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Below are the 3 most recent journal entries recorded in nicu_parents' LiveJournal:

Monday, September 11th, 2006
10:19 am
New member
Hi, I'm a new mom, my Jack was born las week, on September 2, 2006, at 27 weeks. I had undiagnosed preeclampsia that blossomed into eclampsia last weekend. All Friday night I vomited, unable to keep down even water. By Saturday morning, I called the doctor to meet her at the hospital where she was doing rounds. I started going blind between the time I talked to the doctor and when my mom came to pick me up. We got to the hospital and I was completely blind, and I went into seizures. Luckily they stabilized me in time, so that I was able to be there mentally for the birth of my son. He weighs 2 pounds, 3.55 oz, and is doing really well. They've discovered him to have a pda, but medicine is helping to close the hole. Unfortunately, there's not really an end in sight for being able to take him home -- they're looking at somewhere around his due date, which was late November. But he's pretty well for how small he is -- they've already taken him off the ventilator.

I guess that's all for now... sorry for the babbling!
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
11:01 pm
Hi! My name is Jerilyn, and it looks like too many people haven't posted here lately, but I'll try to liven up the party. :) My daughter was born via emergency c-section 2 years ago, and she had meconium aspiration, sepsis and respiratory distress syndrome. I was a crazy NICU mom and never left the entire 2 weeks she was there, otherwise she probably would've been there for month. (Trust me, I know, I worked in the NICU where she was. ;)) But she is a healthy little two year old now. :) I'm in nursing school, and am actually going to go work in the NICU after I'm finished. Those little babes touch my heart.
God bless to you all!
Monday, January 30th, 2006
7:41 am
False alarm...but wheels are spinning...
Two days before I had Cooper, I was 33weeks and 3 days pregnant, and suddenly had crampy "I'm going to get my period" feelings. I couldn't put my finger on it, and it wasn't incredibly painful, but the cramps were annoying. The next day, when I was spotting, and then the spotting turned bright red, I high-tailed it to the hospital to find out I was 4 cm dialated, 100% effaced and the baby was ready to arrive.

Earlier this weekend, I spoke with a girlfriend, who is 33 1/2 weeks pregnant, and suddenly started feeling like she was getting her period. She called her midwife, got checked, and while not dialated yet, is now on bedrest until 36 or 37 weeks as her cervix has started to shorten. I urged her to follow her bed-rest command (as difficult as it is) as I know first hand the difficulties of having a preemie, the stress involved, etc. And this coming from people who somehow got lucky on the odds and have had zero complications due to the prematurity.

So imagine my profound concern when last night, at 25 weeks 3 days I suddenly began feeling horrible menstrual-like cramps. They were unbearable, and though I would change position it would not make them go away. The baby was kicking up a storm and while my immediate thought was "must have been something I ate", the relentlessness of the cramps (and unproductive trips to the bathroom) had me fearing that again, I had started premature labor. And at not even 26 weeks, I know all too well that the outcomes are not favorable (survivable, but not always necessarily favorable).

I crawled into bed, and began watching the clock. The cramps would get more and more intense, and then drift off much like waves rolling in and out. Every half an hour they would become so painful I couldn't speak or concentrate, and my memories were flooding back to my last pregnancy. Additionally, I kept feeling like I needed to rush to the bathroom, and I know that can be another sign of early labor. I called D into the bedroom and told him my fears...which of course made him panic. He usually looks to me for the "authority" in these things, and my doubt made him very nervous.

Suddenly I ran to the bathroom, and became violently ill north and south...I was trembling with tears streaming down my face. In an odd way, I found this reassuring because this was falling more in line with my initial thoughts of food poisoning. I spent the next hour or two between dozing off in bed and running to the bathroom, finally collapsing from exhaustion. When I next opened my eyes, it was 6:20 am and Coop was waking up.

While clearly this was the result of eating a dinner that was far too rich in butter, the emotions it stirred up are still lingering. My fears of another preemie, while I try to surpress them, are real and present. My knowledge of how lucky we were with Coop makes me more nervous about another preemie, questioning how lucky we could get twice. Realizing how much harder an emergency trip to the hospital (in the middle of the night, no less) will be with a toddler freaks me out, and we are working on several different contingencies depending on time of day, day of week, etc. If only we lived in an area where we could knock on a neighbors door, but we don't.

As time goes on, and I get closer and closer to term, I know these fears will grow stronger. It is a weird feeling, knowing that every day I remain pregnant is one step closer to a healthy baby, and yet it is also one step closer to the possibility of going into preterm labor. I know that I am being monitored, and I love my OB. I know that I don't currently show any signs of being at risk (blood pressure - normal, blood sugar - normal, urine levels - normal, etc) but my history and my age make me scared all the same.
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