Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Ginnie’s Birth Story

I have always been one to do most things in my own way and usually with a few bumps and bruises along the way, and having children was no different. My name is Ginnie B. and I am on the mother of not 1 but 16 children! Although not all are here on earth, I cherish things about each as simple as finding the pregnancy test positive and the thoughts of what the child would be like as it grew. The 3 that survived are fighters and have since the moment of each birth (30, 23, and 21 years ago).

With our oldest, both my husband and I knew so little, but having both being in the Emergency Medical field knew more than many others, and that proved both good and bad in the coming years, yet we took so much for granted. One evening about a week before my due date I felt contractions and we headed off to the hospital, much the same as countless other soon to be parents do each day! We came home later that night disappointed that the baby was not to be born that day, but had been told that the baby was about 5 lbs and that I should have a easy time because of it. 4 days later I again had contractions and got excited that this could be it. After several hours I went into the bathroom and as going back out the door my water suddenly broke. We knew it was time to go and made our way to the hospital. After spending almost 24 hours in Labor & Delivery my GP who had planned on delivering the baby turned my case over to the OB on call. After a few hours they discovered that the baby was in distress and that I would need a emergency C-Section. 
Mary was born at 9 PM on a chilly December night in 1982, I remember waking up and being told by my husband that I had a son, but then the OB telling me that I had a daughter. Thankfully I was still fuzzy from the general anesthesia I had received. I do remember being asked what the baby’s name was, so that they could transfer her to hospital with a NICU and I replied “I don’t care just send her to the other hospital. You can call her Garbage Pail.” Moments later I saw my daughters ear and side of her head as they wheeled her out to the waiting ambulance. My husband was told that she would most likely pass away that night as she was thought to be 26 weeks gestation. I also was not expected to survive as went septic (blood poisoning) and spent a week in isolation on the critical list. 10 days later I met my daughter for the first time, all 2 lbs 13 oz of her! She stole my heart and at that moment I became a sponge of all the information that I was given. At the end of February 1983 our daughter was discharged and we went home as a family for the first time! They never figured out why she was a preemie but was born so close to my due date, but think that I might have miscarried and not known and then became pregnant again.
After about 2 years I yearned for another child, and our first was finally medically stable to the point I could deal with another child on the way. I lost 13 pregnancies in a row, with testing giving few answers, and had pretty much given up on ever having another child. Late in 1988 I found myself pregnant again, and prepared for another disappointment, but this time proved different and had a fairly easy time until about 25 weeks when I started going back and forth to the hospital in premature labor. At 30 weeks I was transferred to the regional High Risk unit and stayed there for almost a month until I could hold on no more and was given another C-Section, this time at 34 weeks. I had another girl, this time weighing 5 lbs 3 oz, but she had breathing and GI issues and spent 6 weeks in the NICU. I have to admit the second time around was so much easier, this time no blood poisoning, and I knew what to expect. Two years later I found myself pregnant again and this time most of the family was angry that we would try again since our second daughter had been in and out of the hospital with seizures. 
My 3rd pregnancy was difficult from the start and I was hospitalized several times with asthma as well as dehydration. I was allowed to attend a out of state family reunion at 22 weeks as long as I would have someone to help me and that I would take it easy and that when I returned I would be on modified bedrest… Funny as I on the plane ride home contractions started and I went from the airport to the hospital. Thinking it was dehydration I was discharged after 48 hours, but was on home contraction monitoring. That lasted a few weeks and was finally admitted until I delivered. That admission lasted 10 long weeks on the either Antipartum or Labor & Delivery departments. The drugs made me hallucinate and very ill. My asthma flared and basically I was a true mess. 10 weeks later I finally was given bathroom privileges for the first time, and the first time up and into the bathroom my water broke. At 12:03 AM in August of 1991 I had my 3rd and final child, a boy at 30 weeks and 3 days gestation weighing 3 lbs 9 oz. This time I could tell the staff of the NICU what was going to happen as I had read every text book and lay persons book on premature infants… Our son was discharged after a month and other than apnea and reflux did the best healthwise for a long time.

As I said before all of my children are now adults and the girls are both married. One with a daughter of her own and the other expecting this summer. All of the children have lifelong medical problems that made/make life interesting, but I would not change a thing as they make life full and complete!

Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.

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