re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.


He's My Son

This time last year I was 19 weeks pregnant with my son and working a crummy job while living in the absolute worst place on earth (Daytona Beach, FL). I had no clue that the road ahead of me way about to become very bumpy.

From the time I saw the second line on the pregnancy test, I KNEW I was having a son. Later, my cravings confirmed that. I mean no little girl is gonna make her mom crave steak, potatoes, BEER!! and slim jims. Get real!

My mother's intuition wasn't only correct about the gender of my baby though. I knew the whole time that my son would not make it to 40 weeks gestation. I didn't know exactly how early he would be, but I knew he would be early. I always predicted that instead of being born on his due date in October, he would be born in August. I was usually joking when I said that though.

See, August in FL is a horrible time for hellacious thunderstorms. Thunderstorms that scare me enough that I end up in tears. I just knew that the stress from one of those storms would put me into labor.

Anyway... so at 19 weeks gestation, everything was peachy. In fact, at 20 weeks (and on my wedding anniversary) we found out we were having a healthy son. The doctor said everything looked great and she'd see me in a month.

Yeah, I wish it would have been a month before I saw her again.

Let me back up for a minute and say that I had been having braxton hicks contractions since about 12 weeks. The doctor said they were nothing to worry about; and for most women, they aren't anything to worry about.

At 22 weeks I started spotting, but it wasn't a lot or anything that worried me. Then the spotting (WARNING: graphic description) turned bright red and clumpy. I called the doc and left a message with the answering service (it was a Saturday) that I was on my way into the hospital.

My doc was there when we got there and checked me. I was contracting, but not dilating. They determined my placenta was low-lying and gave me a shot of terbutaline. That stuff is no fun, but it was bearable. I also got stuck 4 times while they tried to give me an IV and had to spend the night in the hospital.

The next day I was sent home on modified bedrest. I worked from home and took it easy.

The amazing thing is that my doc was at the hospital that I went to when she never got my message. She just "happened" to be there with another patient.

At 24 weeks gestation I thought to myself, at least now this baby will survive if born today.

At 27 weeks I went back to the doc and my placenta had moved out of the way. I felt great. my braxton hicks contractions had slowed down and I had had no more bleeding.

27 weeks and 5 days, I had a tiny bit of spotting, but it went away. Ed, my dear husband, was talking to his sister on the phone that night. She mentioned that she had a few preemie outfits that she wanted to know if we wanted. Ed told her, "No, as big as Bev is, we aren't going to need any preemie clothes."

As soon as he hung up, I told him that I wasn't going to make it to 40 weeks.

The next day I woke up to a gush of blood. I freaked.

I called the doctor and they had me come in for a checkup. My amniotic fluid was high; a condition called polyhydramnios. They also ran a fetal fibernectin test to determine if my body was gearing up for labor. I had to wait two days for those results.

I was put on STRICT bedrest. I wsa allowed to get up to pee and to eat. That was it.

Thursday afternoon the nurse called and told me that I needed to go directly to Halifax Medical Center because my FFN test had come back positive. They needed to administer steroid shots to develop the baby's lungs in case he did come early.

At that moment, my world crashed in on me. We were living away from all of our friends and family who cared for us. We had no one to turn to. Ed was a student and I was unable to work. And what in the world was going to happen to our baby?

We went to the hospital and checked in. I was given a lovely hospital dinner of some sort of roasted meat, some bland vegetables, a cold potato and some juice. NASTY.

Then they administered the steroid injections. Of course I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and a mommy monitor. They noticed I was contracting about every two minutes and when they checked me, I was dilated to a 1.

They decided to give me the "fun" stuff; magnesium sulfate. Can I just say that I wouldn not wish magnesium sulfate on the most evil person in the world. That stuff is just NASTY!!

Usually they give you a high bolster dose to stop the ctx, and then bring you down to a maintainance dose or 2-4 mg/hr. I was on 8 mg/hr. and still contracting.

Now, I'm not a big person. I was only 140 lbs when I was going through all this. So you can imagine how doped up I was. I could not even speak, let alone roll over. And good gracious, there was no way I wsa getting up to go to the bathroom.

That means I had to have a catheter too. Ummm... OW!!!

Between the catheter, worrying and the nurses coming in every hour I got NO sleep. All night I was begging the nurses to turn down the magnesium. I was so sick.

Remember that tasty meal they served me?

Yeah, I remembered it too around 10:30 that night when... well, I'll spare you the details.

The next day they tested my blood and decided to turn down the mag. THANK GOD!! They took me off of the mag around 5 PM and made me spend the night again. The next day they let me go home. That meant removing the catheter.

Uhhh... double OWWW!!!

When you are worried about pre-term delivery, you don't want to go to the bathroom after having a catheter removed. It's just not pretty or reassuring.

I was still having mild, periodic ctx, so they made me get procardia. Procardia is a blood pressure med that is also used to stop ctx. It also makes you sweat.

Did I mention this took place at the end of July, in FLORIDA.

Yep, they gave a pregnant woman in FL in July a medication that makes her sweat. My poor husband was in long johns because I had the air cranked so high.

Of course, the strict bedrest continued.

The following Tuesday I went to the perinatologist. They told me the baby was fine and that I was dilated to 2. My bag of water was "bulging" and I barely had any lip at all on my cervix. Basically, my son was NOT going to make it ot 40 weeks gestation. They didn't think I'd make it to 32 weeks.

They sent me back home to rest.

Next day I was back at the hospital and back on the mag. Oh joy. I was kind of glad about being in the hospital though.

See, Ed was supposed to have been leaving to go to NC for his National Guard drill that weekend. We knew NO ONE in FL and I didn't want to be home alone and have a premature baby. However, becuase I was in the hospital, he was able to get out of his drill.

The same night I was admitted, they discovered my water was leaking. They kept me on the mag. though, along with antibiotics. The next morning my doctor came to visit me. She said they were turning off the mag. and they expected me to deliver fairly soon after that.

That was Thursday morning. I wsa 29 weeks and 1 day gestation.

Nothing happened all day. As "luck" (used loosely) would have it, my doctor was not on duty that night so if I delivered that night it would be with a stranger looking at me in all my glory.

Did I mention that because of the mag. and bedrest and all, I had not showered in about 2 days. Color me embarrassed.

Around 10 that night the ctx were stronger. They really didn't hurt though. They felt like mild gas pains. I've had "other" cramps worse than that. At any rate te nurse checked me and was shocked to find that I was already 6 cm dilated. She called the doc and the anesthesiologist.

Originally I had planned to go unmedicated, but they said it was a high risk delivery so I needed the epidural. The $1200 epidural didn't work. Yeah, I was a little peeved when I got THAT bill.

The doc came in around midnight and checked me. I was an 8. He left for a bit. While he was gone the NICU nurses came in and set up a station next to my bed. They briefed me about what would happen after my son was born. They told me he would be in the hospital until close to his due date. They said white male children did not fair well at all. White male preemies are often called "wimpy white boys."

I told them they could have my son for no longer than 5 weeks.

Later, the doc came back to finish off my water. I wanted to hurt him so bad for that. My ctx were manageable until the water was broken. I am figuring it was probably around 2:30 AM at that time. The ctx were so close together. I don't think there was longer than a30 second pause between each one.

Around 3 AM I started pushing. At 3:23 AM Eddie was born. He was pink and trying to cry. His cries sounded like a little puppy dog.

His APGAR scores were 6 and 9!!! AMAZING for a 29 weeker. Of course, they rushed him off to the NICU. I didn't get to see him until about 5 that morning.

I had no idea what to expect. In our first picture with him, I'm smiling, but it was fake. I was mad and sad and angry and scared.

Later, I came to see little ways God worked during that whole process. The whole time I kept thinking about Psalm 139. That's how I KNEW Eddie would be okay.

The timing of everything worked out perfectly. Two of my dearest friends from my church in NC got there just in time to help me to completely break down.

Even the time Eddie was born is significant to me. He was born at 3:23 AM. Romans 3:23 says that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That means that even my son, who is amazing and beautiful and sweet and absolutely adorable, was born under the curse of sin. It's ONLY God's grace that would allow him into heaven should something happen to him now.

We call Eddie our "little sinner." Not because there is anything cute or funny about sin, but because it serves as a good reminder that we are all sinners. Some people have gotten upset with us about that, but they are generally the same people who got upset when I referred to the "unknown" baby in my belly as "Bubba," so their opinions don't bother me too much.


Blogger Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I'm totally with you on mag sulfate---it is WICKED stuff. I had it with Marcy. But, I never needed any interventions with my other two pregnancies.

We laugh because Marcy gave us the most trouble in utero, and she keeps us hopping now! It is in her blood!

Eddie is just precious, and I'm so glad you guys made it back from FL!!!!

2:47 PM


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