Tuesday, November 16, 2010
National Prematurity Awareness Day
Tomorrow is National Prematurity Awareness Day.
Prematurity is something that at one time I wished that I was not so aware of. On 5.10.08 I went into the hospital at 30 weeks pregnant with my twin boys. I was pretty sure I would be released later that day, still pregnant, feeling terrible and having non stop contractions. In fact every doctor and nurse were sure that I was going home too. All day, from my check in at noonish, until midnight that night. I was told "you are just going to have to deal with it, contractions are a part of twin pregnancy", and in response to my breathing problems "do you have anxiety problems?".
Thank God for shift change. At 10 there was a shift change. I got a new resident, who actually listened to me. Suddenly, my breathing trouble was taken seriously, i had a ct scan ...which showed fluid in my lungs. The resident spent time talking to me, and at one point said, "well, your BP is fine, so we don't have to worry about Pre-Eclampsia" I said "well...as I have told the other doctors and nurses..my BP is usually very low, this "normal" is a rise for me"..he looked at my charts from my OB visits, and said "you are right, I'm ordering blood work". Probably 30 minutes later he walked in with the on call OB from my MFM office. "well, you have severe Pre-Eclampsia and HEELP, we will need to deliver immediately". I had 2 thoughts. I need Ron here (he was playing a show), and good, i just want this horrible feeling to stop. The doctors said we could wait the hour it would take for Ron to get there. I didn't even think about the consequences of what was going to happen until I called my brother, and broke down crying. I still didn't totally get it. I didn't know how sick I was...I had NO idea the severity of HELLP. I had no clue if my boys were ready. I had heard of other women who had to deliver early having an amnio to test lung maturity...we did not have the time. They needed to get out....and at the time I didn't know, but it was to save their lives, and mine.
Just writing this makes me emotional. It is much more tough to relive these moments now...now that I know my fabulous little guys...my strong little warriors are here, I can't imagine the danger they were in. I can't imagine a world without them, and to think how close we could have been to that is terrifying. Also, I was on auto-pilot for the next couple of months...I couldn't even see the boys for the first 2 days. I was too sick. When I was finally cleared, I was there non-stop. I lived in the hospital (literally) for 2 weeks...took out a room, and was there around the clock for feedings, pumping every 3 hours, even over night. Was there for doctors rounds every morning, trying to make sense of everything. I had to try to understand, had to fight for them, to make sure that every possible issue was taken seriously...since mine was not until it was almost too late.
We had breathing trouble (apnea), horrible reflux, Ronnie had a PDA (which scared the hell out of us). These are all common issues for a premature baby . But ya know what? All of this considered, we were lucky...SO freaking lucky...I mean, I cannot express how thankful I am for the fact that THIS was all we had to deal with. I saw some very sad things in the nursery. I have heard too many sad stories from other women who I care about. They have experienced the devastation of what prematurity can be.
We are a prematurity success story. For this I am eternally grateful. I owe this COMPLETELY to research funded by amazing foundations such as The March of Dimes.
It was a road...a long road...I won't say difficult, because we did what we needed to do, and so many had it much tougher than us. My guys are caught up...just as premature babes usually are by 2. They are normal..just right...just perfect, and every day I am more thankful for them than the last. If anything could possibly come from what we have gone through...I hope so much that telling people our story could maybe lead to earlier detection. As well as I have and will continue to every year walk for the March of Dimes. It's my way of saying thanks...a million times thanks for giving me my healthy, perfect boys..