Today, and every November 17, is World Prematurity Day!
Many of you many not know, but Miss Pickles is a preemie! In honor of WPD, I am sharing the story of our beginning.
Miss Pickles was a surprise pregnancy. For many months before we were pregnant, my cycles were very irregular, so much so that I had planned to see a fertility specialist. I was 34 at the time, and not planning my family yet. I thought I had time, and could wait til I was “ready.” But this incident alerted me to the fact that perhaps time was not on my side.
So I was pleasantly surprised, when, without even “trying,” we were pregnant! And then the fun began… a brief pregnancy that was rough from beginning to its premature end. I was sick well into my second trimester, and at 16 weeks was put on modified bedrest. Which meant that I could be up for only a few hours each day- no more than 4. I was self-employed at that time, so I was grateful that I could at least work part time. I had oligohydramnios, which is doctor-speak for low amniotic fluid.
Once diagnosed, the quest for the cause ensued. Weekly doctor’s visits with ultrasounds. More invasive studies, the scariest was the amniocentesis, where a very large needle was inserted through my abdomen and into my uterus for sampling of the fluid. Then the wait for the results… which seemed like eternity, but was only a week or so. At first I cried a lot. Mostly out of fear. The thing that I didn’t even know I wanted, a baby, my baby, was now the thing I wanted most. But then I prayed. And faith came. I knew that either one of 2 things would happen. God would either heal my child, or He would give me what I needed to care for her. It was that simple. And the tears stopped.
Fast forward, many more weeks of bedrest, gestational diabetes, and all that comes with it, and I go into labor… 8 weeks too soon. At this point, we had a working diagnosis: jejunal atresia. During her formation, her intestines didn’t form properly and without surgical correction, she would die. Of course she didn’t have the typical presentation of this disease (she’s my girl- we don’t do things the easy way).
With medications, my labor was stopped a few times… anything to buy more time and give her more time in utero. A week later, Spencer wouldn’t be held back anymore, and at 33 weeks, she entered the world!
So after a brief stay at Piedmont Hospital, she was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. The next day, yes at 1 day old, she underwent surgery to repair to birth defect. We spent 30 days in the NICU… longest month of my life.
For some of us, our beginnings in motherhood were spent in the NICU. For those of you who are, or if you know anyone who is- tell them to be of good courage. God is in control of everything.
Be encouraged, and know you are not alone!
Miss Pickles’ Mommy aka Dr. Peaches
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I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1: 27
Want to support those dealing with premature birth? Click on the March of Dimes logo below to learn more and donate if you are able.