In honor of the month of November, which is the month of awareness of premature babies, I decided to tell about my private premature baby and his birth.
The pregnancy with a fan was a bit challenging: injections of Claxan every morning. I felt unwell until about week 18. Later, gestational diabetes developed. And of course Matan, who was 3 years old at the time, demanded his.
But everything was small. This was my fourth pregnancy. All from IVF treatments. The first two pregnancies ended on their own in week 8/9 and the third pregnancy gave me Matan. So I treated the challenges as a gift.
The birth story begins a few days before.
Saturday 16.1.16 Danny and I celebrated 7 years of marriage and I was at the end of the 29th week of pregnancy. We decided to go out as a family for the weekend at the kibbutz. I tried not to exert myself too much, but I was still more active than usual.
When we returned home at midnight, I felt less fetal movements as well as a stabbing pain that came and went in my lower right abdomen. I decided to go to sleep and see if it would go away in the morning.
17.1.16. Beginning of week 30. The pain has not gone away. I consulted a nurse at the call center and she referred me to the maternity ward. I was taken seriously. They did an ultrasound monitor and everything looks normal. I also felt more fetal movements. After two hours I was released home. I left the hospital feeling good. I went shopping and managed to get home, cook something and also take a nap.
At about 3 in the afternoon I woke up. I went to the bathroom. I started to pee but it didn't finish. I felt more and more coming out. I realized something was wrong. I looked down and everything was red. A stream of red and fresh blood continued to flow out of me non-stop.
First thought: how do I get up without dirtying the whole environment. Second thought: I need to get back to the hospital as soon as possible. Third thought: in about two hours someone has to take Matan from kindergarten. And today it won't be me.
I quickly called Danny who immediately canceled a work meeting and returned home. We ordered a taxi and went to the hospital. All the way I hoped I hadn't lost the fetus.
We arrived at a hospital. When I entered the maternity ward, all the staff immediately approached me and started treating me. I no longer remember what the exact order of things was. They laid me on a bed. They gave me the first celeston injection (to ripen the lungs of the fetus). Open a vein. Ultrasound to see if the fetus even has a pulse. There was a pulse.
The diagnosis: placental abruption. The doctors explained to me that they hoped the bleeding would stop and then they would admit me to the high-risk pregnancy ward until the birth. Explain that the Celestone does not start working immediately. You have to get a second dose 24 hours after the first and then wait another 24 hours for its effect. They asked if I would agree to receive a magnesium infusion and explained that it helps protect the nervous system of premature babies. I agreed to receive. They moved me to the delivery room, hooked me up to a monitor and I lay down and waited.
At about 8 in the evening, a doctor came in who said that the fetus had slow heartbeats, he was probably in distress. The doctor wanted to consult with another senior doctor and there is a chance that I will be operated on. I was hoping that the senior doctor would say that I could wait a little longer. At least until the celeston starts to take effect. But within a few minutes the doctor came in and announced that I was going into surgery as soon as possible.
At 20:19 a fan was already outside. 1.130 kg. Apgar 2. He was resuscitated in the operating room, as soon as he came out. Connected to the ventilator.
And so began a journey of 60 days in prematurity. Ohad was ventilated for 6 days and almost all of his stay in the preterm needed respiratory support of some kind. Two days after he was born, his left lung collapsed. At 12 at night a doctor from the preterm came to update me and the next day I realized that he was in a lot of pain and they were giving him morphine. Twice during term he was suspected of having NEC. Thank God he had not. He received 3 doses of blood. 2 foci of brain hemorrhage grade 1 (the lowest grade and usually it has no effect) and hyperinfusion of the brain. 3 times he was expected to be released and 3 times in the morning they called and said there was something at night and they still are not released. For the fourth time he was released.
After we were released from the prematurity there were a lot of queues. Monitoring weight dense in a drop of milk, sometimes twice a week. Follow-up at the premature clinic in the hospital and later in child development. Follow-up by a gastro doctor. Dietician.
Last year, when he was one year old, he caught a cold twice and got into trouble with the cold until I took him out of kindergarten for the winter months. In the spring he returned to the garden and has been blooming ever since.
Today he is a small and playful toddler.
Started walking completely in a year and 3 months corrected (chronological year and 5). We were released from physical therapy. He started talking not long ago and in the diagnosis of a speech therapist it was said that he does not need treatment at all.
Still being monitored by a gastroenterologist and dietician due to low weight.
And waiting to see if further down the road miscarriages will affect him.
Being parents of children is a big and challenging journey. Being the parents of a premature baby is an even more challenging journey. It does start with prematurity, but it doesn't end there. It continues long after.
I'm attaching a photo from the first time I saw Ohad as a premature baby and a photo from a week ago when Ohad was Shabbat's father in kindergarten. Who wouldn't be ready to receive the bouquet of flowers from such a sweet hero?