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How It All Began

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

My ultrasound appointment started like any other. It was my 20-week obgyn check-up and my husband and I presented to the doctor's office with anticipation, expecting to find out our baby's gender. We had planned to have a gender reveal party the following week. Aside from an annoying case of acid reflux, my pregnancy had been uneventful up until that point. Imagine my surprise when the ultrasound technician told me she saw something concerning on the screen. When I saw my doctor, she told me that my cervix was thinning and slightly dilated and that I needed to be seen by a perinatologist. Peri who? I immediately went into panic mode. Thankfully the perinatologist's office was right next door so I was quickly escorted right over. After a brief introduction, the doctor performed an amniocentesis and checked my cervix. He turned to me with concern and said I needed to be wheeled over to the ER right away. Yes, he said "wheeled" because he didn't want me on my feet at all anymore. I would need to have a catheter inserted and immediately go on bedrest. I couldn't process it quickly enough. I had a lunch date planned with my best friend and was going to tour a local daycare. What about my business? I had to go to work the next day!

I resigned myself to bedrest and allowed myself to be cared for over a 4 week period. I was given progesterone and a whole cocktail of drugs to ward off labor. Of course, I can't forget the steroid shots to encourage my little one's lung development. There were multiple visitors and prayers from family and friends. The nurses and medical assistants entered throughout the day and well into the night to check my vitals and monitor my baby's heart rate and activity. She was doing great, but I was on an emotional rollercoaster. One day I would get encouraging news and the next day I would receive a report that would cause me to question if my baby would be fine. I relied on my faith in God as I never had before. I knew I needed to keep trusting that He would bring me through this trying time. Despite my ever-changing emotional state, I still had a peace that I knew was from Christ.

Almost four weeks later I began to feel contractions and more movement from the baby than normal. My doctor ordered IV fluids and increased the dosage of my anti contraction medications. The last-ditch efforts to keep me pregnant weren't enough. My doctor examined me the next day and gave me the frightening news that it was time to deliver my baby. I would need an emergency cesarean because she was breach. A team of clinical staff members rushed in and began preparing me for surgery. I was wheeled (yes, wheeled again) to the OR where my baby girl, Laila, was delivered by cesarean weighing in at 1 pound 4 ounces. I remember taking a look at her and immediately feeling a mix of emotions from love to trepidation. Would she survive? If she survived, would she be healthy? She was whisked to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after being hooked up to a myriad of life-saving equipment. And so our NICU journey began…

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