The micropreemie journey can be like walking through a minefield for both preemies and their families. The moms and dads of the earliest babies celebrate not only the milestones, but also the minutes. Every hour in the early days is hard won. Every milestone met, a triumph. A micro-preemie parent’s courage and resilience may be tested to the very limits. The struggle may feel never-ending, but it’s important that parents know they are never alone. Our micropreemie support mentor, Ginger, was kind enough to answer some questions about her own journey and the kinds of support micropreemie parents can really use. To connect with Ginger for a listening ear or emotional support, click here.
1. Did you have any idea you might give birth prematurely?
We had no idea that we would deliver prematurely. I had went to the doctor with a few minor complaints the day before. But he did tests and an exam, and said I was having a perfect pregnancy. The next day I was in labor but also in denial because everyone was telling me it was just Braxton Hicks. At around 8 pm my coworkers convinced me to call my husband and go in to the hospital. The next day after unsuccessfully trying to stop my labor we were thrust into this world of the NICU life and having a micropreemie.
2. What was your premature birth experience like?
I was in the hospital for two days. They tried to stop my labor with magnesium. I was so confused – I still didn’t believe I was going to have my baby at 23 weeks. I thought they were going to be able to stop it and send me home. I had to convince the doctors to try all life saving measures because of how early it was. My husband and I suffered from infertility for 15 years and I was not giving up. God also told me not to give up hope. I prayed and begged and pleaded until the doctors agreed. They told me the future was bleak. Our daughter would never walk or talk, she would have brain damage, could be blind, even worse. They said that the equipment would damage or kill her if it didn’t fit. I said God will take care of her, I’ll be her eyes, her legs, her mouth… anything she needs me to be, I will be that for her. They believed me and tried. My water broke. They all rushed in, an entire team. I was having her, breech, feet first. My cervix closed on her throat. They had to cut my cervix to get her out and they cut her neck in the process because my leg slipped and hit the bed. All the nurses had grown attached to us at that point. Their faces were all filled with tears and they were crying as hard as I was. They had heard all I had said about our struggle, and like us they really didn’t know what was going to happen. Judging from their faces, I thought it was too late. I was so sad and so confused and everything felt so up in the air. I felt like I was free falling and watching a lifetime of dreams and hopes washing away down the drain.