I realized I only had a few photos of myself pregnant. We tried to get pregnant for a year and a half. 3 cycles of ICU and 3 cycles of IVF. 4 different embryos had been implanted. No health or fertility issues for either of us, just my maternal age got in the way. But then, we were finally pregnant! I’m not sure anyone had ever been happier to be pregnant. I lived so in the moment and spent my free time getting ready for the baby, that I never thought to document my belly, my physical journey. So I thought to myself on Sunday night, that the following Sunday I would be 7 months pregnant and I was going to make sure my husband took some pictures of me; however, the following Sunday I was no longer pregnant. My baby was born on Tuesday, just two days after I was anticipating hitting the 7th-month mark that I would never reach.
My daughter was born at 27 weeks 2 days. 2lbs. 3.3 oz. At the time, I had no idea what that meant. What the odds of her survival would be. What her health would be like. What her future would/could look like. I didn’t know what a NICU really looked like. I didn’t know what neonatologists did. I didn’t know that NICU nurses were different from other nurses. Of course, I didn’t know any of this because I assumed like everyone else, that I would have a full term baby.
Our lives completely changed that day. I had a vaginal birth. I pushed for an hour and a half. She came out crying. The tiniest little cry. But she was crying. She was scooped away immediately but was quickly assessed and returned to my arms for a minute. No oxygen. Nothing. Just a very tiny, beautiful baby. She was then taken away to the NICU. I still had no idea what that meant.
Within the next few hours, we were able to see our baby in the NICU. Rosa Cole was our nurse that first night. She told us what we could expect. She also let us know how amazing our girl was. A 27-weeker who didn’t need to be intubated. She was on 21% CPAP. We had no idea what any of that meant. She explained what every line and tube coming out of her was. She comforted us and somehow already felt like family. Two days later, we ran into Rosa. She informed us that she signed up to primary our baby. Rosa was in our delivery room and was instantly connected to us and our baby. Rosa told us that she would always be straightforward with us and she also told us our daughter was going to be okay. She sent us resources within a few hours that would carry us through to today. Rosa outlined exactly what to expect from a NICU stay. Rosa was always straightforward. Rosa always made us laugh. Rosa loved our baby and us.