On October 17, 2006 it meant being scared out of my mind. Why? Let me tell you a story. [some of you know this story. :) ]
It was October 16th, 2006. I was 30 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. It was also my dad's birthday. My husband, Angelina and I went to my parent's house for dinner to celebrate. My stomach begins aching like I ate too much. It becomes a regular coming and going stomach ache. We realize this. Begin timing. Coming every 8-9 minutes. Weird.
I call my doctor after a little while... she says "Go to the hospital." Husband [Mike] and I say "see you later" to mom and dad. Give Angelina a kiss. Leave for hospital. I am sort of freaking out in my mind. Wondering what is going on, and fearing my body is betraying me.
Get to the hospital. Hooked up to monitors. Things are fine. Until the nurse checks me... "Shealynn. You are 6cm dilated. We can't stop your labor."
That's when the world stops. Only for a moment. Everything pauses. I remember my mind blanking for a few seconds [which seemed like forever]. Then thinking, "What did she just say?" "What?" "NO! I am only 30 weeks pregnant!!!"
I come back to reality. Mike is incredible. Holding my hand. Telling me everything is going to be OK, as he always does. Because he's like that. He's great at comforting. I can no longer hold back tears. I am afraid. I am confused, and stunned, and wishing it wasn't happening. Wishing that Zoe would stay put for 10 more weeks. But she wasn't. She was coming early. Time to face it.
My doctor comes in. I LOVE her. She is very sweet, very comforting, and very nurturing. Like every great doctor should be. She must have seen the fear on my face. She holds my hand. Tells us that Zoe's survival rate is 99%. My fear temporarily subsides. Good. She has a 99% chance of survival. She is a girl, which ups her chances as well. We are told girls tend to fight harder. I am relieved... mostly.
I opt out of an epidural. I am not in much pain, so don't think it's necessary. Who was I kidding? 1 hour later. I was begging for it. It was too late. :( Child birth is hard to describe. The pain is so intense and I am writhing in pain. Can't focus. I beg for something. I get Demoral. It does not take the pain away. It makes me feel drunk. I feel like I have had several beers. That did not help my focus. A NICU team comes in. Prepares for Zoe's arrival. 10 weeks early.
I won't go into nasty details. But, after a while, Zoe was born. Mike teared up. Saying over and over "She's crying! She's crying!" Then I cried.
3 lbs 4oz
Born at 2:41am 10/17/06
10 weeks premature
I am allowed to quickly kiss her. Then she is rushed off to the NICU. Since she is born at 30 weeks, she is considered "Very Premature". She had to be taken to another hospital. 1 hour after birth, Zoe is brought into our room. She is intubated and in an incubator on a stretcher ready for transport. I am not allowed to touch her, hold her kiss her. This is hard for me. Even now [2 1/2 years later]... I am getting teary. LOL!
Zoe is transported to a hospital 20 minutes away. I feel empty. Just gone into labor, but my baby isn't there. Mike comforts me. He is amazing. I cry and sleep, cry and sleep.
9am, we are up and ready to leave the hospital, and see Zoe. She was so tiny! I remember seeing her and being so shocked at her tiny*ness! So little. She was doing great!
Long story short...
Zoe was in the hospital for 5 1/2 weeks. Her lowest weight was 2lbs 12oz
Leaving the hospital she weighed 4lbs 3oz
She was TINY! :)
We surprised Angelina with her arrival home. Her sister was home to stay. Angelina was over the moon. We all cried. :) A happy ending to a scary time.
Why am I bringing this story up? I guess because I keep hearing about the March of Dimes Walk For Babies. It's bringing back so many memories. March of Dimes is a charity that helps fight against prematurity. If it wasn't for this charity, Zoe might not be alive today! This charity is so close to our hearts.
If your interested in donating to a precious phenomenal cause, you can donate in Zoe's name! At the very top right of my blog there is a link there. So many babies die every year of prematurity. It's incredibly sad.
Thank you for listening to my story. Any one of you had a premature baby?
P.S. My oldest daughter's [Angelina] school is raising money for a charity called "Pennies For Peace". If you're interested in that charity, click here to donate for Angelina. You can read about the charity here.