Rachie_B: Sophia's Birth Story
Monday, November 21, 2011 12:36 PM
A (very) early start
I’d been trying to conceive for three and a half years, so I felt especially lucky to have a healthy pregnancy. But when I was 27 weeks pregnant, I experienced some minor spotting and was sent to the hospital for observation. When the nurse checked on me, she found I was already two centimeters dilated, so the physician ordered an ultrasound of my cervix -- only to find it had thinned so much it was no longer measurable. I was having preterm labor! Before I knew what was happening, the labor & delivery nurses rushed in and started giving me IV fluids, antibiotics and magnesium sulfate. I had begun the day merely being observed, but now I was staying in the hospital on strict bed rest. It was frustrating, but my husband and I celebrated each passing day that I stayed pregnant. We knew my little one was slowly getting stronger to prepare for birth!
“You’re going to have this baby today.”
When I was 28 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I woke up at 4 a.m. with steady contractions. I called my nurse into my room, and she immediately got my doctor. Even though it was still really early, my doctor said he couldn’t do anything to stop the contractions. “You’re too dilated,” he said. “You’re going to have this baby today.”
I was brought to Labor & Delivery, and the nurses started to prepare me for the birth. It was a packed house; my husband, both our parents, my OB, four nurses and a five-person NICU team were all there. I was given an epidural, and then everything started to happen really quickly. My contractions were becoming stronger and stronger. I had been increasingly anxious during my stay in Preterm Labor, but now I felt completely panicked and afraid. I even started crying -- I think more out of fear for my baby than from actual pain. I didn’t have much time to be upset, though; my OB swiftly broke my water and I felt the urge to push.
Sophia was born on April 18, 2011, at 3:06 p.m. She weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces and was 15 1/8 inches long. To my amazement, when she was born, she actually cried! My baby was immediately handed to the NICU team, who warmed and incubated her. Before they brought Sophia to the NICU, however, I was able to briefly hold her. She was so tiny and sick.
Sophia spent the next six weeks in the NICU. We were gradually able to start “kangarooing” with her, which means having skin-to-skin contact, which is good for preemies. We would do this for at least three hours every day, and it became a special bonding time for our new family. We knew that Sophia was nearly able to come home when she was moved from her incubator to her “big girl” bed, a bassinet. She was finally discharged when she was six weeks old -- when I would have been 35 weeks pregnant. Sophia has been doing amazingly well and is surpassing all expectations; she is now four months old and weighs 13 pounds. We love our little miracle and are so happy to have her with us!
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