Now that Madison's smile has stolen your hearts let me give you a little background on how much of a miracle baby she truly is and how much prayers really do work. My pregnancy was labeled "high risk" at my very first appointment. With no previous pregnancies I thought this was just precautionary and didn't think much of it I just knew it meant more ultrasounds and I was okay with that.
Not even a week into my third trimester, that label caught up to me. I started showing signs of preeclampsia (formerly called toxemia). This condition usually doesn't come on until the last 3 weeks of pregnancy and usually means you have the baby very quickly as delivery is the only cure. No matter how much I tried I couldn't get my blood pressure under control. It didn't matter what I ate, if I was stressed or not, or even that I was on NINE blood pressure pills a day for it, it kept spiking randomly. When a perfectly healthy 25 year old starts seeing blood pressure numbers that have her worried she's going to have a stroke something is really really wrong! I was so scared I would wake up from a nap and find my blood pressure was 196/110 or be ready to go to bed, check it and have it just as high. This landed me in the hospital a couple of times and while in the hospital we had a hard time getting Maddie to move when they were monitoring her. After noticing it was hard for her to pass these non-stress tests (aka movement/heart rate tests) I started realizing that I hardly ever felt her move even though I was in the final trimester. No one was ever able to feel her move in my tummy from the outside. We started worrying about her well-being, even going so far to wonder if she would be "normal".
Several times I was almost sent to Roanoke to deliver even earlier. Prayer works!!! I knew the whole third trimester Maddie could come at any point and was just hoping and praying she would be far enough along to be okay. One time in particular, Maddie failed her non-stress test and they brought in an ultrasound machine to do a biophysical profile (check to see if she would move at all) Maddie had 30 minutes to move anything- she did not move AT ALL for 28 minutes. The doc had already been informed and I believe was coming to send us to Roanoke, when Maddie finally started moving the last 2 minutes of the test!!! Right as a lady from my church was praying for me that very minute I may add.
After this incident, my doctor came up with the “c section at 35 weeks plan”. Before this, we were trying to get me to 37 weeks if at all possible. I was thrilled with this plan and had two weeks to go at this point before it happened. Finally, September 24th was here and we had done it- made it to 35 weeks. I was given steroid shots to help Maddie develop. We didn't know how big she would be- she had been measuring on the low end my whole pregnancy. My last ultrasound showed Maddie being 4 lbs 6 oz and that was 2 weeks before the c-section so I just knew she would be around 5 lbs. However, when Maddie was born they told me she weighed 4 lbs 2 oz! I cried because I had been told Danville did not handle babies under 5 lbs and thought she would have to be sent to the NICU in Roanoke with me remaining in Danville hospital. That was one of my biggest fears, being separated from my baby I carried for so long. But once again- prayer works! I believe one of the main reasons Maddie was able to stay in Danville was because of a brand new doctor who had just started working in Danville the day before. Maddie was his first baby there and I think he was more familiar with the preemies.
This being said, Maddie still spent some time in the nursery, had an IV hooked to her, had problems with her sugar, feeding, and regulating her temperature right off the bat. However, prayer works! Maddie quickly overcame all three obstacles and was able to go home with me after just one extra day in the hospital only weighing 3 lbs 12.8 oz when we left!! So moral of the story-- miracles happen. Mu baby is alive, healthy, and thriving because of many many answered prayers!