I haven’t really posted or said much about my pregnancy on my blog since I announced it a few months ago. The reason being that this pregnancy is high risk due to having delivered prematurely previously. I just haven’t felt like sharing and celebrating this pregnancy yet. I haven’t felt safe enough to do so. I still don’t, however, I thought it might help anyone else out there experiencing pregnancy after having had a preemie.
I’ve shared about Keira’s premature arrival before, and you can read the full post here. To keep it short though, my membranes ruptured prematurely at 28 weeks gestation. Due to the risk of infection the Doctors can’t do anything with PPROM aside from two rounds of steroids 24 hours apart to help with lung development and lots of antibiotics. Thankfully my contractions did not send me into full labour so the steroids had a chance to do their work. 5 days later, when I was 29 weeks +1 I felt cramps starting and by the next morning Keira was born at 29 weeks gestation and 2 days.
She spent 54 days in totaly between the NICU and the Level 2 nursery. The next year was a blur of worry, appointments, and specialists.
Grief & Prematurity
While I did not experience loss with my previous pregnancy, I still experienced a lot of grief. I grieved for all the days I did not get to experience having my baby still tucked away safe and growing inside me. I grieved for all the moments I would have been waddling around in my maternity clothes while people asked when I was due. I grieved over not having a baby shower while everyone marvelled over my bump. I grieved over never having experienced third trimester, not knowing what it was like to be unable to see my own feet.
I grieved over not having a normal birth experience. I grieved over not being able to hold my baby during her first week of life. I grieved over having to go home empty handed from the hospital.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we are so blessed that Keira surived and I will always be thankful for that mercy.
Still, until I found out I was pregnant again I just found myself avoiding anyone pregnant, stopped watching the birth stories on TV, and even avoided newborns. I can’t explain the feeling, but I guess to be honest, jealousy probably fits the bill and it’s not something i am proud of.
For those of you who are pregnant or have a newborn and have a friend or family member who has experienced premature birth, loss or infertility who seems to be avoiding you. Just please be patient.
I guess with this post, I just wanted to reach out to others who are also going through this mix of emotions and I want to let you know a secret.
You are not alone.
When I found out I was pregnant again I felt a mix of emotions. Joy, fear, excitement… and that was just the start!
Emotionally though I have been a mess and living in fear.
I feel strong little kicks and all at once I feel joy for the life inside me but also fear that those little kicks will rupture my membranes. Fear that we would have to go through all of it all over again.
This has been compounded by my family doctors office setting up my referral to the obstetrician for mid-August rather then right away so I spent the first 5 months under almost no care.
Now that I have finally seen the obstetrician I’ve been setup with extra ultrasounds and constant appointments just to make sure everything is progressing well. I’ll be getting my first shot of steroids today “just in case” to help the baby’s lung develop faster should I PPROM again.
Through all this though, all I can keep thinking about is how desperately I want a full-term, take home the next day kind of baby.
Have you experienced Premature Birth, Loss or Infertility?
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!