ABC News recently launched the Million Moms Challenge in conjunction with a variety of media partners, including mom bloggers, in an attempt to improve health for women and children across the world.
Today, I’d like to share with you the most difficult moment of my first pregnancy…a moment that I’ve not been ready to share until now.
“I see that your contractions are consistently three minutes apart,” the veiled urgency in the on-call doctor’s voice echoed in my ears.
Earlier that evening, I felt the contractions beginning. By midnight, they were ten minutes apart, and we were on our way to labor and delivery.
At 24 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t reached the chapters in my pregnancy books that covered contractions. I hadn’t yet taken my childbirth class.
My husband and I listened with desperation as the doctor described what the coming hours would hold…an IV with drugs to stop the contractions, rest, and close monitoring.
Our unborn daughter weighed no more than a pound and was roughly twelve inches long.
Fear swirled in the tiny labor and delivery room.
There, in the darkened room, the terbutaline ran through the IV and the questions through my mind.
What if the drugs didn’t stop labor?
Could our baby survive?
What were her odds?
Would she die?
The doctor’s answers were heartbreaking in their honesty.
If they couldn’t stop labor, her chances for survival were so incredibly slim.
And if she lived, her struggles would be life defining.
For hours, we waited.
And made desperate bargains.
My husband and I watched the green display on the fetal monitor, fear increasing with each growing contraction.
Though he begged me to rest, to hand my worries over to him for a bit, I couldn’t bring myself to close my eyes…to look away from that which served as a connection to our baby girl.
Slowly, the contractions grew further apart until we were out of danger.
Within weeks of that night, I was placed on complete bedrest. Still, my irritable uterus sent us to labor and delivery for ten subsequent visits before the night of my daughter’s birth.
Though our daughter, Katherine, was born just one day early, healthy and perfect, it was in that softly lit room at 24 weeks that I became a mother.
It was then that I realized my life had changed.
It was then that I realized her life had so completely changed mine.
It was then that I realized nothing would ever matter as much as my child.
Becoming pregnant completely changed my life, and I’d love to hear more about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By simply replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
Please join the Million Moms Challenge and sign up!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011.