My Baby Was Born 4 Months Too Early


I felt pain – a lot of pain. My friends told me
it was nothing to worry about, but a mother knows. I was 29 when I found out I was
pregnant with my boyfriend’s child. While neither of us
were ready to be parents, we just couldn’t give up the child to abortion or adoption. After all that had happened in both our lives, we thought maybe this child could be
the one to bring back a little light into it. But now, all I felt was pain and when I saw the panic in my doctor’s eyes, I knew there was no other way… I had been pregnant for less than 6 months and I was about to give birth. I found out I was pregnant
the winter just after my 29th birthday. Something you should know in advance is that I had lived a very troubling childhood; my father was an alcoholic. My parents divorced when I was 5, leaving my little sister and I
in my mother’s custody. She loved us and did what she felt was best, but was a very… social person, often leaving us with our
grandmother to go partying. Eventually, she married a man who did
the worst things to us for years, and kicked me out when I eventually got
Social Services involved. They both said I was a liar; that I was just trying to come between them. I was institutionalized, even incarcerated, all before the age of 17. I developed bipolar disorder and schizophrenic personality
disorder over those years, and still suffer from those
coping mechanisms to this day. While some couples
shared interests or hobbies, my boyfriend and I
shared traumatic childhoods. My boyfriend, although free of these
disorders that haunted me, was forced into alcoholism as his only way of coping. Neither of us was ready for a child, but we were given one anyway. So there I was, pregnant with an alcoholic man’s child, making minimum wage at a dead-end job, with less than a high school
diploma under my belt. All I wanted was to be happy. I loved this man, despite his flaws. But I knew that he wouldn’t have the reaction that
I would want the father of my child to have. And he didn’t. Now I don’t think he didn’t
want us to have the baby; he never once mentioned abortion or adoption. But, he certainly was not happy or excited about it. He could barely take
care of the two of us as it was, and now there was about to be a third. We were living at a friend’s house who had many pets
that she didn’t take care of. He said that it would be best if we left. I agreed. He said that to save money, we should live in the woods. I was hesitant but spent much of
my time living in the woods anyhow; perhaps it wouldn’t be too
strenuous on my pregnant body since I was already quite
experienced in the lifestyle. I went with it. I continued working a full-time, minimum wage job while I lived in the woods, and it was business as usual. I had a mild pregnancy; no bouts of morning sickness or odd cravings, no mood swings or exceptional tiredness or swelling. Things were going well, except the fact that my boyfriend was drinking most of his paycheck. Around the middle of the second trimester, my body began disagreeing with
the 30-minute hike to our campsite, and with sleeping on the ground. He would tell me that women had
done it for hundreds of years before me, and that I shouldn’t complain so much. Now, I have to mention that once he finished his first 3 forties and a pint, that he would verbally attack me by calling me a “bull dike” and that I complained and cried too much. After a little while, I couldn’t take it anymore, and moved back into my mother’s 800
square-foot apartment with her husband, and my teenage half-brother. I slept in the living room and lived out of a cardboard box. I kept my job, walking to work in the
southern Appalachian summer. But I hadn’t broken up with my boyfriend. Instead, I had decided that
I would stay with my mother until we could get an apartment of our own. It was going slowly, with my paychecks
making up most of the savings, as his were put towards the car
insurance and maintenance, and of course, his drinking. Fast forward a few weeks; I had just made it to my third trimester. I was barely showing. Before I had gotten pregnant, I was 117 pounds, healthy for a woman my height and build, therefore I was not expected
to put on more than 30 pounds, as estimated by my doctors. I was experiencing discomfort, mostly in my pelvic region. All my girlfriends told me that for my size, my baby would be pressing
on my body in uncomfortable ways. My boyfriend said I was worrying too much. But it only got worse. Finally, I called my doctor, and they said I was showing
symptoms of preterm labor and needed to get to the hospital immediately. My boyfriend begrudgingly drove me there, and when we arrived, I was having what was obviously contractions. He was showing signs of worry, quickly sobering up as I tried to get out of the passenger seat and walk to the doors. I nearly collapsed from a contraction
three steps from the doors; nurses came out with a wheelchair,
asking what my symptoms where. I realized then how concerned
my boyfriend really was when I heard him yell angrily that I was obviously in labor. The ER nurses commented that
I didn’t look pregnant enough to be in labor, and quickly took me to the maternity ward. The doctors there commenced assessing the situation, starting with my baby’s position in my body via ultrasound. When they told me they couldn’t locate her, I panicked. There weren’t many places
she could have gone, I thought frantically. I know she’s there, I can feel her. They told me they were
going to manually check, but when they tried to put
the alligator clamps in me, there was something obstructing
the entrance of my vagina. It was my baby girl’s right hand and foot. I don’t know if you know this, but a breech birth is dangerous, though not entirely uncommon. Generally, it’s when
a baby comes out feet first, and can be fatal for
both the mother and baby. My little girl was stuck sideways, and any of my contractions could snap her spine in half. They told me there was no
time for the steroidal shots that would open up her airways
to help her start breathing. No time to call any of my family
to tell them what was happening. Not even time for my boyfriend
to get prepped for the delivery. As they wheeled me on a stretcher
to the emergency surgery room, they told me that I would have
to be put under for the c-section and my child would have to be taken
to the neonatal intensive care unit immediately. I cried and begged them to save my little girl, that my life was meaningless compared to her and I’ll never forget the warmth
in the eyes of the woman who put the anesthesia gas mask on me as I begged her to make sure
my baby girl survived no matter what. The next thing I knew, I woke up in recovery. My first thought was my child. My boyfriend, who had seen me waking up, came to my side to ask if I was okay. I dismissed the question,
asking about her status. His answer was lost to me, though, with me still reeling
from the surgery anesthetic and in a daze from the opiates
I was given for the pain. Then, a nurse came in and said the words
that would bring me to tears, she asked, “do you want to see the baby?” We had to go down a few hallways, and up an elevator to where she was kept. As we were on our way, I vaguely remember the nurse saying something about my daughter being born so early, about how I shouldn’t be
shocked by her appearance. But when I saw her, I was. Imagine, if you can, a smallish, malnourished, shaved spider monkey. Now imagine that this pitiful thing had tubes stuck into EVERY orifice, and IVs from each limb and from the top of the head. I was horrified. I didn’t know what I did wrong, but I just knew that this was my fault, and she had to suffer the consequences. I hated myself. I sobbed. I shook. Even now, just recounting
this story, has me in tears. I was told that she was so premature that her heart was still
pumping fluid into her lungs, that her bone marrow wasn’t
replenishing the red blood cells that were damaged from
bruising in her right arm and leg and the internal bleeding in her brain. She had pulmonary valve stenosis, which made oxygenating her blood that much more difficult. I couldn’t even hold her because she had to stay unstimulated so her body could focus on the arduous task of finishing the gestation process by itself. She was only three pounds. She looked so frail, and already I knew before they told me that it would be a miracle if she made it… But she did. After 6 long months of being in the hospital, she finally came home. I’d like to say that
that is our happy ending. That her father quit drinking, and we became an emotionally healthy couple and had a happy family, the end. It’s not. He continued drinking. I had to beg him to take me to the hospital to see her most of the time
that she was still there, sometimes even having to get rides from friends. It became so bad after she came home that I had a nervous breakdown and physically assaulted him. I left him to go stay with a friend, and then a women’s homeless shelter, all the while, caring for a premature baby on oxygen. I moved back in with him
after he quit drinking, but as the case with most addicts, he relapsed. Presently, I’ve had to move us back into
my mother’s and stepfather’s home. My daughter is no longer on oxygen. She barely even has a heart murmur now. Her father and I are
still trying to make it work, just from a distance. He’s not entirely to blame, mind you. I’m no walk in the park to deal with either. We had to develop similar coping
mechanisms for our similar childhoods. I love him. Our daughter loves him. He needs help in a way I can’t provide, and I can’t expose our daughter to the same things
we were exposed to as children. I guess what I am hoping to
convey to everyone with my story is that at the time, I didn’t think it was going to be okay. And really, sometimes I still feel like it’s never going to be okay. But if there’s one thing I can take from every messed-up thing in my life, it’s that it will be okay. I just have to keep trying. Just like my little girl did. Just like I always have.

Paul Whisler

100 Comments

  1. My life is actually full of failing births,
    I was born 2 months too early
    My little brother was born 5 months too early
    My mom got born 2,5 weeks too early
    And my brother got born 1 week too late.

  2. This happened to my mom… she was ment to be misscarige but she gave birth to me instead. I had breathing problems.from this day I feel great :3

  3. Well I was born 3 months early and I’m fine (well got some problems were I haven’t grown completely) but besides that I’m fine

  4. I mean 29 is not a bad age to be a mother. There are mothers at the age of 19

  5. your parenrs got a divorce when you were 5? pfftt i have size 13 nikes.
    MENS size 13 nikes 😉

    this is a joke from a movie/tiktok dont @me

  6. This must be hard I’m so sorry that u had to go through this just know I’m here for u and I wish the best for u and your family

  7. I was born at 27 weeks! I was 11 inches, 1 pound 8 ounces! My story is WAY to long to tell lol

  8. Kids are born like this everyday 🤷🏽‍♀️ but It's still great that this one made it 💜

  9. Girls: why do girls have to do it the hard way

    Boys:having s*x and making a baby

  10. Bro they just do their hair on the way they like 😑 and if he colored his hair the baby would get his true color hair 😑😑😑

  11. Her Boyfriend seems like a Effing Dick if ya ask me preffering to drink beer then to let his Girlfriend go see her baby that guy is the meaning of shameless bastard to me!… >:(

  12. Her: she was only 3 pounds…..
    me: HAHAHHAHAHA dude I was like barely 2 pounds at birth

  13. Explanation to why being born feet first is dangerous:
    The head is the largest part and usually should squeeze the vargina open big so the rest of the body can come out, but if the case is feet first.. Your head will probably get stuck.

  14. I was born 3 mouth early but lm ok
    Are you and your baby ok
    One like she will get better

  15. Nurse: do you want to see your baby?

    Me: what the

    Her: um no im good not so good 🙁

  16. The couple looks like Sam and Marshall from WEBTOON.

    There’s no fricking way Marshall would be mean to her in a relationship.

  17. births 4 months early (middle of birth) "OMG IT COULD BREAK HER SPINE" wakes up from birth *opens eyes and says "WHERES THE CHILD!?" (Doc) Sorry she's too weak and frail."

  18. I don’t drink at all I’m right man but I’m not good looking so that’s why

  19. Both my half brother and half sister where born very early both in that room with the ivs and stuff (Sorry I know what it's called but don't know how to spell it but whatever) and I don't remember how long my brother was in the hospital but I remember my sister was born several weeks earlier than him and she was in the hospital for like six months or something I could be wrong though I was in kindergarten- first at the time but anyway because of being born so early my brother now has autism and was at a mild- severe but has now gotten much better but luckily for my sister she is perfectly fine and they are both happy and healthy.

  20. My daughter was born at 35 weeks gestation. Her 9th birthday is tomorrow. Funny I just happen to be watching this tonight

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