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

Post Preemie Pregnancy

Katrina Moline at 35 weeks pregnant after a 24 week preemie.My first pregnancy was planned.  I was 29-years-old, married for seven years and healthy, healthy, healthy.  We had a midwife and were planning a natural delivery at a birthing center.  Everything was going along just as expected – until suddenly it wasn’t.

At 24 weeks gestation I went into precipitous labor and delivered my 1 ½ pound baby boy in our master bathroom.  Unaware I was in labor until it was too late, I was suddenly and unexpectedly robbed of every sweet, dreamy idea I had of bringing my first child into this world.  Miraculously, Bryce survived the night and then a week, and five months later he came home and two weeks ago he turned 3.

Over the last couple of years people have asked me time and again if we’d have another.  As an only child myself, I’d always promised my unborn child that they would have a sibling.  But after everything we’d been though with Bryce, and continue to struggle with, I couldn’t bring myself to commit to that as-of-yet unkept promise.  But as serendipity would have it, the decision was made for us and here I sit almost 36 weeks pregnant with Bryce’s little brother.

Rarely do I admit it, but it’s been a challenging time for me.  I felt guilty for not being more excited, for often wishing it wasn’t true.  The doubts about how Bryce’s rigorous therapy schedule and constant doctor’s appointments would impact the childhood of this unborn child riddled me with even more guilt.  I’ve wondered how I can love another person as much as I love Bryce.  Asked myself over and over if this is what is right for Bryce.

You see, my life has completely revolved around Bryce from the moment he made his dramatic entrance into this world and began his long, hard struggle to survive.  I waited weeks to hold him, months for him to breathe without a ventilator and more than a year for him to sit up independently.  I’m still waiting for him to say he loves me, or even look at me and say, “Momma.”

So to think of adding another person to this crazy life of ours, to even consider further complicating this tangled web seemed simply absurd.

As if all of that guilt and shame weren’t challenging enough I’ve continued to battle lingering effects of PTSD while coping with the unknown in regards to another possible premature birth.  And the complex medical hurdles we’ve had to tackle, from weekly progesterone shots, more cervical checks than I care to mention and a cerclage, well let’s just say it hasn’t been the easiest.

But with nearly 36 weeks of hindsight and an extra special prize looming large, I can now confidently say that it has been worth it.

{Editor’s Note: Katrina gave birth to a healthy baby boy, weighing 6lbs. 10oz., on July 9. He was just a few days shy of 37 weeks. From all of us at PreemieBabies101.com, congratulations Katrina!}

Katrina Moline About Katrina Moline

Katrina A. Moline (TX) is a special needs mom to her micropreemie, Bryce. He was born at 24 weeks at home, where she and her husband gave him CPR until medical responders arrived. He spent 150 days in the NICU at Dell Children's in Austin, TX. Bryce has hydrocephalus with a VP shunt, is legally blind with glasses, has mild cerebral palsy and severe, global developmental delays. In July of 2012 she gave birth to her second child only one day shy of 37 weeks and with no complications. She posts regularly on her personal blog about life with a micropreemie, her struggles, accomplishments and family.

Comments

  1. Congratulations! I bet you already know that you can love someone just as much as you love Bryce. My preemie was my 2nd (technically 3rd, her id twin was stillborn). I had similar feelings of guilt over my 3-year-old during our 5-month NICU journey. They are now 3 and 6 and love each other beyond reason. The 6-year-old is patient and protective, and loves having a playmate. The little one worships her big sister. I still worry, especially considering Daphne still has a long medical journey ahead of her. But giving them each the gift of a sister has been amazing.

  2. Katrina, thank you for sharing so openly about your expereince with your second pregnancy. I think the sweetest gift you could possibly give to both your boys is that of a sibling! They will teach each other valuable lessons about life and will love each other unconditionally! You are an amazing mom and a true blessing to Hand to Hold!

  3. My third child was a late term preemie and we said that IF IF IF we had a fourth, I wanted the preemie to be 2 or 3 in case we had another preemie, I was on bedrest, etc. God had other plans and I found myself pg when the preemie was only 8 months old! It was not an easy time but we made it through until 38 weeks and he was born happy and healthy and BREATHING. It was worth it… in the end, yes, it was 100 per cent worth it.

  4. Congratulations!!! So happy and thankful baby is healthy and you all are doing well. It’s always a balance when you have more than one- having one with special needs will often make that more challenging- yet there is something so beautiful and wonderfully uncomplicated about the love siblings have for another, that fierce protectiveness and support, and complete acceptance of each other (until they are teenagers perhaps). Welcome to the newest member of your team!

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on something that is profoundly intimate and relatable to so many other preemie moms. Your Bryce is clearly an incredible kid, and his little brother is lucky to have such a great role model.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story and talking about the kind of emotions people don’t always talk about. I just found out I am pregnant with our second (first pregnancy after a preemie birth) and although I am excited, I am having some of the same emotions your discussed. You are a courageous and wonderful momma!

  7. This gives me so much hope, I had a premie, he was a 30 weeker and I too had an extremely healthy pregnancy. I thought I had the flu so attended the hospital and learned that I was in labour. Thanks for sharing your story. I would love to have another baby and stories like this help me think it is possible 🙂

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