One year ago today, at 24 weeks 1 day gestation I was admitted to the hospital, where I would stay for 21 days straight. Only leaving my room three times. I lay there fearing that I may lose my second son in one year, missing my family, and preparing myself to sit alongside Tobin in the NICU for weeks, as that seemed like it would be the best case scenario.
Tonight, as I type on my phone, I am laying in bed, snuggling him in my arms with tears spilling down my cheeks as I read my blog posts from last year. Gratitude, overwhelming gratitude.
Here are some excerpts:
I WILL FIGHT
"The neonatal doctor spoke to us on Thursday. That was difficult to listen to, as they clearly define the many things that could go wrong and potential treatments that would occur if Tobin were born premature. Today, I am 24 weeks 4 days. On Tuesday, I will be 25 weeks. Life is possible for Tobin, today, outside my womb, but not a sure thing, and he will have a fight. With each week he stays in my womb his chances are better and better. At our ultrasound on Wednesday he measured about a week ahead. Kevin and I are firmly believing that we make big, strong boys. At 26 weeks 6 days, Koen was 2lbs 13oz. He measured big for his gestation. That gives me hope. Tobin is fighting hard right now, he's not contracting, and at 24 weeks my nurse is extremely please with his strong heartbeat. I am proud of my boy!
There is nothing fun about being away from home, being separated from Hackett, and living in the hospital. But, I will gladly lay, minimize movements, be pumped full of drugs, and fight for as long as I need to. I want to fight to keep Tobin in, so that his battle is easier. It is possible that I can carry him to term and then his only battle will be fighting off our kisses!
I am standing in faith that my Tobin will run in my backyard and play in the creek with his big brother Hackett, as Koen looks over them both from heaven."
"I am not sure what news I anticipated today, but I was focused on today being some sort of goal. We learned today that my cervix is still measuring 0.95cm, just as it did on Wednesday. This is good news, but we had waited to ask questions until today. With the "good" news also came some harsh reality. He would consider it a miracle if I made it to 32 weeks. His hope is that Tobin stays our for a few more weeks, which would increase his chances of survival and decrease his chances of long term health problems.
It is too scary. I am scared. I buried a son less than 11 months ago and now I am facing the harsh facts that if my body does not hold on to Tobin I could be burying another one.
We talked with a neonatal specialist on Thursday and learned the many risks of premature delivery. I pray that Tobin survives, and unless a miracle does occur that allows me to carry him to term, he will have a fight ahead of him. I don't even like to watch Hackett battle a fever, and I surely don't want to watch my premature infant fight for his life. It hurts my heart to even think about it.
I am keeping my faith, but in this past year I have learned that God will hold us through heartache, but not always deliver us from it. I don't know His plan. I can't explain why my second son was ripped from my womb and why less than a year later I am lying in a hospital bed fighting for my third sons life. I do know that my heart is tired and low and in those moments He is still there. His angels show up. So many of you are my angels, too. Thank you for holding me up when all I want to do is fall to pieces."
Tonight, I hold a miracle in my arms. My full of joy boy made it to full term, born at 37 weeks. Healthy. He's so heathly. Tears, sobs, of gratitude. Last week he played on the swings in the back yard with his big brothers, one was in the swing next to him, the other is his angel, watching over him all the time. The three of them together. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.
I am Jackie.