Local preemies: Baby Anah's Story - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Local preemies: Baby Anah's Story

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Courtesy: Laura Gibbons Courtesy: Laura Gibbons
Courtesy: Laura Gibbons Courtesy: Laura Gibbons
Courtesy: Laura Gibbons Courtesy: Laura Gibbons
Courtesy: Laura Gibbons Courtesy: Laura Gibbons
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

As told by mother Laura Gibbons, of Hannibal:

Our story with Anah starts with Maggie, our older daughter. I had low amniotic fluids with Maggie, and some early labor, though we managed to make it to just over 37 weeks with Maggie - long enough to be considered term.

Once we knew we were expecting Anah, we knew that we could have some or all of the same issues. I did not gain much weight with Anah - only 15 pounds, compared to the 40 I gained with my first pregnancy. As with Maggie, I was monitored for growth, movement, and my amniotic fluid levels in the last trimester.

My fluid levels were fairly steady, even though they were on the low side, and there was some concern about the low weight gain on my part, and the fact that there wasn't much visible growth. At 35 weeks with Anah I looked the same as I had at 25 weeks.

About 34/35 weeks I started having contractions - nothing productive. There was no significant change in dilation, but they were actual measurable contractions; I had had a similar experience with Maggie, so we watched it and were careful.

Between 25 and 36 weeks, I noticed that I was leaking, and we went to the ER as a precaution. When we were at the ER, the test for amniotic fluid came back negative, so they set us home and I took it easy for a few days until my appointment with my OBGYN. 

At the appointment, we did the usual routine. First, we did the non stress test, then an ultrasound to check fluid levels, then to see the OBGYN. 

That day, Wednesday, my OBGYN came into the exam room and informed us that my fluid levels were so low that they were unable to find more than a centimeter of room around Anah, so they were checking me into the hospital for an emergency induction; Fifteen minutes later I was in a room at the hospital getting ready to be hooked up to a pitocin drip. 

The labor was memorable. It was a sort of comedy of errors. We got there before the room was ready, the bed didn't transition like it should have, the pitocin and having my water broken sped labor up faster than the doctor and nurses expected, so the nurses came very close to delivering Anah.

She was born four hours and 45 minutes after we were admitted at 4 lb, 15 oz.

Upon examining my uterus, there was a very small tear that had caused a slow, almost undetectable leak that had probably been there for several days; We were both on antibiotics in case of infection. 

I was released on Christmas Eve, and she came home New Year's Day, at 10 days old.

She was 4 lb, 5 oz. at release. She had been on IV nutrition and feeding tubes for the first five days, and was able to start practicing latching and breathing at that point. 

She moved to room air a few days later. She had some initial difficulty with breathing at first, so her first pictures are all under a hood. 

Four and a half years later, she's still small, but feisty. In the nursery, they were impressed with how much noise she made.

I am eternally grateful to the nurses in the hospital nursery who sent me home on Christmas Eve and promised to take care of her while I spent time with my family, which I needed. And I am so grateful to the IBCLCs at the hospital who helped us with getting her feeding, and kept sending home more bottles for us, and to the nurse who helped us buy a breast pump on Christmas Eve, when she could have been moving on or going home, before I had to go home and figure out how to find a pump on Christmas Eve.

Without the incredible staff that helped during labor while staying back so my husband and labor partner could help me, and the staff that took care of Anah until she was able to come home, I would have been more stressed out than I was. Friends family and supportive staff can make all the difference in a premature birth.

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