Six years ago, I almost died.

At the end of a "standard" 30 week pregnancy check up, I was rushed to NYU Langone Medical Center with a  blood pressure reading so high that I could have stroked out at any moment. After nearly 2 weeks of IV fluid, ultrasounds, fetal monitoring and a near constant magnesium-induced stupor, I delivered a tiny baby boy via emergency c-section.

He was born at 32 weeks weighing 2 pounds, 13 ounces. I saw him for just a moment after the delivery then fell into a blood pressure induced haze for roughly 3 days. The next time I saw my baby boy, he was a tiny but fierce little thing, constantly breaking out of his swaddling in the incubator of the NICU.

Angel's first few weeks of life were marked by anxiety and constant monitoring. When would he get to come home? Was he gaining enough weight? Would he catch a deadly infection in the hospital? Would there be any lingering impact from his prematurity? Would our lives ever be normal again?

Well, six years later I can tell you that he came home - happy and healthy after 35 days in the NICU. While we had one scare in the hospital, he made it out with no infections or medical interventions needed. And while there are no lingering effects from his prematurity, our lives were definitely never the same again.

Angel has brought more joy, wonder, frustration and ferocity to my life than I ever imagined possible. He is full of life - running head-long into each new challenge with his own unique blend of curiosity and passion.

Happy birthday, Angel. Mommy loves you.

Southern Girl said...

From one premie to another happy birthday Angel.

Anonymous said...

My PIH/pre-eclampsia/IUGR "We hope to get you to 24 weeks if that's what you want..." baby turns 7 in a few days. 2 grades ahead academically, bright and sweet and funny as all get out. She was always breaking out ofher swaddles too. :) Some feisty little kids just have their own agendas. I remember the fear. I remember fighting to keep baby cooking- we did better than 24 weeks!! Angel is clearly handsome, bright, funny and loved. Well done, mama.

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