If you were to align my first and second pregnancies in terms of weeks and months, today marks the day that my water broke with my first. It was seven weeks prior to my due date and my husband was literally across the country, the whole experience was terrifying.
Truth be told, I'm almost as scared today as I was then. Today marks a huge personal milestone in my second pregnancy. I'm reliving memories of time spent in the hospital, consoled by family and friends, under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses, with mounting anticipation and fear waiting for the arrival of our little boy. I spent the the next five days in the hospital prior to the birth of our son. Over those five days I was told what to expect after the birth - lung failure, possible developmental lapses, complications eating and the list went on. I knew that my son would be taken to NICU. I knew that we could encounter a long list of complications. I knew that I had never faced a more terrifying experience in my life. What I didn't know was whether or not I would hold my son.
It was the one thing that keep me up at night, other than the hourly temperature checks to make sure I didn't spike a fever indicating an infection. I didn't know if the possible complications would cause the medical team to rush Austin off to NICU so quickly that I would be denied the opportunity to hold my beautiful baby. Praise Jesus that wasn't the case.
Moments after having him Austin cried a very healthy, beautiful cry and I held him along with my husband. Our family instantly felt more complete and my heart was full. I knew at that point that no matter what would happen in NICU my precious boy was a fighter. He came out with the spirit of a fighter and we were blessed that our time in the NICU was minimal and honestly pretty uneventful. That does not however, mean it wasn't difficult.
Leaving your child at the hospital after being discharged was the single most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I remember the first day when they told me to go home after giving birth. I waited until the last possible second before leaving my baby. I was wheeled to the front doors of the hospital and I sat anxiously next to several other proud mothers as our husbands, boyfriends, family or friends went to pull up the cars. I sat there without my baby. They were beaming with their little ones squirming in their laps. My husband pulled up and I got to my feet but they would not walk forward. The tears were streaming down my face and my heart was racing so fast I thought I was going to have a heart attack. My husband came to my side and my legs gave out. I hit the floor hysterically. I couldn't leave my baby. I couldn't allow him to sit without me in a sterile hospital while I cuddled in my bed at home over 45 minutes away. I just couldn't. My husband literally had to scope me off the ground and carry me sobbing to the car.
As I mentioned in the end everything really was okay with the health and development of our son but that experienced has left an impression. One I hope I never have to relive. One I don't wish upon anyone, ever. Which is why today I am scared.