I have had 3 pregnancies in my life, one of which resulted in an ectopic. My first pregnancy was so
bittersweet. Though married, I lived with my parents as it was close to work. To say they spoiled me
rotten is an understatement. My mom did everything from my lunchbox to massaging my feet every
night. She was my rock; our love and appreciation intensified due to this pregnancy. The vicious part
though involved a partner who was unavailable, physically and emotionally. Granted I’m a perfectionist by nature. Maybe I expected that magazine pregnancy where your partner tells you how beautiful you are with your swollen face. The pregnancy where your husband would drive around just because of your crazy cravings. Could he just initiate something? Ask me about morning sickness; rub my big belly, anything. Instead his moods where worse than mine, you would swear he was the pregnant one. I was shattered.
At 32 weeks, I just knew I was in labour. I remember waking up my knowing it is not Braxton hicks.
Now take a perfectionist, who has everything planned to the T and through them such a curve ball. I drove to the hospital and my mom kept on saying there is no way I am going to deliver that day. The nurse checked and I was 3cm dilated. I remember praying hard that my baby survives. Blaming myself for putting emotions before motherhood. ‘Maybe if I didn’t let my then husband get to me, I would’ve kept my daughter in for longer. She’s not even born yet and I’m already failing her’. I asked the doctor if he could perform a cervical cerclage to keep my princess in for longer, he casually said “It’s time, she’s ready to come out”. I had a c-section due to my non-dialating cervix. C-section, another curve ball to be my perfect birth plan.
At 5h30pm, weighing only 1.9kg, my daughter was born. I think I saw her for what felt like a second
before she was rushed off to NICU. I had never prayed as hard as I did at that moment. She was my first; I loved her so much already. When I saw her the next day, she was being treated for jaundice. She was in NICU for just 10days because her lungs where surprisingly well developed. When we left the hospital, she weighed 2.1kg. I was so nervous to go home with such a miniature human being. The amount of gratitude though outweighed all emotions; most parents spend months in ICU so really I felt blessed.
She is still a tiny child compared to her peers, that’s just how she is. Nevertheless she is fully developed, intelligent and an over achiever.
The strength of surviving a premature birth is not a skill, nor does it come in manual. You panic, you cry, you wipe those tears away as realise that this is not about you anymore. You kick into parenting gear and live each day as it comes. All you have is faith, faith that your child will live.