When I was 7.5 weeks pregnant, I knew with 100% certainty that my pregnancy would not go to term.
That my offspring would be born premature.
Impossible to know you say.
Not when you're pregnant with Triplets!
Actual ultrasound: 7.5 weeks gestation.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. My peers and I have created a blog hop to support all those that have travelled this road and all those that unfortunately will. Be sure to check out the other blog posts listed at the bottom of this post.
Here is an excerpt of The Zoo's NICU Story.
My three doctors informed me that if everything went according to plan, I would deliver at 36 weeks (something to do with placental deterioration). If I didn't make it that far then surely I would make it to the average gestation for Triplets: 32w4d. Christmas Day was 32w4d. We'd call them Rudolph, Donner and Blitzen.
This chapter begins at 25w5d gestation when my water broke on Baby A (Alexander). I was admitted to the hospital and they waited for me to go into labour.
In fact, we waited another 4w5d until I went into pre-term labour at 30w3d. Note that pre-term labour is a very common risk with high-order multiples.
There was nothing that they could do. The kids were coming.
My emergency c-section was crammed in between two twin births and a three-day stretch of winter weather that left the hospital short staffed. You wouldn't have known it with the 16 people that were in my operating room. Note that I delivered at a teaching hospital where one nurse's sole job was to take the kids from the operating room into the adjoining support room. Nothing but the best for my kids.
The birth was uneventful except for my litre of blood loss. One of the nurses literally called out "clean up in the aisle, don't trip". Thankfully, at the time, I didn't comprehend the meaning. Ed did.
Unfortunately, our NICU stay was anything but uneventful or routine.
After two days, all the kids were breathing on their own (Max even cried at birth). After 8 days, they were eating and gaining weight. The world was their oyster. The staff warned us that we weren't out of the woods yet. We just thought that they didn't know what they were talking about.
Sadly, they did.
After nine days of life, Alexander contracted an infection (NEC, they don't know the cause, however, prematurity increases the odds) and passed away.
But the rollarcoaster didn't end there.
Eight days later, Artemis was also in distress.
As a direct result of her hospital stay (and prematurity), she had contracted sepsis, a blood infection that can be fatal, even in adults. She was just 32-weeks gestation (8-weeks premature) so we had a long fight ahead of us.
This picture was taken in a room that measured approximately 16x18' and housed 4-5 infants with two nurses. The sicker babies where in another room with way more machines and had one-on-one care.
It's surreal to watch your child(ren) die in front of you, and there's nothing you can do.
Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way. We know all too well.
I'm not coming out until I'm good and ready!
After three long weeks, Artemis beat sepsis. She survived.
Thankfully, not everyone's story turns out like ours.
Unfortunately, some turn out worse.
I choose not to remember our eight-week stay in the NICU as it is simply a blip on the radar of life, However,
I have not forgotten...
If you find your child in the NICU then ask for help, tell your family what you need. Change your mind if you have to. Look after yourself and your family. If you are the family member, please listen and respect their wishes. Even if you haven't heard from them in weeks. They know you're thinking of them. You can not imagine what it's like to be in their shoes.
As always, feel free to ask me any questions.
I am participating in a Preemie Awareness Blog Hop. Please stop by and visit these other women that have shared their story. Not an easy feat, I assure you.
- Prematurity Awareness: Keira's Story
- Prematurity Awareness: Julien's Story
- Prematurity Awareness: Parenting with Heart
- Prematurity Awareness: Being a Parent of a Preemie
- Prematurity Awareness: What It's Like To Have Preemies
- Prematurity Awareness Month - What It's Really Like To Have a Preemie
- Prematurity Awareness: "Tiny" and Kathryn's story