Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Adeline’s Arrival

My husband and I became parents for the first time on June 12, 2008.  Our beautiful little girl was born—completely unexpectedly—at 26 weeks.

The day before she was born, I was at my retail job until 9 p.m.  I had terrible back pain all afternoon and evening, and eventually called the on-call OB at my practice.  She suggested that I go home, lie down, and drink a lot of water.  She believed that my pain would subside, but she also suggested that I come to the hospital to get checked out if it continued.  After about an hour of increasing pain, I finally told my husband that we needed to go to the hospital “just in case.”  I was sure that they would check me out and send me right back home—never once thinking that my baby’s life was in danger.

It took three stops at gas stations (I drank a LOT of water!) and 30 minutes to arrive at our delivery hospital.  The entire time, my husband and I were discussing how we would do things differently when we came back “for real” in September.

It was after  11 p.m. when we arrived, so the direct entrance to the Birthing Center was closed.  We ended up having to park at the Emergency Room entrance a long way away and walk the entire length of the hospital.  The receptionist had us fill out a bunch of paperwork and then we were shown to a room.  They tested me for a Urinary Tract Infection  (negative) and connected me to fetal monitor.  When they checked my cervix close to midnight, I was dilated to 3 cm.

I was hooked up to an IV medication to stop the contractions and I encouraged my husband to call my parents who were just a few miles away.  We spent a couple of hours quietly resting in the hospital before my parents arrived to keep us company.  We all expected to be at work the next morning—the medicine had done its job and the contractions had stopped showing up on the monitor.

Around 4:00 a.m., my mom noticed my pain level was increasing.  She pulled out a notepad and began tracking my “back pain” as the medicine began to wear off.  For whatever reason, the fetal monitor was not registering my contractions, but they were beginning to increase in both frequency and intensity.  By 7 a.m. I was very uncomfortable and more than a little tired.  The nurse didn’t want to check my cervix again—the on-call OB was in the OR doing a C-section—but they discovered blood on the bed and I had a strong urge to push!

The nurse put the head of the bed back and quickly confirmed that I was fully dilated.  The medicine had only masked my labor!  They brought in an ultrasound machine to check Addie’s position and discovered she was breech.  My mother and husband were told that we were headed to the operating room to deliver; Adam ran out to the hallway to call both of our bosses and my mom called my dad back to the hospital.

I found myself in the cold operating room, feeling scared and alone.  A kind nurse took my hand and helped me find a breathing pattern before she informed me that we would have to wait for the transport team from our local children’s hospital before the anesthesiologist would give me any relief.  It was raining that day, so they were coming by ambulance, a nearly 20 minute ride.

The next 45 minutes were a blur for us both, but our sweet Adeline entered the world at 8:44 a.m., weighing 680 grams (1 pound, 8 ounces) and measuring 13 inches long.  She was immediately transferred to our local children’s hospital where she would spend the next 135 days in the NICU.  A fighter from the very beginning, our beautiful little girl is now nearly two years old!

March 08-July 08 218

Comments

  1. Kimberly says:

    What an amazing story! Thank God Adeline is okay. I bet you believe in miracles now, huh?

  2. That’s so weird that the meds were masking your contractions and your whole progression of labor went unnoticed for so long.

    I love how on the way to the hospital you discussed what you would do differently when you went back “for real” in September. That’s pretty funny. After my unexpected labor and losing my first preemie I was so sure it was a fluke and I didn’t really have any risks for my next pregnancy, so I did not prepare myself before my 27-weeker was born again unexpectedly. The first time I was rushed to a hospital and then life-flighted 4 hours away without makeup, a toothbrush, or even a clean pair of socks! The second time I went into labor on my way home from work and had to turn and head straight for the hospital where I spent two days without personal items on hand. For my third pregnancy I packed my hospital bag at 20 weeks and kept it by my bedroom door for the next 20 weeks and 2 days. I wasn’t about to be unprepared again!

    I also remember the cold and scary OR before my C-Section. I wish they could make it more comfortable.

    Thanks so much for sharing – I’m so glad Adeline is doing well! I look forward to hearing more of your experiences.

  3. Thanks for your comments!

    Kimberly: Yes, we believe in miracles! 🙂

    Afton: It was a weird combination of the contractions not feeling very painful (until about an hour before delivery), the monitor not showing that I was in labor, and the nurses not really believing that I was about deliver. Now that I know what I know, I would have been more forceful about stopping the contractions/staying on bedrest.

    Addie was born on a Thursday morning and when I was released on Saturday, I realized that I only had my pajamas that I wore to the hospital on Wednesday night. Since we wanted to go immediately to the children’s hospital to visit Addie (I hadn’t seen her in 48 hours!), I had to borrow clothes from my mom. When/if we get pregnant again, I’ll pack my hospital bag the minute the test is positive! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] first daughter was born 6 years and 27 days ago. She was born in a cold operating room 14 weeks too soon, weighing in at just 1 pound, 8 ounces (or 680 grams for you NICU veterans). Her first cries […]

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  3. […] so began our story, our “New Normal” in which our precious daughter began her life 14 weeks too early. […]

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