Almost exactly 9 years ago I was 33 weeks pregnant with my first baby and lying in a hospital bed at BC Women’s Hospital. And I was scared.
My husband had gone home earlier that night thinking we were facing a long hospital stay for me as I battled pre-eclampsia and tried to get to 36 weeks before having our baby.
But how quickly things can change…because I had just been told that I would likely need to have to have an emergency c-section the next day and that my baby would be born 7 weeks prematurely.
I decided to let him sleep at least a few hours before calling with the news that would change our lives. And so I faced the next few hours alone with my own thoughts and fears.
I felt like a failure. Like I had already failed as a mother because I couldn’t even keep my baby safe in my own belly.
The only reason my baby had to come early was because it would help ME get better. Delivering the baby was the only way to halt the effects of the pre-eclampsia that were damaging MY body.
And it made me feel selfish. Like I was somehow putting myself before my baby and wasn’t one of the most important parts of being a mother that you put your children first no matter what?
I worried the baby would be too small to survive. That there would be long term affects from the early delivery.
I worried my husband would resent me for my failure to keep our baby secure and maybe never forgive me.
I worried I would never forgive myself.
I worried about everything. Until finally around 4am my mind finally allowed me to sleep for a few worry-less hours.
The morning was a whirlwind…of doctors and nurses and surgery preparation and scary thoughts…and then it was time.
And at 12:04pm my beautiful firstborn daughter arrived.
Tiny but strong. Weak but strong-willed. She amazed me with her strength from the very beginning and she is still amazing me every day.
Nine years….and I still remember those few hours like it was yesterday.
And it reminds me that I never want to feel like I failed my children like that again.
Happy birthday to the girl that made me a mama for the first time. And changed my life forever.