I am 8 weeks postpartum, its 4:05 am in the morning and I felt the intense urge to pen down the newest addition to our family’s birth story. Crazy right? The thing is, I am forgetting things lately… and I want to remember this.
Things happened so fast that we could not have our birth photographer there, so all I have is my memories and words. Our little boy was born at 35 weeks – a whole month early. Although this was my second time giving birth to a premature baby, it was still absolutely terrifying. No birth story is ever the same, and to be honest – I still don’t feel like any of this is real.
The lead up to his birth was traumatic. I went into premature labour at 31 weeks, which was just too early. I think I cried the entire time that I was in the hospital. I was put on a course of Adelat and given a steroid injection to mature baby’s lungs. I spent the following 3 weeks in and out of the hospital with labour pains – every single day that went by was a victory. I was anxious to meet him, but I really wanted to carry full term.
After being on strict bed rest for almost a month, I went on a very relaxed lunch date with my family not far from home. I needed to get out of the house, and we were celebrating two of my sisters’ birthdays. This was also the day before my babyshower. On our way home, I started to feel contractions – this was the 4th time I went into preterm labour in as many weeks, so I was pretty relaxed about it. By now I knew what to expect, it was nothing new. As we got home, I started repacking my hospital bag and got the kids ready for another few days without their mamma and finished up some urgent things for work. As I packed the last item, I got a contraction so strong I nearly passed out.
They have not gotten this intense before, and I suppose deep in my heart I just knew – this time, it was go time. At the hospital, they once again tried to stop labour. I had been on a course of Adelat since week 31, and they administered a second shot of steroids. I was in labour for 16-hours, and at 7:15 am the decision was made to do take the baby out at 8 am. My husband somehow needed to get the kids to school and get back to the hospital in time to be there for the birth of his son – miraculously he made it just as they wheeled me into the theatre.
I am not sure if it was because it was so early, but I was absolutely terrified. I was so incredibly nervous the entire time. I am always shocked at just how cold the theatre rooms are… I hate that cold. My anesthetist administered my epidural, I was introduced to the pediatrician (who has now become all my kids’ pead), I met with the neonatal surgeon who was in charge of the NICU and my favourite maternity ward nurses were there too – ready and waiting.
As the surgery started, I felt my blood pressure drop dramatically and I started blacking out. The anesthetist gave me something to make my blood pressure push up, the downside was that it also made me feel like I was having a heart attack as my heart had to work so much harder. Anyway… it felt like an eternity when in reality it was just a few seconds. All of a sudden it was time – I felt that uncomfortable tug, they pulled him out and… nothing. All I remember is my own voice sounding so strange in my ears – repeating “please cry, please cry, please cry”. And then, finally, the most beautiful sound in the world. The most beautiful cry I have ever heard.
They weighed him while I was getting stitched up, and we were all shocked to learn that he weighed in at a whopping 3,1kg! We were all expecting him to be between 2-2,5kg based on the ultrasound measurements. Unfortunately, his one lung was completely collapsed and he had to be taken to the NICU and placed on oxygen. He also needed to be on a feeding tube.
It was hell reliving this particular experience, it was the same thing all over again – except I was able to see my son within a few hours. They were perfectly happy wheeling me to him in a wheelchair. If I have to be completely honest, I also felt way more alone this time around. It was really hard as we had no support. Cole could only come to visit me while the kids were at school, and the rest of the time I was by myself. I had to adhere to the NICU visiting time and the rest of the time I spent trying to squeeze every single drop of milk out of my boobs.
Anyway, even though it was a tad more dramatic than I would have liked, it was still an amazing experience. My little miracle boy was born. My darling Nova Jude… the light of my life. He saved me when I didn’t even know I needed saving.
a sudden, rapid increase in a star’s brightness
We decided to give Nova a second name – Jude. Jude is a tribute to my late mother in law, Julie. My father-in-law always lovingly referred to her as Judes… and I know she is watching over him. She would have loved to meet him, I feel like she is with him.
Remembering that day still makes me weepy. Thank you so much for reading our story and being so lovely throughout our pregnancy, as well. It has been such a joy to share everything with you.