My Preemie Miracle

         Back in 2015, I went and saw a psychic. Nowhere in our discussion did she tell me there was a baby in the cards. Safe to say that now, I definitely do not believe in psychics.

         Pregnancy came as a shock to me because I was on the pill and if you continue reading you will realize that this isn’t the normal pregnancy story. My daughter was born at 27 weeks gestation and it was the scariest thing of my life.

         I remember sitting in the emergency room bed while I was waiting for the doctor to inform me about my ultrasound results when I came in because I had a gush of fluid and bleeding. The doctor told me the best thing to do was to terminate the pregnancy because I was just shy of 20 weeks and my water had officially broken.

         I sat in the hospital bed, gripped my stomach, and cried.

         The doctor’s reasoning was that if my water had broken, then I must’ve had an infection and that I would go into labor within 48 hours. She sent me home. She sent me home to sit and wait. Wait for contractions, wait for pain, wait for nothing. I couldn’t sleep. There wasn’t one position that I felt comfortable laying in. All I could think about was that my baby was in distress and did not have the amniotic fluid she needed to survive.

         The doctor was wrong.

         After a few days of sitting and waiting, I made an appointment with a perinatologist. I had to wait about another week, but my regular OB saw me every few days to check the heartbeat. When I met with the specialist he had a plan. I was going to be admitted into the hospital to be monitored and we would just wait for the baby to decide when she was ready.

         A month and a half later, when I was 27 weeks pregnant, Alayna was born. After a short labor and a natural birth, I was not allowed to hold my baby. My boyfriend, Tim, was not able to cut the cord. We were able to have the shortest glimpse of our beautiful baby girl then she was immediately taken to the NICU and it would be hours before we could see her again. It would be hours till Tim would see me again.

         I was taken to surgery because of a complication and was in the operating room for 3 hours. Tim sat in a waiting room with my mother while they patiently waited for someone to give them any information on my medical condition; waiting for anything on Alayna.

         Once I was in recovery, a neonatologist came to the room to give us the update. Alayna was 2 pounds and 7 ounces. On an oscillator and needed 3 chest tubes for a collapsed lung. She was receiving pain medication and blood pressure medication to stabilize her. Her doctor told us that the chances of her making it weren’t high, but they were doing everything they could.

         Hours turned into days and days turned into weeks. When she was 2 weeks old, we got to hold her for the first time. I will never forget the moment I first held her. As soon as her chest touched mine she was silent. We just listened to her breathe peacefully, full of comfort.

         Those weeks turned into a month and then our hearts were shattered. Alayna had a condition called hydrocephalus from brain hemorrhaging at birth and needed surgery. Although she was in a state of the art NICU, infant surgery was not possible. Within a day’s time we had her transferred from Bucks County, PA to Wilmington Delaware, where the best neurosurgeon was for her condition. She had her first surgery to temporarily control the fluid in her brain and after a few days it seemed that we were heading in the right direction.

         We had gone from being told daily that she would die to finally having hope. Alayna was steadily gaining weight and we found our hope. All of our newborn experiences were happening in the NICU. Nurses and doctors were coming in and out. Everyday something new was happening. She was on high levels of oxygen in order to stimulate breathing and receiving speech and physical therapy.

         As we were heading close to her true due date, the temporary shunt that was placed in her head was failing and the surgeon had to decide what to do next.

         He decided to give her a permeant shunt to keep controlling the hydrocephalus, which she would go home with. We prayed and waited for the second surgery. We were worried that the surgery would hold her back from a respiratory stand point and she would need to learn how to breathe again.

         She bounced back tremendously from her second surgery and was herself the next day. One week after her surgery she was discharged from the hospital to come home on oxygen and a feeding tube. That feeding tube came out two weeks later and after one month, weaning oxygen started.

         That brings me to today. Today, our princess is almost 8 weeks past her due date and we couldn’t be more thankful to god for our miracle. Everything that happened to Alayna and I was impossible from a medical point of view. The doctors had little to no explanation as to why my water broke and why I didn’t go into labor within 48 hours.

         Having Alayna was never a part of the plan, but life happens when we are busy making plans and Alayna has changed my life and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for our little fighter, our big miracle.  

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