It was January 20, 2017, Inauguration Friday and I was in my hospital room watching television. I was 24 weeks four days (six months) pregnant and I had been there for seven days after going into preterm labor the previous weekend. I was feeling good, walking around my maternity room a little, took a shower, and shampooed my hair. My hubby left and would return later that evening. I gave my Grandma Dee a buzz and began to feel a tightening in my belly that felt very similar to Braxton’s Hicks. I had no pain and felt the urge to urinate. I quickly finished my conversation with Grandma and went into the bathroom.
Transitioning to Active Labor
As I was using the bathroom, blood was dripping and I had another tightening feeling in my belly. I wiped, there was a lot of blood and I also felt a medium-sized bump hanging from the opening of my vagina. I immediately knew it was my sac bulging, and this baby was coming whether I was ready or not!
I jumped up from the toilet, waddled to the bedside phone, paged the nurse’s station and frantically yelled, “I think my baby is coming! The sac is bulging!” My hands were shaking as I maneuvered myself back onto the hospital bed to wait for the nurse. Two minutes later two nurses rushed in and I spoke faster than I ever have in my life! I said to them, “I was using the restroom and when I went to wipe, I felt my sac bulging.” They instructed me to lie on my back so they could check for themselves and when they looked, they could see that I was in active labor.
While they immediately requested the help of more nurses to transfer me to the labor and delivery unit, I was on the phone calling my husband to tell him what happened. With urgency, I told him, “the baby is coming, you’ve got to get back here.” It was less than an hour after he left the hospital. I was shaking and trembling, but I managed to call my mother. I yelled, “Ma! The baby is coming I am being prepped for surgery, I’ve already called Omar and he is on his way back.” She tried to ask me more questions but amid the chaos, I could not focus and I hung up on her. At this point, I was crying tears of fear and nervousness, but I also called my sister. The nurses told me it’s time to go back to the OR for an emergency C-section, and that we couldn’t wait any longer!
A Baby in the NICU
As I was lying on the table, all that I could think about was, “this cannot be the end, we did not come this far to lose this baby.” I closed my eyes and sent a message to my unborn child, “Hang on son, everything will be okay.” Asleep I went. I woke up to the faces I love most, my husband, sister, mom, and dad. I remember my first words being, “Is he alive, did he survive.” I asked them. The tears poured from my eyes uncontrollably. In all of my thirty-three years of existence, I never knew this level of emotion. I do not remember everyone’s reply, I just recall them saying “He will be okay, don’t worry.” The surgeon came in to tell us that the C-section went well and that my baby was in the NICU. I felt relieved thinking, “Okay, he must be alive.”
Graduating From the NICU
Our son spent the first 129 days (4 months) of his life in the hospital, growing, and fighting for his place on earth. He graduated two weeks after his original due date. No one could have warned me that this would be the road we would travel to become parents. Nothing could have prepared us. Going through IVF and being a NICU Momma has taught me a new level of patience. Many aspects of life are out of our control and there’s no use in blaming ourselves for situations that would have turned out exactly the same. One thing we can control is how we choose to respond and carry ourselves during said times. Peace and joy are always standing before us waiting to provide its shelter, especially when we feel unprepared.