This has been by far the hardest birth story to write. Since you spent 4 weeks in the NICU I feel like your birth story has two parts. The first being the day you were born and the second the day you came home.
Lets start from the beginning.
We found out about you a few days after we had gotten back from visiting family in NJ. I was so tired and could barley get off the couch. It wasn’t until I had this craving for McDonalds chicken nuggets that I said to Daddy, kind of joking, “I wonder if I am pregnant”? The next day I took a test and we stood there staring at it in complete shock. I had never felt as though our family was complete and after seeing that + I realized I was right. For the first time, my heart felt whole. I called AhAh right away and told her she might want to hold on to Savannah and Austin’s clothes. She was so excited and went right into Auntie mode.
That day was filled with both happy and sad tears as I found out that evening we had lost Grandma Mary. My heart broke when I realized I wouldn’t be able to tell her she had another Great Grandchild on the way (her 11th). A few days later I traveled back to NJ. I was able to spend more time with my niece and get some good newborn cuddles in with my new nephew. It felt different knowing I would have my own squishy baby to cuddle with soon. I still didn’t really believe I was pregnant so I found an independent sonogram provider and decided to go get a quick peak. My first official appointment was in August where I got to see you again.
I tried really hard but didn’t end up being very consistent with weekly updates. I did have a few favorites though!
This time around I wanted to do a gender reveal party with friends. AhAh was the first to know and she ordered a fun balloon kit. Then she told our neighbor who put together the balloons for us. It was so hard to wait so long to find out, but it was fun to do it with our friends.
A few days after the gender reveal party we had your anatomy scan. I loved being able to see so much more of you.
On Wednesday, January 15th I had a Non-Stress Test appointment. I was going in weekly to monitor some early signs of preeclampsia. After feeling so off the day before I asked Daddy to stay home from work and take me. You looked great on the monitor but Mommy’s blood pressure was at it’s highest (160/92). There was a little miscommunication and we left the office before the nurse had updated my Doctor. Not 10 minutes after we left was the Doctor’s number showing up on my caller ID. She was concerned about my blood pressure and asked that we head straight to L&D. As we made a U-turn and headed towards the hospital I was in complete denial. I told myself we would be back home before lunch.
Before we had time to process what was going on, I was in a room and on the monitors. You looked great but my blood pressure was getting worse and worse. All was pretty quiet for about 15 minutes until I realized staff were starting to enter the room one by one. Before I knew it the room was filled with nurses. I heard someone say that I was going to be admitted so they could administer BP medication. A few minutes later, there were 2 anesthesiologists my side poking around trying to find a viable vein for an IV that could last 30 days as the hospital OB stood at feet explaining that I wouldn’t be leaving the hospital until I had the baby. I was trying my best to hold it together until another nurse came in asking when was the last time I ate. That’s when I lost it. That’s when I knew something was wrong and whether I was ready or not, we would be meeting you that day. Turns out my labs from that morning had come back and I was showing signs of HELLPs.
Everyone tried their best to console me but I immediately went into panic mode. I was worried about my babies, all of them. It hadn’t been said but at only 33 weeks you would need to stay in the NICU. My other worry was your brother and sister. While I had their go bags ready we had no idea what to do with them. Your Daddy was amazing. He stepped out for a few minutes and when he returned, arrangements had been made for the kids to be picked up and stay with a friend. My Mom was arriving the next morning and my doula was on her way.
The next 4 hours were long. There was a lot of prep that needed to happen including getting started on magnesium. We asked if someone from the NICU could come and walk us through what to expect. He was very comforting and gladly answered all of our questions. He told us to plan on you staying in the NICU until your due date, March 3rd.
We were able to FaceTime with Parker and Caity but I don’t remember much as the Magnesium made me kind of loopy.
Around 3:30pm we headed to the OR. I was so excited when I found out my doula, Amanda would be allowed in the room to take photos. Everything went great and hearing you cry out was like music to my ears. My OB held you up over the curtain where I got my first look of you. Then you were whisked to the side of the room where the NICU staff was waiting. Daddy went over and held your hand. They started working immediately to get you hooked up to oxygen, your lungs just weren’t ready. They also checked your vitals and told Daddy and I you were 4lb 10oz and 17.5 inches long.
Once you were stable, Daddy went with you to the NICU where they started an IV, feeding tube, and got you settled into an isolette. They wheeled me into the NICU so I could get another glimpse of you and touch your foot. I don’t remember it, but Daddy took a picture.
We updated close family and friends but were waiting to announce your name until you met Uncle Tim. We finally got a hold of him early Thursday morning and immediately announced your arrival on social media.
The next morning Daddy went down to see you and FaceTimed with me so I could get my first real look at you. I was a little more aware which made me really sad, I wanted to hold you so bad but had to wait until the evening when I was off the magnesium drip.
About 30 hours after you were born I was able to hold you for the first time. You were so tiny and there were so many cords between your oxygen, feeding tube, and IV. The nurses were so sweet and patient with me but got you in my arms as they could. The second we were touching I took a deep sigh and just soaked you in.
The next 4 weeks were extremely difficult but I kept really good notes and all of my updates on social media so that when I am ready I can compile them for you to read one day.