by Maurie Hornsby
Expectations…we all have expectations. Many of us never expected to be saying, “I celebrate Parents of Preemie’s Day.” But here we are, and I certainly could not be more proud! So Happy day to us, and to our little fighters!
My journey to becoming a preemie parent was much like everyone else’s….unexpected. But if I’ve learned anything over the last two years is that no matter how you become a parent the journey has its unexpected moments, some fun and some scary. Here is a little bit about how we came to celebrate such a wonderful day!
I had gone in for my 24-week check-up, this was my first pregnancy and at the age of 25, I didn’t foresee that there would be any issues. At that appointment, I had gained a little more weight than I should have, had some protein in my urine and looked a little extra puffy, my blood pressure wasn’t too bad. But I can guess, many of you know what those add up to. Well we didn’t, I had honestly never heard of preeclampsia, and the doctor didn’t mention it yet. She said to go home, we will run some tests and see you in a week…
Well, we head home, do all the blood work and 24-hour collection and anxiously wait for our next appointment. Once we arrive for our appointment, they check vitals and at this point my blood pressure was 180/100…so not good, before I could even sit down on the table the doctor comes in with admission papers, things were not right and moving fast. I officially had been diagnosed with preeclampsia at 25 weeks.
By the time we got to the hospital, they had a room waiting for us. It was time to start the magnesium and hypertensive protocol, at this point my blood pressure was 210/120…I was feeling great and scared to death. Our baby was hanging on and doing alright! This was a Thursday and I made it to Monday, until it was time to have an emergency c-section before I started to seize, as my brain was beginning to swell. So at 4 pm that day Caroline Jo was born, weighing 1 pound 6 ounces at 25 weeks and 4 days and so began the fight of her life.
Caroline spent the next 106 days in the NICU fighting for her life, but that girl came out fighting and hasn’t stopped since…she will be 2 next week and is as sassy as they come. I get told on a regular basis to “stop it” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Being a preemie parent is something many people may never experience and probably are terrified of the idea but I have learned more patience, resilience, and love from that little girl than I can even begin to understand. She gave us a jumpstart into parenting that we weren’t ready for but are you ever truly ready? Do I wish she had stayed inside for a little while longer, yes, of course, but I wouldn’t change who she is today at all.
Today is a day to celebrate who we have become because of our preemies, earthbound and heaven-bound. They have shaped us for the better and we live on in and for them!
Maurie Hornsby is mom to Caroline Jo, born at 25 weeks and 4 days due to severe preeclampsia and HELLP. Caroline just turned two and is as sassy as they come! Maurie and her family are from Ohio and love spending time playing outside and with their cousins and family who live nearby. One of their favorite things to do is visit Fiona, the preemie Hippo, that Cincinnati Children’s helped save!