day thirty-seven {threesixtyfive} a superbowl baby | a birth story a year later

(set-up: these are actually taped to my sliding glass door and I blew the exposure a bit and used a large aperture to blur the background and make the green in the trees pretty ;-0)

Presley Grace’s birthday is tomorrow but today is Superbowl Sunday and she was born on Superbowl Sunday so I thought this was appropriate. I wanted to share her birth story with everyone who will read-I didn’t have time to really harp on it when she was born because of the ER trips and other things that were going on at the time but I wanted to share now because I feel it is a lesson in how strong a woman’s intuition is…I truly believe if I had not stood up for what I thought she needed that she could easily have not been here today. Here goes…

My pregnancy, as with my others, was pretty flawless. I have been lucky that way but around my 35th week I could tell she wasn’t moving as much as the others had. I brought it up a few times and Dr. Petrac did a few non-stress tests which we passed. At my 35-36 week appointment they did an ultrasound to check my fluid levels since she still wasn’t moving much. Everything looked great. The tech was about to wipe my stomach down when I asked the pivotal question-can you tell me how much she weighs? Sure…she checks and then…hold on let me get the dr. My blood ran cold and I could suddenly feel every pump of my heart and blood through my body. Dr. Petrac came in and measured also – turns out she was measuring 4 lbs 6 ozs.-according to the dr. her weight should have been around 6 lbs at this point. She could see no other issues so maybe the machine was off or maybe she was just a small baby. She was concerned enough to make me an appointment for a higher level ultrasound-problem is, they couldn’t see me for a week?! Really? I made the appointment and went home with an uneasy feeling. My orders were to come back to the dr. or go to L & D if I felt her stop moving…STOP MOVING?! Really? That just didn’t sit well with me. I have read the books, watched the shows, heard the stories of term still births and I simply was not going to wait for that. I was doing kick counts like crazy and driving my self into insanity. On Saturday, February 6, late I made Jon take me to L & D-I was doing everything I could do make myself have contractions, go into labor and sure enough I was having regular contractions. Yes I knew it was early to have her but I also knew if we could get her out we would be able to help her if she needed it. I was in uncharted territory here-all the rest had been completely healthy.

We get to the hospital and the nurse assigned to us had seen us before-I had been up there one other time for decreased fetal movement. His name was Sam and he had a ponytail and I could tell my husband wasn’t thrilled he was a man but he was amazing (and Jon will tell you that now)! I explained to him what was going on and he became my advocate. He spoke with my doctor and basically everyone agreed that if another u/s showed her being that small then she was coming out. I was already having contractions and so they would just “induce me” with a little extra help. The u/s tech got there in the early hours of February 7th and her measurements were right on track with the drs. the day before. So I was started on pitocin and we would soon see our little girl…well not that soon-I have the longest labors in the world!

I was started on Pitocin and labored until about lunch-I was only 4 cm still so they broke my water and then the real pain began. Not only had they broken my water but that pitcoin was still all jacked up. I swear, I will not let them do this next time-they did it with Grey and Presley, and I was trying to do a natural birth with both-Greyson’s birth story ended almost identically to Presley’s. So from early afternoon and through the Superbowl I was in serious, crazy, “I didn’t know pain like this existed” pain and finally I asked for an epidural (I was only 6 cm) and about 30 freakin minutes later the anesthesiologist finally got there. He wanted to hang out and kept stealing glances of the final moments of the game as he stuck a needle into my back. At this point I didn’t care-all I wanted was sweet relief.  I got my epidural and they laid me back down-although it wasn’t in full effect yet (as it had been with my others) it had taken the edge off and all of the sudden, less than 10 minutes after the epidural, I knew she was coming. I am pretty sure no one believed me as I had just been 6 cm (but this happened with Grey too-had him 13 minutes after my epidural and I was only 6-7 when I received it) but I felt it. A nurse checked and said I was ready to go and she was coming! Dr. Petrac was next door delivering another baby and they told me to just hold on-yeah right! She got there in the nick of time. Baby Presley was born at 9:22 pm weighing a mere 4 lbs. 15 ozs. at 36 weeks and 2 days. As I delivered her they wanted me to look down to see her and I was so scared-scared there was something wrong but she was healthy-she even had an apgar score of 9 despite her early arrival and small size.

She was so small because her umbilical cord was tiny-I saw my other two babies and they were nothing like Presley’s. She hadn’t been getting enough nutrients to grow and had stopped growing (she had been the same weight at an ultrasound almost 3 weeks earlier). To this day I truly believe that if she had gone full term there would have been an issue but I wasn’t going to wait until she “stop moving” to do something-my gut told me to get her out and that is just what I did!

That wasn’t our last scare with baby Presley, though. Between the anxiety at her birth and then the sweet relief that she was okay and the her other issues I was a basketcase. After you have a baby is one of the most vulnerable (yet still terribly empowering) states to me and when all these other things began to unfold it was so much. It was a very helpless feeling-I don’t think I have ever felt that way and for that long and then it continued…

Her PKU tests came back abnormal for a few weeks indicating that she would have to be on a special PKU diet (me as well, if I was to keep breastfeeding) which could have repercussions spanning mental and physical development. We finally got a normal reading several weeks after she was born and several painful blood tests later.

That still wasn’t it, though. I know this may sound ridiculous but all my babies had been around 7 lbs and were born when it was warm or relatively warm. Last February was freezing and Presley had literally zero body fat. It may sound like common sense to most but no one told us that we needed to be extra vigilant about her body temperature. A few days after we brought her home we had to rush her to the ER because her body temperature was 95 degrees and she was lethargic and not eating. We were told to put in front of the fireplace with two long sleeved, footed onesies, as well as another outfit and two pairs of socks and two hats. That still wasn’t enough-she continued to struggle and at one point we took her to the children’s ER at Sacred Heart in Pensacola in the middle of the night. They wanted to do a spinal tap on her! Mama said no because I knew she didn’t need that. Finally after about 2-3 weeks she got normal blood tests and was eating and gaining weight and all was well and healthy but she definitely gave us a scare more than once. My baby will be 1 tomorrow and I am so thankful to God that she is happy and healthy!

We didn’t do her pictures until she was 2 weeks old because of all the craziness but here are a few of my favorites…

And, of course, here she is now!

One more that I thought of later in the day…it was darker outside and it was hard to see the back page so I had to darken it…

  • Melissa M. - February 5, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    Happy birthday to your beautiful girl!ReplyCancel

    • kansas - February 5, 2011 - 5:53 pm

      Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • laura - February 5, 2011 - 6:12 pm

    Cute baby. Glad all is well now. By the way, I am from Pensacola. I was in Sacred Heart for several months when I was little.ReplyCancel

  • Granny Carol - February 5, 2011 - 8:17 pm

    What precious 1 year photos! Give my great granddaughter a birthday hug and kiss for me.ReplyCancel

  • Julie - February 7, 2011 - 8:39 am

    What a blessing and wonderful story of grace! Happy Birthday to a precious girl!
    I especially love the first birthday pic in the red hat! And I adore the baby feet!ReplyCancel

  • […] advocate & really held our hands through my entire labor and delivery (full birth story here: http://photogingmama.com/day-thirty-seven-threesixtyfive-a-superbowl-baby-a-birth-story-a-year-later ), check Miss Presley Grace out shortly after birth-the room was dark and quiet and there laid my […]ReplyCancel

  • […] I was not alarmed-I honestly, in my naive mind, had no idea something could be wrong. In the next few days I noticed she wasn’t moving as much and then I got scared. Went to labor and delivery multiple times. They sent me home  saying, if you feel her stop moving just come back. Ding ding ding!!! Hell no! I practically forced them to induce me at 35 weeks 6 days. There was a reason she was small and we didn’t know why but she wasn’t growing. In my mind, her staying in there was leaving it up to chance. The thought of a stillbirth raced through my mind. I parked myself in L&D and was examined by the most fabulous nurse I have ever met, Sam. He seemingly became my advocate-I think he could see in my eyes I was not taking no for an answer. I was finding ways to give myself contractions. Finally a Level II u/s was ordered and they agreed that she wasn’t much more than 4 lbs 6 ozs.  And so I was staying-16 hours later she was born-9 on the Apgar and screaming out of the womb. I was literally scared to look down when she came out, fearing the worst. The pediatrician and others were there in case she needed breathing assistance and in case something was wrong. Her birth story is HERE. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] 15 ozs teeny tiny baby girl so she has come a long way (if you are the type who likes birth stories here it […]ReplyCancel

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