My son was born at 32 weeks, and I knew something was not right because I was not feeling my normal pregnant self that week. I was tired, drained of energy, and my back hurt worse than usual. On March 9, 2004, I got home from work, cleaned up and went to bed around 11:00 p.m. but I woke up every hour with pains. When they subsided I would drift back off to sleep. Since this was my first pregnancy, I thought it was just ligaments and muscles stretching.
At 6:00 the next morning, I could no longer stand it and decided to get up and get ready for work. When I got out of the shower, the pain was about five minutes apart and kept getting worse. I knew something was wrong so I woke up my husband, Bill, and called the doctor. I was told to go to the emergency room because I was still eight weeks from my due date.
We arrived at Metro Hospital's emergency room and when I was checked, they found out I had been leaking amniotic fluid for a couple of weeks (I thought it was urine), was dilated between one and two, and had an infection from leaking. We were told we were going to have the baby that day. We were supposed to start the birthing classes that weekend! They gave me Magnesium to try and stop the contractions, but it didn't work. They also gave me a steroid shot to develop the baby’s lungs faster. We were then transferred by ambulance to St. Mary's hospital because Metro didn't have a NICU.
After getting settled at the new hospital, the doctor came in and checked me, and I was between three and four cms. I was hooked up to monitors and my husband and I were left alone for a while. When I was checked later, I had progressed to between five and six cms. At around 2:00 p.m. they got the epidural started and let me just say I love epidurals! An hour later, I was almost at ten cms, but by this point, the epidural started to wear off on my left side and I felt the pain again with each contraction.
Around 3:15 p.m. the doctor said I was ready to start pushing but he had to take a phone call first. I started pushing but after the first push the doctor came back in from his phone call and told me to stop pushing because he had an emergency delivery he had to go do (I thought, “And what, this isn't an emergency?!”). He told me his partner would be there in ten minutes to take over, but she didn't arrive for 25 minutes.
My son, Evan Drake, finally arrived at 4:02 p.m. He was four pounds, eight ounces and 17-1/2 inches long. They brought him close to my face for about ten seconds and then rushed him off to the other side of the room where they immediately started working on him. It was a scary time, but even scarier for Bill, who was watching them work on trying to get Evan to breathe and me to stop bleeding. They took Evan up to the NICU right away and we couldn't even see him for five hours, and then when we did, we couldn't hold him because of all the wires. We had to wait to hold him until the tube came out of his belly button, which did not happen for two days. The nurses were so nice and went out of their way to explain things and make us feel as comfortable as possible. Because we only lived ten minutes from the hospital, we were able to see Evan a couple times a day, every day while he was in the NICU.
On April 1, we were told that we needed to do a 'room in' with Evan so they could monitor us and he could probably come home on Saturday or Sunday. We were very excited but scared at the same time because it was such short notice. We stayed at the hospital on Friday and as promised, we all came home on Saturday. When Evan left the hospital, his weight was up to five pounds, eight ounces. We had our ups and downs the 23 days he was in the NICU, but we managed through it and finally brought our beautiful boy home.