Part I. 72 Hours In

There I was, alone in the hospital, being monitored at 33 weeks pregnant with my unborn son. Nevermind that my family was states away and Shane, my husband, was hours away just finishing his overnight shift. My phone rang as the doctor entered my room. Shane stayed on the phone listening as the doctor explain our current situation. At the highest dosage my high blood pressure still wasn’t regulated and my migraine seemed to be going nowhere either. It was time to induce. Still alone in my hospital room, Shane and I began making calls to family, but all I wanted was my mom and Shane. Terrified at what was happening, all I could do was pray, hope and wait.

Fever check, my nurse said as she entered. It had been 3 days since being induced and not progressing as originally thought. She was a blunt woman, a characteristic I remember to this day as she explained that if I had a fever and waited much longer my options would be limited. The option of being awake and alert when my baby entered this world, would be out of the question at that point. Who the hell wants to be cut open while awake on a table in an operating room? Not me! I’d rather spring clean my house! This however was our reality and we agreed to have a c-section before it was too late.

Shane sat near me as the staff busseled around preparing for the big show. My mind began to race. I wonder how small he will be? Would I be able to hold him right away? Most importantly, how healthy will he be? More flooded my mind, and with each, fear began to fill me.

Time ticked on, ever so slowly. “Should this be taking this long? Is something wrong? You’re okay Courtney, everything is fine. I can’t wait to see my baby!” My mind raced on as I waited to see my boy. Then everything happened at once. He was out, but wait, somethings not right. As quickly as he came they rushed him out and into the next room. My eyes scanned but I never saw. “Go! Go Shane! Go with our son and don’t leave him!” I called desperate to know everything would be alright.

Time slowed, I was alone with my surgeon as he seemed to take longer to close my abdomen than he did getting my baby out. What’s the hold up? Wheeled into the recovery room, my mother greeted me and together we waited.

I waited and waited and waited some more. My resolve crumbling, fear began taking over and in the puddle of my dismay wondering when Shane would come with our child so that I could see him. The door opened and my heart dropped as my nurse entered the room instead of the two people I wanted so desperately to see. She began explaining the circumstances of my procedure. During the 3 day wait post induction, I had developed an infection. When my c-section began they found our son surrounded by puss from the infection.

My heart sunk. Was this my fault? Did I cause all of this due to my stubbornness? Was my desire of a “normal birthing experience” the root of my initial refusal of having a c-section? Or did this come from a dream that had been fulfilled in becoming pregnant when I had been told for years that I would never give birth to a child?

Finally! Breaking me free from my thoughts, Shane and the medical team entered with my baby boy, Graham. Unfortunately due to his small size and the bulkiness of the giraffe incubator, I barely caught a glimpse before he was taken to the NICU. Although, I was told I could visit him later that evening, due to the medication I was on it was not possible. The guilt crept up again. I couldn’t hold him, I couldn’t rock him, I could only see him through the pictures my husband took. What I thought to be the ending of a hard pregnancy and delivery was only the beginning to what later became a time like very few endure, The NICU. Happy First Mother’s Day Courtney, this is only the beginning.

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