The next morning, I awoke to order my breakfast and be ready to eat by the time the nurses came in with my medication (blood pressure, obviously lol). As me and my fiancé ate we talked about what the next few days or week could look like, while also making arrangements for managing our household with me in the hospital on bed rest until delivery.
Shortly after breakfast, (like literally after my last bite) my OB, Dr. Stafford came in while doing her rounds to check on me. A side note is that, not only is she the BEST OB in the world, she speaks with a very soft and pleasant tone, which is something you can appreciate when you’re experiencing feelings of fear or uncertainty in a time such as this…
Dr. Stafford came in, sat on the foot of the bed and said “Well, I see you’ve just finished your breakfast and that’s good, but now you are done eating ad drinking for the day as you will deliver THIS EVENING!”
I don’t think my already big eyes could have gotten any bigger and as I turned to look at Marcus he looked the same way!! Here we are 35 weeks and 5 days and it’s “go time?”
My doctor advised me that due to the instability of my blood pressure and the pre-eclampsia that I will deliver via C-section as inducing labor would be to risky for both the baby and I. The surgery time was set for 5:30pm. She also advised me that the second shot for the baby’s lungs will be given as soon as she leaves the room as opposed to the afternoon… Things got real REAL!
We called our families to let them know TODAY is THE DAY. My mother and sister (who lives in Maryland by the way) made their ways to the hospital. My mother arrived late afternoon around 4:30 or so and my sister was there when I came out of delivery.
As the morning turned to early afternoon, I became extremely nervous. While I knew I was in very competent hands, the complications throughout the pregnancy gave me pause about delivery. Let’s be real, I was SCARED. I don’t think that in all my life I had every felt so vulnerable and wanted anything more than a safe delivery of a healthy baby girl…
As they wheeled me to the initial surgery prep, my love was by my side. However, they separated us briefly upon entrance to the operating room, so they can do the spinal tap and some other final preparations before we begin. Shortly thereafter we were reunited and it felt sooooo good!
Official time in OR/beginning time was 6:01 pm.
As the surgery began, Marcus immediately went into action as my protector, keeping me calm, through conversation and holding my hand. He did his best to distract me from what was taking place on the other side of the curtain, but if you know me well, you know I was still doing a little ear hustling as they operated on me.
Well, at 6:11pm our baby girl let out the BEST CRY EVER to let us know she was here!!! When they held her up on the other side of the curtain the tears immediately began to flow!! We both made it through delivery and for that I was most thankful.
Our baby girl was only 4lbs 1oz but was strong and HEALTHY, with the exception of having low blood sugar, as a preemie, she required nothing other than nourishment to stabilize her. Our daonly spent three days in the NICU and was ready for discharge before I was!
She spent the last two days in my hospital room with us until I was ready for discharge. I had to stay a bit longer due to some lingering issues related to the pre-eclampsia but eventually I too stabilized and as a happy family we went home.
We are the PROUD parents of a healthy, beautiful PREEEMIE and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!!
Check out the link below to learn more about premature births and how they disproportionately affect women of color. In fact, 1 out of 9 babies is born prematurely in the United States and of the total number 20% are born to African American mothers.
Be courageous, be encouraged, MELANIN AND MOTHERHOOD is BLACK GIRL MAGIC PERSONIFIED!
Crystal D. Charley-Sibley, MBA
Founder of Melanin and Motherhood, Co-Founder of Queen Village LLC, is a community activist, women's empowerment speaker, a first-time mother, and wife, chronicling her journey of motherhood!