On March 14, 2021, I had to leave my cousin’s bachelorette party early because I wasn’t feeling well. I had been experiencing stomach cramps for nearly a week, but I dismissed them as period cramps. My mother insisted on taking me to the hospital when I phoned her. Only my husband was allowed to accompany me due to COVID-19 restrictions. I was three weeks pregnant when they took my blood. After about an hour, we were overjoyed to learn that we were expecting a baby.

Fast forward to July 2021, we learned that our little one is a girl at my gender reveal celebration on July 4th. But on July 26th, I began to feel unwell. When I started vomiting, I saw some discharge with a different color. I began to get red marks, but I kept telling myself not to worry since everything was great.

Now it’s 4 a.m., and I’m still throwing up. When I called the hospital staff, they advised me to come in the morning for a checkup. I vomited again at 6 in the morning, and this time I was bleeding.

I woke up my husband, and we headed to the hospital. As this was my first pregnancy, I was unsure of my feelings. When we arrived at the hospital, the on-call physician examined me and informed me that I was 7 cm dilated and would need an emergency c-section because my baby was in a breech position.

A helicopter was en route to the children’s hospital, which was an hour and a half away, as the small town hospital lacked the resources to keep her alive. Blakely Marie was born at 10:47 a.m., 24 weeks into the pregnancy, and weighed only 1 lb 3 oz.

Blakely’s journey in the NICU is far from over. She is estimated to remain in the hospital until February 2022. We are grateful to every nurse, every doctor, and everyone who was there for us. We look forward to the day when Blakely will come home and be able to play in the nursery and meet her four siblings.

Our experience in the NICU has been a tremendous roller coaster, and we’ve come to terms with the fact that there will be good days and bad days. Three steps ahead, one step back, as our favorite nurse famously puts it. It’s anticipated that Blakely will remain in the NICU until her due date of November 15. Sadly, her lungs are not quite where they should be, and she received a trachea after our repeated attempts to remove her breathing tube failed to make her condition any better. Surgery was carried out on December 7 to implant a trachea and G-button to make Blakely more comfortable, aid in the development of her lungs, and help her reach milestones.


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