It's amazing how fast and how slow one month can pass. One month ago on April 11, Nick and I had a busy day. It was a beautiful day out - warm and sunny. It was one of the first days that we wore flip flops. In the morning, I had a regular prenatal doctor appointment. Everything appeared normal, although Dr. Brooks warned me that I was now considered high-risk because of the amount of amniotic fluid that was building in my body. We had only learned of Georgia's duodenal atresia diagnosis days before. We met with a cardiologist in the afternoon to have a fetal echocardiogram done on the baby. We were so excited about the news from the heart scan that we stopped on the way home to get ice cream. We had no idea that would be our final "date" before the baby arrived.
That evening I was watching tv in bed when all of a sudden I looked at Nick and said, "Oh my god, I think I just peed my pants!". I remember laughing thinking that incontinence was just what I needed. I googled and my symptoms appeared to be a bladder infection or just a case of being very pregnant with lots of excess fluid and a baby that liked to kick my bladder. I would give anything for it to just have been a case of incontinence! I would have gladly peed my pants daily for the next 13 weeks.
Little did I know that less than 12 hours later I would be admitted to the hospital in pre-term labor. Even though we knew Georgia was going to require surgery after birth, we had no idea that she would be a preemie. I will always second guess every move I made leading up to my water breaking. What if I had been put on bed rest at home when they first discovered the atresia? What if they hadn't performed the amniocentesis? Did that cause my water to break? What if we hadn't moved into the new house the week before? What if I hadn't gone up and down the stairs dozens of times? I had two and a half long weeks to ponder all of that while I lay in the hospital doing my best to hold her in for as long as possible. I know playing the what-if game isn't healthy, but it's what you do when you're doing your best to save your baby's life. It goes hand and hand with the guilty feeling of not being able to keep her inside longer. It's hard to look down at my belly and realize that I'm not pregnant anymore. My baby won't be born in July.
From everything I've read, it's completely normal to mourn and grieve the loss of not having a "normal" pregnancy. I barely got to experience my third trimester and spent what little I did have from my hospital bed. I didn't get to have the delivery I wanted. I didn't get to hold my baby after she was born. Nick didn't get to cut her cord. I didn't get to bring her home from the hospital with me. I haven't gotten to put her to bed in her crib. I haven't gotten to feed her. I have nurses who tell me when I can hold her. It will take some time for me to get beyond all of that. But what I did get is precious. I got Georgia. All 3 lbs of fury and fire who came out crying so that the whole operating room would know she arrived. I got several days with her at Holy Cross before she was whisked away to DC. We got a successful surgery and a mostly healthy baby. We just need her intestines to start doing their job. Most moms complain about dirty diapers. I'd give one of my limbs right now for a dirty diaper to change and complain about to someone.
Today has been a tough day so far. With all the good days she has had, this day was inevitable. Georgia's bili levels increased slightly overnight. She has had four brady episodes in the past few hours with no explainable cause. In my past life, Brady was a star New England quarterback. Now, they are the thought that keeps me up at night worried that she might be alone during one of those episodes.
What a difference one month makes!!