Riley’s Story Part 1 – Pregnancy and Childbirth

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When my blog was closed for a couple of weeks I received an email from a new visitor.  Her daughter was FTT and they were looking at a possible RSS diagnosis, among every other measure being taken.  She asked me for our story and shared hers.  Since her last email I’ve been busy and my brain still isn’t functioning so I hadn’t gotten back to her yet…but I thought I’d start to try to answer her question here.  Starting at the beginning of our special needs journey that we’ve gone through with Riley.  From the beginning… ********* For the most part, my pregnancy with Riley went smoothly.  I had minor issues with morning sickness (hello Saltines!), and some major skin issues (hello ringworm, dry skin, and excema!).  Otherwise, things went well.  She, and I, grew normally until around 20 weeks.  That was the first time the ‘huh‘ factor came into play.  I started measuring just a little small.  It wasn’t a panic inducing moment by any means, just a ‘huh‘ and a ‘we’ll monitor it’.  My doctor loved excuses for extra ultrasounds (he likes to keep Mama’s happy by letting them see their babies), and he guessed that the small measurements may produce cause for a third trimester ultrasound.  As the weeks progressed I continued to measure small, and so I received another ultrasound at about 32 weeks.  The ultrasound determined that Riley was small, too.  Not a whole lot, but a week or two behind.  Still not reason for panic, but reason for monitoring. For my 36 week checkup I received another brief ultrasound.  Riley was growing, but was still showing behind.  My OB told me to keep drinking plenty of fluids and he’d check us again in a couple of weeks. At 38 weeks I was already 2 cm dilated, and my measurements were still small.  A final ultrasound revealed that in the previous two weeks, Riley hadn’t grown at all.  She still looked healthy, but now looked about 4 weeks behind.  My (wonderful!) OB looked between Archie and I and said, “Well, we have a diagnosis of IUGR, probable low birth weight.  It’s a medical reason to induce, would you like to go now?!”  It took one look and two seconds for Archie and I to say, “YES!!”  We drove home from the doctors making calls, picked up our bags and drove the three minutes from our house to the hospital.  Idiot me didn’t eat before we went in…but that’s a different story. I was hooked up to the IV and monitors, where it was discovered I was contracting.  At three minute intervals!  I had no idea.  They started the pitocin, and within half an hour I DID know I was contracting.  Long story short, eight hours later Riley pushed herself out (yes, you read that right, I didn’t push…AT.ALL), and came out blue with a nuchal chord (around her shoulder).  Luckily, she immediately started screaming and pinking up, but the nurses scooped her up and took her away anyway…there was no instant holding.  She was born 6lbs 7oz.  She was long and skinny, with a popeye effect…but she was beautiful and fair.  She took to breastfeeding like a champ and was released from the hospital in the normal amount of time. The first three months were wonderful.  She was small, but grew on the curve.  She fed constantly, but would not sleep lying down.  It was our first hint of trouble, but we didn’t realize it.  I just let her sleep in her carseat.  It propped her up at the right angle and she was too small to roll out.  The first three months were magical…she’d fall asleep in my arms, she was tiny and cuddly and totally lovable.  We didn’t know what a hectic world and stressful life we were about to embark on…we just saw oru beautiful fair princess staring back at us… ******* For sake of length and sanity, this is to be continued :D  Tomorrow, I think. Read more »