It’s never easy when birth takes an unexpected turn — especially when you end up with a learning curve like caring for your baby in the NICU. But it’s always incredible to see how parents like Rachel and Dain find strength and optimism in the unexpected. You were parents before you expected to be, but my, how quickly you’ve fully bloomed into the role of loving, attentive parents.
What’s more, Rachel bravely shares her story of following her instincts when she wasn’t being listened to. Way to go, mama. That’s not always easy to do, but it is important.
Congratulations on sweet Olive’s arrival! We at Blooma will be sending you, Dain and Olive all our love and lots of energy to grow big and strong!
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma
I thought I would be writing this in May as I was due April 23, but our little lady had other plans. And one of the things I keep telling myself as I continue to wrap my head around our sweet baby girl’s early arrival and how much our lives changed in a moment is something I heard from you during class: this baby chose me. Here’s my birth story:
There’s a lot to the back story, but to sum it up, my doctor missed the signs of preeclampsia in me as did the doctor who I saw at labor and delivery a week before I was admitted to the hospital.
In four weeks I gained 25 pounds, and my blood pressure was abnormally high. But the doctor did not comment on those things at my regular appointment.
About a week later, I woke up one morning with shocking swelling of my hands and face.
After a brief trip to labor and delivery at the hospital, I was told that it was probably due to a salty dinner the night before. I found it implausible, but never having been pregnant before, I believed the medical professionals around me.
However, my swelling continued to worsen. I called the nurse line, and I was continually told it was a normal symptom of pregnancy. After three calls to the doctor’s office over three days I was beginning to feel like a crazy person, but they finally took me seriously after I had driven to the grocery store to take my blood pressure, and it was 179/99.
After my doctor was informed of that, she finally had me come in immediately on Thursday, January 26. After 10 minutes at the clinic, she had my husband come to get me to take me to labor and delivery at the hospital.
We were only there for a few hours before the perinatologist on call made the decision to move me to a hospital with a level 3 NICU in case I had to be delivered since I was only 27 weeks, 3 days.
I was taken in an ambulance to Abbott. Luckily, I was able to receive two steroid shots 24 hours apart to help our baby’s lungs grow. At one point it even looked like I may be moved to a long-term floor to be on bed rest and hopefully keep the baby inside for a few more weeks. But on Monday, January 30, things quickly spiraled out of control when my blood pressure wouldn’t stabilize, and the baby was in distress on the monitor.
I went in for an emergency c-section, and our baby was delivered at exactly 28 weeks at 10:32 p.m. on Monday January 30. The only comment when she was pulled out was “baby’s out, baby’s small.”
They didn’t even tell us whether it was a boy or girl before whisking her away to the adjacent room to work on her. After about 25 minutes, my husband was able to see her, and he brought me back the camera to look at the pictures of her and tell me that she is a girl.
He then traveled with her to Children’s Hospital to the NICU. I didn’t get to meet her until about 3 hours later when they wheeled me over there. Only then did I learn that she was 1 pound, 9 ounces, which was very small even for her gestational age.
Her birthday was by far the most terrifying day of my life, but it was also the most incredible. And I couldn’t have done it without my awesome husband Dain by my side.
I was released from the hospital that Friday and am busy adjusting to living in the NICU with our little peanut (who is likely to be here until her original due date in April at the earliest.)
Lucky for us, our little micro preemie is a fighter. She is fiesty with all of the nurses, and although she is dealing with many problems common to babies her size, we are confident that she will grow to be big and strong.
My experience couldn’t have been further from what I envisioned for my pregnancy and my birth, and I learned the hard way that there is no point in having pre-conceived notions of how your baby will come into this world.
I also learned that us mamas need to advocate for ourselves and for our babies because the doctors aren’t always right. Our bodies often tell us when something is wrong, and we should always listen to our instincts.
I don’t know what could have happened if I hadn’t fought to go in to the doctor (which I never should have had to do).
I’ve attached a few photos of our little Olive. Thanks again for the great experience at Blooma. I hope to be back for BYOB yoga someday.
Rachel, Dain & Olive