When I was 26 weeks pregnant, I started spotting. I called the doctor who said to take it easy and to call if it got any worse. It never did, but didn't lighten either, so I went in to be checked, where they found I had started to dilate and was having contractions every five minutes.
They gave me terbutaline and sent me home to be on bedrest. I had a home monitor I had to use twice a day to check for contractions and I had to report in to the nurse daily. Bedrest was very hard as I had a two- and three-year old at home and no family close by to help with the boys. We made it to 32 weeks with only one hospital visit but they got the contractions under control with a terbutaline shot.
At 32 weeks I was having more contractions, so they gave me a non-stress test that showed I was having regular contractions every six to 10 minutes. I was admitted into the hospital and received Magnesium Sulfate. It was very scary and surreal. I was so frightened for this little life inside that was trying so hard to get out and we were doing everything we could to keep her in. We just seemed to be fighting against each other in the same body. It was very strange.
After that, I was sent home with a terbutaline pump where there is a constant dose of medication delivered to you through a needle inserted into your thigh that is attached to a pump the size of a pager. I made it to 34 weeks on the pump and then my water began to leak on June 22.
I was relieved that this was finally it, but was very scared that my baby's lungs would not be mature and that we faced a NICU stay. I really didn't know how to feel. The nurses told me that most likely I would go into labor within 48 hours. Well, after all the medications to stop labor, nothing happened! They tested the amniotic fluid to see if her lungs were mature but it came back that they were not, so we just had to wait it out. As long as there was no infection and the amniotic levels stayed steady, we just waited. That had to be the longest and most difficult seven days of my life. My mom came to stay with the boys and I have never been away from them. I was in the hospital alone and my unborn baby's life was uncertain and my husband had to work so we could pay these medical bills that were piling up. I had 24 hours a day to think about the things that could go wrong and think about what I could have done differently so this wouldn't have happened.
On June 29, I started having contractions pretty regularly so they hooked me up to the monitor and we found out they were 10 minutes apart. I was never checked for dilation after my water broke because of the threat of infection and they wanted her to stay in as long as possible. I was wheeled over to labor and delivery and then the contractions slowed down. I walked the halls for about six hours (and boy did that feel good after 10 weeks of bedrest!).
One of the midwives decided to try inserting a speculum to see if they could see any baby hair or anything to show progress so that they could do an internal exam but she didn't think I was dilated to more than four. That was at 9:30 PM. At 11:20, I told my husband I felt the need to push, so he called the nurse in, who called the head nurse in as well, but no one wanted to check me because once I was checked delivery would be necessary within the day and they still didn't know if this was really it. Finally after telling them that this WAS it and that I was going to have this baby right here if someone did not check me, they did and I was at eight centimeters. They took me down to the delivery room, complete with two pediatricians and the anesthesiologist in case something happened.
When my midwife arrived at 12:12 AM, I was already pushing and Hannah Jean came into the world thirteen minutes later. She was born at 35 weeks and was six pounds, 14 ounces. I did not get to hold her right away because the pediatrician had to check her lungs. She was just perfect and was completely healthy thanks to the steroids and the medication to keep her in for as long as we did! I got to hold her about an hour after she was born when she was able to keep her temperature regular, and she nursed very well. She has caught up and is right at the 50th percentile now and is no longer considered a preemie! We are so proud of our little girl for the fight she had to go through just to get into this world. Hannah Jean is doing so great now and she is going to have no problem keeping up with those big brothers of hers!