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Personal Stories ~ From Rhonda
My husband and I considered ourselves very lucky that it only took us four months to conceive. I had a very uneventful pregnancy until about week 30. During that week I started experiencing high blood pressure and was told to take it easy by my OB. So I started wrapping things up at work, but I still needed another few weeks to get everything taken care of.

On March 9, I went to the doctor as I was doing every two days or so. My blood pressure was up so I was ordered to come back in the next morning, a Saturday. Once again my blood pressure was up, and I was told that they were going to try and keep me pregnant for a few more weeks but if I did go into labor that they would not stop it. I was 34 weeks by this time. It still wasn't registering for me or my husband that we could possibly have a baby by the end of the weekend.

On Sunday March 11, I woke up at 5 am with a bit of a pain. I drank some water and laid on my left side. An hour later I awoke in a pool of "wetness." I went to the bathroom to check and see what it was and it was bright red blood. Needless to say I began panicking and told my husband we needed to go to the hospital right away. We called our doctor and met her at the hospital where they checked me and began to monitor the baby. I was very relieved to hear the heartbeat of my yet unborn surprise. My doctor could not be certain that my membranes had ruptured so she did an ultrasound and could see a little of the placenta "graying" and that I was a little low on amniotic fluid. I was only dilated to 1 cm and having very very mild contractions. She ordered a level II ultrasound for the next day and put me on 100% hospital bedrest for at least two weeks, getting me to 36 weeks.

Later that night I began having terrible back pain, but the monitor was not picking them up. The L&D nurse checked me, and I was at 10cm dilated and 100% effaced; I was having that baby right now! I was able to deliver my beautiful baby boy Weston vaginally at 2:16 am March 12 weighing 4 lbs, 9 oz.

The NICU staff whisked him away immediately. He was given oxygen for just a short time and monitored only until about 10 am Monday morning and was able to be taken off the lung monitor. I didn't get to see my precious baby for about 2 1/2 hours and when I did, it was quite a shock to see his tiny little body laying in a warmer in the NICU. I have to say that Weston's stay in the NICU really helped me to learn a lot about caring for a baby. I had hands-on help teaching me how to breastfeed, showing me how to change a diaper and and bathe him. All things that as a first time mom I was very thankful for their help. Our NICU staff was very supportive and really helped us to get to know our baby. I do wish that I had realized from the start that he was our baby and that I didn't need to always wait for their lead to pick him up and hold him, rock him etc.

Our little guy was quite a fighter; he pulled his IV out twice and was being fed with the tube feedings through his nose, and he yanked that tube out a record six times! Weston was moved down to the step-down unit after only two days. He was put under the bililights for about 2 1/2 days, which was hard because our contact with him needed to be limited so the jaundice could be healed.

After only 11 days in the NICU, we were given the go ahead to take him home. We took him home Friday, March 23rd, and he weighed 4 lbs, 14 oz. He was beginning to gain weight nicely. It was the happiest and scariest day of my life when we left the NICU, we had had such a great support system that it was a little frightening, but we were so happy to have our little peanut home with us!

Weston is now a very happy and healthy 4 month old weighing 12 lbs, 1 oz and 24.5" long!!

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