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

Rhiannon’s Birth Story

My pregnancy up till week 28 had been uneventful and I felt good. I have high blood pressure so I was being closely monitored and after visiting the consultant at 28 weeks I was optimistic. My blood pressure was stable and baby girl was growing beautifully. The consultant had even agreed that I could go to the midwife led unit for my birth providing all remained well.

I was scheduled in for a routine glucose tolerance test the next day unfortunately that’s when our problems began. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and my hopes of a natural delivery were dashed. I was devastated but little did I know this would be the least of my concerns.

2 days later I awoke at 9 am to discover I was in a wet bed. I’d suffered a little with stress incontinence during pregnancy so I was convinced I must of peed the bed. Well when I went to the toilet I realised that this was not pee but my waters had broke. In complete shock I rang the ante natal clinic. I was told to come in immediately for assessment. I was scared stiff and did not know what to expect.

We arrived and an examination and ultrasound confirmed my waters had totally gone. I was given a shot of steroids for the babies lungs and told that I would remain in hospital to be monitored for an infection. There was a 50% chance I would go into labour within 48 hours. At this point I was ridiculously optimistic that I would not go into labour and that I could put myself on bed rest and see this through. However within 12 hours of admission I developed tightening s every 5 minutes and was found to be 3 cm dilated. I was transferred to delivery suite and I called my husband. My blood sugars were through the roof because of the steroids and my infection markers were climbing, a vaginal swab revealed group G (not a typo) strep and I was told that I would give birth today as the risk of infection to the baby was high.

The Nicu staff came to talk to me about what to expect. All I can remember doing was crying. They induced my labour with a drip and within 3 hours I was fully dilated. Baby girls heart rate kept dipping so they told me I should try and push her out as quickly as possible. 6 minutes later little Sadie came out screaming with an apgar of 7 weighing 2lb 9oz. She was whisked off and I didn’t get to see her till the following day.

My placenta was retained so I had to go to theatre to have it removed under a spinal. Due to the timing of this it was too late to go and see her. My husband had seen her and said she was stable and gave me a photo.

Sadie had an uneventful Nicu stay. She was on Cpap for 3 days and it was weaned down until she was able to breath on her own without becoming tired, she also spent some time under the bili lights for jaundice. She received antibiotics to cover her for the infection i had.Within one week she was classed as a feeder and grower and moved down a level in nicu. By the third week she was transferred to the nursery, Still in an incubator and ng fed but less ill than most of the other babies. In the nursery we waited for her suck reflex to develop and practiced breastfeeding, we did this until we were no longer using the ng. Sadie was discharged after 7 weeks in nicu weighing 4lb 2 oz.

Today she is an amazing 11 month old. She remains small at 15lb but is growing and developing beautifully for her corrected age.

Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.

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