I can not believe that today is the last day of Prematurity Awareness month and here I am just posting about it.
I want to start by thanking everyone who has ever walked in the spring March for babies event. Thank you for the time and energy you put into raising money for such a wonderful organization. An organization that is the leader in research and advancement for these tiny babies. Every penny counts in helping to ensure that fewer and fewer moms to be have to experience the heartache of having a premature baby. The more we learn, the more we research the better chance these families have for some day bringing their baby home from the NICU or even better ensuring that pregnancies do not end too soon.
Now my story.. In early October of 2003 I learned that I would be having not one but three babies. the more I read and talked to doctors the more I knew that my babies would be brought into this world early. My high risk doctor performed a cerclage at 11 weeks. At which time I went on rest, he never really called it bed rest just rest. My bi-weekly doctors appointments soon became weekly appointments and things were going well. Then out of no where I developed a kidney infection that placed me in the hospital. I was 30 weeks by then. five short days later I was in labor and my babies were born at what was 31 weeks.
From the start everyone looked great, everyone but mommy that is. I had a double transfusion due to loosing too much blood. I was able to see the babies when they were three days old, trust me that was hard. They were so tiny, 3 lbs 4 oz (Keith Douglas) 3 lbs 7 oz (Kalie Rose) and 3 lbs 11 oz (John Michael). When the kids were five days old we had our first "call" from the NICU. The doctors had detected something on Douglas's brain. He had several cyst in his white matter, but I was assured it was not a brain bleed and that he should out grow them.
They had braddies, false alarms, failed car seat test a transfer to a new hospital but overall my experience in the NICU at Lutheran General Hospital and Good Shephard was not a bad time. It was hard. I will never forget the first day I left them in the hospital. I was still so weak and in so much pain. But the pain I felt in my heart for leaving them by far was greater than that of the surgery.
I went to see them every day and every day when I left them I left assured that the doctors and nurses were the best there were around and that my babies were happy, safe and well cared for.
Before I knew it my time in the NICU was over, but the worry and stress never leaves you. The first year is scary, you have to keep them healthy and they were so tiny any cold could put them in the hospital.
Douglas did return soon after coming home he had a bowl obstruction and we learned he was allergic to milk.
It was a scary year at times but it was also one of the most awesome times of my life.
So next time you look at your baby that came at 40 weeks be thankful for the long pregnancy and remember it only takes your time to walk for babies..