November is World Prematurity Month. To honour and support the moms of preemies, we are sharing stories of moms who’ve been there and who can offer support from the other side of a long road. This is one mother’s story.
Tell us about the day your baby was born.
I was woken up by the voice of my gynae… ‘right, let’s prep for surgery’.
Still in a daze, not sure what was going on. I thought I was admitted just for an observation, however my cervix was dilating through my cerclage and infection was setting in. I remember the nurses trying to insert a catheter and the terrible discomfort that came with it. I remember having a panic attack, knowing that my little baby was coming into this world at only 33 weeks. Being wheeled into theater, my heart pounding, praying and praying that my baby would be okay. I remember not worrying about myself at all, even though I was going for a major abdominal surgery, and thought ‘well this must be motherhood’. I remember the horrible pain of the spinal block, and feeling so dizzy and exhausted that I don’t even remember the minute my baby came into this world. I tried so hard to keep myself awake to hear that little cry..and 1 .2…3…. seconds later I heard that tiny little cry.
They placed him on my chest for a fraction of a second and rushed him off to ICU Then I was wheeled off into the recovery room. I think this was the loneliest moment for me. From having my baby inside me just a while ago, to being in a cold empty room so so far from my baby, not knowing where he is or what’s happening to him. The only slight relief that I had was that my doula was there to tell me that my baby is okay. Imagine wanting so so desperately to just see your new baby, but your legs wont take you, and you cant go with a wheelchair because hes in ICU? Imagine the first look you get of your baby, who you’ve been carrying for so long, is through a photograph. Imagine getting out of bed just 5 hours after surgery, feeling like your body is going to split in two, and walking down a long passage, each step like torture… and then having to look at your tiny little baby hooked up to machines, through a glass box All you want to do is pick them up and hold them and make them feel safe and secure like they were just a few hours ago, but you have to just stand there and watch with tears in your eyes and your heart shattering.
Can you describe some of the emotions you experienced during the early days and weeks with your baby?
Do you have any words of encouragement for a mom who is currently waiting for her baby to come home?
The journey seems long and exhausting. It’s full of worry and fear and many many tears. Celebrate the smallest milestones- holding your baby for the first time, even changing a nappy for the 1st time! And savour these moments. Take time to heal yourself as well- physically and emotionally. Speak to someone, don’t hide the pain. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t ever blame yourself And know that one day soon you will get that call to say that today is the day you take your baby home