Our daughter, Kylie, was 10 weeks early. My pregnancy was successful until my preeclampsia diagnosis at 29 weeks. I had only heard of preeclampsia once, and didn’t know much about prematurity either. A friend had preeclampsia around 34 weeks gestation, but she brought her baby home right away, so my diagnosis didn’t worry me that much until my doctor told me what I could expect as he was certain I wouldn’t make it full term. After being a self-proclaimed pregnancy expert, reading, and watching all the pregnancy shows, I was sure I had it all figured out.
Kylie being born 10 weeks early changed our life drastically. My husband is a marine and was going to school when Kylie was born. Since she was in the NICU in a town two hours away from our home, he had to withdraw from class and cut way back on his school hours. This resulted in bills getting behind as he lost his financial aid from the V.A. It was a very difficult time, and had we known more about prematurity and had we been more educated on the ‘what ifs’, we would have been a little more prepared in how to handle these things.
This is why we decided to get involved with March of Dimes after Kylie’s “NICU graduation.” It was so rewarding and therapeutic to share our story, and be able to relate to so many people who have or had dealt with the same issues. It amazed me how many people had never heard of preeclampsia and how many people didn’t know how common prematurity is. We really needed an outlet for what we went through so being able to meet new friends through our story helped us tremendously in our healing process.
Since then, I’ve signed on here a guest contributor, the parent blog of Hand to Hold. There are so many ways to find healing after a NICU stay. Where did you find yours?