November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and November 17 is World Prematurity Day. In honor of that, I want to share a little more of James’ story with you. My hope is that James’ story can have a positive impact on someone else. Perhaps it will give someone hope in their preemie’s journey, or help them to recognize risk factors in their own pregnancy. I know he has a purpose, and maybe by sharing his story we can start to recognize it.
We found out I was pregnant with James on Friday, April 2, 2010 (Good Friday). I remember I wanted my husband to make me a margarita that night. I was a couple of weeks late and thought I should do a pregnancy test first, just incase. I was stunned to see a positive test result and did another test right away. We were speechless. The next morning I did a third pregnancy test, and was still shocked at the positive result. We had the pregnancy confirmed at the doctor’s office on Monday, April 12. My doctor mentioned a higher risk of complications because of my age (38), but assured me everything should be fine, as she was 37 with the birth of her first child. We were beyond thrilled. We had been waiting for James for 6 1/2 years.
On Friday, April 16th we experienced our first complication. I had some spotting and unusual discharge that day and saw the doctor in the afternoon. We heard the heartbeat for the first time (amazing!) and she put me on a progesterone supplement and did some blood work. They called the next week and said my progesterone level was very low and I should continue taking the supplements. That was likely the cause of the spotting.
A couple of weeks later we made our first visit to the ER. I was certain I was having a miscarriage and cried all the way to the hospital. After what seemed like an eternity, they did an ultrasound. There were tears of joy as I heard that tiny heartbeat again. We met Dr. Dew that Saturday morning. She was the OB resident on duty. I was so thankful for her kindness, especially since we would see her again in the ER, and she would ultimately assist with James’ delivery.
Over the next couple months I continued to have a lot of spotting, which resulted in some bed rest, another visit to the ER, several extra appointments with my doctor, and several appointments with a specialist. About 5 weeks before James was born I saw the specialist for the last time. He declared me “too healthy” to see him anymore. I enjoyed my pregnancy during those next five weeks. There were no complications, no morning sickness, nothing unusual was happening. I started talking with my doctor about my birth plan (which was supposed to be natural), and getting ready for our baby boy. My one frustration during that time was bladder control. I was having small amounts of leakage, but was told that was common with a tilted uterus, and I thought nothing more of it until July 28th.