I made it 28 weeks pregnant: hello third trimester! This may not sound like an important accomplishment, but this small milestone takes a special place in my heart.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my due date was February 11, 2009. On the eve of November 20, 2008, I was experiencing cramps that were consistent (pretty much contractions). My husband (then boyfriend at the time) was living in Florida and we would talk every night aimlessly about anything when really we just missed each others presence. That night was no different except for the cramps which kept me up all night while on the phone with him. I went to the bathroom and found blood in my urine. He suggested I take an aspirin and call the doctor in the morning. It wasn’t the best advice and thank goodness I didn’t listen to him. I decided to call 911 and 30 minutes later, I was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the hospital that was a short 3 blocks away from my apartment. I was taken into the emergency room and then quickly admitted into the hospital at 3 inches dialated.
Between 2-7 AM, it was such a blur of frantic activity where multiple doctors and nurses talked to me about attempting to prevent an early delivery and the risks that could potentially occur if things don’t go smoothly. I was all alone, by myself, throughout the night and had no one with me during this very emotional time. I remember calling my parents telling them I was in the hospital and the doctors anticipated I would deliver my little angel within 24-48 hours. I was hoping they’d be by my side within an hour because I was such a hot mess. It wasn’t until 9AM they strolled into my room with big smiles knowing that they would be grandparents soon. I was in constant communication with my husband and was relieved to find out he was on the next flight out of Florida to New Jersey. I was slowly calming down from my nerves as the news spread among my family and friends and they started sending me their well wishes. My husband landed at Newark Airport before 3PM and made it by my bedside as I was prompted for my first push around 4:30PM. Less than 30 minutes later, I delivered a very tiny, but healthy, baby girl weighing 2 lbs 13 ounces and 15 inches in length. She had her own medical team who took her vitals and prepped her for the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).
The hours and days after my delivery were filled with a lot of emotion and uncertainty. It was tough to leave the hospital and head home to an empty apartment without my baby girl. It took a while for me to accept what I couldn’t control which was leaving my daughter behind in the hospital. But I was assured that she was being taken care of by the best nurses and doctors who wanted her to grow a little longer before heading home. She stayed in the hospital for 2 months where my husband and I were constantly by her side in the NICU. We shared stories, laughter and our concerns as she laid in her incubator hooked up to multiple life monitors. She came home in January 2009 where parenting really began for my husband and me. Our frequent trips to see doctors, specialists and therapists became a routine in which we became good friends with secretaries and security guards at hospitals and offices. She achieved her developmental milestones with no worries, but at her own pace. Once she started preschool, parenting became a bit tougher in helping her adjust to her new social environment and teach her the social norms of being with her piers and teachers. As of today, my daughter is in first grade and loves school. She excels in reading and math (just like her mommy) and has a mind of her own.
So how is this all relevant to me entering my third trimester? When I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, my biggest worry was that I wouldn’t be able to carry to full term. I know that I’m being taken care of by my doctor in which I’ve been following his strict orders. But, I can’t control what my body wants to do and I can’t control what baby wants to do too. I’m happy to say that my little nugget is still growing in my belly. I haven’t felt different (body wise) and the baby’s activities haven’t changed much. There are days when the baby is constantly kicking for attention (or maybe his/her way of saying “get me out of here”), but nothing out of the ordinary. The next 12 weeks will be my biggest adventure as a mom. Since I didn’t go through this stage of pregnancy with my daughter, I really don’t know what to expect. Besides the doctor’s visits, baby registry/shower planning, hospital registration and so forth, I’m very excited to continue this pregnancy journey knowing that baby is still inside of me. Whether or not he/she decides to come tomorrow or 12 weeks from now, at least I can say I made it to my third trimester.