A year ago.Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A year ago today, I was seven months pregnant. I woke up, had a banana, and went to the gym, like I did most mornings. Ran five miles on the treadmill, slow and steady, feeling great. Came home, hopped in the shower, and that's when I noticed a little bit of blood. Never a good thing. Definitely not when you're seven months pregnant.
I called 811, who told me to go to the walk-in clinic just to get checked out. I skipped that step and headed for the hospital, where they hooked me up and realized I was starting to dilate and having regular contractions. With every contraction my baby's heart rate was dipping. Normally, they'd just administer medications to stop labour but the concern that the baby was in distress threw a wrench into those plans. Very quickly it became apparent that I might be having my baby that day, two months early.
I ended up spending the day in a birthing room, just in case. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything. I had a profile done to make sure the baby was healthy and determine how big it would be so the team would be prepared if this tiny person decided to make an early appearance.
All day I stared at the numbers on the monitor, willing them to stay stable. I cried a little and prayed a lot, as I tend to do whenever things are going wiggity whack, but never when things are going well. At the end of the day, I got some medications that would hopefully stop my contractions, and sometime in the wee hours of the morning they finally settled down. I spent the rest of the week in the hospital and the next four weeks on a modified form of bed rest: no more work, no walking farther than the mailbox, no housecleaning, not driving more than 20 minutes from home.
For a month, I basically shuffled around my house, sitting gingerly on the couch with my legs squeezed together willing this baby to stay put. I read a lot, watched a lot of TV, and even started playing Xbox, if that's any indicator as to how bored I was. I hate sitting still so for me those weeks were horrible, but I tried to take it easy and remember what the doctor said: every day I carried the baby was two fewer days we'd have to spend in the NICU.
At 36 weeks, I did the biggest fist-pump of life. Full term! Every day after that was a bonus. I started taking longer walks, and going back to the gym, and generally not being scared the baby was going to fall out of me onto the floor if I went shopping or out for dinner. And wouldn't you know it, after all that ruckus in September, Eli was born on November 10, his due date.
It has been a crazy year, not without its stresses. The stress of almost having a preemie and then walking on eggshells to make sure I didn't. A difficult delivery and recovery. The usual stuff that comes with a new baby. Figuring it all out without having grandparents five minutes away to help out was tough.
I'm lucky to have a husband who's supportive, and I'm in awe of single parents. I'm lucky to have a rambunctious 10-month-old baby boy who's healthy and happy. A crazy year but a beautiful year, too. I have a lot to be thankful for. Things could have been a whole lot different and our little boy could have had a very difficult start to life.