“Things are going to happen very fast, but you are in preterm labour and you going to have your baby right now!"
Let's backtrack to 18 hours before....
I was in my den adding items to my baby shower registry. I was 28 weeks, 4 days pregnant and my belly finally popped. I was very tiny throughout my first two trimesters, so at last I had that visible, round, baby bump. I was enjoying every moment and was in awe every time the baby moved. The baby was very active and I was certain that the baby was playing a non-stop soccer match. Soccer does run in the family. That evening, my mother called me and asked how I was feeling. My words were literally, "better than ever!" Nothing I did that night was out of the extraordinary. I spent some time on the computer and then hit the tube for the remainder of the night and went to bed. I had a hard time falling asleep though, as I did every time my husband was working his on call shift at the hospital (he is an internal medicine resident). Finally, after counting a million sheep, I managed to doze off at about midnight.
The following day, I woke up for work at 6:15 a.m.
After she collected the colostrum for my son, I rested before I checked into my own room which was just down the hall from the NICU. My husband was going back and forth, checking up on our son and on me. It was my husband who had to make that very mortifying call to our parents that their grandson was born. Later that evening, my husband entered my room, along with my father-in-law and brother-in-law and brought me clothes, toiletries, food and flowers. He looked at me and said, "our son is going to be okay, he's going to be in the NICU for a while, but that is okay, as long as he's healthy in the end. Your job for him now is to pump because that is the best thing he needs right now." And so it started, the nurse came in and showed me how to use the pump that would provide my son with the nutrition he needs while in the NICU. It was hard, but I knew that if anything, I owed this to my son.
He was beautiful and so tiny, but mighty.
In Canada, one out of every twelve pregnancies are preterm. So that one pregnancy just happened to be me.
Following my discharge,
we literally lived at the hospital
(it was already a home for my husband who worked there, which was convenient for him).
We made the NICU our nursery,
and although it wasn't the one I had imagined,
it couldn't have been better.
One of the most special things to do in the NICU is kangaroo care, which is skin-to-skin contact between the mother and infant.
We were very fortunate as our son didn't have any issues, and was essentially a "feeder and grower."
I don't know how we got through the NICU,
but like anything in life,
we took it one day at a time.
Preemies are true heroes.
Although I don't wish upon anyone the pain that we endured during those first few days of his early arrival, all I can say is this: if you do go through it, it’s going to be okay. With faith, hope and lots of love, know that it will all work out in the end. In today's day and age, babies born between 24-32 weeks gestation have over a 90 percent survival rate, as opposed to 30 years ago, where the chances of survival were less than 50 percent. It’s remarkable how well these babies do and as one neonatologist told me, these babies are very resilient.
If I had to go through preterm labour again,
I would because it is all worth it.
I see it in my son every day.
Today, my NICU graduate is an energetic, fun-loving toddler with a passion for throwing things, dancing, singing, bears, cars, trucks and trains and everything in between.
Thank you to our guest blogger Natalie.
This blog is being shared in honour of World Prematurity Day (November 17th) and awareness month.
Association Of Ontario Midwives
Baby Led Weaning
Baby's Second Night
Bell Let's Talk Day
Brampton Prenatal Classes
Caesarean Awareness Month
Childbirth Education Class
Choices In Childbirth
Cord Blood Banking
Delayed Cord Clamping
Doula Vs. Midwife
Eating On A Budget
Fresh 48 Photography
Grand Valley Midwives
Headwaters Health Care Centre
Life With Baby
Life With Pets
Men's Mental Health
Midwifery Care Of Peel & Halton Hills
Midwives Of Headwater Hills
Ministry Of Health
Mom & Baby Yoga
Moms Of Headwater Hills
Motherhood In The City
Music Together Of Orangeville
Natural Family Planning Methods
Pelvic Floor Health
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Postpartum Mood Disorder
The Pretty Imperfect Mama
World Prematurity Day