Nobody tells you casually in conversation, “hey you might have a premature baby.” Whether you learned about pregnancy and labor in health class, from older siblings having children, your mom or friends, no one ever tells you about preterm labor. And sadly, it happens a lot more woman than you think and for all different types of reasons.
I was one of the lucky ones. Lucky? I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. My oldest son Logan was 33 weeks to the day when he was born. He had no complications and was out of the NICU in eight days. The nurses were shocked. Logan is now a healthy, thriving, wild three year old boy.
My youngest son Myles was born at 32 weeks and 2 days. If you’re like me, you think “oh he was only five days younger than his brother. It shouldn’t be a big deal, right?” Well we’re both wrong. However, I was still one of the lucky mommas. Logan spent almost 4 weeks in the NICU, 28 days to be exact.
And remember I said I’m lucky? Here’s why I’m lucky: I came home with both my boys. They had no complications and no surgeries. My body just had a time limit on pregnancy.
For both of my pregnancies, I developed hypertension. I was tested each time for preeclampsia and every time it came back that my protein levels weren’t there. I was told after delivery that my placenta was toxic. After I would deliver my babies, they would be doing well. However, I was not. Even in the hospital with IV and oral medications, they couldn’t control my blood pressure. This is when we started getting scared. After my first son was born, my husband thought he might lose me. When it happened again with my second son, I thought “what if they lose me?”
After my first son Logan was born, I did great. However, after Myles I experienced postpartum anxiety. I wasn’t ready to leave the hospital and the nurses, I know I may sound crazy, but they become a part of your life. I put trust in these people that I’ve never met before to take care of the most precious thing in my world immediately after bringing them into my life.
Once Logan was born I thought about everything I didn’t get to experience.
I didn’t get to carry full term.
I didn’t get to let my body do what it was made to do.
I didn’t get to take maternity pictures.
I didn’t get to be pregnant at my baby shower; instead I was two weeks postpartum recovering from a C-section.
I didn’t get to see or hold my baby while lying on the table because my epidural didn’t take.
I didn’t get to see my baby for 24 hours because of the magnesium they had me on.
I didn’t get to pick out a going home outfit.
I didn’t finish his nursery.
It was almost a year before I finally came to terms with everything. I began to realize that I am a blessed momma. Blessed with a healthy baby boy whose only problems were ear infections during his first year of life.
I had a much harder time with second son Myles. Having to come to terms with history repeating itself. While I was in the hospital and the OR, I was terrified. I was already nervous about the situation. I didn’t have a great experience with my C-section and really didn’t want that to happen again.
Thankfully history didn’t repeat itself and I was able to be awake. I could talk to my husband, hear my baby’s first cry and could see him, even though it was from afar.
So many women go into preterm labor, an estimated 15 million a year, and an estimated 1 million of those babies don’t make it. I’m one of the lucky mommas; two miracles were given to me. I thank God every day that he chose me to be Logan and Myles’ Mommy and that I’m here to watch them grow.