A pregnancy is the beginning of many hopes and dreams. With my first son, it was nothing but hopes and dreams. My husband and I were filled with excitement and anticipation of starting a new family.
When our first son decided to arrive eight and a half weeks early, many of those hopes and dreams were immediately shattered.
Upon his early arrival, something new emerged to direct our hopes and dreams toward...the hospital and the neonatal intensive care unit. I was no longer pregnant, yet felt like I was and I felt like my hopes and dreams had been snatched right out from under me...literally I guess...
Our first son was about an hour west of us, where he was transported almost 12 hours after his arrival, due to the difficulty in finding him a bed. I was discharged 3 hours after he arrived. He had arrived in such a hurry, I did not have time for an epidural (not that I wanted one) or any painkillers for that matter and therefore due to an uncomplicated delivery, I was able to walk free and clear within 3 hours. Of course I stayed at the hospital until the transport ambulance took him away at 10 AM the next morning and my husband and I went back to our house to pack some things and make a few quick phone calls to let family and friends know of the sudden change of events.
We then drove the hour up to the hospital our son would call home for the next five days. I remember arriving. The weather was damp and chilly, but it was Spring, which to me is a symbol of hope and change. I remember feeling pretty calm, perhaps kind of numb about how things had just transpired and upon our arrival to the hospital I felt a new sense of hopes and dreams.
My hopes and dreams of having a baby at full term, greeting family with our new baby in my arms in the hospital room ,were gone. Now, at the site of the grey exterior of the building, with bright lights on inside, I felt like this place would be the place to develop new hopes and expectations. Our greatest hope at that very moment was that our son would make it through this uncertain time with ease.
Our son was able to be transferred out of this hospital, closer to home, only five days later. This was a relief, as we could at least sleep in our own beds and be close to our support network. We had a very strong 31 weeker and only 3 and a half weeks later, our firstborn was home! To have a preemie home so quick and without complication was like a dream!
Our second experience with pregnancy and childbirth again dashed many of my hopes and dreams. Knowing I was already high risk prior to finding out I was actually pregnant with two babies, meant that I knew I would have many hopes and dreams and they would most likely change along the way.
My main hope was that I could carry my twins to at least 36 or 37 weeks. I know these were high hopes, but we have to think positive, right?
By the time I was 27 weeks and 4 days along, I knew in my heart and mind that my babies were coming early. I focused my mind on the hope that we could make it to at least 31 weeks and 3 days, like the twins' big brother did.
Again, all these hopes in my mind were altered. With my twins arriving at 27 weeks and 5 days, my greatest hope was that they would survive.
I came to the understanding that hopes and dreams are constantly changing. To focus too specifically on any one hope or dream, especially when it comes to child bearing and child rearing, can be very disappointing when things don't pan out.
In a matter of 3 or 4 days it went from hoping my babies could go "twins full term" to hoping they would survive, especially Twin B.
I remember arriving at the hospital the second time around. It was a different hospital, known to be home of one of the best NICUs in Canada and great for multiples. We had hoped to deliver here if going pre-term...but that was not to be! Anyway, upon arriving at this hospital it was such a sense of deja vu. Different hospital, yet same Spring weather. Damp ground, sun trying to peak out and another grey exterior to a monstrosity of a building. Yet, there was that pang of hope pounding in my heart and mind. This building held promise and I held hope that those in this hospital would nurse my premature sons to health and give us the happy ending (or "beginning," would be the better word) we really wanted.
I think the moral of my story is not to give up on your hopes and dreams. Although they may change or you have to adapt them to your ever-changing reality, they are what keep us going, keep us strong and looking forward to the future.
"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do."
~ Pope John XXIII
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