When Brooklyn was born she flung her arms back and put them behind her head as if she was saying, “I’m Here!”. She is our little fighter! We have had a roller coaster so far with my pregnancy, her birth and her stay at the NICU. Some days are great days; she gains a couple ounces, opens her eyes and stares at us. Other days are extremely hard; she has spells (heart rate and breathing drop and her nurse has to turn her oxygen up or tap her foot to remind her to breath), we can’t hold her because she’s struggling and too tired. (Most days we take turns holding her for an hour but getting a preemie in and out of an incubator can be very taxing on them and burns energy that they don’t already have.)
During my pregnancy I had gone to the hospital five different times. I bled throughout my pregnancy and started contracting at the start of my second trimester. At twenty-six weeks I was admitted to the hospital for steroid shots to mature my daughters lungs. I was having contractions every five minutes, they weren’t terrible, but they were consistent and I was one centimeter dilated. I only stayed one night and was able to go home after my second dosage of steroid shots.
Three days later at four in the morning I was contracting so badly and couldn’t take it anymore. I called my doctor and let her know I was having contractions every three minutes and they were extremely painful. My mom was in town, as my husband was away for baseball season and I had a feeling something was going to happen. Thank God she was in town, I called her and told her it was time to drive to the hospital. She was sleeping at my sisters condo which is a few floors above mine. I remember pacing back and forth in the parking garage waiting for her to get down to my floor. She made it down in five minutes but it felt like thirty. On our way to the hospital my mom called Anthony and gave him the run down on what was happening. When we arrived they hooked me up to be monitored. My contractions hurt so badly. I would drift to sleep for a minute and then wake back up from a contraction. They gave me pain medicine to help with the pain but I hated it. It made me feel funny. I patiently waited for the pain medicine to wear off and for the contractions to stop.
The doctors decided to give me magnesium for twenty-four hours to slow down labor and to mature my daughters brain. Magnesium makes your body feel like it’s on fire. My mom kept saying how cold it was in the room and I kept sweating with the air on 60. I kept asking for wet cold rags. My face was very swollen, I had a catheter, and couldn’t eat until the magnesium was done being dripped into my IV. The next day I had to wait to eat solids for half the day. I could eat jello and have liquids. I ate my jello and threw up while they were giving me an ultrasound.
Once the magnesium was worn off I was able to move onto another floor where I ended up staying for five nights and thankfully all my contractions had finally stopped. Once the medicine I had been given during my stay wore off for 24 hours I was able to go home and be on bed rest. I went home and was told to relax and for the most part stay in bed.
I went home and did just that!
But at 9 o’clock at night the contractions came back. I had my husband rub my lower back to help with the pain, took some medicine my doctor had prescribed me to stop contractions and tried to sleep. Four hours later I was contacting so badly and couldn’t take it. I kept waking up from the pain. I called my doctor and she said to try and get in a different position, drink water and see if it would help. A few hours went by and I hadn’t slept. The pain was unbearable and I couldn’t lay in bed any longer. I went to the restroom and realized I had lost my mucus plug. I immediately called my doctor to let her know. She told me to come in and that she would let the hospital know I was on the way. What scared me the most was knowing we had done all that we could to slow down my labor last week and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen this time. I had Anthony call my mom and sister to let them know what was happening. I don’t think anyone knew I was actually going to become a mom that day since I had to go to the hospital so much throughout my pregnancy.
We arrived at 6 am, I contracted the entire time we were checking in at the front desk. We went back into my room and they began monitoring me. I was still only dilated one but was contracting every few minutes and they were terrible. They gave me more magnesium and indocin to slow down and hopefully stop labor. A few hours went by and I was still in the same pain, this time the medicine wasn’t working. I was throwing up, kept waddling to the bathroom and had horrible contractions. In the mean time my sister arrived and I spoke with a NICU doctor so that in case Brooklyn was born early we knew what to expect. My sister was in shock at how calm I was, I honestly was in shock too. I breathed through my contractions and remained very calm. I never screamed or yelled, I just took deep breathes through the pain.
My doctor came and spoke with me and explained that if I was dilated at least a four that my little girl would be coming soon. Brooklyn was breech and I would have to have an emergency C-section. They were worried that if my water broke she would start to try and come which would be very bad for her. My Doctor checked me and of course, I was dilated to a four. She looked at Anthony and said it was time to get dressed.
Anthony got into his scrubs and shortly they pushed my bed off to the OR. Anthony and Jess were both walking near me as they rolled me off. Jess had to stop outside of the OR door and Anthony had to wait to come in until they finished prepping me for surgery.
I remember during this all I wanted to do was cry, but I kept telling myself I had to stay calm. I didn’t want to add more stress to my body and cause more stress to my daughter. After getting my anesthesia, Anthony was able to come into the room. The entire surgery I kept taking deep breathes and kept closing my eyes. I was so scared and didn’t want to think about what could go wrong. I was so worried about my baby coming three months early. I think apart of me was so numb. I felt like I was watching everything happen and had not control of my body or of my daughter. All I could do was breathe and keep closing my eyes.
Finally I felt some pressure and my Doctor said, “SHE’S SO CUTE!!”. Brooklyn had been born, but I didn’t hear her crying at all so I wasn’t excited, I was still afraid. She held her over the screen so I could see her for a second. I was so happy to see her but her coloring wasn’t what it should be so I was still so scared. Finally as they were laying her into her incubator I heard a tiny cry and finally felt a sense of relief. They were hooking her up to a ton of machines and were about to take her off to the NICU. They told my husband to come along. He felt torn and kept looking at me and wasn’t sure if he should leave me or go with her. I told him to GO!, of course. He needed to be with our baby girl. I was so worried about her and didn’t want her to be scared or alone.
After two hours of recovery I was finally able to be wheeled down in my bed to see my baby. She was so tiny and beautiful. She was in her little incubator and had all of her different tubes hooked up to her. I put my hand inside of her bed isolate and she held on to my finger. I was so in love with my little girl and so happy she was safe.
Every day is worth it because I get to be Brooklyn Rae’s Mommy and soon she will be home with us.