{Guest Post} Our Preemie Christmas Miracle

On the afternoon of October 16, 2014. I was lying in a hospital bed at Langley Memorial hospital hooked up to a fetal heart monitor, blood pressure monitor, IV and a catheter.
At 29 weeks pregnant, I had gone in for a scheduled prenatal visit with my Doctor that morning; but something wasn’t right. The nurse took my blood pressure twice and told me it was a little high. When the doctor came in, he took my blood pressure again; it was sky high and they’d found protein in my urine. He sent me to the hospital (right next door to his office) for further tests. They got me in quickly and hooked me up to all the monitors. The OB came in and started telling me about preeclampsia and premature birth. I was only 29 weeks pregnant! I was in complete shock! I called my husband to come right away. All I could get out was “You need to come now.”
I was transferred by ambulance to Surrey Memorial hospital where they had a NICU that could handle this premature of a baby. I saw countless doctors and was under 24 hour surveillance by a nurse to make sure I didn’t seize. We had no idea what to expect. What’s the survival rate of a 29 week baby? Does she have to be born today? Finally, we had a Neonatologist come in to talk to us. She had one of her own kids at 30 weeks. It was so comforting to hear her tell us about how her daughter is thriving now. She told us there was about a 95% survival rate at 29 weeks. We were so relieved and so grateful to have her talk to us as both a doctor and a mother who had been through exactly what we were going through. Our baby was going to be born that night.
I was prepped for surgery and wheeled into the operating room. I knew next to nothing about C- sections, we were supposed to have our prenatal classes in a few weeks. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was terrified of the epidural. The anesthesiologist told me it wasn’t much worse than getting an IV. He lied, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. My husband was allowed into the room as I started to lose feeling in my body. Having a C-section is such a surreal experience! I felt pulling and the doctors moving things around, but I felt no pain. I also felt the most unconditional love I have ever felt in my life. Here I was, literally laying there with my arms stretched out giving myself up for my daughter. There is no greater love than that!
At 11:38pm our beautiful baby girl, Lily Ann Hultgren, was pulled out and whisked away with the neonatal team. She was only 991 grams (2lbs 3oz). My husband was able to go with her; I wouldn’t be able to meet her until 24 hours later. I finally got to meet Lily the next night. She was so tiny and precious; I was scared to even touch her. I thought she would break.
Being in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) is hard, it's a roller coaster of ups and downs, feelings and emotions. We had a birth plan and it did not go the way we planned. No one's birth plan involves spending extra days or weeks in the hospital. You expect to have a healthy baby and go home. Well, it doesn't always go that way. We can make all the best laid out plans in the world, but at the end of the day, it's really out of our control. I wouldn’t wish the NICU on anyone, but we did see a miracle or two happen while we were there and it's a privilege to have experienced that. I wouldn't change it for anything!

We got take Lily home on Christmas Eve 2014 after 69 days in hospital. It was the best Christmas present we could have ever received.

About The Author
Hi! I’m Caroline... spelled CaroLINE, pronounced CaroLYN. I know, confusing, right... I blame my parents. I’m wife to one amazing husband, Pete; and momma to two preemie girls, Lily and Maggie (29 weeks and 36 week). My family is my world, I started blogging as a way to share my journey through all the ups and downs of motherhood as well as be able to spend more time at home with my 2 little monkeys. You can check out my blog at www.lilymags.com

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