I'm technically a day early, but I know that I'm not in labor so I'm counting today as "making it" to 32 weeks! For those who do not know my history I will give you, well, a little history. (If you know the stories feel free to skip ahead.)
Clara is my fourth child in four years, less than, actually. My first, Emma, was born March 30, 2006 and Clara's due date is February 20, 2010. So whether or not she arrives before that day, she will in fact arrive before Emma turns 4. For a short time I will have a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old, and a newborn.
With Emma my water broke at 31 weeks gestation. I was taken to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis which is connected to Children's Hospital and has the best care for premature babies. I spent 12 days in the hospital on complete bedrest while they continuously monitored me to make sure I didn't get an infection. Each day you sit with your membranes broken increases your chance of infection.
After 10 days the collected amniotic fluid and tested it to see if her lungs were developed and it came back that they were in fact very healthily developed and she wasn't in any danger.
The next day we talked to the doctors about inducing because her risk of having development issues had significantly decreased while my risk of infection had significantly increased. So on day 12, we induced.
She was born at 32 weeks 4 days weighing 4lbs 1oz and was 16 inches long.
She spent 1 month in the SCU (Special Care Unit) before she was able to come home with us.
We found out we were pregnant with George when I was 8 weeks post-partum from Emma. And if you know anything about preterm labor/births, you know that getting pregnant so quickly after delivering increases your chances of having preterm labor or delivery and my chances were even higher considering I had already had one premature delivery.
At 29 weeks gestation I started to dilate - 1cm and was immediately put on bedrest and Terbutaline - to stop any contractions I was having. Though my body was dilating, I never felt any contractions - at least not painful ones. I moved from 1cm to 4cm within just 2-3 weeks. Thankfully, I had numerous people pitch in and help me take care of Emma and our house so that I didn't have to do anything. My mom and mother-in-law were especially helpful.
George was delivered full term, at 37 weeks exactly (7lbs 3oz) - the day after I stopped taking the Terbutaline.
We found out we were pregnant with Wyatt when George was about 5 1/2 months old. So again, the risks or chances of preterm labor/delivery were there. I started Progesterone shots around 16 weeks or so that were to help slow any progression my body would try to make. The kids and I spent much of the winter in North Carolina at Mike's aunt and uncle's house (that they graciously opened up to us) so that we could be closer to Mike while he was at school in Jacksonville. At 27 weeks, while we were there, I started to dilate and was 1cm dilated. I went home with the kids, with the help of Mike's aunt, the next week. I was put on bedrest and Terbutaline again and the kids and I stayed with Mike's parents where his mom took on the immense task of caring for the kids and I every day! We returned home once I was 32 weeks along and Wyatt was born slightly premmaturely at 35 weeks 5 days. But he was a strapping boy of 7lbs. 2oz. and came home with us just like a full term baby would.
Now, here we are with Clara. We didn't get pregnant with her until Wyatt was just over 1, so my body did have a little break. I started Progesterone shots with her right away at 14 weeks because they did help slow my dilation process with Wyatt. At just over 28 weeks I did start to dilate - 1cm, 50% effaced. I was recently checked again at almost 31 weeks and had NO change at all! I did get Betamethazone shots to help her lungs develop. I am not on Terbutaline currently, which I am glad for. And I have not really been able to be on much bedrest considering I have 3 children at home ... that are 3 and under. I'm sure you can guess that I don't have the chance to rest much. It's also been amplified by Mike's December schedule - he worked from November 29 - December 23 straight, including weekends and most of that was 12+ hour days.
So, our first mini-goal was to get to 32 weeks, which is tomorrow! I am counting today as being there ... because, well, I definitely feel 32 weeks pregnant. If not more.
Clara is now the weight of a large jicama (3.75 lbs or more) and at least 16 inches. Developmentally she should have well developed lungs by now and would definitely be able to live and grow outside the womb, if she decided to grace us with her presence so early. She is measuring ahead of schedule and is continually testing the space limits of my uterus.
Our next mini-goal is 34 weeks. Sunday, January 10th. Then after that it's the long-term goal we've had of 36 weeks. Sunday, January 24th.