My name is Vanessa, and I am the proud mother of two beautiful children. My son, Aiden was born at a full term 38 weeks, and with an easy pregnancy as well as delivery. So when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was excited. After four long months of morning sickness, and twenty pounds shed, I thought I had passed the “hard” part of my pregnancy. But boy was I wrong!
At just 20 weeks along, I was diagnosed with Pregnancy induced hypertension, and was put on not one but two blood pressure medications, to lower my rollercoaster blood pressure. With a four year old at home, Bed rest was not really an option, so I continued my everyday lifestyle as a working mother. But at 22.3 weeks, I was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital where my diagnoses had changed to Preeclampsia. From there I was headed to Boston where they have a NICU.
I had zero time to pack, make arrangements for my son, or even call my job before they had me in an Ambulance and headed for the city. I was admitted to Brigham & Women’s where I spent 3.5 weeks attached to monitors, IV’s, and given multiple medications in the attempt to hold of the delivery of my little girl. But at just 26 weeks, the doctors couldn’t hold off any longer, and I was scheduled for an emergency
C-section. My daughter Annika, weighed 1 pound 4 ounces, and was 12.2 inches long. I barely had sight of her before they rushed her off to the NICU, and I was sent to recovery, alone.
I remained on the post-partum floor where the sound of happy mothers and crying babies was agonizing. It took three full days before I was able to see my baby, and the sight of her was an emotional waft that cannot be put into words.
There lay this tiny little person who I had carried for 6 months, and yet I didn’t know her. She was hooked
to IV’s, monitors and a CPAP machine helping her breath. She was inside an Isolette, and was under UV lights to help her skin. Her skin was red and wrinkled, and her hands the size of bottle caps. I had heard of mothers who had babies like this, but never in a million years imagined that I would be one of them. She remained in the NICU for 78 days before being discharged home, just after Christmas.
The experience of being a “Preemie” mom has changed me, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. Living here on Cape Cod is a blessing, with the ocean so close, the tightness of our communities, and the child friendly atmosphere we all want to raise our children in. However, it can also be very isolated, especially during a stay in a Boston NICU. I have created a Facebook group called “Preemie Mamas on Cape Cod”, where moms of Premature babies of all ages and gender can group together as a “family”. We share advice,
Photos, experiences and are planning a few play dates throughout the year. Please join us, and know that it is hard being a Preemie parent, but you’re NOT alone. http://www.facebook.com/groups/365948863437350/
Vanessa is the latest Cape Cod Mom to join our blogging team! She will be posting blogs on all things preemie on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month! Join us in following her journey!
8/14/2012 02:52:18 am
As a mother who lost her first daughter shortly after birth, I am so happy to hear that Vanessa's daughter Annika pulled through. I do not know much about preemies, but I know all to well the emotions of having to be strong while being scared to death at the same time. The two children who followed after my first daughter, were both full term babies albeit both had problems at delivery time. A Mothers courage, strength, and compassion are never ending. My heart goes out to Vanessa for being that person who must have been so scared, yet had to be strong at the same time.
8/18/2012 03:11:39 pm
Wow.... I can't even imagine. Powerful stuff; thanks for posting
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