This post comes from our Preemie Parent Mentor Emily – her story will resonate with many preemie parents who wonder if there’s something they could have done to prevent premature birth. The fact is, however, that most preterm birth happens without warning for reasons we don’t always understand. #youarenotalone
Today was supposed to be your due date. March 15th – it was written in my head in flashing, neon lights. It was going to be the day when our dream of becoming parents would finally come true. Instead, the three of you made your terrifying entrance into the world seventy three days early. Some people said we were lucky, triplets never make it to their due date so at least we had an idea that they’d come early. Yes, we knew that on average triplets deliver at 33 weeks, we knew that having an extended NICU stay was possible, but we’d also been told that the chances of us triplets were approximately 2.5%. We’d beaten the odds on that one so figured maybe that luck would continue.
What no one ever mentioned in the days and weeks leading up to those chaotic thirteen hours when we learned that there was no stopping your arrival was the overwhelming feeling of guilt. I could barely comprehend what was happening as I looked at your impossibly tiny faces for a just second before you were whisked off by strangers whose sole job was to keep you alive after my body had failed you.
Every waking hour was spent wracking my brain trying to figure out where I went wrong. Every doctor, every nurse tried to reassure me that sometimes these things just happen but I was convinced that I was somehow to blame. If only I’d upped my daily water intake, if only I’d stopped working, if only I’d complained less about needing assistance to roll myself out of bed in the morning then maybe I’d still be feeling you tap dance on my bladder rather than seeing your fragile bodies covered in wires and tubes.