“Our rainbow baby became our miracle baby. Last summer, my husband and I suffered two miscarriages back to back. We have a two-year-old together so we were hopeful I could get pregnant again.
In August 2019, we saw the magic pink lines yet again… and were holding our breath for the first few weeks. On September 27th, at 8 weeks pregnant, my health took a turn for the worse. I went to urgent care with what I thought was strep throat, only to find out I had a tonsillar abscess. After failing three days of outpatient antibiotics, I was sent to the ER where they attempted to drain my tonsil. After no success, they admitted me to the hospital for IV antibiotics and fluids. Three days later, things seemed to be better, so I was sent home. After 24 hours, I was readmitted with shortness of breath and high heart rates. At 8 weeks, I was sent into the CT scanner to rule out a blood clot in my lung. It was incredibly scary to go into a CT scan knowing the risk to my 8-week-old fetus.
All my tests came back normal, but my heart rate remained 150-180 with no explanation. After 4 days of hospitalization, I was sent home on Lopressor, a heart rate medication. I couldn’t walk around my house without shortness of breath and a racing heart. My parents and in-laws had to come everyday to take care of me and my two-year old. Things like walking up the stairs would take minutes for me to do. I was confused, and the doctors had no explanation. Cardiologists said it was the pregnancy, OB said it wasn’t, and my PCP didn’t know what to say. There was no diagnosis. I had to quit my job as a nurse in the ICU, and was essentially couch bound from October to December. Once I had my medication regimen on board, I was able to find a new sense of normal, very different from my 26-year-old baseline of working out, being a nurse, and caring for my family.
Because of the Lopressor, our rainbow baby had the risk of having low birth weight. I saw a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist for continuous ultrasounds to monitor her growth. At 27 weeks, we were cleared from MFM because she looked great! My husband and I sat down with our OB and came up with a plan for induction at 39 weeks. Little did we know, this induction would save our miracle girl.
At 39 weeks to the day, we went to the hospital to start induction. I was hooked up to the monitors, and the nurses came in to tell me my girl looked ‘sleepy’ and wasn’t responding the way they wanted. What I didn’t know at the time was this meant she was failing her non-stress tests. I knew something was wrong when a doctor, not my normal midwife, came in.
They ran test after test, and she would pass just enough to continue induction. I was started on Pitocin to be able to complete a contraction stress test. Our miracle girl wasn’t having any decelerations in her heart rate but also wasn’t having any expected accelerations. The doctor said she was walking the line of being comfortable continuing induction or delivering via c-section. She was contacting physicians in Boston to see what to do.
After about 8 hours, my contractions were getting intense, so I got my epidural placed. The midwife came in and broke my water. I was progressing slowly. The doctor came in and the baby wasn’t responding, and we needed to move forward with a c-section. I kept telling them my contractions were getting worse. They wheeled me into the OR and got everything set up for my c-section.
My midwife decided to check my progress once more before the cut, and I was 10 cm. Three pushes later, our miracle girl was born on the OR table. When she was born, everyone in the room gasped when they saw the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck four times. The midwife quickly pulled the cord off, and our girl cried. The most beautiful sound in the world. Our doctors said that if we didn’t schedule an induction, she would not have made it to 40 weeks due to the cord being so tight around her neck. She could have died from lack of oxygen.
Nora Claire was born at 5 lbs and 10 oz, small for gestational age. Because of her size, her blood sugars were dangerously low, requiring glucose gel and supplementation with donor milk. I will be forever grateful for the hospital being able to provide donor milk for my girl.
After only 2 days, we brought our rainbow miracle girl home from the hospital, and today she is thriving! She overcame maternal illness, multiple tests, a scary delivery, and an unexpected low birth weight. When I hold my baby girl, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that she is here safe, and that I get to be her mom.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Payeur. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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