He was losing weight because my placenta was not giving him the nutrition he needed.
After having our oldest via C-section, I thought I was prepared and ready for everything that was about to come. We had a scheduled C-section for May 6, three days before his due date. Everything during the pregnancy was going perfect, until 33 weeks. I started having contractions around 2 PM and they started becoming more uncomfortable, and I was able to time them. When they became five minutes apart for more than an hour, we decided to head into the hospital to try to stop them. I was in there for two hours when they finally stopped. I needed two shots to stop them and a LOT of water.
Fast forward three weeks, to when I was 35 weeks and 6 days, we went for our routine ultrasound appointment to check on the growth. We got some bad news. During the ultrasound, they measured his entire body and found out that his stomach was measuring small, almost four weeks small. They also found out that the flow from my placenta to the baby through the umbilical cord was too slow, which was likely causing the delayed growth. Our doctor finally came into the room and told us what all this meant. He said that weights are estimated, but he was estimated to be five lbs at 36 weeks and that my blood pressure was high, so we were going to move up the C-section date, but that he would call me once they scheduled it to let me know.
I was terrified to say the least. Not only for the fact that it was so early, but also I was afraid my baby was in danger staying in there even a day. My biggest fear was a stillbirth. On our way home, my doctor's office called and scheduled the C-section for the following week. We had seven days to prepare my mother-in-law to fly from Pennsylvania to Georgia so she could be with my oldest son. We had seven days to get all the last minute items to bring baby home. We had seven days to mentally prepare for a small baby. I was an absolute mess. I was so excited to finally meet my baby, but had anxiety that entire week.
April 17, 2019 rolls around. It's 4 AM and we have to be at the hospital in one hour to prep for surgery. When we got there, I had to go to the prep room by myself until they got my IVs, asked all the questions, and took all the tests they needed. Then, they went to go get my fiancé. I think he was nervous, but didn't want to show it because he knew I was extremely anxious. I couldn't stop shaking; it was cold and I was tired, but just ready to meet my baby and for him to be okay.
With my first C-section, I had an epidural and I had pushed for two hours. A scheduled C-section is scarier in my opinion. I was walked into the OR, where they placed my spinal block. It was freezing, so I couldn't stop shivering. It took them a little while to finally get it in, but it worked almost immediately. I couldn't even move my legs to put them on the table when I laid down. I was waiting in the OR for them to start draping me when they finally brought my fiancé in. The look on his face was pure nervousness and I was just ready to have my baby in my arms.
They started cutting. I could feel pressure and then all of a sudden, I started freaking out. I felt like I couldn't breathe. The anesthesiologist kept assuring me that I was breathing, I just couldn't feel myself because I was numb up to my shoulders. After everything was said and done, my fiancé said he was so scared, but didn't want to tell me at the time, because two nurses were putting their entire body weight on my sternum. They were trying to get baby unstuck. He was finally born, at 7:37 AM on April 17, 2019, but I didn't hear him cry. I was terrified. My fiancé went to go see him. When he came back, he said, "Ashley, he is SO small." I didn't really understand how small he was until I held him for the first time. I was terrified.
He weighed 5lb 15oz and was 19 inches long. After they stitched me up, I went to the recovery room where I got to hold my precious baby for the very first time. We had skin to skin and breastfed effortlessly. I was surprised he was able to latch, being as small as he was, but he did. After two hours in recovery, I was wheeled to my room in the mother/baby ward. Everything was perfect, then the nurses came in and told me that his blood glucose was getting low and I needed to try to feed him again. I did, and they took his blood glucose again; it was still low. We kept trying, and then at 10 PM, it was at 25, when it was supposed to be at least 40. Not sure the units, I just knew the numbers. They suggested taking him to the NICU.
This terrified me more than anything. No one prepares you for seeing all those tiny babies that can't even breathe for themselves. We got up there and he was placed on a little table that was at an angle and had sides that came up. They made us leave while they placed his IV. He needed an IV with sugar in it to get his body to react and learn how to keep them up. He had to be on the IV for an entire 24 hours before they could even think about taking it off. So, the next evening, they told us they were going to leave it on until the morning and then they would start to decrease it little by little. When he had his IV, his levels were at 90, GREAT! They decreased it by two mLs every four hours; so by 9 PM that evening, they would take and put an IV lock on so he was still getting fluids, but not getting the sugars anymore. His levels, at the end, were at 79! I was so thankful, and that night, he was able to come back to our room. We were both getting discharged the next day! We were so excited.
The entire time he was in the NICU, I went up every two hours to feed him. Now, you would think that the NICU would be right next to the mother/baby ward. Not in this hospital. The mother/baby was on the third floor of one end, and the NICU was on the fourth floor on the OTHER end of the hospital. In two days, I walked 10,000 steps just going to feed him every two hours.
Here's where I'm going to talk about what happened and how thankful I am to my doctor for everything he did for me. So, they had diagnosed him with IntraUterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) when we went to our last appointment because of how small he was measuring. After he was born, they said my placenta stopped working so much that he actually lost weight in utero. They said he probably weighed up to a pound more at one point, and since his nutrition source stopped working, he was basically starving. I LOST IT! Every time I saw my OB after that, I couldn't help but thank him. I had to thank him for saving my son's life, because I believe if he would not have gotten him out when he did, I would not have my son right now.
He's now four months old, weighs 16 lbs and is perfectly healthy. I could not imagine my life without him and I'm so so so thankful!