The Broken Pieces

You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it. --Unknown

The Broken Pieces

The Broken Pieces

When I was 19, during my second year of college, I found out that I was expecting, and it wasn’t a planned pregnancy either. My parents were incredibly disappointed, but eventually they accepted it and loved me the best way they knew how.

I struggled in the beginning months of pregnancy; I felt horrible, my attitude and outlook on life was awful, and then finally it happened… a wondrous tingling sensation, at first I did not know what was happening inside my body, and then it happened again, and again. She was moving. I felt her… she was moving and growing and I was having a baby.

I was going to have a baby; I cannot describe the feeling, but the love and want that was born from experiencing her moving is still with me all these years later. When I close my eyes and think of that time I recall the feeling of anticipating and the wonder and excitement of seeing her… touching her, hearing her… I can still feel it.

But, life had other plans… I couldn’t see her. Touch her. Hear her. I figured myself cowardly, or so I thought for years. Life delivered a blow that left me crippled emotionally; I held the pain of death inside for a decade and a half, I finally opened up, and the dam broke… the silence broken.


I’ve shared a bit of my story; life after loss here: Life Gone Wrong


The reason I am sharing about this, is in part, the reason I blog; you see for years I thought not talking about the tough stuff was the answer. I found a solution to my problems at the bottom of a bottle, and then one day as if I were rupturing I opened up and let it all out. Keeping silent is deadly…

I resigned myself to thinking that my body would stay broken, and having a baby wasn’t an option, and then I get pregnant, but this time I’m older, sober, my lifestyle entirely different, and I’m in love; hopeful that this pregnancy might be different from the one before. Yes, I had my moments when fear crept in, and I worried that it might happen again. I went to my doctor appointments, consulted and observed by a high-risk doctor, and I ate and lived healthfully.

I was expecting. I was going to have a baby.

And then it happened. I felt cramping. I started spotting. I called the Doctor. I went through many exams, yet they found nothing. The Doctor told to go home, rest and drink plenty of water; dismissing me each time. I refused to allow the insinuation, oh it is just in your head, sort of thinking, to keep me from being persistent.

So, one Sunday, at my wit’s end, I have The Sailor take me to the emergency room, I told him that I knew with certainty that something was wrong. Now I’m not just spotting I’m lite bleeding. The Doctor examines me, and then says, “you may leave now; go home elevate your feet, drink plenty of water and get some rest.”

I will always regret not going to a different hospital…, but I was thinking well what if, what if I’m just freaking out, which, after having experienced what I did with my first baby, it wouldn’t be off the charts rare that I might be over reacting, but there was only one problem… I knew. I knew in my gut that something was wrong, yet I listened to the Doctors and did what the Doctor directed me to do and it still angers me eight years later.

Back at home; I rest as instructed… getting up to go to the bathroom; I feel wet. I make my way to the bathroom; I nearly lose my shit when I got up from the toilet, yet doubting myself, so I yell out for The Sailor. He takes a look and calmly says, “let’s go to the emergency room just to be safe” He later told me that he was so upset over what he saw that it took everything inside him to stay calm, but he knew he had to put up a calm front.

You never know how strong you are… until being strong is the only choice you have. –Bob Marley

I was hemorrhaging; it had advanced to the point that, for three days, they tried to stop the bleeding, but nothing they did worked… at twenty-three weeks gestation, days are critical.

Our daughter began her early decent… born 115 days too soon. The Doctor told us there was no hope for her survival. I told the Doctor, “if there is a God, it most certainly isn’t you; all I ask is you do the job you are trained to do…”

Strong is the only choice you have.


This picture is of me napping with my sweet baby girl at home after a four-month NICU stay. Spending those months in the NICU listening to the sounds, being contained in such a small place, but most of all the emotional roller coaster of not knowing if my baby would make it through the night, day in and day out for months altered me in ways that will be with me always.

I had become NICU reliant, I wanted approval, yet defiant; if something confused, upset or I did not understand something… well lets just say the Doctors and Nurses were highly aware of my presence.

Before releasing my daughter from NICU, I had to get trained on how to care for her. One of my many scariest days came when I had to learn how to insert a feeding tube through my daughters nose, down her throat, into her stomach while listening with a stethoscope for proper placement.

I watched the video, listened to the nurse, reviewed the equipment, and then just before making my way back to my daughter’s room, I excused myself, walked down the hall exited the NICU found the first available bathroom and vomited. I cried and cursed at the walls “I’m not a fucking nurse.”  What if. what if. what it… what if I puncture her stomach? Looking at myself in the mirror, no one there, but me to answer. So I stomped and stomped until the bottoms of my feet burned and I couldn’t cry anymore.

I washed my face, and hands, took a deep breath and existed that bathroom determined to do what I needed to do… re-entering the NICU, suiting up; I entered my daughters hospital room while the nurse watched over me, I inserted that tube like… a MOM!

The day we left the NICU I cried; I wanted to take the nurses with me, but they wouldn’t fit in the car, not to mention, kidnapping is against the law, so we loaded up the car and headed towards our destination, we finally reached home… we are still eight years later a family on a journey figuring things out along the way.


My daughter is 1 in 8…

November 17th is World Prematurity Day.

World Prematurity DayI shared on Facebook about November Prematurity Awareness month; the love, support and encouragement shared over that image was amazing… one of the comments, at first, upset me: “who makes these things up whats it going to be next kidney awareness december?” But then I started thinking about that question. Yes, there are a lot of awareness Months while each one may not appeal to everyone, but THANK GOODNESS we have them because maybe just maybe someone may find hope and together we will bring about awareness.

What if awareness gets us a bit closer to prevention or inspires hope?! Awareness: the power behind making noise lies in sharing with one another; when we speak out others have a possibility of finding hope… finding an answer! Amy

I have one last story to share about how someone shared something with me that brought about hope… When I was pregnant with my 3rd child I thought I needed to have a Doctor with privileges at the Best NICU in our state… one day I was talking to this woman I barely knew, and she just happened to mention problems she had during her 1st pregnancy, so I say to her, “that is why the Doctor I choose must have privileges at this certain NICU”, and she says to me, “maybe if you find the right Doctor you won’t need the best NICU?” She goes on to tell me about this Doctor, she says, “he  listens to his patients, and he specializes in high risk pregnancies, I think it may help you to meet with him.”

She gave me some hope… I will forever be grateful to that woman for introducing me to a Doctor who indeed listened and found the broken piece in me. I was given a beautiful gift of giving birth to my 3rd daughter after going full-term. I spent 17 weeks on bed rest, monitored by three different doctors and two different practices, 17 progesterone shots and family and friends giving my family lots of support and love.

When we share our experience with others we may exceedingly well be giving the gift of hope.

 

Center For Disease Control |Warning Signs

Nearly a half million babies in the United States—that’s 1 out of every 8—are born premature each year. Learn more about premature birth, risk factors, and what you can do.

Warning Signs of Preterm Labor

In most cases, preterm labor begins unexpectedly and with no known cause. It’s important to seek care if you think you might be having preterm labor, because your doctor may be able to help you and your baby.

The warning signs are—

  • Contractions (the abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often.
  • Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from the vagina).
  • Pelvic pressure—the feeling that the baby is pushing down.
  • Low, dull backache.
  • Cramps that feel like a menstrual period.
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea.

Center For Disease Control 

March of Dimes |Premature Birth
The serious problem of premature birth

Every year, nearly half a million babies are born too soon in the United States. Our country’s premature birth rate has risen by 36 percent over the last 25 years. That’s serious cause for concern.

Premature birth costs society more than $26 billion a year and takes a high toll on families. Babies born just a few weeks early are at risk of severe health problems and lifelong disabilities. Premature birth is the number 1 killer of newborns.

March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign

 

Comments

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Comments (44)
  • Avatar

    Flawed Mommy Nov 17 2012 - 6:42 pm

    As a mom of 5 full term babies, I cannot even begin to imagine the intense pain and the fear you must have felt, each and every day of your pregnancies. I am so glad that in the end you found a doctor who understood and was able to help you deliver a full term baby girl. I’m also incredibly amazed at how your daughter beat the odds, after being born so early. She is such a miracle, and I’m sure having such a tough, loving mama improved her odds that much more! Hugs!!! :)

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 7:56 pm

      Thank you… it amazes me that the strength to take care of (mom) business is just there; I swear, it must have come the day I gave birth.

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    Galen Pearl Nov 17 2012 - 11:01 pm

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it. My son was born premature and spent his first month in NICU. He’s 25 now and has autism–related to the early birth? Who knows. But he is healthy and happy. And I’m so grateful for him. And for my other children, too! Thanks so much for this touching post.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Please Help Me HelpMy Profile

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:02 pm

      Thank you… I appreciate you stopping by and sharing. I find your choice of words “related to early birth?” run parallel to my thought process when my daughter shows signs of …. whatever it may be. I think it is probably something I will work on always.

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    Casey Nov 18 2012 - 3:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I am so pleased that your daughter is with you today. :) Blessings to you.
    Casey recently posted..Technology is changing how Americans remember the deadMy Profile

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    Dangerous Linda Nov 18 2012 - 3:01 pm

    Hey, Little Mama! ~

    I’m so touched by your story it brings me to tears!

    I’ve never given birth to a premature baby, but I think every mom can relate to this: “…found the first available bathroom and vomited. I cried and cursed at the walls ‘I’m not a fucking (fill in the blank).’ What if. what if. what if… what if I (fill in the blank = hurt my child)? Looking at myself in the mirror, no one there, but me to answer. So I stomped and stomped until the bottoms of my feet burned and I couldn’t cry anymore.”

    I have SOOOO BEEN THERE! Yup.

    Thank you for sharing yourself and reminding me of one of the strongest & most courageous parts of myself, which I visit less often now that my kids are grown.

    Much love! XOXOXOX

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    Lolo Nov 18 2012 - 3:16 pm

    You´ve made me cry soooo you much! I love you. I haven´t been through what you´ve described but still.. I´m speechless…
    Lolo recently posted..Baile Fiona ´s danceMy Profile

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    Kimberly Nov 18 2012 - 3:18 pm

    What an amazing and beautiful story…this goes to show you how important it is to support this cause because we are saving beautiful lives. xo
    Kimberly recently posted..Slow Cooking Some LoveMy Profile

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:08 pm

      Thank you… yes, it is such an important cause; awareness can lead to prevention. I am so very glad that you’ve stopped by…

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    Scott M Nov 18 2012 - 3:36 pm

    Your a strong woman, to be able to care for your daughter in those few months after your hospital stay. I don’t think I would be able to do that feeding tube thing. The Sailor, sounds like a great man, standing beside you in all of this. I am happy that you had that support.

    I have joined your Network Blogs also.
    Scott M recently posted..Bloggers Wanted: Holiday Gift Guide 2012 (over $600 in prizes) 11/1 – 11/30My Profile

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:10 pm

      the strength to care for her was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced… if someone had told me that I possessed that kind of strength, I would not have believed it. Oh that feeding tube thing had me freaked out! Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate you joining NB.

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    Martha Orlando Nov 18 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Amy, your heartfelt story touched me so deeply . . . I am so glad you can share it here and make us all more aware of the pain and worry parents of premies go through. So glad, too, that your daughter’s story has a happy ending.
    Blessings, my dear!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Can’t Fill Papa’s ShoesMy Profile

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    Kenya G. Johnson Nov 18 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Woooooooooooo – exhale! What a story! Thanks you for sharing and giving me the snots. I am so happy for you that #1 you found your way out from the bottom of the bottle AND you are here to tell your incredible journey giving others hope for the loss they have experienced.

    • Avatar

      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:14 pm

      Aw… sorry about the snots ;) I appreciate you reading. I am incredibly grateful to be sober and a sober Mom… it is an incredible journey.

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    Rosey Nov 18 2012 - 4:13 pm

    I’m really happy to have happened across this post, it was very touching and uplifting too, and I laughed out loud when I got to the part about taking the nurses home (they needed to stay where they were needed more ;) ).

    Love the Bob Marley quote too. Thank you for the awesome share!
    Rosey recently posted..Customer OpinionMy Profile

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:17 pm

      Oh my gosh… I was so over the top nervous leaving the NICU; its weird I couldn’t wait to leave, but didn’t want to go. Yes, they were needed exactly where they were. We see them when we visit the annual Preemie get together.

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    natalie Nov 18 2012 - 4:48 pm

    Such an amazing and heartfelt story, with a very blessed ending. And that quote is fantastic. It says so much and resonates with so many. Thank you for linking up and sharing your story!
    natalie recently posted..World Prematurity Awareness Day Is November 17th: Here Is My StoryMy Profile

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    One tired mama Nov 18 2012 - 8:05 pm

    What a beautiful touching story! Children are such a blessing! I know I complain on my page, but I too know the heartache, I’ve lost two, and my third pregnancy was horrible, from them thinking she had downs, to the bed rest etc. you’re such an amazing strong woman, and I’m glad we are friends. You’re openness and honesty has helped me tremendously. :)

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:20 pm

      They are such a blessing. Oh goodness, got to let it out! I knew you experienced pregnancy related heart-ache, but I did not know about the bed rest. I am so glad that we are friends and you help me too!

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    Roz K Walker Nov 18 2012 - 10:36 pm

    What a beautiful ending to a heart-breaking story. You are strong and have such an encouraging story to share. Thanks for opening up. I know it will help many other women who find themselves in your position. I’m an auntie of a preemie, so I know the joys of celebrating every milestone. Wishing you many more milestones with your children.
    Roz K Walker recently posted..5 Keys to Creating A Website that Earns You MoneyMy Profile

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:22 pm

      aw… thank you and same to you too, Auntie. I hope that if someone out there is hurting that they find help they deserve; more and more people are opening up and sharing, so help is available. I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

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    Momfever Nov 19 2012 - 12:32 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. I think you are very courageous!
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    Kathy at kissing the frog Nov 19 2012 - 12:52 am

    What an amazing story! You never gave up on your daughter, even though the odds were against her. I, too, remember being trained on how to insert the NG tube on one of my twins and I hated it! I prayed it would not come out. His twin brother accidentally pulled it out, but lucky for me, my husband was there to reinsert it. I love when you say that when we share with others we are giving the gift of hope. Beautiful!
    Kathy at kissing the frog recently posted..A Premature Baby Story x 2My Profile

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:25 pm

      Thank you… I was so afraid of doing it ‘wrong’ and something happening to hurt her; it had me all kinds of freaked out, but ya do what ya gotta do. I am most amazed at knowing me before Momhood and after… I did not know that I had it in me.

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    Jessica Nov 19 2012 - 1:46 pm

    What an amazing story, I honestly felt like standing up and clapping at my computer when I saw that picture of you holding that chubby cheeked little survivor wearing oxygen. I’m so glad you linked up and that you have found a way to share your words. I don’t know how I would have any sanity left if I didn’t write.

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      mommetime Nov 19 2012 - 8:29 pm

      Thank you. I am grateful to have found the outlet that I have in writing… go figure! Thank you for hosting the hop and sharing; your story is incredibly inspiring!

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    Mary Hudak-Collins Nov 19 2012 - 8:03 pm

    Your story has touched my heart and brought back many memories, good and bad, about the births of both of my children when my body really didn’t seem to want to be pregnant. I had a wonderful OB/GYN who was with me every minute of every day. I had his personal cell phone number and he encouraged me to call anytime I worries or had a concern. He was truly a blessing from God to be put in my life.
    My mother passed away when I was 5 months pregnant with my first child. I had just gotten off of bed rest and was classified as a high risk pregnancy. I barely made it through her funeral after driving 8 hrs to Ohio. I fell into deep depression and just didn’t know how to move on. He made himself available to my husband and I for prayer and just words of comfort.
    Looking back now after reading your story, I realize just how important it is to have a great doctor who really listens to you as his/her patient. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions you experienced. Your story brought tears to my eyes and I just want to thank you for sharing such a personal story ♥♥♥
    Mary Hudak-Collins recently posted..Pumpkin Rolls – Gluten, Dairy, and Egg FreeMy Profile

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      mommetime Nov 24 2012 - 2:26 pm

      oh girl, thank you for sharing… you gave me goose bumps! Wow your Doctor sounds like an amazing doctor and one that truly understands and believes in the oath he took! I am so sorry that you had to experience such a tragic lost, during a time that is supposed to be filled with happy. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with me.

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    Tatum Nov 19 2012 - 11:20 pm

    You had me much earlier, but “I’m not a fucking nurse” sealed the deal. Felt like someone had a bug recording conversations in my home. But yes, in the end we do it like a mom. Really honest and beautiful post.

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    Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club Nov 20 2012 - 11:43 am

    What an amazing story! Glad you decided to share it, so that it finds someone else going through something similar. That’s the great thing about the blogosphere, isn’t it!
    Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club recently posted..December ContestMy Profile

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    Sara Nov 23 2012 - 10:04 pm

    What a touching story! So Happy for you that everything turned out to be a happy story. Myself is 12 month pregnant with epilepsy and hoping for a healthy little one.

    God Bless
    Sara

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    Adriene Nov 24 2012 - 4:03 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Amy. I didn’t know about the Prematurity Awareness Day, but my son was born prematurely, too … 26 1/2 years ago! We had Thanksgiving dinner together the other day. It is so important to share our experiences as women because when things happen, we often feel alone, particularly in the case of miscarriage. But as in your cases and others, as painful as it is, it’s not always the end of the story.

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      mommetime Nov 25 2012 - 7:51 pm

      thank you for being here… it took me a very long time to learn the importance of sharing; when we share it makes our circles bigger and our world smaller.
      mommetime recently posted..The Broken PiecesMy Profile

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    Christina @The Twisting Kaleidoscope Nov 25 2012 - 3:11 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! (sniff) I love how you stood up to the doctors. Your children are so lucky to have you as a mother.
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