Parenting’s Preemie Stories
Premature birth touches more than 11% of American families, including some of our very own at Parenting. Here we share the personal stories of how our kids entered the world, a little earlier than expected.
Ana Connery, Content Director
I went to a routine doctor’s appointment at 29 weeks. My blood pressure was through the roof. They sent me home for 48 hours of taking it easy, but when I returned on day two for the follow-up, it was clear I was in danger of having a stroke. The nurses made me sit down right away for fear that any sudden movements would prompt an emergency. They pushed me in a wheelchair to the hospital next door. After three days of steroids and more round-the-clock efforts to control my pressure to no avail, my doc decided my life was in immediate danger, and I underwent an emergency C-section. I was in a constant state of shock. For a girl who never runs out of things to say, I didn’t say much during that time.
Javier was born weighing just 3 pounds. He spent the next two months in the NICU. We couldn’t hold him for weeks. We were discouraged from touching him so as to not agitate him. This was one of the hardest parts. Some days were good, but many were not. He would stop breathing. There was a hole in his heart. His lungs weren’t fully developed. The roadblocks kept coming. I was in a foggy state, constantly crying, emotional and full of worry. Post-partum was in full swing. I became obsessed with pumping my breastmilk. It was the one thing I felt I could do for him, so I did it without fail, every three hours.
Finally, things started to look up. We were sent home with an arsenal of appointments with specialists in our future. One by one, we were given the green light. It took almost two years for me to feel like my kid was going to be one of the lucky ones, but the day finally came, and we never looked back.
He’s perfect, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my kid. He really is healthy as a horse—and then some. It’s the kind of thing I try to tell all moms with pregnancy complications. It can all work out. It did for me.