January 22, 2024 By Heather Andersen
I lost my first pregnancy at 11 weeks. It was a devastating time, but with support and great care my husband and I were ready to try again. I was thrilled to be pregnant again the following year and felt well throughout the pregnancy. On New Years Eve, I had an ultrasound at 27 weeks and the doctor was concerned with how small the baby was measuring. I was sent to the hospital as my blood pressure was higher than usual as well. I was terrified and completely confused. I had never heard of preeclampsia or knew anyone who had given birth so early. I was put on bed rest and stayed at the hospital. I made it one week until I developed severe preeclampsia. The blood flow in utero was not good, so I underwent an emergency C section. I was as 28 weeks 5 days. Violet was born only weighing 1 pound 5 ounces. I was in complete shock and grief. I could not hold my baby, I felt terrible getting treatment for preeclampsia to prevent strokes, and profoundly overwhelmed. I simply could not believe this was happening to me. The NICU was one of the hardest times of my life. My husband and I were overcome by the sounds, worry, medical tests, and our desire to just be with our baby. It was a long journey and Violet remained in the NICU for four months. She then stayed at another hospital for 3 months, feeding and growing. She eventually had a g tube put in and we brought her home after 7 long months of such highs and lows. We are eternally grateful to all of her doctors and nurses, our friends and family. It was discovered that Violet had a growth disorder and I had thrombophilia, a recipe for disaster. We are so lucky to be alive. That is something I do not take for granted.
We were blessed to try again after Violet, and because of lots of preventative care, I was able to carry my next daughter to 37 weeks with a healthy pregnancy.
I am happy to report that I have two beautiful girls who have taught me the most important lessons in life . Even though it was traumatic and challenging, we would not change a thing. Going through all of that changes us as parents and humans, giving us a greater capacity for understanding and doing hard things .