It’s been seven days into this story, and it still doesn’t seem any easier to write.
We are home from the hospital. I am still pregnant.
Words, that last Friday night, I didn’t think I would get to write.
We entered spontaneous preterm labor last weekend, and found ourselves in the middle of a story we never imagined. It was a chaotic and traumatic few days, filled with middle of the night monitoring and vitals, strong medicines via IV, and a team of specialists, but they were able to stall labor. We were discharged with strict instructions for bed rest at home.
Now, we wait.
We don’t have many answers. No one can tell us if we will carry till term, or if we will deliver prematurely and have a lengthy NICU stay, or what this all means for our baby and our future family. We are told I could enter labor again at any point. One of the most confusing factors is that I am entering labor, daily - I continue to have contractions every evening, but they eventually fade. Only if they increase or my water breaks do we need to be admitted for true labor. We’ve already been back to the hospital in triage, for five minute apart contractions that lasted over an hour, for them to stop and for us to be discharged, earlier this week.
It is a terrifying place to be, living in the vast unknown and all the what if’s.
For the most part, we are ok. We are ok and we are not ok. Some parts of each day feel doable, and some parts feel so very hard. The contractions cause me to panic, and I enter this mildly-panicked state, daily. Imagine if your body was doing something involuntarily, that could cause you and your baby harm if it continued, and it could result in preterm labor and NICU stays, causing all kinds of aftermath and complications, the least of which you are concerned about is a giant bill. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.
It’s all so painful, in every sense of the word.
Trauma, for me, is a little like holding your breath underwater. No sensation of gravity, or time, or the things that used to govern my daily life. Weightless, soundless. A distorted picture of real life walking around on the surface. People going to work, laughing. I covet the set of “problems” I used to worry about: what crib to buy, work stress, toddler tantrums. A sense of normalcy so far removed from my daily life.
Now my worries are: Is my baby going to make it? Will I go into active labor today? How long will our NICU stay be? Will my baby have long term complications? Will I survive this, emotionally? Can I do seven more weeks of bedrest to get us to full term? And for those questions, no one has the answers.
So we just keep going. One day, one hour, at a time. We have been so well supported by our family and friends, who have truly rallied around us with all kinds of support, bringing us decaf iced lattes, dinners, flowers, and especially, giving us just their presence. No one can fix this. But someone can sit with us and remind us that no matter how this goes, it’s all going to be ok.
And that, we’re finding, is exactly what we need right now.
Thanks for being in this with us. We are so grateful.