I take a huge sob and start crying like a baby.
My heart starts racing, I can feel the blood rushing through my veins, my stomach spasms, I feel a big hallow inside it. I feel something else, it’s an overwhelming sensation of anx, fear ripples through my whole body like a fog starting from my toes, to my feet, belly, abdomen, hands, and by the time it reaches my heart, I can no longer take the pain. I am overwhelmed by one thought “I 2 322 f really happening to me?!”
Then my rational mind starts asking questions…
How could this happen to me?!
No way, this is not happening!
Please let it be a dream, please let it be a joke…
These things don’t happen to me.
I am not ready!
I still have three months of pregnancy to live
The babies are tiny
1 kg is not enough for them to thrive
What about my birth plan
What about my hospital bag
I didn’t imagine it to be like this
I imagined all different things but not this.
I had imagined my delivery a zillion times, actually, I had been planning it my whole pregnancy. I would delivery on October 27, it would be a Saturday, all doctors like planned deliveries, I would be in week 38+3 days. I would be off the day before, I would go get pampered, get my hair done, my nails done, I would take the longest bubble bath, wear my favorite perfume, my hospital bag would already be in the car. Fady and I would go on Friday night to sleep at the hospital. We would be happy, exstatic and our hearts would be full of joy. We would tell our families to join us on Saturday morning. I had been thinking a lot about who to invite and who not to. Actually this whole issue about who would come to the hospital the day of the delivery took up a lot of my time, I reached a point where fady gave up and told me that I can invite whoever I wanted so he would stop hearing about it. I had decided what type of music to play in the OR, I had asked my doctor about cord clapping, holding the babies, taking pictures, asked Fady if he wanted to be in the OR with me, etc.. Thinking about it now makes me realise how patient my gynecologist was, looking at it now, I asked all sorts of silly questions like what type of eye drops will the babies get once born, if they will be given any IV, etc. what was I thinking?! All these books I read really made the delivery like a fairytale…
Now my fairytale is shattered and all that I care for is delaying the process and keeping my babies tight a bit longer.
I wasnt ready to stop being pregnant, I still have to do my pregnancy photoshoot, I wanted to see how big my belly would become, I had a bet with fady that I would become heavier than he was, I had planned a bridal shower, I bought a new baby music track that I wanted the babies to listen to… wait a second, we haven’t decided on baby names yet.
What if the early birth affects their health?
What if they cannot make it?
What of they made it but have to suffer from a lifelong disability due to the early delivery?
How can I ever forgive myself?
I should have listened to fady and rested.
I should have worked less.
I should have delegated the two day training that I gave standing up.
I shouldn’t have been working late nights.
I should have listened to fady and not gone camping.
Please God give me an undo bottom, I want to go back!
All these things ran through my head in a flash, I had too much information to process, a lot of things running through my head, yet nothing was worth it. I had one job to do, relax and prepare the babies for the surprise of their life.
I felt my tears roll out of my eyes, pave their way through my cheaks, and drop on my belly. As they droped, I look and see their splashes in slow motion. I knew that life as I knew it was over, I knew that what lies ahead is much harder than anything previously experienced.
At that moment, I made a promise to myself, that these tears would be the last that I would shed. I had to be strong, my babies needed a strong mother who can stand by their side, a mother who can take good educated decisions, not one who is taken up by all her emtiontions and cannot think straight.
I wipe the tears from my eyes, ask everyone to leave the room, I put my earphones on, put my favorite zen calming music and start talking to my babies.
I tell them that the doctor is going to take them out of my tummy, that they will leave the safe world that they have gotten so used to for the past 7 months, I tell them that there will be bright lights and loud sounds, they will be seperated from me and from one another. I promise to be by their side as much as I am allowed to be, I ask them to be brave and healthy so they can come into my arms quicker. I promise them that I will protect them as long as I have a living pulse in my body and I thank them for chosing me as their mom for their adventure on earth.
With these final words I end my conversation with them, Fady enters the room, gives me the warmest hug I have ever felt, he then looks me straight in the eye and gives me the strongest most reassuring smile, I then knew that it was all going to be okay since he is by my side and I was sure that no matter how bumpy life’s road will get, we will overcome it together…
A nurse comes in, ask my name, I tell him”Chantal Souaid Mchantaf”, he looks at my bracelet, then at his file, then wheels me to the ER as if I was a piece of luggage in an airport. I look at Fady, he smiles and asks me “Christopher?!” I smile and tell him “Iva!”.
This blog post is part of a series of blog posts about my delivery and NICU experience. Read “What Type of Rest is Bedrest” first to get the whole story.