Our lives have been such a rollercoaster since we found out that Gray was going to be joining our family. At 21 weeks along I was put on bedrest praying that we would make it to 24 weeks. And then in the hospital at 29 weeks in preterm labour with the doctors sure that Gray would arrive that weekend and amazed that I was still pregnant a week later.
It’s not that I’ve been all sunshine and roses through all of this, but when I think of the alternatives, having a baby at 24 weeks, or 29 weeks or anywhere in between, the fact that Grayson decided to wait until 32 weeks changed a lot of what we had been prepared for by the medical team.
When we spent a week in Hamilton at 29 weeks the medical team there prepared us for what it would be like if Gray arrived then. That we would have to scrub up to our elbows and don gowns and masks and gloves in order to be able to enter the NICU. That we wouldn’t be able to hold him at first, he would be on a ventilator for possibly a few weeks. They gave us the worst case scenario. It was pretty scary but I had my husband and my family and I knew that we had a lot of support. And I had my faith, and I truly believe that we made it that far and Grayson would survive and thrive.
So after those few days, Grayson arriving at 32 weeks put us in a whole different place. When we went into labour at 32 weeks Hamilton didn’t have a bed for us because we were too far along and they had to save the bed for someone who wasn’t at 32 weeks yet. The hospital we spent 4 and a half weeks at didn’t have babies younger than Grayson unless they were transferred in from Sick Kids hospital once they were stable. We were in a completely different space then we were if Gray arrived at 29 weeks, physically and mentally. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have any stress, and all our days were carefree. We just reminded ourselves, and the other parents reminded us to be thankful that G waited a bit longer. We had two sets of twins in our area that we born between 27 and 29 weeks, and had struggled. I saw the strength that they had and their parents had and if they could be strong and positive in their situation, I knew that I could as well.
My perspective now is so different then it was before. I’ve seen Gray go through some hard times. Being on a ventilator and having to have lumbar punctures, and lots and lots of blood work, and now I see him half sleeping on the couch while I type away. I know that Gray is a strong little man, and will fight through anything that comes up against him. Even sleep at the moment.
I think as an outsider looking in this journey could be really overwhelming, but just like any other journey we’re taking it day by day. I’m just choosing to be as calm as I can. From my perspective that’s the best thing I can do.