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Hindsight and all that

With Ryley’s birthday being tomorrow, I have spent the past few weeks looking back. Telling my story and hearing others, reading others, has been therapeutic. It’s also been hard. I know I can’t change what happened to my pregnancy, to Ryley and his early arrival and NICU stay. I can fight on to keep what happened to us from happening to others. In the meantime, I still beat myself up sometimes with all the woulda, shoulda, coulda’s. The things that I look back on now and just want to smack myself upside the head for allowing to happen.

I SHOULD have listened to my heart instead of my doctor and my head the first time I had an “episode” at 21 weeks. Sharp pain in the lower back that nearly knocks you over, nearly knocks you out, nearly makes you throw up, is not normal, and is not related to just “needing to put your feet up.” I SHOULD have gone into the ER that day. Maybe I wouldn’t have abrupted at 23 weeks 4 days. I SHOULD have pushed the doctors, asked more questions, once I was admitted. I was in la-la land. I could not and would not believe what was happening to me, to my baby. I cannot believe how naive I was. They never checked for anmiotic fluid when I was admitted. On ultrasound, there was enough amniotic fluid so they just assumed there was no leak in the amniotic sack. There was so much blood (TMI I know, but reality), I’m not sure if they would have even been able to tell if there was fluid coming out. I SHOULD have told the nurse immediately when that IV started hurting and bleeding. Maybe if it had been changed right away, I wouldn’t have gotten the infection that finally sent me into the labor that brought Ryley out at 26 weeks. They never gave me any antibiotics after I was admitted, until AFTER I got the infection and delivered. Then I got four weeks worth, three times a day everyday, through a PICC line in my right arm. I never knew what a contraction felt like. Didn’t know it til just a few hours before Ryley was born. I SHOULD have asked more questions before 20 weeks when they start sharing more information with you. I SHOULD have probably had a c-section instead of a vaginal delivery. I mean, they knew at that point that I had a staph infection, just not what kind of staph. Blessedly, Ryley did not get the infection, but what if I hadn’t delivered as quickly as I did (as if 15 hours start to finish is “quick”)? Would he then have gotten the infection? Or would they have done a C-section if I hadn’t delivered by a certain time? What a risk. Maybe if I had done all the shoulda, coulda, wouldas, we would have had a better outcome. Maybe not. I can’t change what is. I can change my attitude about it. I can take what we went through, what we learned, what we experienced, and put it to use. I need to know that our struggles and experience will benefit someone else, help another mother out there so that she doesn’t have to go through the woulda, shoulda, couldas after she has a premature baby.

7 thoughts on “Hindsight and all that

  1. I relate to this blog so much. When one has a baby long before one is supposed to, it leaves a feeling of forced ‘retrospect’. If only… then… Getting over the woulda, shoulda, couldas is what turns negative energy into positive energy. You are a model for this, and I admire your ability to articulate it. I am so glad to work with you on this mission. *hugs* Darcy

  2. Hugs right back to you Darcy. Since Ryley’s birth, I’ve had this energy I didn’t know what to do with. Admittedly, we were busy having two more babies, moving, changing jobs and just living. Now, I can and will channel that energy as a positive force! Thanks for understanding so well. I am so bblessed to walk beside you on this journey, fight beside you in this fight. Donna

  3. Donna, All of your shoulda coulda woulda’s have turned into shall, can and will in your journey to be such a big grand beautiful voice for all! And for Ryley, Big HAPPY BIRTHDAY hugs and kisses!!!! Brenda

  4. Donna, I really loved this blog. I still go through the s/c/w episodes from time to time! But you are right, we can’t change what happened, but we can try to learn and educate and support others. You are such a blessing to this site and this mission! Ryley, I’ll be singing the Birthday Song for you all day tomorrow! Have a good one buddy! (Donna, now that Ryley is turning 5, it makes me realize that MY baby’s 5th Birthday is REALLY going to happen! Not until Feb., but still, he reminds me everyday that he is “almost 5”! I’m taking my ques from you, if you can get through this, then, by golly, so can I!) Big Hugs for you!

  5. Donna Dear, I know you know this..but I have to say it anyway. You *did* do the very best you could…with the knowledge you *had* and moving forward…I know you are using your experiences to educate people whenever you can…. Would have…Should have…Could have…will only lead to heartbreak….Cross those haunting and useless words from your vocabulary….and trade them in for I Will…I Can…and I Shall! Say it with me girl! I Will…I Can…and I Shall! Hugs! Melissa

  6. Donna, You have taken a disenheartening experience & turned it into a teaching tool for other parents & parents-to-be!! Good for you – channeling that energy into something positive makes it not in vain. Happy Birthday to Ryley – have to tell you, a friend is in labor as we speak, she is going to have her baby on Ryley’s birthday!! How exciting!! BIG BIRTHDAY HUGS TO RYLEY!! Hugs & Angel Kisses,

  7. Thanks to you who have read and replied. You all mean so much to me. You lift me up when I’m down, and help me fly when my wings spread with joy. On behalf of Ryley, thanks for the birthday wishes!! Page, hang in there. I don’t know why this one was so hard for me, why the memories and emotions have been as strong as they were the first year. Maybe because my baby is growing up and truly is not a baby, not even a toddler, any longer! I’ll be there for you in February like you’ve been there for me the few months! HUGS!

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