“If luck will have it, you could carry to 37 weeks.”
“You might not have to have an emergency C-section, if you’re lucky.”
“If we’re lucky, the baby will come out screaming.”
“He should only be in the NICU for 3-4 weeks if you’re lucky.”
“If you’re lucky, the baby will be fine.”
If I never hear the phrase “if you’re lucky” ever again in my life, it will be too soon. At times, I don’t feel like anything that happened to me was lucky.
Pregnant at 19 definitely wasn’t what I had planned for my life, but I decided that this was what I wanted. My boyfriend and I thought it was just perfect. We would have a house, and a baby, and be that perfect American family that everyone always strives to be. We would be so lucky.
8 weeks into the pregnancy, I got rushed to the emergency room for bleeding and cramping. I swore I was going to lose my baby as I rushed into the ER and got poked and proded by doctor after doctor. After 6 hours they told me it was a threatened miscarriage. Our baby still had a chance of survival, but I still had hemmorages under my womb. I went home feeling lucky, like the doctors told me I should.
At 12 weeks we found out we were having a little boy, just what we wanted, and my hemmorages were gone. How lucky. The rest of my pregnancy went without a hitch until the day before I was 32 weeks. At my routine doctor’s appointment, my BP was through the roof. They sent me home on bedrest to do a 24 hour protein collection, which I did, willingly. The next day when I returned to the doctor, they checked my BP again and sent me straight to the hospital, where again I was poked and proded and diagnosed with preeclampsia. After three days I was sent home on very strict bedrest, because I was so lucky to not have had my baby.
Two weeks later, I was rushed to the hospital again, this time to be induced at only 34 weeks pregnant. After three days of being induced I finally gave birth to a 4 lb, 13 oz baby boy. I was so lucky that he was as big as he was, the nurses said, while they snatched my baby and brought his fragile little body to the NICU.
Every time I went to visit him, everybody told me how lucky I was that my baby was doing so well. But I didn’t feel lucky. I felt defeated, and sad, and guilty. Guilty for not feeling lucky that my baby wasn’t worse off, that other moms had it worse than I did, that I couldn’t carry longer. Thankfully, after two long weeks in the NICU, I finally got to bring my baby boy home.
Five months later, my baby boy is thriving. He’s tripled his birth weight, he’s not that far behind his peers, and he’s a good sleeper. As I look at the floor and see that little baby rolling around and squealing at his reflection all I can think is how did I get so lucky?