in and do a quicky ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that my fluid was really low and that Áine was head down. She said that the benefit to her staying past 34 weeks didn't outweigh the risks and that they could induce then, but I had to have another u/s to confirm my dates. On Friday I went for a real u/s. They said that she was measuring 32weeks, 2 days. More stress, but I was trying to stay positive. On Saturday at about 9am the OB came in and told me my options were: Wait it out for 12 more days, until the u/s dates matched when I said I was due, try to get 10cc's of fluid from what I was leaking (which was minimal by this time) to send off to the lab to see if her lungs were mature, do an amnio for the same reason, or induce me that day. Considering I was positive about my dates (I started my LMP at U-Haul on the day we moved here), she said it was unlikely that they'd be able to get 10cc's from what I was leaking, and I was not about to have an amnio and risk the infection just to have them have to induce me anyhow, I asked them to induce. I felt pretty positive that she'd be just fine.

At 10:30am they gave me a pill to induce labor. At about 11:30am I started feeling contractions. It wasn't long before they were 3minutes apart. After a while I started really feeling the contractions and they were worse than I'd ever felt. I asked for something for the pain. The nurse checked my cervix and said I was dilated to about 3-4. I said "that's all???" She laughed and said "getting to 4 is the hard part. You'll be at 10 in no time". She then came back with a second nurse and said she wanted the other nurse to confirm how dilated I was so they could decide what to give me for pain...I thought that was strange, but whatever, I was ready for pain killers. I had never had contractions like this before and I didn't know how to cope. They gave me fentinol (sp?) which took the edge off but did not kill the pain. It was exactly what I needed. I whined through the contractions but was no longer ready to beat Ryan for watching basketball. The nurse said to let her know when I had that feeling like I had to poop. After a while the contractions were right on top of each other and I was about to tell Ryan that I was going to be calling the nurse at any minute. At that moment I realized any minute was NOW and hit the "call nurse" button as hard as I could. I thought they would never come, though they were probably there within seconds. I yelled "It's time!!" they said "NO, you can't push! You need to wait!" I said "NO! I have to push, it's time!" They kept assuring me that I was doing great and to hold on. I decided "forget them!" and pushed. As I pushed I said "the baby's coming!" The nurse looked at me and said "umm, baby's coming and I think that's a butt!" The rushed over and I put my hand down and felt her as she came out. They got there just in time. She was indeed breech, though she'd been head down the day before. After I delivered the placenta they showed me her cord. She had a true knot in it, which is, I assume, why she was so tiny. They said after her u/s that her belly was measuring small and they thought she wasn't getting enough nutrients, which made no sense at all to me, since I eat and eat and eat, lol.

She was perfect! Her apgar scores were 9/9 and the nurse said she'd never seen a 10. Áine didn't need the ventilator and they kept saying that she was only going to the NICU because of her size. I held her for a while after she was born and she latched on right away. All of the kids were in the room watching. Kaiden napped right up until I started pushing and then he woke up just in time to see her be born. He just kept smiling but didn't say a word.

Later, when I was cleaning up and talking to the nurse, she said that the reason that she'd had the second nurse check me was because she thought she felt a butt. The other nurse came in and checked and said that the baby was, in fact, head down. The first nurse checked my u/s and confirmed that she'd been head down the day before. Thankfully, the second nurse was wrong or they would have insisted on a c-section.

In the NICU she nursed like a pro. She wasn't hooked up to anything other than the normal monitors that they keep on all the nicu babies. They refused to send her home because she wouldn't take a bottle so at 23 days I spent 36 hours and nursed her around the clock. She was finally able to come home.
 

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For now I'm just going to post a link to Hazel's birth story. I haven't written one for my older daughter yet (at least in part because I asked for an epidural for an otherwise uncomplicated birth at 3 cm and I don't want to have to defend myself or answer invasive questions). Anyway, hazel's story can be found here:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=229863

And Wende, the drug they gave you is terbutaline. I took it too.
 

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Thursday, May 11th, 2006. I laid restlessly in my bed trying to find sleep that would never come, moaning in pain and discomfort. I mistook these signs for something less severe than what I thought they possibly could have been. For a few weeks earlier I went to the hospital for fear I w as having contractions, and I wasn't, so they sent me home. Being a first-time mom and knowing that I was only 26 weeks, 6 days pregnant, I was naive with the concept that "this could be it," so I stuck the night out.

6 O'clock couldn't come any quicker, and off to work I went. I felt much better after moving around, so I figured, "great! I'm just fine." But after being there less than an hour, I became even more uncomfortable, was loosing a lot of mucus, and what was worse, I became paranoid thinking my baby wasn't moving anymore. I immediately asked my supervisor and two other women what I should do, whose response all was an energetic, "Go to the hospital!"

So a little after 8am, I called my parents house where we are living, and left a message to my parents and husband telling them where I was going, and to not be alarmed and please don't drive over. I called the hospital, where I spoke to the OB Nurse on staff. She didn't seem too alarmed over my symptoms, but I followed my gut, and went in anyway.

After admittance, a couple of nurses saw me, then a doctor. He too said I shouldn't be concerned, but for my own peace of mind (yeah, right) he would order an ultrasound for 10:30am. A little before the procedure was to be done, in walks my husband into the room. A sense of calmness went through me seeing him there. And yet a part of me was still upset with him for not listening to me
Turns out it was a major blessing to have him next to me. Minutes later, the ultrasound tech comes in, and performs a very detailed scan, much more detailed than my first ultrasound at 20 weeks. The baby was moving, and looked great. The only thing she could see, was that I had some fluid accumulating where it shouldn't have been, so she did an external vaginal ultrasound. The doctor came back in later, and sat down with us stating that my cervix was thinning out, but not to worry, just go home, take an easy, and call my OB where I had been going (we were in the process of switching to a birth center) and see what they have to say. So, that's exactly what we did.

We got home around 2 in the afternoon, where I had Casey run to the local grocery store and grab me some chicken-noodle soup and some fruit juice. While he was gone I called my OB, and she was worried over my symptoms, and instructed me to get to Ingham Hospital (where she delivers her patients babies) right away. So once Casey returned and I ate some soup and drank half of my juice, we were off to yet another hospital some 40 minutes away.

Once admitted into Ingham, I was immediately hooked to monitors, received yet another ultrasound. Casey stepped out of the room for a few minutes to use the restroom, and when he came back I was in tears with what I had just been told. You see, during his absence, a doctor checked my cervix and I was dilated to 6 cm's. I couldn't believe what I was hearing; one way or another, my baby was coming, and soon. I figured I would know what labor felt like once it had hit. The hospital nurses just put on a very brave face for me, knowing how bad it can get for a 26 weeker, and said that some women just don't feel labor like most.

The next course of action was that I was put on a drug called magnesium sulfate, and a catheter inserted. All in the matter of minutes I was rushed by ambulance to Sparrow, the third hospital of the day, with Casey in his car racing to keep up with the ambulance. (And illegally running red lights!)


Once at Sparrow, no less than 10 doctors and their residents saw me, starting new iv drugs, drawing more blood, and taking more history.

They became convinced that I had an infection somewhere in my body, though they couldn't pinpoint exactly where it was. Then, doctor after doctor came in my room, trying to convince me of doing a procedure I was deathly afraid of…an amniocentesis. I refused this procedure several times, and each time I refused another doctor became even more frustrated with me. They pushed and pushed the test on me so badly, that finally with the encouragement of Casey, I finally agreed. After all, it WAS for the benefit of the baby…right? If the fluid was infected she needs to come out now, but if it's not, she can hopefully stay inside the womb and 'cook' a little longer.

In the hours preceding the amnio, I became so scared, so frightened. I cried to my husband over and over again. And yet when they brought in the ultrasound to guide in the needle, the doctors reassured me it didn't hurt…that I would just feel pressure and possibly a contraction-like sensation. I felt a little better knowing that, but once the reality set in for what they were about to do, I began to shake. Casey held my hand through the entire thing, and I remember him encouraging me, telling me I was doing great, and to keep breathing. They didn't numb the skin before inserting the needle deep into my belly. The procedure was not painless. In fact I would take the worst contraction my uterus could give me before going through it again. They didn't get any amniotic fluid from around the baby. They wanted to try again, and both Casey and I said no. I cried when I realized the amnio was for nothing. All the risks associated with this procedure for myself, AND my unborn child, knowing how uneasy I was about it in the first place, all for nothing. I should have listened to myself. The only thing I can think of to console myself with, is that my husband never left my side during the procedure. I never could have done it without him there.

After the amnio, they upped my dosage of magnesium and regularly gave me morphine to sleep and dull the pain the mag puts you through. I was on the mag for God knows how long, but the last two days of the drug were unbearable. Early on Monday morning (say 4am?) I woke hubby up, crying, telling him I 'couldn't do it anymore.' My mind had shut down, and my body was giving up. The pain was intensified. The mag made me hallucinate, made my vision double, I felt like I weighed a ton, literally. I couldn't move my limbs to save my life. And what was worse, I was having strong contractions that my nurse didn't believe I was having! (I kept thinking to myself, maybe I didn't feel contractions before, but these sure the heck are!!)

Finally after a change in the nursing staff, a new nurse came in and moved the monitor on my belly…low and behold, strong contractions were graphing!
: She went and got the doctor on call, where she checked my cervix. I was 100% effaced, still 6 centimeters, but my waters were bulging and she could feel my baby's foot. I had broken through the magnesium for the last time…it was time for our baby to be born.

Things happened so quickly after they decided to take the baby. Casey got scrubbed and I was taken to the OR. They administered a spinal and I instantly felt warm and relieved of all the pain I was feeling. Sure I still couldn't move well, but hey at least I didn't feel like an elephant was sitting on me. Casey came in, (I still have that goofy image of a 6'3 300lb man in bright blue scrubs! I kept telling the nurses I wish I had my camera!) and held my hand during the entire c-section. I either had my eyes closed, or had my eyes on him. After a bunch of pulling, tugging, and pressure, Cynthia Elise entered the world at 9:27 am on May 15th. She was so tiny, weighing only 2lbs 2 ounces. I only saw her briefly…they kindly let me touch her little hand before taking her to the NICU. Due to my 'potential infection' and antibiotics 'just in case' I didn't see my baby until two days later.

Recovery was pretty good though. It was nothing like the abdominal surgery I had before (ruptured appendix). It was a relief when they finally let me walk…(I actually asked my nurses 6 hours after surgery to get up, lol) I hadn't been allowed to get up since I came in on Friday! I asked if there was anything I could do to leave that dreaded hospital earlier than my discharge date of Thursday, alas they said no.

Cynthia had a lot of ups and downs, as most preemies do. From a PDA, several blood transfusions, CLD, lumbar punctures, and MRSI landing her in isolation, she's had a lot of nasty things done to her that I wish I could have taken for her.

But all is well, she's been home for 8 days now and I can't wait to see what each day from here on out brings for us.
 

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All day June 17th my blood pressure was high and I just felt off... I wasn't due til October 10th, so I went to be checked out at L&D at the hospital I was suppose to deliver at. They have no NICU there, and they freaked out since I was so early & put me on mag sulfate & packed me up and sent me to a hospital an hour away.
I spent the next ten days on bedrest at the other hospital, having several ultrasounds... and learning that my baby wasn't growing and the placenta was failing because of my blood pressure. In the middle of the night ten days after I was admitted, I started showing all the other signs of preeclampsia and since my baby was transverse breech, they decided to do a c-section.
Elora was born weighing 1 lb, 2 ounces and 11.5 inches long on June 27th. She's almost four weeks old... she's had surgery to correct a problem with her intestines- and tomorrow she has surgery for her PDA.
 

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DS's birth story is here.
 

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For both birth stories looking back I just do not do pregncy well! W dd1 I had nausa, heartburn etc in the first trimester and in the second I had PTL around 28 weeks. I ended up on bedrest for 7 weeks and was in the hospital at least 7 times to stop contractions. She came 3 days before her duedate so I think the bedrest was a success. But because of all this we were very gun shy about doing this again. So we waited until dd was 3 yrs old before trying again. I figured being on bedrest w a toddler would be nuts so I waited. We started ttc in May of 2005. By late sept I was expecting for June 1st. We were elated. I had said my goal this time was to avoid bedrest if all possible. Well I did.

Feb 13th 2006, in my 24th week
To start- what we think happened was there was a tear in the amenic sac. But the story starts Feb 13th when we were in of all places- Florida visiting my parents. Hold on, this is a very bumpy ride.

I started feeling uncomfortable a bit on Monday the 13th and had some clear discharge. By the end of the day it was also a bit spotty. I figured another UTI like w DD1, so I started drinking cranberry juice and relaxing a bit in the pool which helped. Tuesday I called my OB at in Chicago and made an appt for when we got back Wednesday afternoon so they could treat it if need be. They readily agreed- no need for a repeat performance of bedrest and stress of worrying again (god that would be a snap!) But I just could not get comfortable and was hurting all day Tuesday. I started to feel ok and we were going to go out on Tues the 14th (my parents had other plans) for a quick family dinner. I was getting ready and then I peed. I felt something coming down w force I screamed for DH and he also felt it. We called 911 and they came. It turned out I had a nasty UTI and a bit of a yeast infection. They think that was my enflamed blatter that was pressing down, not a crowning like we thought. They also checked me and I was 0 dialated and no aminotic fluid on the test. The strong antibiotics they gave me and then the ones I took the next morning before our flight actually made me feel much better. We flew home the next morning and got home around noon and my ILs offered to take DD1 during my appt that afternoon at 3:30pm. So we got home, had lunch, I took DD to school, DH went to his office, saw a few patients blah blah blah.

I figured I would unpack and do some laundry while they were out of the house but I was exhausted and a bit chilly. So I laid down until my appt and I also felt feverish and my back hurt from the plane ride. Later on, as I waited in the OB office my back ache got worse and worse and then I realized- it was contractions. I figured he might send me over to the hospital to get monitered. I was still spotting and it smelled weird. They did the amenitoc test and the stick came out black (positive) then when he examined me, I was FULLY DIALATED. He said very gently- get dressed, I will be right back to talk to you. My Dr is normally a easy going joking kind of guy and he did a major 180. He said- you're fully dialated, we need to get to the hospital NOW and do an emergency c section. He did a quick u/s and it proved I had low fluid and MAggie was a footling breach. She had stuck her foot in the birth canel and it was enflamed and it got labor going. Thank God my ILs had DD and thank God DH's office is a half a block away from the OB and also a 1/2 mile from the hospital. He wanted us to go to the hospital that Maggie ended up being transfered to, but we would have never made it in traffic. So she was born about a 1/2 hour later and by 6pm I was in recovery and by 8 pm Maggie was on the way to the Loyola Level III NICU. So to say my head was spinning would be an understatement. When Maggie came out she let out a wail which was good. Her apgars were 8, 9, 9. She is a girl and high apgars put her in a good position for a 24 6 days along baby. But she was only 1 lb 12 oz.
Before the Loyola team left w Maggie they brought her in for me to see her. As she was leaving she put her fist in the air to say- I am a fighter and she is! DH followed after her to the 3rd hospital in 24 hours. I stayed behind to recover my c section and I demanded a pump to start it going. I pumped two hours after my surgery and every 2-3 hours after. I called the nicu several times that night to see how she was. By Friday I was going nuts. W no baby to take care of, it was easier to recover and I was anxious to see her. So I checked out and went to the nicu that night. Then for 71 days went 1-2 times daily. At day 70, Maggie was moved to Feed & Grow. The nicu was filling up and they asked if Maggie could be transferd back to the hospital she was born at to finish off the feed & grow. We were happy and shell shocked but she finished out there and came home 38 weeks gestanial.

Maggie had for a micro a very uneventful stay in the nicu. We are very lucky that her pda closed w meds and her infections were treated quickly w antibiotics. Also that her eyes are developing normal. Even though we were there 13 weeks total, I feel anyday in the nicu is hard so when people say to me- oh we were only there a few days. I know how hard even a few days is! I feel everyone in the nicu has their own cross to bear.
 

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We found out we were expecting on October 18, 2005. We were shocked, as we had our wedding on September 24...apparently our "honeymoon" (we didn't go anywhere) was a HUGE success considering I had been on birth control since I was 16.

Everything was perfect (other than the morning sickness, heartburn, unbelievable bodily fatigue and ridiculously huge, sore breasts) and normal and textbook right up until 27w6d when I noticed contractions while sitting at my desk at work. I was able to time them about 5-6 minutes apart, so I told my boss that I was afraid I was in labor and left. I was due 6/27...this was 4/3, and my last day of work.

When I got to the doctor's office, he checked me quickly since he was concerned about the bloody show I'd been having, and popped his head up, ripped off the gloves, and while patting my knees, said, "Honey, I'm sorry, but you're dilated 2cm, kid. You're going to the hospital." Once there, I was started on magnesium sulfate while the ambulance was readied. Our local hospital had just upgraded their NICU to be able to handle babies as young as 32wks, but since I was clearly nowhere near there, they took me to a University hospital 90 miles away. I received my first steroid shot at our local hospital, and the second at the U hospital.

After 24 hours on the mag and 48 more hours of observation, and missing DSD2's 4th birthday, my contractions had stopped, and I was no longer dilating. I was sent home on bedrest, and promised to take it easy, and was also given a prescription for nifedipine to keep contractions from happening.

I went in for a regularly schedule OB checkup a week after getting home, and the doc (a different one) informed me that after a week at home with no contractions, I was stretchy to 4cm, and my membranes were ballooning out of my cervix. This time, the local hospital started the mag and then I was helicoptered to the U.

I spent the next 5 days praying that my contractions would stay gone and I would stay "closed." On the fifth day, I was given the glucose solution to determine GD, and was sent in to active, hard labor. They put me on the mag for the third and final time, and after 17hrs, my contractions had not stopped and I was dilated to 7cm. They finally informed us that there was an isolette available in the NICU (when I went in to labor they informed me that if I went too quickly, DD would be transferred to a hospital across town without me since they were out of room) and the magnesium was turned off.

The anesthesiologist came in to tell me that he really didn't think I would be able to deal with labor without an epidural, because he'd never seen anyone do it, and didn't think I looked strong enough. I told him, in no uncertain terms, that if he came in to my room again, I would call security.


After 31hrs of active labor, I asked for anything to help me sleep just a little bit, as I had no idea how much longer this was going to last. I was given 1mg of Stadol, which lessened the pain enough that I passed out for about 20min, when the Stadol abruptly stopped working and I woke up yelling for my DH, who was sleeping on the floor in the lounge. 2hrs later, one of the OBs came in to check me and told me that i was fully efaced and dilated, but that my water still hadn't broken. She broke my water, and said she'd come back and check on me in about 10min. As she turned back around from putting the hook down, she looked incredible alarmed, rushed to the door, and yelled "THERE'S A HEAD!" The "team" came in to the room and told me my baby was here. This was it.

I pushed once, semi-halfheartedly, as I had been flat on my back for 33hrs and was exhausted, plus I didn't have a clue what i was doing. The docs then told me not to push, so that they could get ready to catch, but you all know how that goes. When your body wants to deliver a baby, there's no stopping it! I tried though, and I think that's why I tore. On my next contraction, I heard the OB's gloves snap against her wrists, and I took that as my go-ahead. I gave one mighty push and Sam came flying out so fast that it took both OBs to catch her. I yelled at everyone in the room to be quiet so that I could hear my baby cry. She let out the tiniest little kitten mew, was held up so I could see her, and then rushed out of the room with DH fast on her heels. About 10min later, they brought her back all bundled and goopy-eyed, showed her to me in the doorway of my room, and then took her away to the NICU. I didn't get to so much as touch my baby.

It took me 8 hours before I was willing to go down to the NICU and see her. I still feel guilty about it, and haven't even admitted to DH that I really didn't want to see her. I had failed her, and seeing her in the isolette would be admitting that not just to myself, but to everyone else around me. The fact that she was 3lb5oz, born at 30wk2d and didn't have an ounce of fat on her was my fault. I just knew it. I had done something to cause her to be, in my opinion, fighting for her life a floor above me. This was not how it was supposed to be. Not after a totally normal pregnancy with no complications.

Somehow, we got lucky. Sam never had so much as a breath of oxygen, and was moved to the Satellite Nursery (feed and grow) after just 8 days. 19 days after that, she was taking every feed from her bottle (we never got an LC to help us) and had just broken the 1800 gram weight rule for release. She passed her 90 minute carseat test, and I held my breath the entire night before she was scheduled to be released, sitting by the phone terrified that they would call and tell me she'd bradyied, or had apnea, and would have to stay. The next morning, I showed up with her heart monitor, got her dressed in the ridiculously frilly pink dress from my SIL's stepmom, and strapped her in to her carseat which looked impossibly huge against my teeny baby. We never got to nurse, and after 10wks of trying everything known to man and pumping every 3hours around the clock, my milk dried up for the third and final time.

The nurses were amazed at her progress, and applauded me every day for taking such good care of my baby. I of course felt like a total failure that she was there in the first place...an emotion no one understood, least of all me. After all, I had a fairly healthy baby, and would get to take her home. And she had a home to go to. Many of the babies in that NICU would be wards of the state upon release.

These days, she's a reasonable happy, very healthy baby. She had a VSD and a PFO, which closed on their own by her two month checkup, and her kidney reflux so far has not resulted in an infection. She is 14wks today, one month adjusted.

And I'm 10wks pregnant today, and terrified this will all happen again. I just can't get over the constant fear that my body will fail this baby too.
 
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