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Life never goes as we plan.
In fact, I've learned over the years to limit my expectations on certain things.
Marriage wasn't what I was expecting, and once I tossed my expectations aside and learned to understand my husband as he was (not what everyone told me men were or husbands were supposed to be) we've had an extraordinary marriage. I've learned to grow with him, and learn from him, not statistics or generalizations. I married one person, not the average man.
When I became pregnant I knew I needed to toss any expectations about pregnancy and my child out the window right away. I lived each moment for what it was, a single moment on the chain of life, strung together like a beautiful necklace. I accepted what came as it happened and tried not of listen to the words of other moms who kept trying to compare my experience to theirs. I listened to my doctors and my body.
Then, at 31 weeks my doctors were concerned about the size of my baby. I went to get tested, which sent me to the hospital. While getting tested, it turned out I had HELLP Syndrome, which is a form of Preeclampsia. To protect my child and me the doctors had to take the baby early and do an emergency C-section. On my release papers it actually said “Cesarean Section (Complicated).”
Both Babyboy and I made it through the procedure just fine. My son is in the NICU as I write this, growing and getting stronger every day. I’m at home, healing and resting from the first major surgery I’ve ever had.
It’s only been two weeks since the procedure. The whole experience was very surreal. I was calm and peaceful during the procedure and the days following in the hospital. It was over 24 hours after my son was born that I was even well enough to go see him in the NICU.
Of course my husband was there when our son was born. He was sitting outside the OR, waiting. When they brought our Babyboy out of those doors, my husband marched with them all the way to the NICU. So even if I wasn’t there, my husband was. He’s assured me that it’s definitely our son.
The second time I visited my son, I was alone. I watched him squirm and breathe. His little chest pumped up and down to his own rhythm. His arms and legs flared out as he squirmed under the spot lights. While I watched he started to cry. It wasn’t a little whimpering cry, it was an all-out, listen to me, I’m here, cry.
It broke my heart to watch him crying and not be able to do anything. I think that’s when it hit. This was my son.
The days in the hospital were a constant stream of visitors, tests, pills, naps, breast pumps, and slow walks down to the NICU. I was ready to go home when they released me. I needed to be back in my normal surroundings. I needed to find my new rhythm so I could heal and rest.
We said our goodbyes to Babyboy, and walked away from the hospital. I can’t even describe that feeling. It was just really hard to walk away that day. I knew Babyboy was in good hands. He’d been steadily doing better and better each day. But he was no longer a short walk down the hall. He was now a half hour drive away. One I knew we probably wouldn’t be able to make every day. That reality was just hard.
Many people have already asked me if I’m worried about the complication of having a preemie. They’ve even gone so far as to ask what those complications are. To them I leave this reply, the one the NICU doctor gave us in the hospital.
There are complications that preemies can and will face, however it’s impossible to know what they might be until they happen. We’re taking everything one day at a time. If a complication arises, we’ll handle it. Until then we’re only dwelling on the present, we’re celebrating each success and evaluating any setbacks when they occur. It doesn’t help anyone to try to think about all that can go wrong, when right now, nothing is wrong.
I loved that the doctor felt the same way as my husband and I. The hospital staff have been very informative throughout our journey, and I know they will do everything to keep us informed in Babyboy’s progress. It’s been amazing to see him lose weight, gain it all back and then some all within the first couple weeks of his life. I’m amazed with the staff at the hospital and NICU. They were just amazing to my family through all of this.
I know the nurses were impressed with my quick turn around, and Babyboy’s good health. Each day he grows stronger. Each day I get better. Together I feel like we’re fighters. We’re not going to let this complication stop us from a happy life. We’re going to live each day and each moment as it comes and leave our expectations at the door.
It’s been a mixture of emotions for me, but every day I feel the overwhelming love of friends and family who are supporting us. I feel as if I’ve fallen in love with Babyboy, though it’s a slow kind of love that takes in the wonder of each moment; the amazement as I discover new things about my son, and as my son becomes a little different each day.
There are moments of guilt, especially on the days we can’t make it to the hospital. But we are preparing ourselves and our home for Babyboy’s arrival. He came early, and still needs time to grow, so we’re going to take that time to make our home ready for him.
It was sooner than we were expecting, but here we are, a family of three.
Mom, Dad, and Baby.