Friday, May 4, 2012

March of Dimes/Prematurity Awareness

My son Eli was born at 28 weeks. So March of Dimes strikes home for us. After a very normal pregnancy aside from the morning sickness that was constant, at 28 weeks and 6 days I started bleeding, so after a trip to University of Washington Medical Center, I was wheeled back for an emergency C-Section. On the way to the hospital I was shaking, not knowing what was happening and scared for the life of my child. In my head I thought we would go there, they would give me some magical pill or IV and I would be back to normal and we would go back home. So when my midwife told me to pack my bags I threw some socks in my purse. Why socks, I don't my feet wouldn't get cold?!? After we got to the hospital at 8am I was in Labor and Delivery meeting an OB-GYN that was checking my cervix...I was about 3cm dilated and my membranes were bulging. So at first they told us there was nothing they could do and I would be wheeled back for a C-section. After about 10 minutes we were told they were going to try Magnesium and give me steroids for the baby. So they admitted me and put me in a delivery room, where we were greeted by about 20 different doctors, nurses, interns, surgeons, the NICU team....can you say overwhelming!?! They explained the process and started the IV's. After a few minutes I was having rolling contractions that would start in my lower back. After an hour or two of complete pain and torture, I was wheeled back to the operating room. At 2:21pm, my son Eli was born. Immediately they wheeled him off to the back room and my husband followed. He was then transferred to the NICU and I to the recovery room. I saw him for a few minutes that night. I was given a breastpump and told to try to pump as breastmilk was the best for him (obviously!).
The next few days were difficult, but not as difficult as leaving the hospital without my son! I didn't take my pain meds so I could drive myself to see Eli. I was in pain physically and mentally but seeing him and holding him made it all go away for those moments. At 2lbs 14.7oz he was fragile. Some days we were told we could only take him out of his isolette only do you choose which parent can hold their child? Some days we were only allowed to hold him for 2 or 3 hours. Such restrictions broke me down. I would just sob when I got home from the hospital. Most days I would come home to the house destroyed by my dog, I would freak out. Was I not dealing with enough stress already?!? As the days went on, it got easier. We learned the routine at the NICU, we got close to some of the nurses. He was growing, he was healthy just small. It was a miracle that he only needed help breathing for 2 days. My miracle baby! Some days we took 2 steps forward and others we took 1 step back but it was all part of the recovery. We were told what to expect and that was included. He was strong, stronger than I was.
I never thought I would love someone so much, but just looking at him, watching him sleep on the other side of the plastic walls around him, my heart was full of the greatest love of all. After about 5 weeeks in an isolette, he graduated to a crib. Progress....! We watched other babies go home, some on oqygen, some on monitors still. We wondered why our son who was so strong had to stay....but we knew it was best.
Finally our day came! After 53 days/7 long weeks, we got to bring him home!
Then we started our life as a family! So tomorrow, May 5th 2012 we will walk, as a family, to support other families that will be in our situation. If this touches you, please make a donation to March of Dimes, however big or small it may be, it all makes a difference!

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