My pregnancy was perfect. There I said it. I was never sick. never tired. I felt great and I even felt cute. I had little to complain about and therefore little to worry about. Monday, April 4th was like any other day. I worked and chatted with friends about finalizing baby shower lists and dates, girls trips, and an upcoming Utah trip. That night, I began having some weird stomach cramping and Freddie wasn't moving as much as he usually did. I was of course nervous but tried not to think about it because I just knew I was being paranoid. The cramping began to get painful and continued all night but I still tried to brush it off thinking that this was all normal pregnancy stuff and it was finally my turn to have something to complain about. Around 3:30 AM the cramping was accompanied by bleeding and that's when I decided we needed to go to the hospital just in case.
On the way to the hospital, I talked/cried to the OB on call at my office (someone I'd never met or heard of). She wasn't worried about the symptoms but agreed that I needed to go. Fred thought we should go to the Mercy Gilbert Hospital which is about 10 minutes from where we live. I said no, the Chandler Hospital was within 3 minutes and since they were going to give me some medicine and send me home it didn't matter where we went.
When we checked in at labor and delivery, they did a couple quick tests, hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor, and then ordered an ultrasound. I continued to have cramping which was getting more and more painful. The triage nurse commented that it looked like I could be having some minor contractions but nothing consistent. She checked on the bleeding and then left us alone.
During the ultrasound, the technician wasn't worried. She told us that Freddie's heart rate was fine and the placenta was fine as well. I continued to have cramping so she asked if I had received anything for the pain yet and said that hopefully they would be getting me something soon. As she left, I began to cramp again and the nurse came in to lower my bed to help relieve some of the pain. Moments later, three nurses surrounded my bed and were telling me that they were taking me into a room.
As they wheeled me into a room, I kept thinking "why are they taking me into a room? I just need some medicine and an order to be on bed rest and then send me home!!!"
When we got into my room, they had me move beds. When I sat up the room was a beehive of activity - there were nurses moving very quickly organizing equipment, an incubator, and a million other things. We had no idea what was happening. Poor Fred just had to stand in a corner to stay out of the way yet no one would say what was happening. One minute they weren't talking to us just buzzing around us and the next I had an IV and a nurse was in my face asking me what we wanted to do if our baby came out and wasn't breathing.
What do you mean if our baby came out? I'm only 23 weeks pregnant and I just need to be sent home.
Of course Fred and I said we wanted to save our baby but how was it possible that I was in labor?
The nurses tried to help me breath through the cramping which I was told were actually contractions - something that hadn't crossed my mind because I 1. had never been in labor and 2. was only 23 weeks pregnant so this wasn't a possibility.
At this point, I begin to panic and yet I'm still contracting and it's getting more and more painful. I uncalmly ask for something for the pain - something to stop the contracting - anything and am told that there is nothing they can give me because I am dilated to a 10 and anything they gave me would mostly effect the baby at that point which would do more harm than good.
WAIT. DILATED TO A 10??
They told me that I was having this baby and all they were waiting for was the neonatologist and my doctor and then we would begin.
It was probably about 6am at this point. I tell Fred that I want a blessing before this happens - he immediately gets on the phone and tells me that two of our friends are on their way.
The Neonatologist and OB get there and immediately begin prepping. The nurse pops back into my face to tell me all about the risks and outcomes with having a 23 week old baby and does an excellent job of scaring us.
My contractions are strengthening and when my doctor is all suited up she tells me that she's going to break my water. As she's reaching for the hook, my water breaks. She tells me that during my next contraction I need to push. At this point my contractions are about every 45 seconds, after she says this everything stopped.
I didn't have a contraction for another 3 minutes. It was the longest, scariest, most restful period. Then another one came and out came Freddie. This is a bit gross- but he literally shot out. The doctor barely caught him and actually kind of fumbled him in the process.
He was born at 6:22 AM.
They wisked him away and once they got him breathing and somewhat stabilized, Fred was able to go over and look at his tiny newborn son. On their way out they stopped and showed me this tiny little person. I couldn't see much of him and they literally only paused on their way to the NICU.
They finished taking care of me and cleared out. I felt fine. Like nothing had ever happened.
Our friends called Fred because they had just gotten there to give me a blessing - he went out to speak to them and I just sat staring at the now empty room - wondering how this could have happened and when I was going to wake up. Finally a nurse comes to ask if they've fed me. nope. So they get my order and leave to find me a breakfast tray. Fred comes back in and then a new nurse comes in to say she's replacing whoever my previous nurse was and would be taking care of me. She was great (and will get her own post). She knew of our worries and told us that they were working on stabilizing little Freddie and that as soon as they did he would be moved to St. Joseph's hospital in Phoenix that had more experience with babies his size. She told us that before they life flighted him she would make sure we got to see him.
|Our first family picture|
While in the NICU, our friends Curtis & Craig were able to bless Freddie. It was one of the most tender experiences I've ever witnessed. Freddie was in an incubator and Curtis was only able to get one finger on his tiny head. Despite the rush of motion in the NICU, there was a peace that was evident as Curtis blessed Freddie.
|Don't be alarmed. The plastic was to keep his tiny body warm and add humidity|
|Ready for his flight|
|This is everything we brought to the hospital.|
My purse & a book.