It looks like all of PJ’s preemie clothes will indeed get a second use. We packed up anything BabyN had outgrown before Christmas to give to M’s brother and SIL for their baby due in March. This included all PJ’s hand-me-downs, preemie size and up. We put the preemie clothes in there just in case, more in case they had a smaller term baby that could still wear the bigger preemie ones for a couple of weeks. We never dreamed he would actually need those clothes.
In the next few days, though, he will probably be wearing them. That baby will be born today, tomorrow morning at the absolute latest. My SIL was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome last night, which was a result from her severe preeclampsia (that they apparently weren’t treating aggressively enough, since she’s had it since before Christmas but nothing was being done for it). Basically, from what they told us, her liver was shutting down. The only treatment for this is getting that baby out.
Last night they transferred her to the nearest hospital with a NICU (they live in the boonies) so they could induce labor this morning. If the labor doesn’t progress quickly or if she gets any worse, she’s getting a C-section. As I mentioned last night, she’s only 32 weeks, a couple days farther along than PJ was.
I had trouble falling back asleep after the last phone call last night, when we knew for sure our nephew’s birth was imminent. M’s stoic brother was having trouble holding it together for that short conversation. We were both immediately forced back to that moment in the labor/delivery triage room where they discovered I was 9 1/2 cm dilated and would be delivering PJ literally any minute–nine weeks early.
We remember every bit of horror they are experiencing, the fear of the unknown in their future, their worry about their unborn baby. We know that despite having had a little more time than we did to prepare for seeing their newborn baby in the NICU, there truly is no preparing for it. We know the grief they will go through and the grief that has already started. We also know how good of an outcome they will likely have at 32 weeks. The stay in the NICU won’t be easy, but they have every reason to expect to take that little boy home with them healthy in a matter of weeks. But we know the roller coaster ride they will experience between now and then.
At last, I see a reason behind PJ’s birth. I wondered for a long time why God let him be born early, if there was something I did. There was no physical reason they could give me. Now I suspect it was a way to strengthen us, to prepare us to be there for others going through the same thing, especially his brother. I will gladly relive that nightmare with a happy ending if it means we can ease someone else’s load as they walk the same road we’ve already traveled.
Anyway, keep this family in your prayers today–and the next few weeks, please. Pray for a healthy baby and for her health to return immediately after the birth. And pray that they won’t be too afraid and that they’ll be able to handle the challenges in their future.