Every day and every week were a triumph that I silently celebrated. After having a baby born at 27 weeks, I was nervous for history to repeat itself. Here I was, 27 weeks and at a regular prenatal appointment. My blood pressure has been slightly elevated so I was on blood pressure medicine but the baby has been growing fantastic compared to my last pregnancy.
Imagine my surprise when my urine came back with protein in it. I began to panic. My doctor could see my anxiety rising and the fear in my face. This is just a fluke, right? To play it safe, my doctor ordered a 24-hour urine catch, to see my high-risk doctor the next morning and she gave me a steroid shot to help mature the baby’s lungs.
I left the appointment speechless. I was hanging on to every last thread of hope that everything was fine when we went to see the high-risk doctor. Thankfully, it went perfectly! My blood pressure was normal and the baby was measuring on track. The doctor said he didn’t think I would be delivering anytime soon and that he would see me in a month. Hooray! I left the appointment feeling like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was beyond grateful.
That afternoon I had to go back to my OBGYN to receive my second steroid shot. As we took my blood pressure, I could tell in the nurse’s face the reading wasn’t good. “What do you mean it’s high? I just left the high-risk doctor this morning and everything was perfect!” After another reading and consulting with my doctor, I was instructed to go to labor and delivery.
I was only 27 weeks and 1 day. While I drove to the hospital, I called my husband and between tears, I tried to keep calm. The worst thing to do would be to walk into triage as a bubbling mess which would raise my blood pressure even more. Well, it didn’t work. When I got to the hospital, my blood pressure was the highest it has ever been.
After seeing my fabulous doctor, she told me I would be spending the night for observation. Great. The night was a blur. I was put on medicine to help me not have a seizure, and the nurses were constantly checking my blood pressure and were giving me different medication to lower my blood pressure.
Once daylight hit, my blood pressure began to stabilize and I was hopeful that I would be released from the hospital. When my doctor entered the room when I knew she wasn’t on call, I got a bit nervous. “So we got your urine levels back, they jumped from 200 to 2,000,” she said. Wait what? I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. She then dropped the bomb that we would have to deliver. “When exactly would that be?” my husband asked. Her response? “Right now.”
From there, it was a rushed organizing commotion. I couldn’t believe it. How am I delivering at 27 weeks again (for different reasons) exactly almost 5 years apart? I wasn’t ready; he wasn’t ready. This can’t be happening.
How am I going to survive another NICU stay again? Am I strong enough to do this? How will the baby do during delivery and the upcoming weeks?
My newest little guy came out weighing a whopping 1 pound and 11 ounces. This time around, I was actually able to see him still in surgery right after he was born and he was the sweetest thing.
After a few days in the hospital trying to stabilize my blood pressure, the dreaded day came … discharge. Here I was leaving the hospital again without my baby. Instead of feeling the baby kicks and movement I was feeling just a few short days ago, I was feeling the aching pain from my c-section. It’s a feeling of disappointment and guilt as a mother that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
We are only 2 weeks into our NICU journey and while we know what a rollercoaster it will be, it doesn’t make it any easier. Leaving your newborn in someone else’s care is a true heartbreak. I know that delivery was the only option to keep baby and me safe, but I still feel incredible guilt that he is here because my body failed.