A pregnancy after a preemie

Like any married couple, my husband and I always wanted to start a family.   We always dreamed of having a large family and wanted four kids.  Our dreams came true when we found out that we were becoming parents in late February 2014.

The baby’s due date was October 17th, 2014.  As you could imagine, my husband and I were over the moon.  Of course with all this excitement also meant planning:  we looked for names, we started setting up the nursery, created a baby registry and started planning a baby shower.  Everything seemed perfect and I had a normal, text book pregnancy.  Life couldn’t be any better as things were going according to plan.  However at 28 weeks and 5 days gestation, a turn of events would change our lives forever…

I woke up for work at my usual time and started contracting but I did not know it.  I was in a huge amount of pain and left my office within an hour.  Later that morning, the pain worsened and I started to bleed.  My husband frantically drove me to hospital.  We found out that I was going into premature labour.  By the time we reached hospital, I was 10 cm dilated and it was too late to do anything.  Within minutes, I was rushed to the OR and gave birth to a beautiful but tiny baby boy.  Following a 65-day NICU stay, our son came home healthy.  To this day we do not know why I went into labour so early as up until that point I had a normal pregnancy.  Despite all of this, our son is doing very well and is your typical two-year old.

I am sure you are wondering if I wanted to have another child after all what we have been through.  A premature birth is in itself a traumatic experience and many parents who go through a premature birth do not want to have any more children.  I told myself that I wanted to be the exception to the rule; that I could and will have a full-term pregnancy after having a preemie.  I wanted my son to have at least one sibling to share and make memories with.  I also wanted to give myself another chance to experience something that was robbed from me and that was a third trimester.

In early February 2016, my husband and I were ecstatic to find out that we were expecting our second child. My due date is October 3rd, 2016.  Early on I was referred to a high-risk OB and started the appropriate monitoring and treatment.  Every week I would be given a shot of progesterone (not fun) and every two weeks my cervix would be monitored (even less fun).  I am not going to lie, as happy as I was when I found out that I was expecting again, a part of me was also very terrified.  The chances of giving birth prematurely were now 15 percent as I had a premature birth before.  Although I knew that I was going to be closely monitored, this time around I wanted to make sure that nothing would be overlooked.  I was a bit of a hypochondriac in a sense where some may have thought I took things too seriously.  But after my previous experience, who wouldn’t feel that way as well?

photo of pregnant woman standing behind the tree
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Things were going well until I fell ill at 28 weeks and 3 days with severe nausea and upset stomach symptoms.  I went to the OB triage where they kept me overnight for monitoring in fears that I may become dehydrated.  That morning, I was sent for ultrasound which uncovered that my cervix significantly shortened and that I was 50 percent effaced.  Luckily it was still closed.  I was then immediately sent to the antenatal unit where I spent a week in monitoring.  The team wanted me to make it to at least 32 weeks where premature infants have minimal to no risk of mortality, disability and disease.  This time around, I was given steroid shots to help baby’s lungs develop in case of an early arrival.  For the remainder of the week, I was limited in terms of mobility and basically spent the whole week watching Property Brothers.  The following week, things had stabilized and my cervix lengthened where the team felt comfortable sending me home on bed rest.

I am happy to report that I am as of today 32 weeks!  Last Thursday I found out that my cervix is still closed and lengthened again.  I just want to keep this baby cooking!!!  As hard as it is being on bed rest, this is the best thing for the baby for now.  Although some days I feel like I am walking on egg shells, I have to maintain a positive mind and hope for the best.  Prayer has certainly helped.  For that I have my loving husband and family to thank, as well as the tremendous amount of support and care from my doctors as well as my friends. Whatever the outcome will be, I do believe that things will be alright.

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