My troubles started at 18 weeks, when I started spotting heavier than I should have at that time. My doctor dismissed it to blood vessels that could have broken during intercourse. Unfortunately for my husband, we were instructed to cuddle from that point forwards. At 24 weeks the bleeding got much heavier and I went to the Emergency Room. I was contracting, but luckily I had not dilated at all. They put me on Terbutiline and sent me home with pills. I was told to take them every four hours if I felt any cramping.
After the first few days, I felt I was always cramping and asked the doctor if I could just routinely take the pills every four hours. He said, "Yes." Another week went by. I was a few days into my 26th week, when the bleeding (which had continued this whole time), went from spotting to a heavy menstrual cycle. I took a pill at 12:00 p.m. and then again at 4:00 p.m. By 5:00 p.m. there was no change and I started to worry. I called my dad in New York and he said, "Trust your instincts. If you are worried, go to the hospital. You know best."
By 6:00 p.m. we were on our way to the ER. I was immediately seen and told I had dilated 2 cm. The diagnosis was that my placenta had abrupted and that was causing the bleeding, which was causing the contractions. Unfortunately, there is not much they can do when this occurs, except to try and stop the contractions. I was given two doses of steroids for the baby's lungs and told that there was a big chance our daughter would be born that night. We were then told that, because she was only 26 weeks, this would not be a good development and to be prepared. Then the nurses rubbed my back and said, "Now you lay back and just relax." They had to be kidding.
I was given an IV of Magnesium Sulfate and transferred by ambulance to Evanston Hospital, which had a top notch NICU. That hospital was 90 minutes from my home. Once my condition stabilized, they moved me to a private room because I was told I might be staying for a while. I knew I wasn't going home until our daughter was born and no one knew how long that would be. I was put on a monitor every morning for a half hour and was contracting regularly.
During the next three weeks, I was wheeled down to labor and delivery room on three different occasions. Every time the contractions got closer the medical team would be concerned it was time. However I made it to my 29th week.
On the 25th of November, I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. complaining of severe pain. They gave me a pain shot, but the contractions were getting closer to one another and by 1:30 a.m. my water broke. The nurse unfortunately used a term I was unfamiliar with, and I waited to call my husband until I was told I was 8 cm. dilated and being wheeled down to Labor and Delivery.
By 2:45 a.m. Jordan was born and I was unable to hold her. They wisked her past me in an incubator and headed for the NICU. The good news is that she was breathing on her own. She weighed two pounds, thirteen ounces and was stable. Steven, my husband arrived ten minutes later and just missed her. We both had to wait four more hours before we were able to actually see our beautiful baby. I remember looking down at her for the first time. I have never cried so hard in my life because she looked so fragile and weak. I was her mommy and couldn't help her now. It was all up to Jordan.
She did so well during the month she spent in the NICU. She came home the day before her one month birthday and only weighed three pounds, thirteen ounces.
Jordan has just turned three years old and is a healthy happy little girl. The only lasting affect from her prematurity is her small stature, and that's just fine with me.