By Tiny Hearts Education

Meeting Esther

From the get-go she was a wiggly worm, at week 14, we went for the nuchal scan test, and she was so active the ultrasound tech wasn't able to get a scan. Our OB even said she had never had that happen where the scan wasn't able to be taken. That set the tone for the rest of my pregnancy; anytime we went in for a scan, we were told "good luck with this one! They won't stop moving." She was also very set in her ways internally, like clockwork I would wake up at 2:30 am to get up and use the bathroom, then back to bed and right at 6:30 am she would wake me up.


Fast forward to 32 weeks, and I went in for a usual checkup. My OB did all the measurements and was staring at me and said she wanted to send me for a size scan at 36 weeks and I had this thought "we won't make it that far." I even told my Mum that I had a feeling the baby would come early. A week goes by, and I woke up on November 17 with very mild cramping and really light blood, I didn't think too much of it because it was so faint. I told my husband, and he suggested I go to the hospital. (He was definitely the worrier for my pregnancy.) I told him I felt fine, and if it got worse, I would head in. I went about the day, and things calmed down, I went to my friend's daughters first birthday party, and I started to cramp again and had some more mild blood. So my husband and I headed into the hospital. They hooked me up, and the baby seemed great. Good heart rate and movement. The doctor on call suggested we do steroid injections just in case, so I got one that night and had to go in the next night for the second one. During my second injection, they hooked me up again to check on the baby, and everything was still good. I decided I wanted to take the Monday morning off just to rest, and the hospital staff told me to call and let my OB know what had happened over the weekend.

When I woke up Monday morning it was, 8:30 am. I didn't have my usual wakeup call from baby, nor did I get up in the night either. So I called and said I had had two steroid injections over the weekend, and now baby doesn't seem to be moving like normal and is that a side effect of the steroid? The nurse said it wasn't and to head in again to be checked. I hung up the phone and instantly started crying, something in my gut said there was something wrong. We went to the maternity ward, and they hooked me up again, and the baby's heart rate is strong, but they weren't moving like before. So we sit around for a while, the nurse brings me some toast and cold water to see if it will get baby moving and she kicked once. So my OB said she wanted an ultrasound to see what's going on. Unfortunately, the hospital was backed up and we had to wait for 8 hours to get seen. We finally got the call and were wheeled down and were told the tech would have to ultrasound for a minimum of 30 minutes. While I was laying there having the scan, the technician was casually chatting with me and then she started jabbing her wand into my stomach quite hard to get baby to react, and she wouldn't. She then asks me "if the baby has to come today, are you ready?" I laughed and said that I sure wasn't ready! She sent me back upstairs and said the doctor would review the scan and let us know.


We get back to our room, and at 5:01 pm Nick sends out a group text to the people we have been talking to about us being at the hospital that we were just waiting for results of the ultrasound. At 5:03 pm the OB comes in, and in the calmest voice she says "so we're going to get baby out now". In seconds the room filled with nurses asking me questions about my health, putting my catheter in, taking blood samples, putting in my IV, whisking Nick away to get suited up for the operating room. Apparently, the nurses weren't going fast enough because the OB started to sound panicky and told them to go faster. I'm lying on the table after the epidural, and the room is full of nurses, the NICU team was off to my right, and my OB pulls her out and says "she looks exactly like dad!" We hear her cry and they bring her to me to kiss and off she goes with Nick and the NICU team. At 5:46 pm, Nick sent out a text to those same people that Mum and baby are fine and that Esther will be in the NICU for the time being because she's 33.6 weeks.







We were in the NICU for three weeks, and at that point, I had no idea what went on that the OB decided to deliver Esther, and one morning while getting coffee I ran into her and we were chatting, and I asked her why. She told me that my placenta stopped working and I had low amniotic fluid, so baby stopped moving to preserve heart function, and if we had waited longer, we would have had a stillborn.


So when they say mothers have intuition, they really do! That weekend I fought the idea that I didn't want to go in for, what I thought was so minor, and if I didn't we might not have the wonderful little girl we have today.