Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Miracle Son

Every baby is a miracle, but my son is especially so. Let me explain...

When my husband and I finally decided to start a family we got pregnant right away. Almost immediately I started having problems. My doctor diagnosed the pregnancy as ectopic or tubal. The clinic did a sonogram and the radiologist saw the pregnancy in my tube. I was sent directly to the hospital where their radiologist confirmed the diagnosis. The hospital staff kept me overnight for observation. In the morning my OB decided to do surgery to remove the pregnancy. I was inconsolable. I insisted on delaying the surgery for a few minutes so that I could contact my support network and ask for their prayers. This was my first time as a patient in the hospital since I was born! I was terrified. When I woke up from the surgery, I asked how it went. The nurses told me that my OB had not found an ectopic pregnancy. I asked if I was still pregnant and they told me to ask my OB for more info. Well, I just start to laugh. I was pregnant and God had a plan for this baby! My OB cautiously warned me that I may miscarry due to the drugs and trauma of the surgery. They monitored my hormonal levels every other day for a week. At the end of the week, they did a sonogram and saw the pregnancy safely in my uterus.

Fast forward to 12 weeks into the pregnancy. I went for my first prenatal visit with the OB. She told me that we should be able to hear the baby's heart beat. Well, we couldn't. We scheduled another sonogram and thankfully, there was a heart beat. Things seemed to be normal until the next visit. I normally have great blood pressure readings, but at this visit my blood pressure was elevated. OB decided I need to do a 24 hour urine collection. Unfortunately I was about 16 weeks pregnant and it was my 4 year wedding anniversary! Can you imagine? I lugged a cooler full of urine with me every where we went during our celebrating. The urine test was normal, but my blood pressure remained elevated. It got higher and higher as the baby grew and I developed liver pain.

At my 38 week visit my OB decided that they baby needed to come now. I entered the hospital under observation for preeclampsia. After 2 hours of observation my blood pressure did not return to normal. At 10:30 on Thurs. Dec. 20 my OB started to ripen my cervix. The baby had not dropped, my cervix was not effaced or dilated. Yikes! After a sleepless night, they started me on pitocin at about 10 am on the 21st. I was so upset. I wanted to go into naturally. I wanted to labor in the comfort of my own house until I had to go to the hospital. I wanted a peaceful, drug-free, minimal medical intervention birth. That was not happening! At about 12:30 pm, the resident broke my water and labor became very intense. After about 2 hours of labor I consented to an epidural. I felt like a failure giving in. The hospital staff encouraged it with the hope that it might reduce my blood pressure. I was so glad I had it though! It relaxed me so much I was able to nap after a sleepless night. Labor was a long process since I wasn't allowed to move off the bed. At about 10:00 that night I developed an infection and had to be put on IV antibiotics. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to penicillin, erythromycin, and sulfa, so the Dr's invested some thought into an antibiotic choice that was safe for both of us. At 11:30, I was allowed to start pushing. Wow, did I push. I pushed and pushed for about 2 1/2 hours. I developed 3 tares, one of them a 3rd degree. I was exhausted, but the doctors warned that if I didn't endure they would need to use forceps, or worse, a c-section. Finally, at 1:36 am on the 23rd (yes, that's 27 hours after the process started) my son was born. But that wasn't the end of the problems.

Unfortunately, I can only make half the amount of milk that a baby needs - even with the help of fenugreek and regularin. I did not know this. I had received counsel to not supplement with formula or water, that my milk would come in eventually. Well, after about 5 days, we were suspicious that our son was not receiving enough food. At his first pediatric appointment, his doctor diagnosed him as severly dehydrated. We spent the next 4 days in the hospital while his blood chemistry returned to normal. I also had to learn to supplement my own milk with formula through various techniques.

He had a rough start, but my little blessing is a normal, healthy, 2-year-old boy now. He's our Christmas present from God that we got to open 2 days early.


  1. As a two-time preeclampsia survivor, I feel your pain. I too had issues with milk supply both times around. I was told that it was most likely due to the magnesium sulfate they had me on to counteract the effects of the PE while I was in labor. I was devastated both times around to have been robbed of a "normal" birth and of the luxury of exclusively breastfeeding my babies.

    It really is amazing how much we (all preeclampsia survivors) have in common. It brings feelings that only those who have been there understand. Your son is definitely a miracle, and I'm so glad that you have him here with you. My DD is only a few months older than him (sept. '06).

    (((hugs))) and thank you so much for sharing your story.

  2. Thanks so much. I too was really bummed that I could ebf my baby. I had my heart set on it. So many things didn't go the way I wanted them to, but in the end, I still have healty baby and healty me. That's funny, I bet your DD and DS would have a lot of fun playing.