Today’s post is not a recipe, craft or party. Today I wanted to share something that affected my family 3 years ago & affects millions of families every year. Today is World Prematurity Day.
After wanting more children for many years, I had made peace with the fact that I would only have one child & was grateful for her. At 38 years old, I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant. At 20 weeks, I went for a normal anatomy scan to ensure the baby was growing normally. It was then that the technician discovered a problem that altered the course of my pregnancy.
After spending a couple weeks on bed rest & still getting worse, I was hospitalized. At 26 1/2 weeks, I found myself going into premature labor. I was given Magnesium Sulfate to stop the labor, but it was unsuccessful. The next thing I knew there was a flurry of activity in my room. The on-call doctor, nurses, anesthesia, neo-natologists & others rushed into my room. There were so many people in my room, I lost track of who they all were.
My husband called all our family to let them know that our baby girl was entering the world way too early. I was brought to the OR & gave birth to a baby girl, Taryn Elizabeth, who was born weighing 1 pound 13 ounces; 13 1/2 inches long. After pausing briefly so we could catch a quick glimpse, Taryn was whisked away into the next room where the team went straight to work on her.
After being released from recovery, I was brought up to the NICU to see Taryn. I was so enamored with her right from the start. It was quite a shock to see her hooked up to so many machines & tubes, but she was still precious to me.
Every day after being discharged I drove the 14 miles to the hospital twice, sometimes 3 times a day to see my little angel. She fought so hard to stay alive. We took pictures of her daily, keeping a photo journal of her progress. I loved bonding with her via kangaroo care, feeding & bathing her.
I remember how excited I was the day she drank from a bottle; wearing clothes for the first time; the day she came off the CPAP & eventually the nasal canula.
Four blood transfusions, an infection requiring surgery, too many episodes of apnea & bradycardia to count & 13 1/2 weeks in the NICU, she was finally discharged. It was a surreal moment for us after trekking to the hospital daily to finally bring her home with us.
Now she’s 3 & a relatively healthy little pre-schooler who’s a ball of energy! I know the prayers of so many helped her win her fight for life, along with her own will to survive. It’s certainly not something I would wish on anyone, but with the support of family, friends, church, the amazing staff at Bridgeport Hospital & The Tiny Miracles Foundation, we got through it.
For more information, please go to the March of Dimes