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Monday, December 10, 2012

I just knew

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been." -John Greenleaf Whittier, Maud Muller- Pamphlet

 I just knew. You hear that phrase a lot.  Especially from mothers.  "I just knew he was sick.  I just knew that she was in trouble"...  But that pretty much is what happened with my Oli.  Months before she was born, I just knew.  I knew there was something wrong with her.  I was working in a neonatal intensive care unit as a nurse at the time so it was easy for people to blow me off.  I would tell my friends my fear and they would say, "You're just used to seeing unhealthy babies born.  That's why you think something is wrong."  I would nod my head in agreement but, deep down I just knew that something was wrong.  It was only a few days after Oli's birth that I would remember my recurrent dream.  It's weird because she is 5 years old now and I have never had that dream again.

I was 32 weeks pregnant when I started having premature contractions.  A trip to the OB/Gyn would confirm the contractions and designate me to my bed for a few weeks.  I am not the best patient in the world.  My husband will attest to that fact.  So after about 2 weeks I declared myself miraculously healed and headed back to work.  And of course, the contractions immediately resumed.  I remember sitting on my bed the day before she was born.  Still having regular contractions, I called my fellow NICU friend and former labor and delivery nurse, Michelle for advice.  I remember saying, "Michelle I think something is wrong with her.  That's why I keep going into labor early.  Something is wrong."  She tried to reassure me that everything was fine, but I didn't believe her.  I just knew. 

The contractions continued throughout the night and into the morning.  I called my OB/Gyn again and told them I was still having regular contractions.  A few hours later I was sitting in my doctors office being told that I was going to have my baby that day.  I was dilated to 5cm and there was no going back.  Excitement resumed it's rightful place in front of all my other emotions.  I temporarily forgot my fears and smiled the entire way to the hospital.  She was going to be a little bit early at 35 weeks gestation. Having connections, I called up to the NICU to see if there was a neonatologist available to be there for her delivery.  Just in case...

I would often reflect on that drive to the hospital. I would try to conjure up those feelings of  excitement I felt as I waited to meet my new baby girl.  I would close my eyes and remember the girl I was before 11:00pm on May 10, 2007. I was so naively happy and content. I would look at old pictures of myself and just cry, telling the girl in the picture "Enjoy that smile.  It's never going to look the same again."  Awful, I know.  But I just could not get out of that deep dark hole.  Sadness had been slammed into my heart and I thought I would never feel carefree or happy again.

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