I was admitted at 31 weeks 4 days and I was put in a room on the delivery floor. Heard all kinds of things going on there! It was really scary hearing other women in labor. Turns out that I was having contractions 4 minutes apart and my BPs were through the roof, scary higher than what they had been at the OB's office. Different medical doctors were coming into my room talking to me about "the plan" to get me to 32 weeks. I received the first of two steroid injections, the magnesium drip, had the fetal heart monitor on, and gave me oxygen. It was just all happening so fast and it was hard to keep up with it all. There was talk about the amenities that I might enjoy if I was feeling up to it. Let's just say that I didn't feel like scrapbooking nor socializing.
I had the second steroid shot the next day, took them both in the left arm. If I was going to be laying in bed, I figured I didn't want my butt to be sore. Plus, I needed my right arm to wipe and feel clean! It's weird how you become comfortable with disconnecting lines and monitors to use the restroom. Three days later, I made it to 32 weeks. I was moved to a different floor and "the plan" was changing again. My BPs were not coming down and they were going higher. I was going to be monitored and told that if they didn't come down, then the only way to get me better was to deliver the baby. It was so hard to hear those words. The team always repeated "mom first, baby second." I wanted it to be the other way around. Now it's Sunday and there was a knock on my door. It was Dr. E. I'm ashamed that I wasn't familiar with his reputation. I would later learn that I had one of the world's best doctors caring for me. Many high-risk women (carrying multiples) throughout the country seek him out in order in hopes to carry their babies to viable and longer gestations. He introduced himself to me, was very professional, very serious. He was taking over my case and was going to be on call until the next morning. He'd be delivering my baby if anything changed. Later on that evening, things did change and fast!
My BPs were higher and more test results showed that my kidneys were shutting down. I had one last ultrasound to determine the position of our son. If he was head down, I was getting the option to try and deliver him myself. Otherwise, I'd be taken immediately to the operating room. He was head down and I was allowed to stay pregnant for another 10 hours. After pitocin, we waited and so many thoughts ran through my mind. It didn't seem real. I was supposed to be delivering in mid-January, not November! It was out of my hands. I was so scared that I thought about running out of the room! I didn't want to go through this, not this way. I was thinking crazy thoughts and then laughed because I couldn't even get out of bed by myself at that point. Then, the fetal heart monitor went off and a team was in my room. I hadn't made much progress and my son's heart was decelerating! We needed to deliver him. Got the epidural and the surgery had started. The anesthesiologist asked if anyone was with me and I told him my husband was back in the room. He ran to go get him. I looked over and saw a small team of doctors by an empty isolette just waiting. They were patiently waiting for my baby. My baby . . . At this point, the radio had been turned on and it was "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys. Not kidding! Then, it was "Your Song" by Elton John and I heard the best sounds of my life! They showed him to me briefly and quickly took him to the NICU.
Having watched too many switched at birth Lifetime movies, I told my husband to follow them. I mean, that was better than watching your wife being sewn up, right? We went to recovery and that's when I got some of our son's stats. He weighed 3 lbs. 2.8 oz. He was breathing room air! Those shots were doing their job and we held on to this good news. After a few hours in recovery, we were wheeled as close to his isolette as we could get. I could barely lift my head to really see him. I never got to hold him on his birthday. I was discharged two days later. The night I was going home, my husband and I visited him together for the first time as his parents. It was a special moment that was interrupted by NICU interview and tons of info that I wasn't ready to hear. I was still processing what had just happened, wondering how I'd get to the hospital to visit him, learning how to pump, and every plan that I had made prior had just gone out the door! I didn't know what to expect, but in the coming weeks we'd learn a lot about the NICU and transfusions and other preemie-related information. The next day was Thanksgiving. We spent it at the hospital and ate our holiday meal there. We were as together as we could be, but we were now a family.
Our son, Donovyn, was healthy enough to come home 3 weeks later. Our little turkey came home at 4 pounds 10 oz. right in time for the holidays. It was a very special Christmas for us and we know that we are very lucky! He will be turning 10 this weekend! It's crazy to think how much time has gone by. He's a wonderful kid! He has overcome so many things. He has a stutter and we have an IEP for ST. He has always been on the thin side, so we keep pushing protein. He is an excellent role model for his younger brother who was also born premature. Tristyn was born at 34 weeks with a careful plan in place. Tristyn is now 8 and was diagnosed with autism four years ago. A full week for us is anywhere between 9-11 in-clinic therapies. They are all helping though and he too is doing amazing things! D and T have a younger brother, Naethyn, who was delivered sleeping at 30 weeks. He was to complete our family. Our angel brought us all very close together and is still working his magic in so many ways. I am very blessed to be a mom to all of them. We walk each year to honor our kiddos and for all babies who are born too soon. We make a difference with each step we take.
NICU pics of Donovyn, Kangaroo Care, transfusions, and his homecoming
Donovyn and Tristyn in next year's Halloween costumes with their baby brother in the background.
Happy 10th Birthday to Donovyn! Love all of these great pictures of your boys!
Happy Birthday to Donovyn!! And If I am not wrong Happy Belated Birthday to you too, I hope you had a wonderful Birthday! Look at that cute blond little head! Hahaha you made me laugh with the switched at birth comment (Ah yes I also watched that one on Netflix) What incredible stories of courage, love, fear, sadness all we can tell here, but lets that theme go for another entry, so just wishing you and Donovyn the best Birthday ever, full of blessings and happiness each day of this new year,
Ah yes and I loved the pics, thanks for sharing them with us, and in the last pic D & T look like twins!
Happy Birthday Donovyn! So much love in your words Lindsey, for all three of your beautiful and amazing boys.
Thanks for sharing his birth story. Your boys are adorable! Look at those smiles! You have been through a lot in the last ten years. I am so impressed with how well you hold it all together. Thank goodness for awesome doctors, nurses and mommas like you to keep these babies growing and happy. Miss you friend!
Happy birthday to Donovyn and thank you for sharing your story! Sounds like he is a great big brother and fighter!
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