Throughout my pregnancy my number one main objective was to be prepared. Imagine our shock when six weeks prior to the arrival of our baby girl we learned I had preeclampsia.
I had read some about the condition but admittedly I knew very little. My mind went blank when the doctor said my blood pressure was high and the reason for the swelling in my hands and feet were likely because of preeclampsia.
It was like every episode of Charlie Brown when the adults talk but all you hear is whah, whah, whah.
I just knew he’d “sentence” me to bed rest or a short hospital stay but when he said “the only cure for preeclampsia is to induce you” my heart sank.
I immediately called my husband first and then of course my mama. I had to explain to my boss that although I had left for a routine weekly appointment I wasn’t able to return.
I never left the hospital. The next day – Sept. 9 (the day after my last blog post) the doctor began the process of induction all the while giving me various medications to help lower my pressure. Nothing seemed to work and the longer the hours waned on the more “drug induced” I became. I had no concept of time or reality. I was in active labor but never felt any contractions. In fact, I slept through most of it. When the doctor returned hours later to tell us they were going to perform a c-section I was so loopy I didn’t have time to be scared. It was after all my first time in a hospital and surgery situation.
It was all happening way too fast. Within the next moment our sweet baby girl was welcomed into the world. Our after birth bonding time was brief and by the next evening they were transferring her to a neonatal intensive care unit 40 miles away.
I was devastated to know that not only was she just 3 pounds 11 oz but we were being separated.
I was able to rejoin my lady bug 3 days later. While she fought to gain weight I fought back the pain I felt in my heart and the physical pain.
We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, which was much easier than driving hundreds of miles each week. I must take the time to brag about the wonderful Ronald McDonald staff and facilities. They were a Godsend. We were in unfamiliar territory and they made a scary situation more bearable. Not only did they provide us warm meals each night, a place to rest our heads and a listening ear but it was also a place of comfort.
There were some disappointments along the way not to mention many more sleepless nights but lots more triumphs. Her health was fine, minus a bout of jaundice and an overabundance of magnesium in her system. We met other families whose children had been in the NICU for months and others whose little ones had to endure painful, lengthy surgeries. Of all the things that could’ve been wrong with our little girl, she just needed to gain weight.
While in the NICU, the staff made sure we were informed, comforted and educated about what it would be like taking care of a preemie when we eventually returned home.
There was so much we had to learn and maybe I’ll save that for a for a future blog, but above all the shuttling back and forth to the NICU and staying in contact with doctors, our friends and family, I must say prayer was really how my husband and I were able to endure what we thought was the impossible.