Friday, January 27, 2012

24 weeks 5 days...

Sound familiar?

Yeah - I was being told the babies would "have to be delivered to give them a chance" and "we'll do what we can" by a very solemn group of nurses, doctors, anesthesia associates, respiratory therapists...and I can't remember who else...this time in my first pregnancy. I wept quietly as I was wheeled down the hall to the section "suite" (something seems ridiculous about that name) and held my belly one last time feeling Kuylen wiggle gently, Mary Louise kick wildly and David give me little fish bites from the inside...

At birth, Mary Louise was given a 50/50 shot, David about 30% and Kuylen a 4% chance of SURVIVAL. We didn't even bother discussing morbidity rates - the mortality rates said enough. We were told by medical professionals and social workers alike to pray. We stared at our babies through thick incubator plastic, shown "the latest advancements in preemie care" (because they were being used to keep our little ones alive) and given updates on our little ones' health status almost hourly...and I pumped...oh did I pump...

Brent and I clung desperately to one another as we had to make decisions and face realities that were well within the realm of every parents' absolute nightmare...then we had to repeat that decision process over and over as new issues and situations developed.

All we really wanted to do was agonize over the silliness of nursery colors, how we would pay for NEXT months' diapers, and do yet another load of puke laundry. All we wanted was normalcy. What we got was perspective, new understanding of what's really important, insight into the moment, and new found strength we wanted nothing to do with...

So today, I am 24 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Today I feel good. Today I got an hour's nap while Brent took David to speech and even squeezed in a quick shower while they were walking in downstairs. I put Mary Louise's hair in pigtails and dressed David in his very debonair Polo pullover. Today, I celebrated and mourned over the most precious, albeit unwanted gift I've ever received: personal experience with extreme prematurity. I sat in awe for brief moments as I remembered so clearly the most delicate perfections I've ever seen, then looked at the stunning example of complete innocence standing before me. I thought of Kuylen...alot...

Today, we pajamas:

and Mary Louise and David proudly sang the first "fun" song they've learned:

Today was a good day...and the good was not to go unnoticed. We had fusses (umm - see the end of the singing video above) and Mary Louise and David pushed their limits just as much as they do every other day. But nonetheless, in my heart, today was appreciated for what it was - good.

Tomorrow, I will be more pregnant than I've ever been...



  1. I love this quote from your post today, "the most precious, albeit unwanted gift I've ever received: personal experience with extreme prematurity" I've thought of our experience with extreme prematurity (my twins were born at 24 weeks) much in the same way, but I think you word it just right. Glad to hear that your pregnancy is going well so far and happy to hear that you will be more pregnant tomorrow than ever before. I'm sure the experience of pregnancy after extreme prematurity is difficult and seen from a different perspective. I had a full-termer first and then micro-preemies. I wish I had enjoyed my first pregnancy more. I didn't know how good I had it. By the way, that video of them singing is too adorable and I love the fight at the end too. My two little ones fight all the time.

  2. I remember those mile stones. I made it a week and 6 days longer with Jimmie than I did with Gracie. The day when I past her gestational birthday was very hard for me. Happy 24 weeks 5 days!

  3. Happy most-pregnant you have ever been!

    It's such a strange thing....knowing you would go back and change things if you could, never wishing to put your kids (or yourself) through the preemie experience. On the other hand, you would never appreciate or find as much as joy in everyday moments. Not that people without tragedy don't appreciate life, but I believe the lower the lows, the higher the highs, because you've experienced the other side.

    I'm happy with the person our experiences have made me.....but I hate the cost.