I formed Team Zamboni to walk in the March of Dimes Walk for Babies on April 25 in Everett, Washington. Most of my blog readers know his story of an early arrival. For newcomers, here it is. Please consider supporting Team Zamboni. Follow this link and click on the donate button. March of Dimes
I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia on November 9, 2007. My baby boy (nicknamed Zamboni) was not due until January 28, 2008. I was placed on bed rest at home until December 3. On that day, my tests showed that my blood pressure was getting higher and my kidneys were not keeping up, so I was admitted to the hospital for closer observation and more restrictions on getting out of bed. I am a very active, hyper person, so staying in bed was not easy for me. The only treatment for pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby, so it is a waiting game where the doctors take daily tests to determine the point where it is too dangerous to the mother to continue the pregnancy. The risks to the mother include seizures and strokes.
On December 18, 2007, I hit the critical point, and the doctors decided to induce labor. I was given the usual labor starting medication, plus magnesium sulfate to prevent a seizure. Ryan Jeffrey was born at 10:23 AM on December 19. He weighed just 4 pounds, 15 ounces. I was only allowed to hold him for a moment before he was whisked away to the NICU. Luckily, I was in a good hospital, with Children's Hospital staff in the NICU. Ryan suffered from the effects of the medication that I had to take, and had to have an intubation tube for the first 2 days. He spent a total of 2 weeks in the NICU. During this time, he was on so many machines, I didn't know how to hold him. He had to be fed by a tube through his nose, which he quickly learned to remove himself. I remember his first feeding was 1 ml of my breast milk shot up his nose! We didn't master the art of nursing until after he came home from the hospital. He had a terrific case of jaundice, and laid under those lights for several days.
Through it all, the nurses were supportive of us and gave us a two week parenting course so that we had none of the new parents at home type anxiety. Someday soon, I want to take Ryan back to the NICU and let the nurses see how he turned out. I'm sure the mothers of all premature babies would love to do this too. To show our appreciation, my family will be participating in the March of Dimes walk. Ryan will be in the stroller, he can't go 3.5 miles at once.