First, I want to apologize that this post has taken so long to publish. My baby girl is now 2 months old and since she was born, our lives have been a roller coaster to say the least. She’s still currently in the NICU at Scared Heart Hospital but we are hoping to have her home for Christmas. So without further ado, here is her birth story.
Just an ordinary day
September 27 started out just like any other day. I was scheduled for a routine OB appointment and an ultrasound. My husband, Evan, came with me to the appointment that day. I was 27 weeks and knew there wouldn’t be too many appointments left so I wanted him there. Looking back now, I’m so glad I asked him to go and that he was able to attend.
My blood pressure had been elevated for basically my entire pregnancy. It hovered somewhere in the 140-150 over 90-100. It was a concern but my doctor didn’t feel it was necessary to start me on any medications. We were concerned about Pre-eclampsia and didn’t want any medications to mask symptoms I may have if I developed it. We took the precautions, but never in my wildest dreams did I actually think I would develop it.
At my appointment, I sat and had my blood pressure taken. The nurse said, “200/125” and I nearly fell out of my chair. I knew high blood pressure was a serious matter but I didn’t know why or what complications it could cause. The nurse quickly took my blood pressure manually and it was about the same. We were immediately escorted to a room where my doctor tells me that she’s admitting me to the hospital. She tried to convince me it was precaution but I could see she looked more than slightly concerned.
On the way to the hospital, I tried to calm myself by telling myself I’d only be here for the night, just to get my blood pressure under control. I had to believe everything would be ok. Even if worst came to worst, I was 3 weeks past viability and I had to keep that in mind.
I’m going to have a what?
After 3 hours with the hospital trying to control my blood pressure with medication after medication, nothing was bringing it down. In fact, it seemed like every time they injected me with something and checked my pressure, it was higher than before. My nurse told me that they may do an emergency C section that night. I don’t think I comprehended what she was telling me at the time but when she put her phone down next to me, I read a text saying, “Get her prepped for surgery.” And it all finally sunk in: I was going to have my baby that night. And not just that night but like, within the hour. I started to cry and they told me to get my husband there as soon as possible. He had gone home to get my things for me to stay overnight so I had to call him and tell him to turn around and haul ass back to us.Preemie are so special...read about my daughter's birth! Click To Tweet
As I was wheeled out of my room on my way to surgery, I think I went into shock. I just couldn’t believe what was about to happen. I went quiet and just stared off into nothing. My nurse asked me if I was okay and all I could do was nod. I couldn’t even fathom what was going to happen to Marian. It was all just too much to process.
But I wasn’t alone
Outside of the operating room, my doctor gave me a big hug and I couldn’t help but burst into tears. She told me everything was going to be okay and I tried to believe her. But then Evan was there. He hugged me and squeezed my hand. He asked me how I was doing and I just looked at him, unblinking. I couldn’t form words anymore and neither could he. But we didn’t need words; we stared into each other’s equally glassy eyes and we shared the fear and anxiousness of the moment and at least we knew we weren’t alone. I’m wheeled into the operating room while Evan put on the gown he needs so he can come into the operating room, as well.
Marian is born!
After I’m given my epidural and laid on the table, the curtain was pulled up just above my stomach and Evan came into the room to sit beside me. Once again, I was thrown into a sort of shock. All I could do is close my eyes and try not to panic. Evan held my hand and I felt my body going numb from the epidural.
Finally, the doctor asked me if I can feel what she’s doing and I can’t so she gets started. She explains that she’s cutting me open. Thankfully, I can’t feel a thing until she starts tugging and pulling my organs. I don’t feel pain necessarily but it’s extremely uncomfortable. The pressure and this uncomfortable sensation seemed to last forever but then I hear, “She’s out.” I listened and hoped that I would hear a cry but I don’t. To my left, I could see nurses huddled around. I knew they were working on my daughter but I can’t see her. Evan walked over to take a look at her and the doctor asked if he wanted to cut the cord. This should have comforted me but I’m still too anxious.
I told Evan to stay with her because they were going to move her up to the NICU to keep working on her. “Don’t leave her side” I told him. I can tell he doesn’t want to leave me but he hesitantly complies. And then it was all a blank until I was waking up in the recovery room. I don’t know if they gave me morphine but something knocked me out cold. Evan was once again next to me asking the nurse all the questions I couldn’t form yet.
I finally get to see my daughter
They wheeled me up to my room soon after and put me on magnesium for 12 hours straight. I couldn’t leave my room, get out of bed, or eat. I spent the night awake; not because I’m in pain but because my priority is to start pumping so I could feed my daughter when the time came. It was the one thing I could do from my own room and I wanted to make sure I did it. So I stayed awake. I pumped and worried and pumped and cried. They told me she was stable and doing well upstairs in the NICU. But I couldn’t stand the wait. 12 long, long hours later, they finally wheeled me upstairs to see her.
She was so tiny and fragile looking in her isolette. Her face was covered by tape and a breathing tube but her beauty is more than visual and it easily shone through those machines. I just couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Nor could I help the smiles and tears. All I wanted to do is hold her and love on her and tell her how sorry I was that she had to be born so soon.
And so it goes…
The next week is a blur of trying to get my blood pressure under control, multiple visits each day to the NICU to see Marian, and learning how to pump properly so I can feed her. I spend my nights and early mornings alone crying, worrying, and feeling sorry for myself and for her. Mom guilt is real and I was knee deep in post-partum depression.
Thankfully, as the weeks progress, Marian thrives and grows and we are finally able to hold her for the first time. It’s a moment I will never forget. I’d been longing to have my girl close to me and when that moment finally happened, all I could do was cry. I couldn’t believe the moment I had been waiting 10 years for was finally happening. It wasn’t how I planned it; not how I pictured it – but when does anything happen the way you plan? And the moment it happened I knew I could have never imagined anything so wonderful.
Waiting to go home.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading our story. At the time I’m publishing this, Marian is 5lb and working on 4 bottles a day. As soon as she’s able to take all her feedings by mouth, we can take her home. We are hoping this happens before Christmas Day, which was my due date.