Okay here is my story. First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Carmen, I am 29, married almost 7 years, and proud mom to Caleb my ex 24 weeker. I live in Ontaro Canada.
My preemie journey began with me. I was a 28 weeker who was small for gestation, I weighed 1 lbs 10 oz. When I was born the Doctor`s told my parents that I was DEAD. My mom was sedated and my father got a priest to bless my body. As the priest blessed me, he heard a cry, he unwrapped my body and found me ALIVE. I was helicoptered to a level 3 NICU, spent 3 months (mainly just gaining weight- you had to be 5lbs to go home) and then came home. I needed no ventelation, no CPAP… not much of anything. The doctors said that I would be “retarded” not walk, talk…, but I did. I am fine. A university of Toronto Grad, wife and mom to a preemie of my own.
I got pregnant for the first time in my 26th year. We were so happy. Then I started bleeding. I was put on meds and bedrest. I stopped bleeding, was able to move a bit, had a 19 week ultrasound and all was well. A week later I delivered my baby girl who I named Grace, she died on delivery, I got to hold her and say goodbye. I buried her on my 27th birthday. The doctor`s could not explain why.
After months of crying I returned to work. (I worked as a behavioural Therapist for children with autism) I was accepting Grace`s death, and beginning to feel okay. Then I got pregnant again. I was happy, but terrified. I was sent to a specialist and classified as high risk. The doctor said everything was fine. I continued to work for the first couple months of my pregnancy. Then I started to bleed at work one day. I went to my doctor. He diagnosed me with incompetent cervix. He said that it was hard to detect (as I was funelling) and that a regular ultrasound tech would have missed this. I was given a cerclage/stich and put on bedrest with weekly check ups. I was about 15 weeks pregnant. A few weeks later at my check-up the doctor said that the stich was not holding, I was sent directly to the hospital and so they put another one in. This held until almost 23 weeks. I started panicking- I could not loose another baby, I was in labour and terrified. I was told that there was nothing more that could be done, I was given meds to try and stop my labour, but they were not working, I started leaking amniotic fluid. I demanded celestone (to make surfactant for the baby`s lungs) but was told that it was too early, if the baby came now it would be non-viable, I was freaking out and asked to be transfered to a hospital with a level 3 NICU and given the celestone anyways. As I got in the helicopter to be transfered my labour stopped. Caleb held on for 7 more days and was born at 24 weeks one day (if you count the day starting at midnight). He was born at 5:19 am weighing 518 grams (1lbs 2oz).His outlook was not good, he does not have a good chance at survival I was told. I was even encouraged not to recussitate , but I insisted and he made it. 116 days in the NICU, High Frequency Jet, Oscilator and Ventalator for 2 months, then CPAP and low flow. Sepsis, psdomonus,collapsed lung… he is now 2 and walking, talking a bit..doing well. He has severe chronic lung disease, wears glasses, and is the greatest joy I have ever known, he has all the common issues of prematurity (unlike me) but he is our little fighter, and we know he will be okay, after all we believe in miracles.