I am not one who usually likes to read other people’s birth stories (so I won’t be offended if you don’t want to read mine!). But this is also a story of answered prayers, and may give hope to other moms in similar situations, so I felt it was worth sharing.
As you may know, I was put on hospital bed rest about a month ago due to PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes). In short, my amniotic sac had a leak and that put me at risk for infection, which could be dangerous to both baby and me. Although I had a leak in my amniotic sac, I was comforted by the fact that I still had a pretty good amount of amniotic fluid.
But about two weeks into my stay I had a scare that sent me down to Labor and Delivery and led to a second round of magnesium (which is pretty much 24 hours of torture!). Here we found out that my placenta partially abrupted (always a risk with PPROM) and an even more dangerous condition for both mother and baby. We also learned that I had no measurable amount of amniotic fluid. In other words, my amniotic sac had fully “broken.”
The two weeks since then have been full of mixed emotions: I was so thankful to still be pregnant, but also terrified of what was to come. I was scared of having another emergency c-section, of the doctors not getting the baby out in time, of hemorrhaging. The constant bleeding I experienced over the past two weeks certainly didn’t help my emotional and mental state. And I know this might sound morbid to some, but I wrote all of my daughters a letter just in case something happened to me…perhaps that shows a lack of faith, but it made me feel better to do it.
So last Thursday evening I started having small contractions and a lot of pain. They started IV fluid in the early morning hours on Friday. That didn’t help much. Then they gave me a shot of a medicine that stops contractions (but makes your heart race). That helped temporarily, but then the contractions started back again. Throughout the day they gave me two more of those shots (the maximum they can give) but the contractions always started back.
On Friday night I was sent down to Labor and Delivery again where they started a third round of the magnesium wash. I told them I didn’t think my body could handle another round. But they had to try to stop the contractions as the priority was keeping me pregnant as long as possible.
So the next 24 hours were touch and go. And I was miserable. Magnesium makes you feel like you have the flu, or really worse than that. I was in a lot of pain with contractions – and contractions without amniotic fluid (which act a barrier) are all the more excruciating.
By early Sunday morning I hadn’t eaten or gotten out of the bed for two days. The magnesium helped temporarily but the contractions were picking up again.When my new nurse came in at 7:30 and told me they were going to start the magnesium wash a fourth time, I completely broke down. “I don’t think I can do this anymore,“ I sobbed.
Seeing my state of desperation, the sweet nurse walked over and sat on my bedside and and asked if she could pray for me. She then proceeded to say the most beautiful, calming prayer, reminding me that the Lord had us in His hands we could could trust Him with this labor and with this baby. After that prayer I felt a sense of peace the rest of the morning (although I was still in a lot of pain!).
Before they started a magnesium wash I begged the nurse to let me get out of bed for a few minutes. For some crazy reason, I thought walking would help the situation. (Being in the bed so long kind of makes you a bit crazy…). She hesitantly agreed and then she and my husband walked my crooked, shaking body over to the bathroom. I cried all the way as I was hurting so bad.
When I was almost back to my bed, my sweet OBGYN walked in and we both looked down and saw blood pouring down my legs. “It’s time to deliver this baby,” he said calmly. He then told me that I had done everything I possibly could up until this point, but now it was time to let medicine take over. I climbed back in the bed. And a sense of relief washed over me.
You would think that the sight of all that blood would have made me more terrified of my placenta abrupting, but that wasn’t the case. My body had given out and with that so did all the fears I was holding inside. As the doctors and nurses moved quickly about me preparing me for delivery, I definitely felt that “peace that passes understanding.” I trusted we were in God’s hands and kept praying that over and over. Thankfully, the baby never went to into distress on the monitor so that definitely helped. An answered prayer.
Unlike my other PPROM pregnancy, everything was very calm and normal with this C-section.My doctor and all the nurses were absolutely amazing. And my doctor was there because he had been on call all the night before. Another answered prayer.
When I heard our baby girl’s little cry as the pulled her out, I cried myself. Such a sweet sound you don’t know if you’ll even hear when preemies are born because of their lung development. An answered prayer.
When they whisked her off the side room to be cared for by the NICU team everyone told me she was beautiful and was big (for a preemie, that is!). An answered prayer (and also the result of me eating nonstop the past four weeks including two Ensures a day!).
When they rolled her by me a few minutes later, she was trying to rip off her breathing tubes. And I cried happy tears: feisty is a good trait in premature babies! Another answered prayer.
My doctor told me later that my placenta was nearly in pieces. He definitely made the right decision to deliver and got her out in time. Another answered prayer.
I give all the glory and thanks to God whose presence and peace I felt the entire day and who answered so many of our prayers.
Baby in the NICU
After a few hours they rolled my hospital bed into the NICU so I could see my baby. I could not really see her with all the tubes on her face!). So later that night – at about 3 am actually – my husband rolled me in a wheelchair back down to the NICU and asked them to quickly take off her little breathing mask so I could see my baby’s face for the first time. It was seeing her then that we were able to name her: Louise.
Out of caution I don’t usually share my children’s names on social media. But I know so many of my readers have been faithfully praying for this baby and deserve to know who they have been praying for!
Louise was one of our top three names and is actually a family name on both sides. It means “fighter.” Appropriate, don’t you think? Her middle name is Jane, after my husband’s mother, grandmother, and sister (and my childhood best friend whose middle name is Jane).
So far Louise is doing really well for a 28 week preemie. There will be hiccups, I know, but prayers are being answered daily for her care and protection.
There’s something unnatural about leaving the hospital without your newborn. But I know one day I will get to take Louise home. My heart breaks for those moms who never get to take their babies home. I think about that all the time because I came so close to being in that position with my second child.
Of course there are mixed emotions about going home after a a month. Guilt for not carrying this baby longer, sadness for not being able to be next to Louise’s bedside 24 hours a day, excitement over seeing my other girls, overwhelmed about how I am going to manage this all over the next few months. I still am very weak and hurting physically so I am sure that doesn’t help my emotional state!
My husband and I are eternally grateful for the prayers, messages, and support. I am so inspired by the kindness, generosity, and love of so many friends and strangers. Friends stocking our fridge before we get home, my friends who sat with my in recovery so my husband could be with our daughter in the NICU, friends who are generously bringing dinners and arranging playdates for our girls. Y’all have taught me so much about what to do, say, and give in situations like this – so much so that I will have good content to write about in the near future.
Side note: I post a lot of mini updated on Instagram stories so be sure you are following @dosaygive on Instagram if you want to see cute things like teeny babies getting back massages;).
Much love and thanks,