NICU

 I know a lot of people find my blog by searching "NICU" and similar keywords, so I thought I'd make Skeeter's birth story easier to find.  If you're a NICU mom, please send me an email!  I love to talk NICU, babies, and everything in between.

On Monday, March 19, 2012, I went for a routine doctor's appointment at almost 32 weeks pregnant.  I had previously experienced high blood pressure and the protein levels found in my urine at the doctor's office made the doctor admit me to the hospital for a 24 hour observation.  At that time, I did not have a bag packed, nor did I consider the option that I might leave the hospital without a baby still occupying my uterus.

Mr. BUB walked me to my hospital room and went home to pack my necessities.  I was immediately taken downstairs for an ultrasound, where I learned Baby BUB was measuring in the 29th percentile, a large drop from the ultrasound 12 days earlier.  The even higher protein results the doctor found the following morning confirmed preclampsia and led to her decision to admit me for hospital bedrest.

I was upset and bored the first full day there, not to mention frustrated.  Over the next few days, I met with a high risk OB and was informed that Baby BUB was definitely coming early.  The best case scenario would be that we wait to deliver until I was 34 weeks pregnant.  I was then scheduled to meet with a neonatalogist, a lactation specialist, and various other professionals to inform me what I'd face in the coming weeks.  I was also provided steroid shots in an attempt to mature Baby BUB's lungs, since she was so early.

Friday, March 23, the doctor banned me from eating or drinking after midnight, until my lab work was returned the following day.  My continuously rising blood pressure, combined with my rising protein levels, were cause for alarm.  She placed the ban in case we would have to induce on Saturday.

I woke up Saturday, prepared to meet with the doctor and either get to eat breakfast or (and I really didn't plan for this) have a baby.  The doctor's usual time for rounds passed and I grew more hungry and less patient.  The doctor was held up by an unusually large number of women delivering.  I later learned that she'd delivered 7 babies before Baby BUB that day.  My family came to visit and decided to stay until word was received one way or the other.  Around 2:30 p.m., I was provided an IV to prevent dehydration.

Around 3:30 p.m., the doctor finally had a break from deliveries and came to see me.  She explained that my protein levels had soared beyond what she'd expected.  She had consulted again with the high risk OB and both felt it was time to deliver.  She provided the option to have a normal vaginal birth or a c- section.  She listed the pros and cons for each option.

The factors leading to the c-section included the fact that I was so early that my body was not prepared for labor.  I was guaranteed to spend approximately 12 hours preparing for labor, followed by another 12 or so actually in labor.  And I was not guaranteed to avoid a c-section after all of that pain.  Furthermore, the c-section would likely be less stress on the baby, and she was my main focus.  We made the decision and the pieces quickly fell into place for Baby BUB's birth. 

By 4:30 p.m., I was moved to Labor & Delivery for preparations.  At 5:37 p.m., Baby BUB entered the world.  Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice, which further confirmed our decision to have a c-section.  She weighed a tiny 3 lbs, 5 ozs and was breathing on her own.  We were able to see her briefly as the neonatologist whisked her out of the room.  She was smaller than I could have expected and a little purple, leading Mr. BUB to exclaim, "She looks just like a lizard!" and the entire operating room burst into laughter.

After confirming that she was stable, they brought her back into the operating room for me while I was being stitched back up.  It is at this point that Mr. BUB supposedly peeked over the curtain and saw my abdomen while cut open.  I was able to hold her for a couple pictures before she was taken to NICU. 

I was moved to recovery and back in my normal room an hour and a half later. The next 24 hours were rough.  My blood pressure was still sky high, so I was not allowed to leave my hospital bed.  And subsequently, I wasn't allowed to see my child.

Around 4 a.m. Monday morning, my mom had enough.  She found a wheelchair and took me up a floor to see my baby in NICU.  
 
Skeeter spent 25 days in the NICU before coming home.  She spent the next month and a half on an apnea monitor, which I still think is the devil.  But afterwards, she was cleared and has been 100% healthy since!


2 comments:

Ashley @ Words About Waverly said...

Wow, just read this!!! She is a miracle!!!!

wordsaboutwaverly.blogspot.com

Melissa said...

I just went through a similar experience. I was further along but everything else was like reading my own chart. My little guy was even born at the exact same time as your Skeeter. Glad to know your little one is doing so well. Thank you got sharing your story.

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