My husband and I expected our first pregnancy to be easy-peasy. We are both pretty healthy people, exercise regularly and rarely got sick.
We got pregnant fast which was not expected but we loved it. But was really surprised us was how much anxiety and complications that would come along with being pregnant.
At 5 weeks pregnant I started spotting. I was so scared that I was losing the baby. I called Ryan while at work and he told me to call my OB right away. I called and they wanted me to come in that day. Ryan left work and picked me up and we drove to the doctor’s office. It was there we got to hear our baby Ian’s heartbeat for the first time. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. We were so relieved to hear that he was there, alive and thrumming. I was told to take it easy the next few weeks until the spotting went away. No exercise and no sex as a precaution. It was so hard to adjust to both of those things! I loved to work out and I love sex! Ha ha. But I did it, of course, with just a minor amount of whining.
The real scare came at the 20 week ultrasound. We were told that our baby was measuring small for 20 weeks. We went in again at 24 weeks to see how his growth was and he was still really small and was diagnosed with Inauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). At this point I was also barely showing. My husband and I joked that the only reason why our baby was small was because he was being compared to the rest of America which tends to be overweight. But really, we knew this was serious and we were scared.
We were referred to a Specialist and man, did we pull in a horrible one. The first thing she did was list out to us all the horrible possibilities of why Ian was so small. Down Syndrome, missing chromosome, infection in the stomach and on and on until finally at the end Im just in tears and the doctor excuses herself while I bawl on my husband. Ryan held me and then said, Really, she didn’t even point out what was wrong with Ian. She just said these were all possibilities that they have ruled out. I was like, wait what?
The doctor came back in and Ryan pinned her down with a pointed statement. Are you really just telling us all of things that could have caused Ian to be small but they are not because from the ultrasound you can see that and that Ian is small but otherwise perfectly healthy?
Yes, the Doctor responded, as if we knew that. I was like, say what! Seriously I could have strangled her. Why couldn’t she have started the conversation out with a statement saying your boy is healthy but small? Argh, so bad.
We switched specialists after that. Our new doctor was much better and really did a wonderful job of calming my anxiety by constantly reassuring me that our baby was doing fine and they were just monitoring to make sure he continued to grow.
We went into the specialist every two weeks and all was well and we were beginning to feel pretty confident about everything until 33 weeks when we got slapped in the face so hard. My blood flow had changed. I needed to be admitted to the hospital NOW. I couldn’t believe it I was so scared. They gave me a steriod to help my baby’s lungs develop and the next day my boy was born via ceasearean at a whopping 2.12 lbs. He cried right away and was able to breathe on his won which everyone was surprised by.
They thought most likely he would need to be on breathing tube.
Our boy ended up going to the Special Care Nursery for 3 and a half weeks. He did so well and was bottle feeding and nursing at the same time within a week and a half. He had a little jaundice the first couple days but other than that, just had a feeding tube and needed to learn to eat on his own and then we could take him home. Being at the Special Care Nursery was hard. The hospital was amazing, the nurses so sweet and caring but I just wanted to be home with my boy.
Finally, when Ian was 3.5 lbs we were able to take him home. He was so tiny even preemie clothes were huge on him. Looking back it now, I am like, how did we have this little tiny guy at our house and not freak out. Instead we took it all on the chin and nursed him every two hours for 4 months straight and eventually he got bigger and bigger. He was smaller than all the other boys until he was about a year and half but developmentally he always did so well. Only on the physical developmental milestones he would do things just a month or so after his compadres.
Having a preemie is hard, challenging and scary but he is such a lovely, strong, bright boy. He was back on the growth charts by the time he was about one and by two he looked like the typical two year old. The funny party about all of this is that Ian is extremely healthy and rarely gets sick. We didn’t take Ian to the doctor the entire time between 2 and 3 years old. He didn’t even catch a fever. And his brain! Man is he smart! He has such imagination, tons of energy and walks around singing his little heart out.
I’d say we lucked out.