The Brothers P – Nicole’s Preemie Birth Story

There are so many faces to prematurity. I think everyone’s story deserves to be told so I asked some of my preemie mom friends to share their stories on the blog. What better way to raise awareness than to hear what it was like for other families…

Preemie Birth Story on www.AnEarlyStartBlog.com.

Nicole’s Story

All I ever wanted was to become a mother and truthfully felt that was really my purpose in life. Back in 2003, on two separate occasions I thought my dreams were coming true but those pregnancies ended in miscarriages.

Flash forward to more recent times, 2011 to be exact. I found out I was pregnant and needless to say prior to getting that big fat positive I was in the mindset that motherhood was not in my hand of cards for this life. So I was a nervous wreck about it. I counted weeks to the next ultrasound, doctor visit, etc. to make sure everything was going as a healthy pregnancy should. It was and as each week passed by, I was more comfortable with the pregnancy. I felt great and had no issues until I was 33 weeks a long. I was having back pain and after talking to the nurse was told to do a kick count. If I don’t get 10 in an hour, I need to call them as soon as possible. I had 4 and was in a panic. I left work and off to Fairview Ridges Hospital. I was examined and baby was checked out. Eventually I was sent home and told all was fine and just go about my daily routines.

At 34 weeks and I day, my water broke out of the blue and 4 hours later my son, Sebastian was born. I had no idea what a NICU was. I had known people who had preemies but I didn’t really know what life with a preemie was all about. While we waited to figure out if indeed my water broke, the NICU staff came up to talk to my husband and I. None of it really sank in as I was more in shock that I was going to have a baby 6 weeks early.

Sebastian was 5 pounds 12 ounces and 18 inches long. He was a bit of a big guy for 34 weeks. His first night in the NICU he was on the cpap but after that his breathing was fine. He struggled with his body temperature regulation and feeding. He spent 3 weeks in the NICU at Fairview Ridges Hospital. I never thought 3 weeks could feel so long.

Now he is 26 months old and keeping mom and dad on our toes. He is now in speech therapy to help him get his words out.

I wanted more children but the thought of having another preemie worried me. After spending 3 weeks in the NICU, I started researching prematurity and such online. I starting following various preemie related things on facebook, etc. I wondered how people made it through months and months in the NICU.

I would eventually learn how you pull through days and weeks on end in the NICU. When Sebastian was 6 months old I found out I was pregnant again. Having babies 15 months apart worried me and I had no thoughts of them actually being 11 months apart. I was a bit of a wreck in every way. I met with the MFM team and they said to help prevent another premature labor I would start progesterone shots and visits with them at 16 weeks.

Everything was going well until I went for my 21 week appointment. Our 2nd baby boy looked great but my cervix on the other hand did not. I was told to get down to the University of Minnesota as soon as possible. I was funneling and they were not sure if I was losing the baby or not. I had to call work to explain why I wasn’t going to be in and my husband had to find someone to watch Sebastian while we went down to the University.

After examinations, we were told I needed to get an emergency cerclage placed. Later that evening I went into surgery for the cerclage. I spent the weekend in the hospital and before getting released was told I was to be on bedrest. We talked with the NICU – they said I needed to get to 24 weeks. If Sam came earlier than that, they would only offer comfort measures. That was the most surreal conversation I had ever been a part of and I just was numb. {Editor’s note: Jaxson was born at 23 weeks, 3 days gestation; an age where many hospitals refuse to offer life-saving support.}

For the next 5 ½ weeks I was on bedrest. It was hard not being able to be a mom to Sebastian but I am so thankful for my husband being able to run the show at home while I stayed off my feet.

At 26 weeks, I had some bleeding and went to the Ridges. They kept me for observation and some examinations. The bleeding stopped and they couldn’t find a reason for it.

That Tuesday, there was more bleeding. A lot more. I went back to Ridges and they sent me down to the University of Minnesota. By Wednesday afternoon, the bleeding was still off and on but they could find no real answers. They thought maybe my placenta was abrupting. They decided my cerclage needed to come out and we would wait and see. After they removed the cerclage, they discovered I was dilated. My husband I were told we were having a baby that night.

I was 26 weeks and 3 days, Sam was born at 2 pounds 12 ounces and 15 inches long. I was told he was big for that gestational age. I couldn’t get over that statement until I saw the other tiny babies in the NICU.

Sam spent 97 days in the NICU between Amplatz and Fairview Ridges. He struggled with breathing and was taken off oxygen only a few days before coming home. He has a PDA that is being monitored. They tried to treat it while he was in the NICU but it never fully closed and was too small for the surgery. He also had a PFO. He had ROP which resolved but now we wait to find out if he needs glasses. He has low tone and is being seen by PT and OT for that along with some sensory issues. He was recently diagnosed with seizures and they believe that could part of the reason for his lack of motor skills. Since starting the seizure medication he has made leaps and bounds. He also still struggles with reflux but that has gotten better over time.

Now Sam is 15 months old and once he is more mobile, he and his brother will be a force to reckon with in our house, that is for sure.

The brothers P

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Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

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