There is something quite unnatural about going into hospital and walking out without a baby. Some decide to do a selfless act and give up their babies for adoption. Some, sadly, give birth to ‘angel babies’ for reasons not known to us. And then there is us. The ones who give birth to Preemies (as we affectionately call them).
I am not going to go through our whole story, although it is an impressive story to tell, but rather fast forward to the morning I woke up in hospital in excruciating pain. I had been admitted the night before with pain and bleeding, none that are good signs in a pregnancy. The machine said I wasn’t in labour so I was given pain medication and I went to sleep. My husband was sent on his way.
5am the next morning, I experienced pain like I have never felt before. I phoned my husband and told him to hurry, something was wrong. I was only 26 weeks pregnant with twin boys. I was petrified. By the time my gynae arrived it was too late. There was no stopping the inevitable. I was wheeled in to a room filled with people wearing gowns and masks. All I could see were their eyes but I could see the worry there, the seriousness of the matter. There was no time for meds or anything, I was told to push. I gave birth to my first and smallest son Kaden. He weighed only 936 grams and wasn’t breathing on his own. They grabbed him and ran. We didn’t even get to see him.
My gynae then delivered more bad news. My second son, Noah was breached and in distress. I needed an emergency c-section. I remember the one nurse shouting at my gynae saying, “she can’t do both (natural birth and c-section). It’s too much”. But he had no choice and I will ever be greatful he took the chance.
You see, as I found out later, if we had delivered Noah naturally, the paediatrician and NICU staff would not have had enough time to save both my boys. The 45 minute gap in between gave them time to see to both of the boys properly. I wasn’t conscious for Noah’s birth and my husband wasn’t allowed in theatre so Noah entered the world without us. I remember waking up in recovery saying, “my baby, my baby”. And so began our NICU journey.
So what does this all have to do with pining, you ask? Before I became a mother, I didn’t really understand the feeling that comes with that word. To see your children hurting, fighting for their lives, covered in wires and pipes – being kept alive by machines. And not being able to hold and comfort them… that is pining.
It’s being discharged from hospital and having to leave your children behind... that is pining. To feel a gut-renching, ache inside of you, knowing you are a mother but not really feeling like one yet… that is pining. I wanted the sleepless nights, the late night feeds, the dirty nappies and the spit up on my top. Instead I got beeping alarms, blood transfusions and countless infections. We got phone calls from doctors that made our hearts race and calls from nurses saying, “you better come in”.
Our NICU journey was not all bad. We met people that would forever touch our lives. Hospital staff that became family and celebrations everytime a gram was gained. The first time I got to hold my boys was utter bliss. I have never felt such a bond to another person before. I knew that this was more than love, it was meant to be.
This story has a happy ending. After 9 weeks in hospital, my boys came home. I got my sleeless nights and plenty nappies. They are now 2 and a half and doing fantastically well. I now get as many hugs as I want, kisses – all day if I want. I get late night cuddles and grubby hands on my face. I get to wipe away tears and runny noses. I get to feel like a mom. I don’t pine anymore (except when I’m at work and missing them). And I get to do all this, up close and personal.
This post originally appeared on purple dragonflies and lillies. Post used with permission.
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