Saturday, April 23, 2011


The most difficult part of the journey of prematurity is leaving your baby behind at the hospital after you've been discharged, a baby that should be still tucked away inside. That's when a parents, especially the mother's, grieving process begins. You grieve the loss of pregnancy, a pregnancy that has ended too soon. You grieve the loss of feeling tiny kicks and rolls and you grieve for the loss of a normal pregnancy, a normal birth and a normal baby. I really hate the use of 'normal', but having a premmie is far from normal, far from the ultimate goal of a full-term birth.Yes, I am well aware that even full-term babies can have complications, that some mother's have had to fight very hard to get that full-term baby and that their pregnancies may not have been a textbook one. With prematurity you are guaranteed some kind of complication with the pregnancy, birth and/or baby. I mean otherwise the baby wouldn't have been born prematurely right?

On Thursday (21/04/2011) I became an Aunty. My sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, he was born a few days before his due date and everything went fairly smoothly. She had the perfect pregnancy, labour and perfect baby. There was just a minor hiccup with birth, bub required some help to get out and she required some stitches due to tearing. It really hit home just how far from normal my pregnancies, labours and births were. I know you shouldn't compare them, as everyone is different, every pregnancy, every labour, every birth and every baby is different. But it has been a difficult time for me as I try to process what I have lost, what I should have got but didn't. I look at my beautiful boys and I see how far they've come and they make me so damn proud, but then I see them struggle with something. Brendan with his speech/language or Tristan with his lungs (probably asthma) and it just reminds me just how hard we've had to fight to get to where we are.

I am grieving, I am grieving the loss of pregnancy, the loss of birth and the loss of those precious moments after birth. Brendan wasn't placed on my chest, his cord was cut and he was taken away and I watched as a team resuscitated him, I watched them count compressions on his tiny chest, I watched as they shoved needles in his tiny little body, I listened to the room as it felt like there was nothing else going on except the counting. The counting of compressions as they try to keep his little heart going. I watched as they shoved a tube down his little throat and I watched as he struggled to hang on. You see Brendan was born very sick, he had caught an infection from me (chorioamnioitis) which was compromising his little body even more than the fact he was 10 weeks early. His APAGR at 1min was 2 at 5min it was 4 and at 10min is was 5. I know how lucky we are, I know he shouldn't be here and for that I am grateful, but it doesn't help the pain.

Tristan's birth was a little healing for me, but still far from normal. Tristan was placed on my chest, but it wasn't for very long as he struggled to take his first breaths. He was taken away and again I watched as my child had needles and a tube shoved down his throat. Tristan did let out a little cry while they were intubating him, it was the most beautiful moment. Brendan was about 3 weeks old when he first cried. Tristan stayed in the room for about 45mins before they took him down to NICU. He was far more stable than Brendan was, he was taken away after 15min and was very unstable.

They say it takes time to heal, but I'm not sure that there is enough time to ever heal from such traumatic experiences. Maybe with time I won't think about it as much, maybe it won't upset me as much at least I hope so anyway.


Misty said...

I dont think time heals, I think you just learn how to cope with the pain and what life has dealt us in our own individual struggles. Much love xo

Parenting Premmies said...

I love that you said that, it takes away the expectation that many place on people to "get over it".

Thank you xx

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