Having a baby is tough stuff. Delivering your baby early is a really scary thing. Trust me. I’ve been there. Hoping with every part of your being that everything is going to be OK… It is a feeling incomparable to anything else.
When my water broke seven weeks early, I didn’t know what to expect. Neither did the doctors or nurses. One minute they thought I’d be fine with bed rest for a few weeks, the next they were preparing me for an emergency C – Section. It all happens so fast.
Babies born at 33 weeks aren’t your typical birth story. There was no moment after birth where my son was placed on my chest for happy photos, instead he was rushed away from me to the NICU to a humidicrib.
Hours later, when I’d been sent back to the ward from recovery, I still hadn’t seen my baby. I couldn’t deal with being separated from him. After months of him growing in my tummy, I felt so empty, it felt so strange for him to no longer be there. I actually had a panic attack I was freaking out so much, and the nurses thankfully worked out a way to wheel my bed downstairs to the NICU and squeeze me in there so I could have a moment to see my child, for the very first time.
He was so small, so obviously not fully developed and ready to be out in the world. His little ears were curled like lettuce leaves, his tiny body far too small for any baby clothes. He lay there, tucked away in a humidicrib inside the neonatal intensive care unit, covered in tubes and wires, beeps sounding at every moment from his monitors. At that point, we didn’t know what was going to happen next.
When all your friends and family have had textbook births that went full term with little to no complications, it can be hard to find someone who understands how you feel when your baby is born early, someone who you can relate to. There are so many feelings pulsing through you – you worry was this your fault somehow? Will your baby be alright?