In March we celebrate preemie awareness. I have decided to share our story and journey. I was deep on the blogging train in 2018 when I found out we would be welcoming our second child. I will admit from the very start this pregnancy was different than my first. My bump began to show sooner I was super fatigued low energy my routine became sleeping and eating. I felt like a bear in hibernation. The first sign that the pregnancy wasn’t going to be a breeze was me sitting at my desk around 8-9weeks pregnant. I went to restroom and was bleeding lightly and cramping. I went back to my desk and googled the overall conclusion I came to was that I was miscarrying. The pain wasn’t super intense so I rushed to the ER right after work.
The arrival to the ER
I drove myself to the ER. Moyo was in Nigeria dropping Mahkai (our oldest) to grandma’s house for the next three months. They wheeled me in ran a few test and then a ultrasound. Next came the questions the one which stood out most was “did you naturally conceive”. I replied yes and that I had one child age two who was born at 35 weeks. The ultrasound tech didn’t answer any of my questions this is common being a black woman we are ignored often by medical staff and physicians. Before leaving she said that she would get a doctor in. There I lay in uncertainty wondering if the pregnancy was viable from the angle of the ultrasound screen I couldn’t even see movement or hear a heart beat. It felt like hours before the doctor came back into the room.
They found two fibroids during your ultrasound. I’m not in the medical field and have limited medical knowledge so I had questions. The Dr explained they were non cancerous tumors which caused the bleeding, confirmed baby was okay but the pregnancy would be high risk. The tumors where currently the size of a small orange. The nurse and ultrasound tech said due to the position of the fibroids they were shocked I was able to conceive naturally. The doctor sent notes over to my OB and off I went. Still very confused questioning where did fibroids even come from I had never had such a diagnosis how was this missed by other physicians.
I started steroids for the baby around 16 weeks. By this point I knew the gender was a boy I had began to prepare. Buying this and that like it was my first go round. I went to my general appointment and my OB encouraged me to consider a cerclage which is ring or loop to bind together the ends of an obliquely fractured bone or encircle the opening of a malfunctioning cervix I declined and this was my biggest regret.
I felt the pressure of my baby coming and ran to the bathroom. My mucus cord was coming out. I immediately told my boss. With fear in my heart my cousin raced me to ER. Upon arrival she tore the ER staff a new one for refusing to admit me to labor and delivery due to only being 24 weeks pregnant. She won that battle we eventually made our way to L&D a doctor came in looked at me and said you probably have a yeast infection I will be back. He left me there for two hours and finally checked me and his face turned white hospital codes spewed out they called the trauma center. I began to cry in confusion and he finally acknowledge that I was 5cm dilated 80% effaced and that if he delivered the baby that the chances that baby would make it where nearly impossible.
Arriving at the hospital by ambulance was like a scene from Greys Anatomy. My OB rushed in giving orders and preparing for a c section. I had never had a c-section and was terrified. Before the surgery she checked me and said he went back up we will hold off to give this baby as much time to grow. The thing about preemie deliveries each day each second counts in the womb. I thought nightmare was over it just began. Then my doctor said well you will be here in this bed until delivery that could be one week could be four months. I went into shock I think, I’m a planner and we had no name no room set up. I decided to let go and trust God.
The final day
One week later me, Moyo and Mahkai were watching basketball, I called a nurse to help me to bed pan to use restroom. As soon as my feet touched ground my water broke. Within a hour I went from 5cm to 10cm and there was nothing to be done. The doctor on call came in and prepped us for surgery and ran down the list of complications baby could have. He could be mentally or physically disabled, would you prefer baby bonding and hold him until he passes or would you like us to try to save him? I looked up at Moyo he seemed to be boiling in anger being asked that question responded ” Save our child”. I felt nothing during the surgery but could feel tears falling from my face. They rolled me out to recovery and for the next 90 mins we sat in silence not knowing if the baby would make it. The doctor and nurse came in and said the baby was stable weighing 1lb 8oz. We where told he would only have a 80% chance to survive and they encouraged us to choose a name. We debated between Majid and Mahir agreeing on Mahir with the meaning of Capable; skilled.
The next few hours
Honestly everything after was a blur I just remember us rolling in to see this small little human with transparent skin. I’d never witness such a miracle. In that moment I didn’t know what would be next but I knew we would be right there holding his hand and lifting him in prayer.
I was upset when my grandma shared news of Mahir’s arrival for the first time ever I didn’t want to share I was scared of all the unknowns and wanted time to take it in. I didn’t even want to blog anymore I walked away to focus on my family. Now that Mahir is a few months from three I’d like to open up and share our journey. My only hope as that this encourages other preemie parents and woman who suffer from fibroids.
Next week I will talk more our NICU experience.