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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Melanie and Jamie Christian
Pregnancy Complicated with Pre-Eclampsia, Overdue, Prolonged Labour, Fetal Distress, C-Section Delivery, 11 Day NICU Stay ~ Healthy Son!

After suffering a miscarriage in March of 1997 (12 weeks along), I was devastated yet determined to become pregnant again and carry a child to term. Needless to say, I was both ecstatic and frightened when in August of 1997 I learned I was again pregnant. My fright stemmed from the possibility of having another miscarriage, which I had been assured would be of slim risk.

About 8 weeks into the pregnancy, I began having spotting, and of course feared the worst. My doctor had ordered bedrest but had also said that if I was miscarrying, unfortunately nothing could stop it. I followed his orders, convinced that a miscarriage was occurring, and became depressed. A couple of days later the spotting stopped, but I was still weary. A month passed with no more spotting, and I became hopeful that this pregnancy would be successful.

At 13 weeks, I went for my first ultrasound. Words could not express the happiness and relief I felt when I saw on the screen, a healthy life inside. From then on, the pregnancy was uneventful. I ate healthier than I ever had but managed to put on lots of weight. At 7 months along, I experienced some spotting again. At this point, I wasn't overly worried (my baby was VERY active, never letting me forget he was there!) I then had another ultrasound. Everything was fine (this is when we found out we were having a boy).

Things were fine until I was about 34 weeks. My body in general became victim to uncontrollable swelling, and I was told to take it easy for the next 6 weeks. I did, but things got worse. To make a long story short, at 37 weeks I was hospitalized for pre-eclampsia. The doctors contemplated inducing me, but within a couple of days my blood pressure went back to an "okay" level with the help of pills. I was sent home and told to stay off of my feet until the baby was born.

My due date, March 24th, came and went, braxton-hicks driving me nuts, the mucous plug had come out 3 weeks before, but no baby yet! I was very uncomfortable and impatient. On March 31st, an induction was scheduled for April 7th. That evening, my braxton-hicks became noticeably stronger but didn't amount to anything. At 6 am on April 1, I awoke with definite pains (very early labour - contractions were 20 minutes apart). By late morning, they were about 5 minutes apart. By the time I was settled in the assessment room, my contractions had almost stopped. How discouraging!

I was sent home, only to return the next day in definite labour (contractions 2 and a half minutes apart lasting about 60 seconds). This was at about noon on April 2nd (they had gotten progressively worse since the previous day - they had gradually returned since I had left the hospital). At this point I was only 2 centimeters dilated but labour was intense. I refused any medication, determined for everything to be "natural." By midnight, I had only dilated one centimeter more, but contractions were still the same (almost nonstop).

By 4 am on April 3rd, I had only reached 5 cm and doctors began to toss around ideas of pitocin or even a cesarean section. Instead, my doctor chose to break my water, and informed me that I would have the baby by 11 am. Upon breaking the water, the doctor informed me that it was meconium stained and that they would keep an eye on things. By 10 am, I was still only 5 centimeters, bleeding quite a bit, and the fetal monitor showed signs of distress. My exact words at that moment were "just give me medication and get him out." Doctors discussed options and informed me that a c-section would be done (FINALLY).

At 12:20 pm on April 3rd, 1998, Jamie Christian was born, weighing 9 lbs., 4 oz. He was whisked away without my even seeing him and was taken to the NICU. I learned he had suffered distress from the labour. His blood sugar was almost nil, and he had low blood pressure. He spent 11 long days in the NICU recovering from the trauma of the long, grueling labour. I was told by the doctor that if the c-section was done any later, my precious son would not be here today. Very chilling news. But on a happier note, Jamie was doing fine when he left the hospital, and today you would never know he had serious problems at birth. He is a very strong, healthy , 5 month old, weighing 18 lbs., 2 oz.!!!!

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