Saturday, 17 September 2011
When you're pregnant, you fantasize about the perfect pregnancy, perfect delivery and perfect, healthy baby. We all know nothing about being pregnant is fun, delivery (from what I have heard) is painful and often really long and babies aren't always born perfectly healthy.
Five months ago, my healthy, normal pregnancy was cut short in the very beginning of the third trimester due to pre-eclampsia. My kidneys were almost completely failed and my blood pressure was stroke level. To make matters worse, my very active daughter refused to move for the last ultrasound and they decided to take her at 28 weeks and 1 day. Three days before that, I was in school and running up and down stairs. I had no idea nothing was wrong neither did anyone else.
She was born weighing in at 1lb and 11.5ozs and measuring in at 13inches long. She's 8lbs and 5ozs now and about 20inches long, but has been in the hospital for almost 5 months now. So far, she's gotten off the ventilator but she's on the next step the CPAP (it gives her pressure to keep her lungs open so they don't collapse again) and we want her to go to the next step a cannula that gives her extra oxygen. She was born with 5 holes in her heart, severely underdeveloped lungs- she couldn't breath on her own for a month and ROP in both eyes that got worse every week. (ROP is Retinopathy of Prematurity which was a condition where her blood vessels in her eyes were underdeveloped and her retina was detaching from her eyes it was a condition that could cause her to go blind if left untreated.) Since then, the holes have started to close and she had surgery about a month ago for the ROP and since then they found it was a huge success and after the surgery she looked around like it was the first time she truly saw things. When she came back to the home hospital from the one she went to for the surgery, they found out she had MRSA and that has just cleared up after a month of treatments. In her 4 months 3 weeks of life, she's been through more than I was in my entire childhood. They still think she has another 2 to 6 months before she came home and another year possibly on oxygen. It may be a year or two before we can even take her out in public which really bothers me, I kept fantasizing about showing my little baby off.
I had an image of the perfect baby and the perfect life after bringing her home, taking her out and all the strangers gawking over her. Raising her from the first few days of her life and being able to just get up and hold her no matter what time of the day or night it is. Instead what I got was a baby who is beautiful, sweet, smart but locked in the hospital nearly until her first birthday and we won't be able to take her out to any place to have her 1st birthday and won't be able to have a huge party for her first birthday. But this whole ordeal has taught me patience and not to take a single thing for granted. Every smile, every time she looks me in the eyes and every coo I hold close. I've been there every day of her life and hold her every day, cuddle with her, play and do everything but I just have to move around a lot of cords. My husband is the only one of us who currently has a job so he hasn't been able to make it every day but he comes every day he can. Our little Diana has a strong support system already and it's just going to get stronger when she's home. I was never patient when it came to waiting but I'm slowly learning.
I always thought pregnancy had to be easier and funner than it is but I had a harder pregnancy I was always sick and had a lot of headaches and mood swings, plus Diana was always laying on my sciatic nerve but even though I was miserable and my third trimester was going to be worse, I wish I could go back and go through the pregnancy all the way to give her a stronger start. She is a little fighter, I have to give her that. And this whole thing has really tested me and my husband. We have been told situations like this make or break a couple and we've stood by each other through the whole thing, without him, I'd be a mess and we've gotten closer. We just celebrated our first anniversary and I know that if we can make it through this, we can make it through anything.
How was your pregnancy different from what you imagined? Did you have any unforeseen complications?