Every year, an estimated 13 million babies worldwide are born prematurely.
On Thursday, April 3, 2008, two of those 13 million babies were my babies.
Marcus and Maddox were born at 31 weeks 1 day. That is 9 weeks early. More than two months early.
Marcus came into this world weighing a mere 3 pounds 14 ounces, four minutes later, Maddox joined us weighing in at 3 pounds 11 ounces.
If you would have told me two years ago, that I would have two babies, born premature, and that we would spend the first months of their lives living in the NICU, I would have laughed at you.
But on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 I wasn't laughing. In fact I was crying, sobbing actually. Fearing the worst.
I will never, ever, ever forget that day. It was the second most terrifying day of my life. The first most terrifying day was the day they were born.
Nothing can ever prepare you for the premature birth of your baby or babies. You don't read about it in those cutsie books that explain "The Birth Experience". You expect your pregnancy to be an uneventful peaceful experience, of which mine was. You expect your labor and delivery to be smooth sailing, your friends and family visiting you, giving you moral support, even joking and laughing at times. Your husband holding your hand, talking to friends and family, anticipating the birth of his children. All the while the nurses are in and out of your room, not worrying about a thing. God how I longed for an experience like that.
But on Wednesday, April 2 into Thursday, April 3 that was not the case. It was a hospital visit, followed with an ambulance ride, and another hospital visit, that turned into a stay. It was nurses and doctors checking temperatures, and fluids, and heartbeats. It was Neonatology coming to see you to explain to you and your husband what may or may not happen in the minutes, hours, or even days to come.