I feel like it’s been months and months since I’ve logged on to write a new post. You see, I’m a planner and I had planned on having our little boy on or really close to his due date. I had all these posts scheduled or just needing finishing touches so it would seem like I wasn’t missing a beat. But this little guy had other plans. He arrived 3 weeks early.
Yep, I had a preemie, something I never thought would happen.
Here’s the story of our little Baby Denton. A lot of our friends don’t even know all the details about his birth or how he was admitted to the NICU at 5 days old. But I’m finally strong enough to talk about it without breaking down in tears. Here’s his birth story…
The start of labor.
On Thursday morning I woke up around 1am thinking I had wet myself. I went to the bathroom so confused. I had heard of women having leaky bladders, but I hadn’t experienced this at all. I thought it was odd that it hit so fast in the middle of the night. I cleaned myself up and went back to bed. Within 30 minutes, I felt it again. Then again 20 minutes later. Finally I decided not to go back to bed. I googled what was going on, which is something I tried not to do the whole pregnancy because Dr. Google can really freak me out!
It sounded like my water had broke from what I had read. I wasn’t having any contractions and felt fine other than slowly leaking fluid. At 8am I called the doctor’s office and was told to come on in. The nurse was telling me that about 99% of the time women think their waters have broke, but in reality it’s just urine and nothing to worry about. The nurse practitioner came in and took one of those Ph papers to test it and it instantly turned bright blue – amniotic fluid.
The doctor had me go to the hospital to check myself in – today was the day our baby was coming! I called J and told him, called my sister, my mom and dad and my best friends. Luckily I had packed our hospital bags the weekend before so that was one worry off my mind.
J and I got to the hospital at the same time and I was taken up to the labor and delivery floor. I hadn’t dilated any and my contractions were weak and far, far apart. They decided to give me a low dosage of pitocin and monitor the baby closely. Every time I would have a contraction, his heart rate would dip a bit. I was told that it wasn’t a concern since they were timed with the contractions.
Flash forward 24 hours and I was barely dilated to a 7am and every time they tried to increase the pitocin through the night, Baby D’s heart rate would dip. So they had to back off of the medicine. The doctor came in around 11am on Friday morning and said that if the heart rate dips too much after a contract that would be a concern he might be under distress.
I understood what he meant and decided to just get comfortable for a long day. Then I had a big contraction and his heart dropped a lot afterwards. I was scared. The doctor came right in and said it was probably time for a c-section. Within seconds I was signing forms and being told what to expect.
I started crying. Not because I was scared, but because it was happening so fast. Really fast. I knew I would be okay with a c-section, I knew it was probably the best option for our baby to be delivered healthy and I knew I was in the best hands. It was just overwhelming.
Within 12 minutes of the doctor coming in, our baby was born.
He was a healthy baby. He was little since he was 3 weeks early, but he was healthy. We found out why his heart rate was dipping during each contraction – there was a true knot in the umbilical cord. A true knot is not just a twisted cord, but it’s when the cord is actually knotted and cannot be undone. So every time I had a contraction his supply was being cut off.
So scary! After talking with the doctor that if I would have declined the c-section to keep trying, our little boy may not have made it. I still cry thinking about it.
The first doctor’s appointment.
We were discharged on Sunday and had our first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday. I went to the first doctor’s appointment thinking everything was going to be okay, but it wasn’t.
He had lost 16% of his birth rate, he was yellow and super dehydrated.
The NICU stay.
We were rushed to the NICU over an hour away. He was quickly admitted and hooked up to all of these monitors. I was a mess. I couldn’t stop crying. Here was my precious baby boy hooked to all of these machines.
I learned that breastfeeding was working for us. He wasn’t getting the nutrients he needed and we needed to supplement.
But God is good and he rebounded so fast. His levels normalized within no time. They were able to remove the bilirubin lights on Friday and they warned me that he might go back a few steps without being under the light, but he didn’t. His numbers actually improved! They removed the feeding tube Friday, too since he had 7 meals eating on his own without needing the tube.
The hospital was so great and had a lactation specialist come talk to me. She helped me try to breastfeed, which wasn’t easy. Then helped me pump. I wasn’t getting but an 3 ounces a day from pumping. My milk is jacked up!
I never left his side – I slept in the NICU, I showered there and ate in the cafeteria. I would break down anytime I had to leave his room. I was so worried about our little guy.
We were lucky – he was lucky and had God looking over him. It could have been worse. He only needing a feeding tube for a short time and bilirubin lights – that was it. He was discharged on Saturday afternoon. He has been thriving ever since!
Now fast forward and he’ll be a month old in 3 days. We still can’t breastfeed and my milk supply has just continued to drop. Now I don’t even get an ounce a day. I’m taking herbs, drinking teas, drinking lots of water, but still nothing. I’m not giving up though. Every little bit of breastmilk helps and is good for him.
At first I was sad about supplementing with formula, but I realized that as long as our baby is growing and staying healthy that’s all that matters. I can’t punish myself for something I can’t control. I don’t want to be judge by these breastfeeding nazis because I tried. My son is gaining weight, he’s healthy and happy – that is what’s important.