In remembrance of World Prematurity Day, we asked staff who have experienced a premature birth to share their story. Here is Andrea's.
“Survive now. Cry later.” This short saying perfectly summarizes my pregnancy and delivery.
After two weeks of at-home bed rest due to pregnancy-induced hypertension and an intra-uterine growth restriction, I received a call from my OB himself. “Pack your hospital bag. I will see you as soon as you get there.” PIH had turned into severe pre-eclampsia, and my life and my baby’s life were in extreme danger. I spent my days on my left side either sleeping or listening to my baby’s heartbeat on the monitors and adjusting them as he frequently kicked them away. I knew even then that he was a fighter. Survive now. Cry later.
I was induced at 35 weeks, and for 50+ hours I wore what my husband calls my “game face.” My only thought was that my life did not matter as long as my baby survived. Wednesday evening came and still no baby. His heart rate continually dropped, and we opted for an emergency c-section. Survive now. Cry later.
Cameron was born weighing 4 lbs. 2 oz. but this is where my story begins to differ from most parents of preemies. He never knew that he was born too early or that he was small. There was no need for a feeding tube, bili lights, or even an extended hospital stay. We both left the hospital healthy. We survived.
What could have been is not lost on me, and of course, that thought brings a wealth of emotion. However, my experience has given me purpose and reason for my work at The Milk Bank. I cry with the donor who is so passionate about giving back, for the mother who lost her baby, and for the outpatients desperately seeking the outcome I was so easily given. I survived, but I still cry.