The issues we encountered with prematurity
I started my pregnancy as low risk. Week by week flew by, I had no problems, not even sickness (other then the few times where I caught a virus!). Bubba was growing well, we still didn't find out the gender though, as much as I was desperate to.
"It's the only surprise you get"
I was regularly told this so that I didn't look!
The First escape attempt
When she first tried to escape, I was bleeding down below. Testing at the hospital showed that my waters had broken. Obviously, we didn't want baby just yet!
I was 34 weeks at this point. At 34 weeks, babies in the womb are about the size of a cabbage and their lungs aren't quite developed yet. To term isn't until 37 weeks, so she needed to stay put!
The doctors gave me 2 doses of steroids, to aid the growth of her lungs, so that if she was to arrive before 37 weeks, she would have a much better chance. We had to stay in hospital for these, in a HOT, quarter of a room, surrounded by people who had their babies. It just made us want our baby more. We needed a scan to assess how much water was still around her as well.
I also had to have antibiotics for a weeks, due to the risk of infection.
She stayed put for a bit longer!
The gush of my waters breaking at 35 weeks sent us back to hospital. We went to hospital where we went straight to labour ward. Still no baby. Because she was clearly going to come early, I went from low risk to high risk. Sadly, that meant I had to give birth laying down, strapped to machines to monitor baby. A far cry from the home or water birth that I had desired!
Early essentially meant that we met so many more doctors than if labouring went to plan. After Harper didn't arrive after this waters, we found ourselves surrounded by a team of doctors with a mobile sonogram. They needed to again assess how much water was around the baby- water level was fine!
This second water breaking meant yet another stay in hospital... Not the most comfortable or entertaining when you don't have your baby yet!
It was clear now that we would have our baby very soon and they scheduled a consult to go over my birth plan. I had an induction booked for the Friday (even though I knew that I had gone into labour at this point), but when your waters break, there is a certain window that you need to have baby in.
Over 80% of women who have PPROM deliver their baby within seven days of their waters breaking.
(PPROM = waters breaking early)
When it was finally time, I was laid down with machines monitoring the baby. I went for the epidural!
It came time to push, so the baby doctor was called for. I pushed Harper out in 8 minutes, so the doctor didn't arrive in time!
She was a healthy 6lb 8oz, can you even imagine if she did go to term??? SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN HUGE. Thank god she did come early!
Our hearts did stop a little bit as we waited for the doctor to check her over. THANKFULLY SHE WAS OK AND DIDN'T NEED TO GO TO THE NICU! I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to have your baby rushed away from you.
A lot of premature babies do have to end up having to go to the high dependency unit. We were so lucky to not have had to experience that.
Of course, we did still have to stay in hospital. Harper needed to have doses of antibiotics, just in case of infection. We got to go home after a day and a half or 2 days I think, and just come back for the last 2 doses.
Breast Feeding Jaundice
Harper developed breast feeding jaundice. She was as yellow as a Simpson!
Breast milk jaundice is a type of jaundice associated with breast-feeding. It typically occurs one week after birth. The condition can sometimes last up to 12 weeks, but it rarely causes complications in healthy, breast-fed infants.
It seemed to take a long time to clear, this meant additional midwife visits as well as returning to the hospital regularly for blood tests. It cleared in the end, but after months instead of weeks!
Lastly, she seems to just be a smaller baby. When tracking her weight in her red book, for premature babies, you track it back to due date, so although she is now 8 months, we track her weight as if she was 7 months. She still fits in age 3-6 month clothes, but she is now going into the next size up. People regularly think she is only about 3-4 months old!
Do you have a premature baby? What issues did you encounter? How are your little ones now?