I never thought that this would happen to me. I was 29 weeks and six days pregnant when my water broke. There were no contractions; there was no pain, but there was fear. My OB instructed me to go to the hospital immediately, and when I got there, the resident OB told me that I was due to give birth anytime soon.
I felt numb.
I was not ready. My baby was supposed to come out by the end of October. I didn't know what to expect. There were so many questions in my mind. But I was so scared to ask. I was unprepared for everything.
They brought me to the labor room where they set up the IV and heartbeat monitors for my baby. Every time his heart beat dropped, I felt like dying. My guilty conscience slowly ate me up. Prayer was my only shield. I prayed that if the baby were really for me, thy would be done! I could handle the physical pain, but not the guilt.
When I still wasn't feeling any contractions or labor pains, my OB decided to put something in my IV to induce contractions. Six hours of labor pain, I endured them all. In fact, the doctors and nurses told me that I had a high threshold for pain. I just smiled.
At around 6:oo p.m., I felt that my baby was about to come out. While I was inside the labor room, the doctor told me that she would just give me half of the anaesthesia because they wanted me awake when the baby came out. I felt everything–even the episiotomy she performed. It was a painful natural birth.
But then I heard him cry.
Oh my goodness, it was the best cry I had ever heard and we all rejoiced. The OB stitched me up. I felt every single stitch–but I persevered.
I got discharged from the hospital the next day, but the baby had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He was just 1.3 kgs, so small, so fragile. He was intubated. There were monitors blinking, an oxygen machine, and tubes everywhere.
I burst into tears. I couldn't bear to look.
How in the world was I going to take care of this tiny baby inside the incubator? I didn't have the strength to face my baby and I didn't want to touch him.
The sight of him breathing through those apparatuses was heartbreaking. But the most traumatic experience was seeing a lifeless premature baby beside him. I went out of NICU. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it.
I came back to the hospital two days after because the baby needed to be fed and the only thing that they could give him was my breast milk. I tried pumping but nothing came out. It was really frustrating because as of that moment, it was the only thing that I could give him, and I couldn't even do that.
My milk came after three days. I tried almost all forms of galactagogue, so I could produce more milk for him. They told me not be stressed out because it would lower my milk supply, but it was impossible.
But I had to do the impossible for my baby. I stayed with my aunt temporarily so I could deliver breast milk to my baby every day, sometimes twice a day. I was a constant sight in the hospital; even the elevator girl thought I was a doctor.
After two weeks postpartum, I mustered the determination to face my baby, and I was able to sit next to his incubator. I talked to him and the nurse let me touch his tiny feet. There was this instant when he was really crying and the nurse told me to touch him and talk to him. I did and he stopped.
That's when I realized he needed me. He needed me to stay with him. I stayed with him for about 8 to 10 hours every day after that. I researched on my own about preemies and read real-life experiences from other preemie parents. I started asking questions, questions I was afraid to ask before.
Thank God, my baby didn't really have any complications, just some struggles with weight gain. Maybe he just really came early into this world. And when people ask why I even gave birth, I learned how to answer them by saying, "Everything that happened to me has its purpose."
The hardest part apart from the emotional stress is the financial aspect, the hospital bills. But just as they say "God provides..
After a month, my baby got discharged from the hospital from 1.3 kgs to 2 kgs. And I'm confident that I can take good care of him.
The feeling of guilt is gone. I know I was strong before my baby came, but he made me stronger.
*Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.