Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Day-Dylan's Story

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day. I made sure to hug my boy today and thank God for him!

This topic has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I had preterm labor problems with both pregnancies. I've been thinking so much about my pregnancy with Dylan lately...I think it's due to the fact that he's turning 5 in 5 short days! (Say what?!?)

So in honor of Prematurity Awareness Day, and an upcoming birthday, this is going to be all about my preemie.

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Dylan tried to enter the world at 30 weeks.

I don't remember much from that time. It was just so overwhelming. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks. One day, I just didn't feel right. The contractions were reaching around to my back, and were coming frequently. I called my OB, and was told to head into the hospital to get checked. I thought I would be sent home.

What I didn't count on was getting needle after needle shoved into my arm. I didn't count on having to stay. I didn't expect all the information the doctor was throwing at me about having a 30-weeker. The doctors finally got the contractions under control, and I was sent home on bed rest.

The culprit of my preterm labor was most likely stress. I had a rough pregnancy. I was very sick, and lost a lot of weight. My parents home was destroyed due to the aftermath of a hurricane. They lost everything. The house I grew up in was gone. The pets I grew up with had to go to new homes. Grant and I were in the process of trying to buy our first house. My sisters and I were fighting.

The day I came home from the hospital, I found out that our beloved dog was very, very sick, and only had weeks to live. I was beyond devastated. She died in my arms, a week later. A few days after that, we moved into our new home. It was definitely a very rough time in my life.

I was on bed rest for weeks. I was constantly being monitored. The contractions never stopped. It was a constant guessing game as to when the baby was going to arrive. The longer the baby stayed put, the better, but the longer I went, the sadder I got. The house was so quiet without my dog, and I couldn't do anything but lay around.

At my 35 week checkup, the doctor informed me that I was showing all signs that the baby would be here very soon. He told me that at this point, they wouldn't be able to stop the labor because I had progressed so far already.

Less than 48 hours later, I ended up in the hospital. I was told to expect a 4-5 lb baby, at most, and that there could possibly be a NICU stay. The past few weeks were so difficult that I couldn't wait for the baby to come, but at this point I was terrified about the health of my baby.

It was a long labor. Mostly uneventful, other than breaking the epidural needle (I have a back of steel...happened again with Lexie!) and throwing up all over my mom. I pushed for hours, though. Finally, the OB told me I couldn't push much longer. I could either get a C-Section or attempt to push just 3 times with the vacuum. I chose the vacuum.

As I started pushing those last 3 times, I glanced over and realized that there were a ton of people in the room. The nurse gently told me that they had a team lined up to take me to the ER, and the rest of the staff were from the NICU. The first two pushes failed, and the OB warned me that this was my last shot. I overheard her tell the surgical team to get ready, and I was so mad, that I gave that push my all.

And out came my baby! All I remember is hearing "It's a BOY!" And seeing his beautiful face. He was here, and he looked perfect!

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Dylan was immediately whisked away and examined, before I could even touch him. About 20 minutes later, he was handed back to me with a clean bill of health!

Dylan was much bigger than expected. When I arrived at Labor & Delivery the nurse didn't even realize I was pregnant. My belly was just so tiny! Somehow, I managed to pop out a 7 lb, 2 oz* baby at a mere 35 1/2 weeks! The nurses and doctors were in shock.

*Just for the record, he was going to be huge if he made it full term. His baby sister was born at 38 weeks, and weighed a whopping 9 lbs, 1 oz! I grow them big! (She's not even the largest baby born into my family! There are many more that were bigger than her.) I didn't have a big belly with Lexie, either. My OB is constantly asking where I hid my babies. *

Dylan did not have to stay in the NICU. We did end up staying in the hospital for 4 days. I had a 4th degree tear. (I'm going to leave it at that....OUCH!) Dylan had some trouble regulating his body temperature, and he did drop down to 6 lbs.

Finally, we both were allowed to go home. The only issues Dylan had was slow weight gain (he's still a very skinny kid) and the fact that he projectile vomited after every bottle. He took minimal amounts of formula at each feeding for the longest time. His pediatrician said that his digestive tract was very immature. On the other hand, he was healthy. He hit all of his milestones early. He has no lasting effects from being born preterm.

Almost 5 years later, I still thank God every day for my little blessing. Things could have been much worse, so I know how lucky we were. He is our little miracle!

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9 comments:

  1. Amazing story, thanks for sharing.

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  2. God is so good. I am so thankful Dylan is so healthy today! He is your miracle. I know looking at him must be such a reminder of how blessed you are to have him! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. sweet story. he was so cute in that santa pic.

    My earliest was 36 weeks with James.

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  4. What a powerful story for all of us. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Thank You for sharing . . look at him now! He is just adorable! Wonder how big he would have been had you made it full term?!

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  6. Wow, he was a BIG FELLA, wasn't he??

    Most Preemie's have a look about them that you can just 'tell'... but Dylan sure does not! He looks totally and completely healthy and full-term! He's beautiful.

    Congrats --- five years later!

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