Jermaine’s Story – Born at 30 weeks gestation


Throughout my pregnancy I had been deemed high risk as I had a previous preemie baby due to prom at 32 weeks, and successful treatment for cervical cancer prior to this also. During the first few weeks of pregnancy I suffered terrible morning sickness but knew this would soon fade, at six weeks I was at work when I had a large bleed in the bathroom, I knew something was wrong and rushed to the emergency department suffering from severe abdominal pain, I thought this was it, I had definitely miscarried especially after the amount of blood I had lost. On arrival I was examined by the OB registrar whom confirmed I had a miscarriage, another ER doctor performed an ultrasound but was unable to determine if the MC had been complete as the only machine available at this time was the portable one. I was advised to have a D&C but refused the doctors decided due to my pain I would stay overnight for monitoring and book an ultrasound through the specialist obstetric unit to ensure I had a complete MC, I didn’t sleep all night, at 7:30am the wards men came and got me, no wheelchair I needed to walk, I pushed through the pain although I’m sure mostly it was emotional pain and arrived for my ultrasound, during the examination the doctor and middy came in to advise me the baby was doing well and had a strong heartbeat, I was in shock as I had been informed I had a miscarriage only hours earlier, but on further discussion I was advised my baby had a twin and now only the sac remained for this twin, there was also a fairly large sub chronic hematoma located next to the surviving twin and I would need to be monitored closely my due date was now confirmed as the 26th February 2011.

I left the ER on strict bed rest and after 2 weeks returned to work. At 14 weeks I had another large bleed at work and again attended the ER where I was examined and everything was fine. I was discharged on bed rest and spent another 2 weeks at home. At 18 weeks I awoke in excruciating pain, I was unable to breathe let alone move, my husband called an ambulance; I didn’t even blink when the cannula was inserted in my hand and arm, and I was taken to hospital and examined by numerous specialists – surgical, obstetrics, gyno and gastro. After a number of tests they concluded it was due to the placental attachment and the placenta had torn a little causing further bleeding, by day 4 the pain was easing but unfortunately I had contracted a gastro tummy bug and was kept for a further 10 days, I was discharged at home on bed rest again for a further 2 weeks.

I returned to work and at 24/25 weeks on Monday I noticed I was wet as if I was leaking pee, I tried to ignore this for a couple of days as I was sick of the hospital and had my normal doctor’s appointment on Thursday. My doctor’s appointment came, and I was once again admitted as they thought my waters were leaking, after two nights I was discharged and put back on bed rest. I returned home on Sunday but decided to go to work on Monday; I was in denial and sick and tired of all the comments regarding my health and pregnancy. I felt like such a burden on everyone. I continued to feel wet/damp for a number of weeks but felt fine other than a tender stomach thought to be uterus stretching, I mentioned this a few times at the doctors clinic and was kept regularly monitored.

On Monday 13th December I was 29 weeks +1day, I was so busy at work as I had commenced team leading, I barely had a chance to have a break all day, I remember feeling very damp and thought I may have peed myself as I hadn’t had a chance to go to the toilet all day. At 4:30pm I was feeling quite unwell and decided I better finally go to the bathroom as soon as I did I noticed my pants were soaked and within seconds had a large gush of water come down onto my legs, I was in tears as I knew this was it, I called my husband and attended the birthing and delivery suite, on admission I was checked by doctors where I was contracting every 3 minutes, although other than small back pain I was not really feeling anything. I was given an injection of steroids and informed another dose would be administered in 24 hours; I was also give Nifedipine to help stop the contractions, which for the first 2 days helped reduce the intensity but after that they returned to their best every 3 minutes.

The doctors monitored me closely but I was not dilating and decided if the baby was happy they would let me go as long as possible, I was a mess, I cried and became angry. How could they leave me like this I was in pain, but they were looking out for the baby as every day counted. I begged to go home but they refused understandably so. I refused pain medication as I am allergic too most and knew any side effects for myself would place me in a worse outcome; they opted to give me regular sleeping tablets.

By day 7 the 20th of December 2010, I was exhausted although the pain was a normal activity by now. On the morning round, the doctors looked at me and decided it was time to take the baby out, I was 30 +1 weeks, I had a fever and could barely move the baby’s heart rate was now in the low 200’s and they thought I was developing chorioamnionitis. I was rushed to the operating suite, where the team was waiting for me, the anaesthetist was waiting and decided it was better I receive an epidural, after 3 attempts my heart rate dropped and remember feeling so dizzy, I was then placed on my back, people were screaming “who’s checking the baby’s heart rate” “give her a general” as they were getting the general ready the doctor informed me they could not find the baby’s heart rate and needed to act now, the head anaesthetist said the epidural would work in minutes just to wait, the team getting the general ready had dropped the tray on the floor, and next thing I knew two nurses were holding my legs still as the doctor started cutting, within mm’s the epi took full effect, my husband was brought in and the journey began. My son was born screaming at 4:00pm weighing 1445 grams, & measuring 37.5cms; he soon developed RDS and was placed on CPAP pressure only. He was cannulised and received all nutrition via lines at this point.

By day 2 my lovely boy Jermaine was doing so well, he was given his first tube feed and thrived, by day 3 he was off cpap and managing quite well in room air. He developed jaundice twice requiring photo therapy treatment of 24 hours on each occasion. By 35 weeks we were told if we roomed in a night and he fed well all night we could take him home. It was the 25th January 2011 my son was discharged and has not looked back since he is now 16 weeks old or 6 weeks corrected, he suffers mild reflux and anaemia due to prematurity. We are looking forward to a very happy & healthy future!

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