Throughout this whole pregnancy I’ve just always had a feeling that he’d be arriving a bit early. And I guess I was right.
Because of an Irritable Uterus condition, my Braxton Hicks contractions were already very frequent (more than 4 times per hour) since 20 weeks. Whatever I did, my abdomen would just tense up for no reason even when just sitting or lying down. An irritable uterus has no known cause and is a risk factor for premature birth. I’ve also been carrying low this entire pregnancy, and baby boy turned head down at 30 weeks and kept moving lower and lower from then on.
At 33 weeks I felt pain with the contractions in the morning that wouldn’t stop so we went to the hospital to check it out. All tests came out clear and obstetrician said I at least wouldn’t give birth prematurely within the next 2 weeks, but that they’d monitor me more closely. I just prayed that I’d make it to 37 weeks at the very least.
Then 2 weeks later at 35 weeks (a sunday morning) I woke up early, felt ready for a morning stroll, until I noticed bright red blood after going to the bathroom. Went straight to the hospital, had a lot of tests done that confirmed I was in labor – baby boy was engaged in the pelvis, completely effaced cervix, my membranes had already ruptured since there was less fluid in the amniotic sac shown on ultrasound, though it must’ve trickled away because I never felt any gush, I kept getting more bloody show, frequent stronger contractions, and by noon I was 3cm dilated.
Labour was a tough one as I’ve always wanted a natural birth without any pain medication. I handled the contractions quite well, until I was in transition (9-10 cm dilated) where it got extremely painful and exhausting, but I kept going and refused any pain relief. At that time our baby’s heart rate was dropping and wouldn’t go back up, so I had to have an episiotomy and they ended up delivering him with forceps. They had to give him some oxygen for 30 seconds or so, but then he was breathing fine on his own. He weighed 2.505kg, 46 cm long, Apgar scores 9/9. I was very surprised, and relieved, of his weight and size as I never thought he’d weigh that much (I had a smaller than average bump throughout the whole pregnancy).
Loki was admitted. to the special care nursery shortly afterwards, and stayed there for 2 weeks. He was doing well at the hospital, stayed in the incubator for a few days, showed minor issues like jaundice and feeding difficulties. His feeding tube was removed after a week and a half when he had more energy to suckle enough from bottle/breast. He’s now 2 weeks old and recently brought home, but still has some issues with bottle and breast feeding since he tends to get a lot of wind and reflux afterwards. Otherwise he is doing great.
Even though he’s a late premmie, it’s definitely still a tough experience and as parents we’re always worried that something will happen to him since all premature babies tend to have higher health problem risks. I’m just so glad and relieved that he wasn’t born any earlier than 35 weeks since that would’ve probably involved more issues. We now hope he will grow up happy and healthy in the future!