I found out I was pregnant right away, I was about 5 weeks along. I didn’t have any major health concerns, but I was hypothyroid and had been off of my medicine for a couple of months before I found out I was pregnant, and started taking them again right after I found out. I chose to mention that because, though many doctors said there is no correlation I still wonder if it caused any issues.
The pregnancy was pretty normal, I didn’t have morning sickness or develop diabetes. I gained about 50 pounds (which was about 20 more than the doctor wanted me to gain), and other than some fatigue and occasional bouts of high blood pressure, I felt fine. Since I was off of my thyroid medication for a while the doctor sent me to a high risk pregnancy doctor just as a precaution. I chose not to do any testing for downs syndrome or any other birth defects or conditions, but during ultrasounds the doctor measured the baby and said that the head was small. When I asked if that was okay, the doctor assured me things were fine unless the head didn’t continue to grow. As we continued with regular visits the baby’s head showed consistent growth. I felt that I had nothing to worry about since the doctor didn’t seem concerned.
Since my blood pressure was high for about three doctors’ visits in a row they decided it was best to induce labor. I was induced at 39 weeks and gave birth only 14 hours after induction, there were no issues during labor but when Riley came out the cord was wrapped around her neck and she needed some oxygen, but she cried and they let me hold her on my chest, she weighed 6 lbs and 12 oz. They took her away to clean her and I fell asleep, but when they asked me to try breast feeding her she wouldn’t take my breast. We attempted breast and bottle feeding several times during our stay and she wouldn’t eat, they told us we couldn’t take her home until she ate. I figured she was just tired and maybe still weak from delivery, but she wouldn’t eat for us and they placed a feeding tube in her nose. The doctors were running all types of tests, taking blood and measurements of her while we just watched and sometimes received very little explanation of what was going on. I didn’t see anything wrong with her, she was mine and she was perfect, but they kept pointing things out to my husband and me. Her nipples were too widely spaced, her head is too small, she’s so tiny, and she won’t eat and so on and so on. She ended up staying in the hospital for a month, we were able to bring her home then since we opted to have a g-tube placed and fundoplication surgery.
In the years to follow, Riley has had surgery for a tethered spinal cord, hemangioma removal and eyelid lift. She is now 3, will be 4 in May and is still very small for her age, she is not walking on her own, eating on her own or talking. She still needs daily physical, speech and occupational therapies, but has learned to pull herself to standing, will take steps when holding onto something, can bring herself to sitting fairly well, says mama and papa and makes other sounds, eating more and getting better at feeding herself. She is currently going to school for 3 hours a day in a special preschool program and is loving it. Despite her situation she is a very happy, determined and brave girl and though we’re unsure of what to expect for her future I’m optimistic that she will keep progressing and continue to be happy.