On December 21, 2010, I was 27 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, B. The first 27 weeks had gone by mostly uneventful. Except for a bit of bleeding early on, the pregnancy was low risk, completely textbook normal. Until December 19.
We went to a Christmas party with friends and I had a weird sensation. During pregnancy, weird is common and usually isn’t a big deal. But this was a different sort of weird. It felt like a bowling ball had spun in my stomach, followed by a lot of cramping.
I called my OB the next morning who wanted to see me immediately. She looked me over and checked me out, finding nothing alarming. We were planning to travel north for Christmas so she decided to run a fetal fibronectin test to determine if I was at risk for preterm labor.
In 24 hours, I went from a completely normal, boring pregnant lady to a bed-ridden Momma for the holidays and beyond.
That fetal fibronectin test came back positive. As did the next. And the next. I’m not really sure why we continued to do the tests since I’m pretty sure once it’s positive, it’s always positive.
I was just 25 years old. A baby. Who had another baby at home – E was just 18 months old at the time.
It was such a hard Christmas.
We were so looking forward to being with family. We were terrified that B may be joining us far too soon. We were worried about E and keeping her life as normal as possible. We were unsure of how on Earth we were going to keep going with a Momma on bed rest, a Daddy who worked an awful lot and a little, strong-willed spitfire who liked to go, go, go.
Our families shipped our Christmas gifts overnight. Luckily, J had some time off from work to help us adjust. And some dear, dear friends became like family to us.
Friends came to play nearly every day so E and I were never lonely. They brought so many meals. They took E on outings so I could get some rest. I will be forever indebted to them.
And we prayed. So, so much.
B was born at nearly 41 weeks when my doctor persuaded me it was finally time to kick her out.
In hindsight, the weird sensation I had at that Christmas party was probably B flipping breech, where she hung out until around 36 weeks.
I don’t know why the fetal fibronectin tests came back positive. When I think back to the 10 weeks I was on bed rest and the oh, so many OB appointments, it’s easy to be angry and feel like it was all a waste of time and energy. Memories and experiences with my daughter that I will never have again. A Christmas filled with worry and fret. But it’s not.
Presented with the same scenario, I would do it all again the exact same way. You can’t take it back. You can’t unbirth a premature baby. Although I don’t know why it happened the way it did, it is what it is.
B is now 21 months old – the same age E was when B was born.
It boggles my mind to think I was so young and having another child with a child that young. Twenty-one months seemed so grown to me then, but now I see it’s just the beginning of growing up.
Merry Christmas, everyone. May yours be filled with joy and wonderful memories.