Overall, I would say I had a pretty rocky pregnancy. In the first trimester I had some spotting, and some pretty heavy bleeding. I had my hormone levels checked a few days later and found out that everything was fine. I never did get an explanation for the bleeding.
After my anatomy scan I received a call stating that Carter’s nasal bone may be a little smaller than normal. We had to go to a genetic specialist to have a second anatomy scan done where they would try to get some better pictures of his nasal bone. Luckily, everything turned out to be just perfect with little Carter’s nasal bone.
The week before Carter ended up being born I had gone to the hospital because I thought I was leaking amniotic fluid. They did a swab and tested the liquid to see if it was amniotic fluid and it was not. I was also hooked up to a fetal monitor and everything was fine so I was sent home. My doctor later told me that if they would’ve checked me that night they probably would’ve found that something had started happening. But she had no reason to have the on-call doctor check me so he didn’t.
It all started the night of January 10th. I had gone to the bathroom and noticed a little streak of blood. I immediately started searching on Google and told Jake that I was concerned. He thought I should go ahead and call the doctor, I decided to wait until the next morning. That next morning after going to the restroom I noticed what appeared to be parts of my mucus plug. Since I wasn’t sure, I continued to get ready for work. On my way to work I noticed I was having a lot more braxton hicks contractions than usual and one of them was accompanied by a slight cramp. I got to work and was starting to get more and more worried. I had gone to the restroom again and noticed more of what I thought was my mucus plug. I talked to a friend and decided to just head to the hospital, an hour away. I called the doctor’s office on the way and they explained that they were going to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions for a bit and then send me to see the doctor. After the monitoring, the doctor looked at the report and noticed that I was contracting and when doing so Carter’s heart rate was decreasing. The doctor checked me and said I was eight centimeters dilated. What?!? I was only 29 weeks pregnant! Jake and I were in shock. They brought in a wheel chair and wheeled me to labor and delivery. When I got to the room there were already at least seven people in the room all scrambling around. I got undressed and into a hospital gown and into bed where my feet were elevated to be above my head. The goal now was to keep Carter in as long as possible. I got a steroid shot to help his lungs, boy did that hurt! They also gave me magnesium to help stop the contractions I was having. I lasted long enough to get a second dose of steroids, but the nurses noticed that I had started bleeding quite a bit. The doctor came in, broke my water, and about ten minutes and three pushes later Carter was born; about 15 hours after I arrived at the hospital.
Carter was born on January 12th and was in the NICU until March 18th. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. I remember the day that I was discharged, Jake and I went to Babies R Us so I could buy a breast pump. I broke down in tears saying “I’m not pregnant anymore but I don’t have my baby.” My heart was broken. We were so lucky that Carter only had typical preemie issues. His brain was perfect and so were his eyes. He tolerated feeds wonderfully from the very beginning. He did have some issues with his bilirubin levels and was under a light and/or blanket a few different times. He was also put on antibiotics a few times throughout his stay and ended up with a pretty bad cold for about the last month he was there. His biggest issue, and what ended up keeping him there longer, was that he was having a lot of bradycardia episodes. He would pretty much stop breathing and his heart rate would drop below 80 bpm. He was required to go five days without having any of these events before he could go home. We thought those five days would never happen. But they did.
Carter is now a happy, healthy little man. For the most part. He started showing signs of acid reflux shortly after coming home from the hospital and has been on three different medications for it. He would projectile vomit up to three times a day. Thankfully, those days are in the past but along came a whole new set of problems as he got older. Carter has progressed from eating perfectly to screaming and crying while eating, to eating only in his sleep, to hardly eating in his sleep, to eating awake with distractions. He’s gone from hating purees, to loving them and eating an entire jar per sitting, to refusing all of them.
We are now working on soft bites of food and drinking from a straw cup. He actually got the straw concept pretty quickly, although he’ll usually only take one small drink at a time and still spits it out sometimes. But it’s definitely progress! He loves to take bites of what I’m eating and does really well with it. But when things are put on his tray he tends to play more than eat, especially if there are several pieces. He loves puffs, cheese, pasta, and bananas, among other things :) We’re working, and I’m convinced that slowly but surely we’ll win this feeding war!