Monday, October 1, 2012

We Are So Very Lucky

It is October 1 again. For the first 29 years of my life, Oct. 1 didn't have much meaning to me. Yeah, it was about a month after school started. And yeah, it was about a month to my birthday. But there was no real significance with that day.

All that changed forever two years ago. 

It was Oct. 1, 2010 that I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was looking forward to the weekend with my mom and stepdad visiting, a trip to the Twins game, and my first babyshower hosted by my BFF. I took a day off work to do a very long ultrasound - and the whole family tagged along with me. My mom had never really seen an ultrasound (she had had one with my brother in 1982, but even that was long before they were standard protocol) and was excited to see the babies!

The appointment went swimingly for a long time. The babies looked good. Mom was excited to see them on the screen. I felt good, wearing my maternity Minnesota Twins tee shirt and looking forward to the game. Until...

I was immediately admitted to the hospital from that appointment for preterm labor symptoms. My cervix was very short and my uterus was funneling. I received shots of betamethazone to develop the babies' lungs. I was put on an IV drip of magnesium sulfate to calm my uterus down. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days and was discharged with a prescription of "strict bedrest" for the next 12 weeks.

I had never, ever been so scared in my life. I pray I'm never that scared again.

That day I went from an excited expectant mother to a frightened expectant mother fearing for the life of her babies. Gone were the days of nesting, dreaming, planning, shopping, getting ready to welcome two new people into our life. Instead, my days were filled with despair, depression, worry, loneliness, anxiety, and many, many naps. I prayed a lot. I was on constant alert for contractions. I relished times when visitors came, putting on a happy face and making the best of our chats while I was lying down. I'm not going to lie: it was the hardest, most difficult time in my life.
Cuddling with Lucy while lying down, about 3 weeks in to my bedrest (27 weeks pregnant)
 Fall weather now and forever will take me back to those memories.

Of course, I can look back now and be so very thankful. The babies were not born micropreemies. They were fortunate enough to make it to 33w2d and had very little medical problems. Hannah really only needed to learn how to eat and keep her body temperature steady. She didn't need any breathing help and came out of the incubator almost immediately. She only spent 7 days in the NICU. Ben did have a bit of trouble breathing and was put on a CPAP machine for a few days, but he figured it out pretty quickly and came home after a NICU stay of only 12 days. We are so lucky!
Ben w/ his CPAP. One of the scariest times of my life to see my boy struggling to breathe!

My first time holding Hannah, about 2 hours after she was born.

The other day I watched Grey's Anatomy reruns and one of the storylines is a woman who has a premature baby born at 24 weeks. I found myself in tears, thanking God over and over at how lucky we are! Things could have turned out much differently than they did. I never, ever forget that.

We are so very lucky.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize you were on bedrest for almost ten weeks! Wow! Isn't technology so amazing? There are times when technology (medically speaking) is just the greatest blessing ever. It's so awesome that babies can be born so early and survive these days. I can't imagine having to deal with NICU and watching your babies go through all of that. God blessed them with an awesome mommy!