A story of premature birth and the NICU roller coaster

25 weeks and 5 days…..

on September 22, 2012

I just had an ultrasound on June 16 2011 with a pediatric cardiologist because my son was thought to have downs syndrome. The sonogram to detect anomalies was good but the blood work put me at a significant risk of my baby being down syndrome so I lived with the idea he was going to have downs until he was born. I would love him no matter what and my husband agreed. So while at the appt to check his heart the Dr told me that I was in perfect health and so was my son. He advised he wasn’t a sub for the gyno but that he felt the only problem Saif would have was an opening in the duct of the heart (PDA) if he was born prematurely. He said it was working normally for the baby in utero but that this becomes an issue if it doesn’t close at birth. Preemies usually face this at birth and it requires surgery or medication to close. So not 100 percent sure he wouldn’t have downs syndrome , he didn’t have any characteristics that normally show up. He said to go to the Children’s hospital in our area if for some reason I delivered early, otherwise I made a follow up appt with him to be sure. The next day at work, I can still see it now, I was standing talking to a coworker and I had a minor pain near the pubic bone which I had in the past. This usually resolved with water and rest and it seemed to work this time as well. The new feeling was that of my son shifting what felt like his whole body twice. I thought that was a huge movement unlike his tinier kicks and squirms I was used to. I had just started feeling him move not to long before. Little did I know he was in the birth position. The next day, Friday, I was very uncomfortable and had frequent urination but dribbles. I felt pressure like a bowel movement , but nothing. I thought for a brief moment it could be early labor but I thought I must be crazy at 25 weeks to think this. I did what my Dr told me and drank a ton of water and relaxed that night into Saturday and I felt great . I thought I was in the clear. On Sunday evening I had gotten the minor pelvic pain for a split second but this time a hip pain which seemed like the one I had earlier with a uti. I decided if anything got worse I would call the Dr or go to the er. I didn’t sleep well with this pain even though it wasn’t more than a 3 on a scale from 1 to 10. My husband and I decided we would call the Dr just I case but it was busy. Since I felt great I decided to go for a bite to eat. I got to my destination only to start sweating bad, dripping sweat. I feared an infection like a uti gone bad or a bowl obstruction. I told my husband I needed to lie down so we left and as I began to walk a pain shot across my back and remained steady. So I took gas x thinking it was a bowel issue. It had been maybe twenty minutes from the sweating and pain in my back, no other stomach pain other than a nagging feeling in my belly button, when I couldn’t relax I decided its er time . I was in the bathroom getting ready and sweating when I thought I will go potty one more time before we go. Little did I know it was premature labor….my water broke while on the toilet and immediately after my son was here. In shock I called my husband to the bathroom, thank God he was with me, and said call 911 the baby is here. He almost passed out and barely managed to call 911. I didn’t know if he was alive or dead. The operator said…is he breathing…there was commotion , I said I don’t know, I’m scared, what should I do. I looked down to see his chest moving, I yelled… he is trying to breath. They instructed me on how to clear his airway and just then the emts where knocking at the door. At this moment I’m holding my baby in my arms, in disbelief, and he turns his tiny head and opened his eye looking at me…I was ready to pass out. How could this be happening,it’s to early, it doesn’t work this way. They check the pulse of the cord and said its go time, they snip the cord and whisk him away to the hospital here he was stabilized, as stable as a preemie can be. Later that night I was reacquainted with him in the labor and delivery room where I was trying to get a grip on what happened. Thank God he was alive. I naively thought ok he just needs to get through a few days and they will tell me he’s ok. They explain to me what his condition is and all of the risks and that he will probably be there until he is full term. This was going to be around three months. I had no idea what I was in for…he started out on the ventilator and had so many ivs and machines around him…….we didn’t even decided on his name yet.


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