By this time my husband had left work and sped over to the hospital. We were both emotional and pretty scared about what this meant for our baby. Since the hospital I was planning on delivering at had NO capabilities to take care of a premature baby my doctor gave us 2 options. I could stay there and deliver, then my baby would be Life Flighted to another hospital once she was born. The much better solution was to have ME Life Flighted to the hospital where they had the states best NICU and Neonatologists. We went with the second plan and the helicoptor was on its way!
Hello everyone, and thank you SO much to Kelley for having me! My name is Tonii and I blog over at Blue Skies Ahead. I am a wife to one handsome husband, mother of 4 loud and crazy adorable kiddos, lover of crafting and teaching, and perfect at none of it 🙂
I am so thrilled to be a part of Kelley’s Mom Panel. I LOVE being a mother, and I think only good things can come from meeting new moms, learning from them, and coming together to support each other. Today I am sharing the birth story of my first daughter, Skylar.
Just like all new parents, my husband and I were thrilled, nervous, scared and ecstatic when we found out we were expecting our first baby. My pregnancy was pretty run of the mill, lots of morning sickness til about 14 weeks and then I was feeling great! I loved my little baby bump and was so excited to meet my first litte baby girl.
One day when I was a little over 31 weeks pregnant I remember being at work and just feeling yucky! My back was killing me and I felt really crampy. I called my husband and told him…he said it was probably just gas 🙂 OH the abuse he has taken over the years for that comment 😉 I left work early and went home to see if laying down would help at all. At this point I was a little concerned because I realized the pain was coming and going every 8-10 minutes. I called my doctor and left a message, still not too worried. Then I went to use the restroom and was horrified to see LOTS and lots of blood. I immediately called my doctor back and they told me come in immediately.
I remember still not being THAT worried…I really didn’t know anything about having a baby yet. I was still just seeing the doctor every 4 weeks, and was scheduled the next week to take the labor class. I was really nervous, but sure the doctors could work it all out. They immediately placed me in a room and had a nurse come in to check me. When she loudly announced I was dialated to a 5 and 90% effaced…then I got really scared. My doctor came in just a few minutes later and really explained to me what was going on and what we needed to do.
I am terrified of flying, especially on small planes. I remember just trying to block it all out as they slid me onto a cot not much wider than an ironing board. I got REALLY nervous when they introduced me to the Neonatologist that was on board…just in case I went into labor while we were in the air 🙂 Luckily we made it to the hospital safe and sound, WITHOUT having baby Skylar.
The next few days were a roller coaster of emotions, information, a million doctors and LOTS of prayers. One doctor would come in and say they didn’t think I was going to have the baby any time soon…then another one would come on call and not let me eat anything because he was SURE I would have the baby that day. I was immediately given the first round of steroid shots to help develop the babies lungs and lots of medication to stop my contractions. We prayed with all our hearts that we would be able to go long enough that we could recieve all the rounds of the shots before we had our daughter. You get one shot, then 24 hours one more, and then 24 hours after that the steroids have taken their full effect.
We were trying to soak up any information we could about what a 32 week baby means…we simply had no idea! We were told very realistically what we could expect. Best case scenario, she would be around 3 to 3 1/2 pounds. Best case scenario, when she was born she would need oxygen to help her, worst case she would not be breathing. 90% of babies born at 32 weeks survive. It was fact after fact, but knowledge made me feel more powerful and helped me know what to expect.
The third day in the hospital I finished my rounds of the steroid shots and STILL no baby! We were thrilled…they constantly told me every day I kept that baby in my tummy was 3 days less she would have to be in the NICU. They decided to move me out of the Labor and Delivery and to a long-term room on a different floor. I remember feeling really anxious about that decision. The labor room I had been in was literally next door to the NICU, and they had a window that went straight from my room to the best NICU in our state. It had given me so much peace of mind to be in that room! Nevertheless…off we went to our new room. Within just a few hours of being in my new room…my water broke and I was right back in my favorite room 🙂
They rushed me back and tried to get the epidural ASAP! Once my water broke within 20 minutes I was dialated to a 10 and ready to start pushing. Now I have to preface this with something…I figured I was pushing out a 3 pound baby. I was pretty much expecting her to FALL out 🙂 I was totally discouraged to find myself STILL pushing almost 3 hours later. After being in a bed for 3 days with a catheter and almost NO food I was incredibly weak.
I will never forget those moments. I had given it everything I could. It was not enough. All I could do was pray. What happened after was a sacred experience I will always treasure, and a few moments later my beautiful Skylar Ann was born.
Then she stared crying. They had prepared me to expect her not to cry. Oh, it was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard! They immediately took her and passed her through the window before I could see her. I kept asking how she was and if she was ok. I would hear them yell things through the window…things I couldn’t believe. “Girl Johnson is 4 lbs 11 oz!” “Girl Johnson’s apgar is 9!” “Girl Johnson is on room air…no oxygen!” Again and again my little miracle was beating all the odds, and being BETTER than all the best-case scenarios we were given. My husband left to go be with her while they finished up with me. Within a few hours I was allowed to be wheeled to the NICU to see my baby for the first time.
As I was being wheeled into the room I saw her. And I thought to myself…”I hope that one’s mine!” She had a head full of beautiful dark hair and was the most perfect baby I had ever seen. Those first moments with her were so precious. I could not yet hold her, but to see her and touch her was enough.
The next few weeks were long and exhausting. Having a baby in the NICU is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Leaving the hospital without your baby is like leaving a piece of your soul, but I was always humbled to realize what a wonderful gift we had been given in our little angel. After 3 weeks, lots of attempts at nursing, feeding tubes, IV’s, and incubators we took our little girl home.
Each of the births of my children have been special and sacred to me, but the birth of my first daughter changed me. I learned about faith, and I also learned about hope. That experience was necessary for me to become the kind of mother I want my children to have- a mother that trusts in God and His will, even when it differs from my own.
Thank you so much for letting me share my story Kelley, I think these birth stories shape us into the mothers that we are and remind us of the absolute miracles of our children!!