For the last 6 months every once in awhile I have a very intense memory of what happened to my mom or to Lucy. I have these flashbacks mostly at night when I can't sleep. I lay there thinking about it all. My brain is still trying to process all that has happened. I am still sometimes in denial that my mom is really gone. On one particular night that I couldn't sleep I was thinking so deeply about the night I had Lucy. I got up and wrote it down. It seems to help me. To get it out. I wanted to share it here. I have no idea who reads this blog, but if by some chance there is a mother who has gone through the nightmare that is having a baby prematurely maybe my story can help in some small way. I know it helped me to read other stories of women and babies who got through such a scary dark time.
I sat there in the hospital bed listening to the sound of the baby monitor whooshing in the background. How could this be happening? I am only 26 weeks pregnant and in the next couple of hours whether I liked it or not my baby girl was going to be born. And it was all my fault. My body failed her. It decided to give up. Nothing I could do would change what was going to happen. I looked up at the ceiling hoping for some miracle. But there was no miracle. I silently started to cry. Each tear ran down my face warm with the realization that life is not fair. Just two weeks had passed since my mom had died. In this desperate hour all I wanted was my mom and that was never going to happen. The doctor walked in with this big grin on his face. He clapped his hands together and proclaimed, “Well looks like we are going to have a baby.” He seemed so excited. Acting as if I was 40 weeks along and my life wasn’t in danger. Was I missing something? Am I supposed to be celebrating? I couldn’t place my emotions. Why was this man smiling? After he left the neonatologist walked in. He was straight faced and almost pale looking. He sat down across the room and told us all that could and possibly will go wrong. He told us she might have seizures after she is born, she probably won’t be breathing they will have to intabate her, she could have bleeding in her brain which will lead to severe brain damage, she could be blind, she could have cerebral palsy and she could die. I asked him if I would hear her cry. That’s all I wanted. There is'nt a more beautiful sound than the sound of your newborn baby crying after they are born. He plainly and confidently replied “No.” I could'nt take it all in. It was too much. Why was this happening to our family? Haven’t we gone through enough? My mom suffered for 2 months. She went from walking around happy and helping to feeble and weak. Why did we need to watch another person we loved struggle to live? The next doctor that walked in informed me of how the c-section would go. He told me besides the epidural I would be receiving he was also going to place an additional IV in my arm and on in my neck. That way if my heart started to act up he could give me medication through the vein in my neck. I could'nt understand what he was saying. I just kept saying “What? What?” He just kept repeating the words, which by the third time of his explanation really started to sound like a foreign language. I closed my eyes and tried to wish it all away. At midnight I was taken down to the operating room. There was music playing in the background, the band was The Fray. I could'nt stand that band which was probably perfect that they were playing in a place that I wanted nothing to do with. The room was bright and incredibly cold. They sat me up to prep me for the epidural. All of a sudden it hit me like a semi truck and a train colliding. I looked up at the nurse, the desperation in my eyes pled with her to change this. She just held my hand tight and said, “it’s ok, keep breathing, you are going to have your baby, she needs you to be strong, don’t give up faith, now is not the time for that.” I held her gaze for a while and muttered “this is just not fair, I have no strength left, and I want to go home” They laid me down quickly and moved me onto the operation table. The curtain went up and I could no longer see my tiny belly. The doctor walked in still with that shit-eating grin on his face. He leaned over and happily said hello. If I could I would have flipped him off. The anestilologist started working on the IV in my arm. He was having a difficult time getting into the vein he wanted. The pain was becoming unbearable, he dug around inside my arm, and there was blood everywhere. I tried to focus on my baby. The doctors were talking to each other. I don’t remember a word they were saying. All of a sudden she was out, Lucy Grace was born at 12:08 am. No screaming, no noise. Nothing but deafning silence. I looked anxiously at my husband. He was standing up getting ready to go over to her. Nobody told me anything. The anest. Finally got the IV in after having to move to my other arm. He started to work on the IV in my neck. I kept trying to catch a glimpse of my sweet baby, but he kept turning my head. “Stop moving” He kept saying. I did'nt listen. I had to see her. Then like a flash they wheeled her over to me. There were tubes everywhere. All I saw was a tiny pink doll with tubes coming out her mouth. Mike looked at me and with everything he had in him he smiled. He mouthed ‘she is beautiful, I love you.” I told him to go with her. I could tell he felt torn. But I knew she needed him more. She was just ripped from her safe warm home and into a world of needles and monitors and breathing tubes and doctors. She was robbed of 13 more weeks of quiet serenity. I finally gave in to the doctor and held still as he jammed a needle down my neck. I could feel the warm blood running down my neck and onto my chest. I closed my eyes and started to fall asleep. I woke up in the elevator. I tried making small talk. I asked the doctor about his family. I wanted to pretend as if none of what just happened happened. I fell back to sleep. I woke up in the ICU. It was quiet. It felt peaceful. I was hooked up to what seemed to be 20 monitors. Most taking my blood pressure, measuring my oxygen intake, my heart rate. A nurse came in almost every 20 minutes to check something. I was in and out of sleep. I felt so foggy. It felt like half a dream and half reality.