One year ago today I was 29 weeks pregnant, walking into Walmart for our typical grocery shopping. Immediately after walking through the doors, my water broke and panic set over me. I KNEW it was my water, but was hoping it was in fact pee. We rushed to the bathroom and quickly rushed back out to the van, and headed to the hospital. I was absolutely terrified of the unknown. Will my baby be ok? Will I be ok? What’s going to happen? I remember feeling overwhelmed with panic and Chris telling me to breathe and remain as calm as possible. The 2 younger kids were silent, probably wondering what the hell was happening.
We finally got to UNMC and Chris dropped me off at the valet area. I walked in quickly, but more of my water was leaking pretty bad. I stopped and looked for the nearest person. I was bawling my eyes out and asked for a wheelchair. The woman working at the check in area shut down her area, found me a wheelchair, and calmly wheeled me to labor and delivery. I was still mortified, but felt more comfort knowing I was in a safe place for me and my baby.
After a few hours and 2 tests, I was admitted into the hospital. Everyday was uncertain. Will my baby be born way too soon? Can I keep him in another 5 weeks? Every pain, gush of fluid, and change in the status quo made me panic “is this it? Is he coming?” Nothing was certain and the unknown does not mesh well with my anxiety and need for being in control.
I had to learn to how to be ok not being in control. As terrifying as that is, especially for me with anxiety, I knew I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to help my baby.
I spent 1 month in the bed of the hospital. My entire family taking on my responsibilities [it seriously takes a village] day after day. I forgot what it felt like to be outside. I actually longed to feel it rain on my skin during the storms. I felt helpless. I spent my days painting, listening to music, watching HGTV and My 600 Pound Life on repeat, being excited to try everything on the hospital menu, being excited when I would get my room cleaned by my favorite room service gal, being poked and monitored constantly, and barely getting any sleep. At one point someone put the orders in wrong and I was being woke up at 2am to have my blood drawn. I napped a lot during the day. I had to take one day at a time and be ok with not knowing or being in control. It was hard, but I had to.
He was born 2 days shy of my impending 34 week mark/induction date. We made it. I was excited that my favorite Doctor was there that night to deliver the last member of our family. I was excited to have both my mom and stepdad there to support Chris and myself through the entire thing. Plus knowing my stepdad would finally witness a live birth. I am grateful for the support and love of my adoring husband through everything. He is and always will be my rock and protector.
I kind of felt like a warrior afterwards. Everything I went through to get to his Birth day. The labor itself and the scary unknown surrounding how my body reacted to the epidural placement. At one point, I honestly thought I may not make it out alive. Thankfully, we both came out of everything kicking: alive and healthy!
1 year later I am sitting here remembering everything as if it just happened last week. I didn’t know it at the time, but the lessons and strength I got from my “quarantined” days in the hospital and the emotional roller coaster of the NICU journey, made me a better mother and better person. I didn’t know how much I needed my little Bug.
I cannot believe a year has already gone by. I didn’t think we would be where we are today, but as we are sitting through this time of self isolation or social distancing, I remember that I have had some pretty good practice. I can be ok with the unknown and take everything one day at a time. There is no need to panic. We all need to come together as the village that we are. Everyone is just trying to make it out ok. We can do that if we all calm down and quit putting our panic above someone else’s health and safety. I am not a religious person, but “love thy neighbor”. We can and will get through this, together.