(PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK)
Yesterday, November 17th was World Prematurity Day. Infact November is Prematurity awareness month. Both of my baby boys were born in november and both of them came into this world early. So I am a preemie Mommy.
According to Wikipedia: Approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely each year accounting for more than one in 10 of all babies born worldwide. World Prematurity Day aims to raise awareness for prematurity and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide because infants born preterm represent the largest child patient group.
Here in Hungary this is exactly what the statistic are: 1 in 10 babies are born preterm.
This day is dedicated to honour all premature babies and their families, ones that graduated NICU 🙂 and ones that became angels 😦
These babies are my superheroes!
Premature babies are not just smaller versions of term babies. They have to ride the NICU rollercoaster for weeks or months. They have to fight for their lives, just to breath, just to eat, just to function.
I never ever thought about prematurity. I was only concerned about infertility before having kids. I always thought that if I conceived naturally then I would have a normal pregnancy and then have a healthy baby 40 weeks later….
I was wrong. Prematurity first hit us smack in the face on 2007 nov. 12th when my water broke at 35 weeks with Blackberry #1 after having a healthy, normal pregnancy. I was home alone at 2am, and ofcourse my hospital bag was not packed yet… Why would it be, I had lots of time left…. So I packed my bag and called the ambulance. I still don’t know how I could be so relaxed, when all that happened. They tried to stop the labor (magnesium, tranquilzers), but were unsuccesful and 43 hours later (which means 43 hours of labor!) Blackberry #1 was born via emergency C-section. We were lucky he was born healthy and pretty big for his age: 2.68 kilos (5 lbs 15 oz.). He only had a little jaundice and we got to leave the hospital together a few days later. He is a healthy 6 year old now, maybe only a little smaller than his mates.
When I became pregnant with baby #2, I thought about prematurity from the start. I so much wanted to feel what it was like to be 36, 37, 38 (and so on) weeks pregnant. I told my fears to my doctor, but he was not concerned. He said just beacuse it happened once does not mean it will happen again. He was wrong. It happened again. 2012 nov.24th, saturday. I started spotting, so I went into the hospital. They checked me out, and said I probably overdid myself, and I should just go home and rest. They were wrong, 24 hours later I was back. I started bleeding really heavily. I was 30 weeks pregnant. This time I was not relaxed, I knew something was really wrong, and minutes later I was shaking (from the blood lost), So my husband took me to the hospital, where the diagnosis was placental abruption. I never even heard of that before that weekend! Things sped up really fast: One nurse was putiing a catheter in, another was putting an IV. in, a third one was asking what the baby’s name will be, a fourth one was asking questions: allergies so on, and a fifth one was asking me to sign papers, that I couldn’t even read…. Then minutes later the anesthesiologist wa sputting me to sleep, and all I could say was: he is only 30 weeks old, he is only 30 weeks old! You cannot take him out, there has to be another solution. Blackberry #2 was born via emergency C-section on 2012 nov 25th. He was 40 cm and 1.56 kilos (3lbs 7oz). I was asleep when he was born.
He was taken away to the NICU (located in a different hospital, but really close) right away.
He was 3 days old, when I first got to see him! (I lost alot of blood and was really weak, and ofcourse had to learn to walk again after a C section, and the intense bleeding had to stop (I would get up, and have blood in my slippers:(, so I could get on my feet and go to the other hospital).
This is what he looked like the first time I saw him:
I almost collapsed. He was so small, so fragile, his skin was too big on him. All I could do was cry.
I put my hand in the incubator and he held my finger with his hand, which made me cry even more, who knew he was so strong 🙂
Our NICU roallercoaster began. We had bad days, and good days. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. The NICU was a scary place. I could only go visit him in the afternoons from maybe 3pm- to 6pm. But if a new baby arrived, or a baby was having an emergency, we had to leave, or we had to wait to be admitted….Each day I came to the NICU fearing will he still be in his incubator? He had breathing problems, he had problems feeding, digesting, he had cardiological problems, he had 2 blood transfusions, and a few infections.
I remember leaving the gynocological hospital 4 days after the surgery, without my baby. I was glad to leave because they put me in a room full of other mommies with their babies….I remember feeling awful when I saw a pregnant lady, I remeber feeling jealous, because they were still pregnant and I was not. I remember pumping milk around the clock, to hope to establish some supply. And my milk was the only way I could help my baby. And I had to do this without seeing my baby, touching my baby. I remember seeing his hair for the first time, I remember the first time they put clothes on him (maybe after 3 weeks, they have to be stabile enough for clothes). I remember getting the best christmas present by having to hold him one day before christmas for the very first time. He was almost a month old. I remember singing somewhere over the rainbow to him everday. I remember the quite, the beeping sound and the babies that were half the size of my baby. I remember staring at the pulse oximeter, and being concerned if it went too high or too low.
This is Balckberry #2’s foot pressed against the incubator wall that is so old, the glass is cracked… Not too reassuring 😦 Most incubators were around 30 years old 😦
But we made it, we got to leave the NICU after 51 days!
But I am still scared for the future. Will he walk, will he talk, will he be smart, will he be normal? Things no one can tell me ahead of time….
Blackberry # 2 you are my superhero! And I love you both Blackberry boys very much!