by Connie Adams
When my water broke at 25 weeks, I was terrified. My worst fear was that my baby wouldn’t survive. When the specialist completed his exam and all of the tests, he explained that there was not much hope for survival, my son’s cord was extremely short and he was not sure how long he could survive in utero with little to no amniotic fluid, but he wanted to try to sustain the pregnancy as long as possible to give my son a better chance.
I went into labor again at 27 weeks and the doctors were afraid of the risks to the baby, so they allowed me to deliver. My son was born at less than two pounds and was immediately rushed to a waiting team and into the NICU. I barely got to see his face. The doctors found that not only was his umbilical cord extremely short, but it had ruptured at some point and there was a huge clot blocking the rupture. They were not sure what the effects would be on my son. I was in one hospital and my baby was being sent to another hospital and the terror was overwhelming. I had no idea if he would survive.
When I was finally able to see him, he was so tiny and there were so many wires and tubes that I could barely see his body. The doctors seemed hopeful but guarded. Within 48 hours he was breathing on his own and things were looking up. I started to think when I could bring him home and not if I could. This brought on an entirely new kind of terror. How do I care for this tiny baby? Less than a week later, the doctor sits me down and tells me my son has a bleed in his brain and needs surgery.
I didn’t know if I wanted to cry, scream, or throw up. Sitting in the NICU crying from fear , a volunteer handed me a card for Graham’s Foundation. She said that they had a lot of information on their site and maybe it could help to answer some of my questions. It was a huge blessing, not only did I find helpful information, I found support. Now I share Graham’s Foundation with anyone that is in a same or similar situation, friends, family, or any stranger that will listen.
My son came home after 72 days in the NICU and is doing so well. There have been some complications, but he has come so far! He is partially deaf and has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder which the doctors believe is related to being a preemie and there may be more effects that we have not discovered yet, but he is happy and healthy.