Luna was born at 32 weeks weighing 5 pounds.
My Pregnancy had been a bit complicated. I get this liver disease called Cholestasis from pregnancy and it has some bad risks and effects such as stillbirth, premature labor, liver damage, and fetal distress. I had just started weekly monitoring at the clinic and I was there the day before with no signs of an unexpected early labor.
It was Friday, September 1, 2017, at 32 weeks pregnant I woke up with a burst of energy with a long to-do list. It was the baby shower weekend so I had a full day planned of last minute preparations. While on my morning errands, I noticed I was getting pelvic pressure and they were becoming consistent. I was sure they were just Braxton Hicks. I was at that point of pregnancy where everything wasn’t comfy and aches and pains weren’t anything new. All while I was convincing myself that today was not the day, I went on to drop off the dog at the groomers. I joked with the groomer ladies that I thought I was having contractions; oh the irony! I even went to drop off donations, to the thrift store and grabbed McDonald’s with Max. I was getting pressure from the fam to go get checked, and at that point, the menstrual-like pains were 5 minutes apart and knowing that my pregnancy is high-risk for pre-term labor, I did start to worry. The hospital was on my way home so I stopped by the birth center to get evaluated. It was 12 pm when I checked in and shorty, after I got attended the nurse started with questions and my responses, were everything that screamed: “I think I might be in labor but I’m in denial.” She assured me I was just experiencing Braxton Hicks. Right before getting discharged, she checked to see if I was dilated. I could just tell by her face reaction that I indeed was in labor. She said “Honey your 4 cm! You’re having this baby today, call your husband!”
I was so afraid for what was to come, all I could think about was is she going to be ok? I was alone and scared. My mom called me and I broke down in tears. After a few hours of being in my hospital room, Abner arrived. I was given medication to slow down the labor and a steroid shot to mature Luna’s lungs. The patches failed to stop the labor so I was taken off of that. Everything started to progress quickly after that. Anesthesiologist finally arrived with the epidural and right when I was starting to calm down, I suddenly felt the urge to push. The nurse rushed to me and said “No! Not yet, don’t push!” and she quickly ran to get the doctor and called NICU. After only 2 pushes Luna arrived. I was able to hold her for a few minutes before she was taken to NICU.
Neonatal Doctor’s told us to expect her to be in the hospital until her original due date, but it all depended on how she progressed. Thankfully Luna was in great shape despite being born 2 months early. She was 5 pounds and never needed oxygen support. After getting discharged, we would visit her twice a day. I always felt incredible guilt for leaving her, but the nurses at Floyd NICU made it easier for me. They were incredible and I will always be grateful for their amazing support and care of our baby girl.
God’s strength is what got us through it. Seeing her at her most vulnerable state was heartbreaking because I could not do anything in my given power to help her gain strength. These moments are where we needed everyone’s prayers and thoughts and I’m so blessed to receive just that from our parish community, family and friends and this is where I want to give everyone the thanks for comforting us during such hard times for us being parents.
Her feeding was what was keeping her from coming home. She had a hard time latching onto the bottle and breast and they would not release her until she mastered the feeding. Eventually, after 3.5 weeks, Luna was able to come home.
Unfortunately, Luna relapsed a week after being home. (Story to be continued in next blog)
Jenyfer D. Navichoque – Writer, unparalleled love