This friend of mine, whom I affectionately refer to as A-dawg, has been in my life for many, many years. We played soccer together, were on all kinds of all-star teams together, we ended up working together at one point....Long story short, I love her.
Not only did we have all the aforementioned in common, we were also pregnant at the same time. She was due about 2 months ahead of me.
Gary and I were flying back to California to have our baby shower at the end of June; Ashley was one of our guests. Ashley wasn't able to make it. She was in labor at 33weeks 6 days.
She had gone to her routine checkup, feeling contractions but figuring they were Braxton-Hicks. She, of course, reported this to her midwife who then told her she was 2 cm dilated. All of this was manageable until she headed to the hospital.
Ashley's midwife sent her to the hospital to be monitored. Once they checked her into a room, that's when everything every pregnant mama hopes doesn't happen, happened.
She started feeling sick, and the contractions were developing some intensity. Before she knew it, she was 5 cm dilated. There was a calm before the storm when they put a device on her baby's head to track the heart rate. Not long into trying to relax, a million members of her medical staff rushed in and began prepping for the OR; her baby's heart rate had dropped severely, and, if they didn't get the baby out right then, the baby probably wouldn't make it.
Ashley screamed for her husband. As her and her husband are in tears, she's told that he isn't able to go to the OR with her because it's an emergency c-section. Thankfully, they ended up letting him in.
Baby girl Avynn Ray was born June 22, 2009.
Two days later, Ashley was discharged, without her firstborn daughter.
It was the longest 3 weeks of my friend's life that her daughter stayed in the hospital. But, they finally got to be a family of three, under one roof, on July 13th. At 4lbs 13oz, Avynn was able to go home.
Is this not what every pregnant mama fears? Everyone wants their baby born, full term and at a solid, healthy weight. It's hard to think you take care of yourself the entire duration of your pregnancy, only to know that some things are completely out of your hands. Ashley and her husband never knew exactly why she went into labor so early.
My friend is now pregnant with her second. I remember when she told me when she first found out about this second baby. I got goosebumps, and teary-eyed....the whole realm of emotions your feel when someone you're close to has a wee little baby growing in their belly. My friend may never completely shake that "what if..." feeling with this pregnancy, but she's doing the best she can. That's all we can do sometimes.
That's one of the reasons the March of Dimes fundraiser is so important to me. Knowing my Ashley was so devastated that her baby daughter was premature, and not being able to go home with her baby is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. Everyone's baby deserves a healthy, happy start. Everyone deserves a chance.
I realize money's tight for most people, but I'll keep that March of Dimes clickable link up on the right sidebar, hoping that someone will be able to donate to a cause like this. Every single little bit helps. I, for one, could not imagine not taking any of my babies home with me, let alone my very first. But, that's what the March of Dimes strives to cure. They aim to have every mama and baby healthy throughout their pregnancy.
So, if you're able to scrounge up just a few dollars to donate to our team, which is walking for babies everywhere in April, you'll be part of finding a cause, and a cure.
Ashley, I love you, and you're doing an amazing job. Avynn and baby 2.0 deserve the best, and I'm so proud of you for trying your hardest to give that to them.
Babies deserve the best.
Baby girl, Avynn, is why I'll be walking with the March of Dimes.