Three years ago…

*Ok.. so this post is a few days late as my DD turned three a few days ago…. but this is the first time I’m finding time to write about it…. *S*

Three years ago, everything I didn’t want to happen, happened. I went into premature labor, again. And my husband was thousands of miles away. I was scared, and the paper pushers didn’t help as they ran in and out of my room with more paperwork for me to sign so they would be allowed to do the emergency surgery. Each peice of paper was accompanied with the warning, “You could die. Your baby could DIE. You understand this right?” Well, yeah, but at 6 centimeters dialated, 6 weeks early, with a breech baby, you really aren’t giving me very many options here! so shut up and let me sign the dang papers already! Man…. to this day, 3 years later, the emotions are still as fresh as if it were yesterday.

Three years ago, I gave birth 6 weeks early.  Three years ago, I had an emergency c/s and a spinal. Three years ago, I was terrified, frightened, and felt so alone despite my mom’s prescence. I remember the shock and terror I felt when I realized with was happening again. I remember the feeling of disbelief when the doc who checked me declared that not only was I at 6 cm already, but he could feel a hand poking through. I remember the shaky, nauseous feeling I got when they started pumping me full of magnesium to try to stop the labor. I remember the terror I felt when the doctors decided they couldn’t stop it, and would have to deliver right then. I remember the pain from the foley cath being so great they had to wheel my bed to the OR cuz I couldn’t move my legs. I remember they had to take it out so the anesthiologist could put in the spinal. I remember cursing him out when he told me to hold still. I think I told him I was holding blanking still, and what the blank did he expect when they had pumped me full of blanking magnesium?

I remember clearly the state of panic I was in after they pulled my child from my womb, and I all I heard was silence. I remember the euphoria I felt when I finally heard that tiniest of squeaks coming from the middle of the mass of doctors surrounding the warmer bed on the other side of the operating room. I remember the brief moment of relief when I heard she was breathing, followed by the deep sense of fear and panic when she was swept off to the nursery without ever being held where I could see her. I vaguely remember telling my mother to follow her when my DD was whisked out of the room while the doctor was closing me up, though I don’t remember if she did. I remember dealing with all the fear and anxiety by cracking jokes. I remember suggesting the doc remove all my baby fat as long as she had me open. I remember telling my mom it felt like “Elephants running across my midsection.” I remember feeling numb when the doctor announced, “oh look! Here’s the problem! Your uterus is heart shaped.”

I remember the desparation I felt when I begged the recovery nurse to take me to my baby. I remember the panic when she declared she couldn’t move me until I could move my legs. I remember the sheer detiremination, a la Kill Bill (the movie), as I lay there, staring at my toes, willing them to wiggle. (“Wiggle your big toe. Wiggle your big toe.”) I remember just about screaming when I finally got my left leg to move just a fraction, and the panic that followed when I heard the second nurse announce that the NICU transport team was at the gate, coming to take my baby who I still had not seen. I remember biting my tongue and concentrating with all my strength to make that right leg move, even just a little. I remember willing the nurses to move faster as they gave in and wheeled my bed down the hall to the nursery.

I remember feeling so distraught when I got there and found the NICU team had beaten me to the room. I remember begging the head of the transport team to let me just see her, just look at my daughter once before they took her away from me. I remember the doctor’s voice when he said, “you mean you haven’t even seen her? Oh we can do better than that.” I remember the anticipation as they positioned my bed between my daughter’s current warmer and the NICU transport bed. The intense feeling of love and joy and just pure emotion that washed over me as the nurse carefully placed the tiniest, thinnest, frailest little baby I have ever held, into my arms. I remember my stomach tying in knots as I watched her, and the deep sense of fear that took hold as the transport doctor took her away just a brief 30 seconds later. I remember watching them wheel my baby out of the room, and praying, “Please, dear God. Let her be ok. Take me if you must, but please, let her live.”

I remember the nurse presenting me with a polariod of my baby when I got back to my room. I remember her saying they had scoured the hospital looking for someone with a polaroid camera to take the picture for me. I never did find out who’s camera they used, but on the off chance that that person ever stumbles across my blog… Thank you. That picture is what got me through the hardest night of my life.

My mom walked out with the transport team and watch them ride away with my baby, and after making sure that I was settled for the night, she left to go take the news to the rest of the family. I vaguely remember the phone call to my dh sometime during the night to inform him that his baby girl had been born. I remember calling a good friend so she could alert my email groups that the baby had indeed arrived. I remember finally allowing the nurse to give me sleeping pills, cuz I knew that was the only way I’d be able to sleep that night.

I remember waking the up the next morning, and calling the NICU almost every 10 minutes for an update. I remember feeling desparatly afraid that my baby girl would die before I could get there. I remember asking the day shift nurse what I had to do to be allowed to be transported to the hospital that had my baby. I remember him telling me, “Walk and pee. Once you can do that, we will make the call.” and me telling him alright then, well, lets do this. I had just had surgery at 1145pm the night before, and it was about 9am, but dammed if I was gonna let them keep me away from my baby even just one second longer. I remember the pain I felt when I stood up that first time, but the relief that washed over me when the nurse took out the foley and was able to make it to the bathroom in time. I remember getting up several times that morning, even though it would take a good 10 mintues just for me to get into a standing position. I remember walking ever so slowly up and down the hall to prove to the nurses that I could move. I remember the kind nurse who drove out to the gate and sponsored my parents in so that they could bring me my overnight bag.

I remember the ambulance ride to next hospital, and thinking that it was the longest ride in the world. It seemed to me like the driver was only doing 5 miles an hour! Didn’t he understand that I needed to see my baby! I was absolutly terrified I would finally get there, and be told that my baby had died while I was enroute. I remember the anxiety I felt when I finally did to the hospital, and they made me wait until I had signed all their papers before they allowed a nurse to wheel me down to the NICU to see my baby. I remember watching the clock as I meticulously scrubbed in so I could visit my baby.

I remember crying tears of joy when I finally laid eyes on her and saw that she was ok. I remember standing next to her crib just touching her tiny little hand. I remember her nurse. Nurse Tiffany. I remember Nurse Tiffany getting me a chair when she realized that I wasn’t even 24 hours post-op. I remember just sitting there for what felt like hours, but really was only about 20 minutes, caressing my daughter’s head, taking pictures, and telling her all about her family, her daddy, her big brother, her gramma and grampa, and aunts. I remember telling her about the people world wide who were praying for her. I remember the nurses telling me to get my behind back in a bed, that I could come back any time I wanted.

I remember waking up at 3am, and being told that there were no nurses available to take me to the NICU. I told them to leave a wheelchair at my door, I’d use it like a walker to get down what felt like the longest hallway I’d even seen because there was no way in hell I was going to stay away from my baby. I remember it took me a good 10 minutes to get down the hall, but I don’t remember the pain, I only remember telling myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I remember encouraging myself to get down that hallway, convinced that if I sat down in the chair, I’d get stuck in there, halfway between my room and the NICU. I remember the relief that washed over me as I saw for myself that she indeed still alive and ok.

The next two weeks were incredibly stressful and emotional. The ups and downs of NICU life combined with all those post partum emotions, throw in an uncertain housing situation, an older child at his grandparents, and a husband overseas… and well…. you can see how I am relieved just to have made it through that time of our lives.

I still remember the surreal feeling of joy and anxiety the day I took my DD home from the NICU. It’s amazing to me, to watch my DD today, and remember the tiny little thing she started out as. Honestly, other than the fact that she is a bit on the short side, you’d never know that she started out as a teeny tiny preemie. What a difference three years can make.

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Kat's Arbitrary Thought Processes