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I think most girls dream of being a mom at some point in their life. I always pictured myself having at least three kids (just like my mom had). I wanted to start having kids at twenty-five years old and have my kids about two years apart in age. It seemed reasonable.
A couple of months after turning twenty-five, I found out I was pregnant. The crazy part is that the day before I found out, we had discussed possibly waiting a bit longer to have kids. So you can imagine the mix of emotions that came flooding in. I didn’t really even know what to think. I was happy and excited, but at the same time scared and nervous. Were we ready? Was this the right time? Would Albert be happy about it?
It took a few days for it to really sink in. I. Was. Pregant.
I attended an orientation at the ob/gyn office that I had chosen. We went over the process of appointments, the various tests, where everything will happen and finally a tour of the office. Let me just say that none of it could have prepared me for what was to come.
My first appointment went well. They confirmed my pregnancy and gave me a due date—September 23, 2016. I couldn’t wait. My sister and I started deciding on when would be the best date to have the baby shower. We chose a date about a month and a half earlier than my due date just to be safe because both of my sisters went into labor a month early.
At our nineteen weeks appointment we found out we were having a boy and a month later I started experiencing pain. Being that this was my first pregnancy, I had no idea what the pain was. I figured its too early to be labor, maybe its something else. I drank water, soaked in a warm bath, tried different positions, and nothing was helping. Finally, after what seemed like forever, but was a few hours, I went to the bathroom and noticed blood.
Red flag! So, I woke Albert up and we headed to the hospital at four in the morning. I am placed in a room for evaluation and the nurse suggests that maybe the baby was sitting low and kicking really hard. No big deal, but it still didn’t explain the bleeding, so I pleaded for more answers.
The moment the doctor came in to check me and said that I was already nine centimeters dilated, and that I would have to deliver that day, was the most shocking news I had ever received. I swear everything started to move so fast between the many nurses trying to hook me up to an I.V. to sitting there trying to digest the statistical value of my son’s survival rate. What?!
At 11:09 a.m. on June 8, 2016, Adam was born at twenty-four weeks and five days gestation. He weighed one pound, nine ounces. The Neonatal team took him immediately to stabilize him. We were informed that they would be transferring him to another hospital that was more equipped to care for a baby of his size. For three hours we waited and then the transport team wheeled him in so that we could see Adam for the first time. He was so tiny. He went on to spend almost four months in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Almost four months of spending hours on end sitting bedside to Adam and almost four months of going home without him. I watched him grow, defy the odds and exude so much fight for such a tiny being, and finally got to go home on oxygen.
If you’ve read this far, then I want to reassure you that Adam is healthy and doing amazing. We are truly fortunate and blessed to have him.
If you are a preemie/NICU mama or know someone who is currently experiencing a similar story, know that there is a lot of fight and determination to live in the most tiniest of babies. It’s hard, it’s stressful, but you are strong and will become stronger because of it. Remember that no two babies have the same story, but never be afraid or ashamed to tell yours. Prematurity Awareness is important and even though the odds are 1in10, many still do not know about it or understand its long term effects.
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