Parenting’s Preemie Stories
Premature birth touches more than 11% of American families, including some of our very own at Parenting. Here we share the personal stories of how our kids entered the world, a little earlier than expected.
Sasha Emmons, Contributing Editor
I was at work when I noticed some bleeding. Alarmed, I went straight to my OB’s office where they discovered I was 2cm dilated and having mild contractions. They sent me straight to the hospital. I was 25 weeks pregnant.
It turns out I have an incompetent cervix, a phrase that still makes me giggle. Nifedipine calmed the contractions and steroid shots in my legs sped up the baby’s lung development. After a few days in the hospital, I was sent home to ride out the rest of my pregnancy on bedrest, with the goal to make it to 34 weeks with the help of progesterone supplements, a promising experimental treatment for preterm labor. My mother-in-law moved in to our tiny apartment to help take care of my 4-year-old daughter, I was able to work from home, and we made it work. But emotionally it was awful to be a shut-in with nothing but my constant worries to be keep me company.
At 33 weeks, my water broke. I didn’t feel ready to have a baby but was glad I’d almost made it to (relatively) safe zone. They decided to keep me in the hospital until 34 weeks, and then induce. Julian was born July 4, 2009, and to my great relief he cried right away (I had been told he might not). At 5 lbs, 6 ozs, he was huge for his gestational age. He spent a week in the NICU, and was behind in his milestones the first year. But now he’s a huge, healthy and totally normal 3-year-old. You’d never know he was a preemie.