Samuel’s Birth Story

After an early pregnancy loss and a year of trying to conceive, we found out I was pregnant on July 4, 2014. I had some first trimester bleeding, which was determined to be from the loss of a twin. At my first ultrasound there were two yolk sacs, but only one baby.

Then, at 13 weeks a 1 day, I had a big gush of fluid. I called the doctor, who said it’s extremely rare for your water to break so early, and it was probably just urine or discharge. If my water had broken, there was nothing that could be done. I’d go into labor in the next 48 hours and lose the baby.

When I didn’t go into labor, I assumed I must have over reacted. I went on with life as usual. We took a family vacation to Ireland, hiking and exploring castles for a week.

A few weeks later, an ultrasound showed no amniotic fluid around baby. My water had broken, but somehow I was still pregnant with a healthy, growing baby.

Survival rates for an early mid trimester rupture of membranes are poor, and there are risks for the mothers health if the pregnancy is continued. Our doctors recommended that we terminate the pregnancy, but I opted to continue with the pregnancy despite the risks.

After some of the longest weeks of my life, I finally reached 24 weeks which is when our hospital considers a pregnancy to be viable. At this point I was admitted to the hospital, given steroids to help develop the baby’s lungs and antibiotics to prevent infection.

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Even at this point, the baby’s chance of survival was doubtful. I had no amniotic fluid since the rupture, and amniotic fluid is necessary for fetal lung development. I began working with our local organ procurement organization so the baby could be a donor if he did not survive.

The morning of January 13 started perfectly normal. I was 29 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I was a little achey, but I assumed it was normal growing pains. Then I started having some cramps that quickly turned into a constant pain that was increasing in intensity. I called my husband and asked him to come to the hospital, and I was moved from antepartum to labor and delivery.

The doctor could find nothing wrong. No dilation, no bleeding. Monitors were not picking up any contractions. But I was in such incredible pain I was shaking and vomiting. The doctor suspected a possible placental abruption and started prepping for an emergency cesarian. I was in too much pain to have an epidural or spinal, and opted for general anesthesia.

Just one hour after the cramps started, Samuel Arthur was born measuring 15.5″ and 3lbs.

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The doctor determined the pain I’d had before his birth was not an abruption, but was just extremely aggressive labor pains.

After a few days on the ventilator Sam was moved to CPAP. I got to hold my baby for the first time.

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Soon after his birth we discovered Sam has a pair of congenital heart defects and he transferred hospitals for surgery. When he was 16 days old he had surgery to correct a coarctation of his aortic arch.

Now at eight weeks old he is continuing to progress every single day.

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Super Sam is proof that miracles do happen.

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