Thursday, November 4, 2010

Three Things I Could Not Have Lived Without After Giving Birth at 24 Weeks

Let me be very clear, first of all... this is not an exhaustive list. Nor is it a list of the things that TRULY got me through those early days- things like prayer, support, education, lodging near my baby, etc. No, this is a list of three things that I wouldn't necessarily have known I would need... but it turned out that I did:

  1. Vicodin. Maybe it seems kind of silly for me to list a narcotic here, but I'm being very truthful. I do NOT have a low pain threshold. I do NOT take medication for every (or even most) ache(s) or pain(s). The side-effects of most drugs bother me far more than the symptoms I must endure. I declined medication over and over and over again following my son's birth. But after my classic c-section with C? I embraced the Vicodin. The simple fact is that I would not have been able to walk the many blocks and endless corridors that I was required to in order to see my daughter without that medication. Trust me. I tried it on just ibuprofen one night and collapsed in a hallway. And so... Vicodin makes my list.
  2. Maternity pants. Don't throw things at me, but I never needed maternity pants after my son was born. No, I couldn't hop right back into my "skinny jeans", but I was absolutely back in normal clothing just as soon as I got home. With C. being born four months early and given the fact that I carry my babies small, I never wore maternity pants during that pregnancy. It's true. But, ooh boy, did I ever need them after that classic c-section. Sore and swollen with a tender incision across my lower abdomen, maternity pants were the only thing I could wear comfortably. I suppose dresses would have worked, but then I would have had the inconvenience of trying to pump every couple hours in them...
  3. My cell phone. Maybe this seems comical to some of you who couldn't live without your phones under the best of circumstances, but, me? I made it many, many years without one while the rest of the world became more and more dependent on the suckers. I never had any reason to feel like people should be able to reach me "anytime, anywhere". I didn't even LIKE that idea. Once I had a baby in the NICU? I was ever-so-grateful that the nurses could summon me at a moment's notice, that the pediatric ophthalmologist could reach me right away with bad news, and that I had a way to stay in touch when we found ourselves, very suddenly, transferred to Chicago for surgery. (By the way, I do like having a cell phone still, but- pssst- I've still never sent nor received a text message. ;))
If anyone had told me five years ago that someday I'd sing the praises of narcotics, cell phones, and wearing maternity pants while not pregnant, I would have called them crazy. But, well, I've been through a lot in five years... and I've learned a lot along the way.

Have you ever ended up really needing something that you never would have foreseen?

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