On August 15, 2016, I went in for a normal check up. I was 30 weeks pregnant at the time. I had a sonogram done first, and then, we went into the room to check my blood pressure. The nurse looked worried and said, “Have you had blood pressure issues before?” I looked at my boyfriend Colton and looked back at her and said, “No, why?” She didn’t answer and left the room.
My OB came in and checked my blood pressure again. She told me it was too high, and she wanted to do a nonstress test. At that point, I started to worry. She started the test and came in to talk to us about the sonogram. She said, “The baby isn’t growing. She stopped growing around 24 weeks.” I lost it. I started bawling. I thought: What did I do wrong? This was only the start of a long road.
She admitted me to the local hospital to keep an eye on my blood pressure and to get more pictures of the baby. By 8 p.m., I was transferred an hour and a half away to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. If I wasn’t laying on my right side, my daughter’s heart rate would drop and my blood pressure would come down. When I got to Peoria, Illinois via ambulance, they started a 24 hour urine test to check for preeclampsia.
From Monday morning until Wednesday morning, I had seven sonograms to look at the baby! I was just so scared—I didn’t know what was happening. Wednesday morning, the doctor came in and said, “If things don’t start looking better, you are having this baby today.” I called all of my family and told them they needed to leave work and get to the hospital because I might be having this baby today. At 12:34, the doctors came in and said, “You’re having a C-section.” I asked, “When?” They said, “Right now.”
They started getting me ready. During this time, the doctor was telling me things, and my mom and sister were talking to me, and to this day, I cannot tell you what they said to me. Not a word. I was completely out of it. The only thing I remember before going to the OR is my mother-in-law saying, “It’s okay. Nate is with you.” Nate was Colton’s little brother who passed away. That was the only thing I remember and the only thing I held onto.
We got into the OR at 12:40. They gave me my spinal tap, and Colton came in and sat next to me. I remember the anesthesiologist joking with me trying to keep me calm, so I would not think about what was happening. Next thing I knew—I heard my beautiful 1 pound 10, ounce little girl squeak for the first time—not a cry, not a scream, but a squeak!!! I melted and started crying. She was here and she was alive!
I didn’t get to see what she looked like. They took her and Colton into the other room. I was alone on the cold, hard operating table not knowing what was going on. I started to get this pain under my ribs, and I started screaming, telling the doctors it hurt so bad. They kept telling me that I was fine, and it would go away. I tried to sit up and put my hands on my chest, and that’s the last thing I remember.
I woke up in recovery three hours later. I had no idea what was going on. No family was around me—nothing, no one. I fell back asleep, and when I woke up, I was in my room surrounded by people throwing phones in my face trying to show me pictures and papers I needed to fill out even though I had no idea what they said.
For over 24 hours, I didn’t get to touch my baby girl. But, when I did, I was in pure awe at what a beautiful little girl had come out of all of this craziness. She was perfect. Seventy-three days later, weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces, we got to bring home our baby girl! Things are perfect. She had a stroke right before she was born, and we are currently struggling with seizers, but looking at her, you would never know that she has gone through any of this.
She is my rock. I look up to her. She is the bravest, strongest little girl I have ever met!
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