PPROM at 19 weeks (Long as Hell Post)
I've been considering whether or not to post our story yet, but I wanted to help other moms who may be going through the same thing.
Our crazy story is still in progress but it started the day of my anatomy scan at 18 weeks 6 days. I had been diagnosed with a UTI and prescribed antibiotics just a few days earlier. It was so mild I didnt even know I had one until the pharmacy called to say my prescription was ready, so I thought nothing of it. That morning I was SO excited to finally find out what we were having. But right after breakfast I started having horrible pain in my left side. I stuck it out on the couch since my appointment was in just a few hours. Then when I went to the bathroom I passed what I assume was my mucus plug along with some red blood. I was terrified but had read that they sometimes grow back. So instead of being elated for our appointment I was in pain and waiting for bad news. Our sweet BOY was perfect in every way. The tech found no reason for my symptoms and sent me on my way with tons of pictures, which put me at ease.
Afterwards I went shopping to buy little man's first couple of outfits. While I was at the store I noticed I kept wetting myself. Just a tiny bit every few minutes. I tossed it up to the UTI and went on with my day. Thinking maybe something was off I laid down on the couch to rest. I fell asleep and woke up soaked. Through a pad, my pants, and onto the couch. Hoping I had just wet myself I called the doctor just to be sure. They agreed that it was probably incontinece and told me to stay home. After a second gush, I went to the ER anyway. I was hysterical, thinking my baby would die. They did an ultrasound and we immediately saw a strong heartbeat so they admitted me. The doctors swabbed for amniotic fluid and the test came back negative so they sent me home. I decided to put myself on light bed rest just in case. The next night I had excruciating pain in my left side so I went to the hospital again. They told me my UTI had progressed to my bladder and worsened so they gave me fluids and antibiotics and sent me home. At this point I was 19w1d.
I took the next week off of work to rest and was feeling almost normal until the following Friday when I developed a yeast infection. My doctor told me to use Monistat 7 to treat it, so I started the first dose that night. I woke up the next morning at 20 weeks with bright red bleeding. So off to the hospital we went. Again. (Thank god for our insurance). The doctors did an ultrasound and a cervical check. The machine was an older one than my doctor was used to so she didn't really look too hard. They said the bleeding definitely wasn't normal but they couldn't find the source and since baby was healthy they sent me home to wait for my next ultrasound the following week.
I continued to bleed until my follow up anatomy scan the next Thursday. The nurse checked everything, and again our baby boy was absolutely perfect. No defects and measuring a few days ahead. On my way home my OB called and said that my fluid was low on the ultrasounds and made me an appointment the next day with the perinatologist. At that ultrasound they confirmed that I had PPROM. Premature preterm rupture of membranes. In other words, my water really had broken and I had been leaking amniotic fluid the whole time. The doctor came in and told me to head to the hospital so that they could induce a miscarriage as baby's chances of survival were very small. I told him I would not do anything while my babies heart was still beating. I could not abort this baby who I loved so much, with his constant kicks and 150 heart rate. He was perfect in every way but somehow my body had failed him. The doctor was very blunt and told me "you can have another baby. You probably have an infection. And if you do you won't have a choice. We will deliver the baby."
I called my husband at work and told him that we needed to go and might have to say goodbye to our first child. We were crushed. On the way to the hospital I read all of the success stories I could find. Moms who had held their babies in for weeks to give them a shot in the NICU. I was so worried but determined to not let the doctors force us to give up on our son. I was admitted into labor and delivery, put on fluids and antibiotics, and was given the same bleak prognosis. 80% of PPROM moms develop infection or go into labor within 48 hours. Over %90 do within a week. So the doctors and nurses just watched and waited.
2 days later at 21w1d, I reminded the doctors that I had not been rupture for 2 days, but closer to 2 weeks. Suprised, they moved me to the high risk perinatal ward where I could stay for a long period of time while I waited for my baby. They checked my temp and bp every 4 hours and drew blood every few days looking for infection. Each day the doctors came in they were more and more suprised to see me still there- still pregnant.
My particular hospital (Northside Hospital in Atlanta, HIGHLY recommend) has the highest level NICU acknowledged and considers 23 weeks to be viable. So after 16 days of home bedrest and 15 days of hospital bedrest and only getting up to use the bathroom, I made it to 23 weeks today. They started my first dose of steroids to develop the babies lungs and they put me on a 12 hour magnesium drip to help prevent brain hemmorage. I also get hooked up to the fetal heart rate monitor and contraction monitor twice a day for an hour each from here on out. Hearing that sweet heartbeat for an hour is the highlight of my day.
Now that he is "magically" viable, the doctors have switched gears from waiting for a miscarriage, to doing everything they can to help my boy. It was like flipping a switch.
We were given horrible odds. I know the doctors have to give them to you and try not to give you false hope, but some were just plain rude. Like they didn't care at all. They presented abortion as an only option, with no alternatives. Maybe this was just because of lack of knowledge or experience with PPROM, But we did it. We got lucky. We beat the initial odds. We made it to viability.
Now, we have to beat the NICU odds. So my main focus is baking this baby as long as I can and getting him as fat as I can before he has to battle through the NICU. So with bedrest, lots of fluids, and even more prayers, we are taking it one day at a time. It is possible. There are a lot of sad cases out there, but no matter what your doctor tells you, it is possible. So for now we fight for our son.