birth, Preemie, pregnancy

And Then There Were Six…

I guess I spoke too soon as I confidently joked “well this is how far along I was when Bella’s water broke, so I guess it’s all a piece of cake from here!” After being anxious throughout this pregnancy, I felt a bit of relief as I passed 28 weeks, confident the frequent exams and injections I was receiving were proving helpful in ensuring this baby stayed inside until she was well done. The events of March 2nd would tell a different story…

Over the past few weeks, I had been experiencing bouts of strong contractions, but making sure I was well hydrated or relaxing in a hot bath always seemed enough to calm them for another day or two. When my day started in the grip of contractions on Wednesday, I hardly thought anything of it, increasing my water intake and taking several relaxing baths throughout the day. The second half of the day they were much more noticeable, and I began timing them to see why it felt like they were coming so often. 3 minutes apart. On the dot. I have tried not to get too worked up about pregnancy symptoms or quirks, because I don’t want to be the crazy woman who calls her doctor every other day because she’s paranoid after a traumatic experience. So I took a deep breath, called my dear friend Jami to see what her plans were the rest of the day, and texted Mark, hinting I might need to get checked at some point, but not to worry. I tried to carry on with my routine.

When the time came to run the kids around for their evening activities, I had an overnight bag packed and had sent a more strongly worded text to Mark, trying to figure out when he would be able to break free from work. When I could hardly walk through contractions while picking Baylie up from cheerleading, I begged Jami to please come over and called my OB office to find out where the best place for me to go would be. I then sent Mark a text demanding he come home. I was trying to console Jacob and Baylie and convince them I would make it up to them that they were going to miss AWANA, when my water broke. This, although frightening, I had dealt with before. What I was not prepared for was to see that instead of being clear, there was meconium, a sign that the baby was in distress. That was the end of me feeling calm. I was panicked and hysterical inside, but forcing myself to stay pleasant so the kids wouldn’t be scared. I knew something wasn’t right.

Fortunately, Jami and Mark arrived at about the same time. He didn’t even ditch his work clothes, just hustled me into the car and we set out for the hospital.

Things were kind of slow at first as the nurses got vitals, hooked up monitors, and tried to track down records. It was confirmed I was in active labor and my water was definitely broken. I was given steroids for the baby’s lungs and then talked about seeing if labor could be stopped to give her a little more time. That plan was immediately aborted as little Ellianna’s heart rate began dropping and I suddenly started hemorrhaging. The doctor announced, “we need to have this baby now, by c-section.” After that, my room was a flurry of nurses and doctors rushing about to get me ready for surgery. It was scary to see the urgency on everyone’s faces.

In the operating room, it felt like such a long time before they finally got Ellianna out. It was not delicate, I remember feeling like I was gonna fall off the table, but was so thankful to not be able feel as much as I did with Isabella’s c-section. The chatter between the doctors and nurses was pretty unnerving. They didn’t hide their shock very well when they discoved what was going on inside. The placenta had torn completely away from my uterus, leaving Ellianna without her lifeline. Ellianna made her way into the world, still in the amniotic sac, which had to be pulled away from her. She had been delivered within a small window of precious time. One of the NICU members held her tiny delicate body up for me to see before they rushed her off. She looked so little!!!

I got to visit the NICU on the way to my room and got my first good look at my newest baby girl, Ellianna Grace, born at 8:10pm, weighing 3 pounds 5 ounces, and 16 inches long. She was all snuggled into her isolette, all kinds of tubes and wires helping her along.

So at 29 weeks, I have already traded in my baby bump for a precious baby girl. This will be a long road for her, with ups and downs along the way, but we will be there for every bit of it. We are blessed that she arrived safely and pray for her continued healing and strengthening. Can’t wait to bring her home!!!

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