Ten years ago September 30th 1999, I was pregnant with my first child, a boy. I went to my doctor appointment, I was being seen every week (this was the start of my first week) because my stomach was measuring smaller and smaller. The night before my appointment I felt really different, I couldn't sleep, I thought I was hungry, I thought I had to use the restroom, I thought I was just restless, so I took a shower and decided to get ready for the appointment.
I showed up at the doctors office and he did the regular, weighed me, took a urine sample, measured me, and that's when he decided to do a sonogram. It was a lot different from other sonograms that I had gotten, he didn't point out his head, hands, fingers, toes, or his heart. All of the sudden he stopped the sonogram and asked me to get dressed and meet him in his office. I was really really scared. I met him in his office and that's when he told me that he couldn't find my son's head, it was in the birth canal; he was coming out. My stomach was shrinking and since there was no room for my son to grow, the amniotic sac couldn't grow and wasn't producing enough amniotic fluid for my son to grow and move he got stressed and decided that he needed to come out. The doctor told me that I needed to go over to our local hospital and wait for Lifeflight to take me to another hospital where they would be able to handle a "small" baby. I asked how small and he was not able to tell me. I went to my local hospital where they had put me and the baby on monitors while we waited for Lifeflight to arrive. Luckily Lifeflight got backed up and I had to go via ambulance. The EMT's arrived and we headed out; an hour and a half later I arrived at the hospital. The baby and myself were put on monitors; nurses were running in and out of the room frantically when all of the sudden the anesthesiologist came in and asked me to hunch over the bed so he could give me an epideral, I was so scared and just wanted answers to what was going on and what was going to happen. He then explained to me that my son's heart stopped and that they needed to do an emergency cesaren section. I complied with the anesthesiologist and got the epideral. I was wheeled into the operating room; the doctor started to poke my feet to see if I was numb, but I wasn't. He said that we would wait a minute or two and see but if I wasn't numb then he would have to start. Well I wasn't numb when he started to cut me from one side to the other. It seemed like forever before they had gotten him out. Finally I heard "It's a boy!" The nurse brought in over quickly and let me kiss him on the forehead before they whisked him away to a team of specialist standing by.
I got to see a picture of him that one of the nurse' was kind enough to take for me, I still didn't know how small he was or how he was doing. Midnight, October 1st was when I got to see my son for the first time. He was so small, he weighed 2 pound 4.5 ounces and he was 15 inches long. I was so scared for him, luckily when he was born he was breathing on his own, yet by the time I got to see him he was on a ventilator and on a waterbed (which those of you have had a preemie know that, that is not good). I felt so guilty that I, his mom couldn't protect him and bring him into this world healthy. He sstayed in the hospital for one month and one day. I got to bring my "big" guy home at 3 pounds, he was able to eat on his own and keep his body temperature. Yet I was not able to breastfeed because he wouldn't latch on, luckily the hospital that I gave birth to him at had a room for me to pump and store my breast milk.
Thank God that the hospital that I gave birth to him in was great about me staying accross the street in a house that is for people who don't live close, so I was able to walk back and forth across the street to feed him, bathe him, hold him, and be his mom!
Chucky is now ten years old, he is doing exceptional. He does have physical disabilities, learning disablilities, asthma, and other health problems. I just Thank God that he doesn't have anyother disabilities that come from being a preemie.
I will never know why or what happened in my situation, but I hope by telling the story of what happened with my son and I, that people will help the March of Dimes to figure out a "cure"(cause) and stop other families from having to go through this painful process that is supposed to be one of the happiest times in their life.
Please Unite with me, the March of Dimes and all of the others who have a preemie or know of someone who had or is/was a preemie that have joined in the fight to stop premature births. Click on the Unite Fight For Preemies/March of Dimes button on my right sidebar to join in the fight, to get more information, or to donate. I look forward to seeing you all there fighting on November 17th.