Mama: Crystal Giordano
Due Date: September 14, 2014
Birthday: July 27th, 2014
We weren’t sure if it was a good or bad thing when we discovered I was expecting. My first pregnancy was 6 years prior and I suffered severe morning sickness the first 6 months. Concerns and doubts plagued us. But we embraced it. We had been considering moving forward as a family forever of three despite always having wanted two children and this was a higher power making up our minds for us. Unlike my first pregnancy, I felt AH-MAZING! I ate well with little sickness, I was able to work out safely and felt “fit”. It seemed like this was going to be the pregnancy I heard women speak of and thought was only a myth, I had gorgeous nails, bountiful locks, and “the glow”.
I was 6 months along when I was rear ended at a red light with nowhere to go but right into the car in front of me. The seatbelt bit hard into my shoulder and lower abdomen. I shakily got out of the vehicle, my pants damp as I had wet myself slightly, and I began to sob. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The ambulance brought me to the ER and after a few days of observation, I was sent home. Soon after, I developed gestational hypertension and then preeclampsia. I was put on bed rest and was in and out of the hospital 4 times, my blood pressure rising and then lowering. They said I need to be as stress free as possible, but for a natural worrier, it was hard. The baby stopped growing. The doctors explained that though the baby was receiving enough nutrients to remain healthy, he wasn’t able to get more to grow bigger and stronger. They prepared me for an uncertain fate, but ultimately they would do everything they could to ensure he had his best chance to survive.
I still had a very sensitive and intuitive 6 year old to think of. He was scared, nervous to touch me. I did my best to share only a little information positively to help ease his mind, but he told me how fragile I now looked. How he was so scared the brother he desperately wished for would never come, but that his wish would make his mommy go away, too. He blamed himself. I had been thinking of all the possibilities, mostly the horrific outcomes, fate may have in store and then I was faced with the realization that this mature little boy picked up on the silent fears I was facing. I hugged him tightly and told him I was going to be fine and that I loved him.
The next day, during my fetal monitoring the baby rolled completely to one side, paused, rolled back and then repeated his actions. My OBGYN said it seemed strange and she’d like me to go back to the hospital for more tests. I arrived at the ER, they conducted tests and came back with grim expressions. My organs had begun to shut down, and the baby, River, alerted us by his systematic rolling. If he hadn’t, one or both of us wouldn’t be here today.
I was 32 weeks and 6 days when I was induced. Everything for me was a blur, having been placed on medications to keep my organs from shutting down completely. The room spun constantly and I couldn’t see straight. I had stopped dilating and was advised if it didn’t happen naturally, we would be looking at a C-section. I recall mumbling to please wait just a little longer, he’s waiting until he’s 33 weeks. They thought I was delirious from the medications. At 11:58 PM, my doctor walked in the room wearing a frown as she said, “I’m sorry, we can’t wait any longer. I felt a pop down below and I begged her to check me, over and over. I remember seeing the large generic wall clock staring at me on the wall and frantically chanting, “It’s time! It’s midnight! Please check me!”. She looked at me and then my husband, her face mingled with uncertainty and confusion, but check me she did. She popped back up, disbelief replacing the uncertainty as she called for a nurse. I remember her yelling out, “Push! Push NOW!” With what strength I had left in my haze, I took a deep breath and PUSHED. At 12:01 AM, as River’s gestational age turned 33 weeks EXACTLY, he was born.
He was only 3.6 pounds, his wee body so tiny and curled, they didn’t measure him. Once they determined he could in fact breathe on his own and his heart rate was normal, they let me hold him with the help of my husband. He had a head full of spiky hair.
I was very ill and after only a few moments of him in my arms, he was wheeled into the NICU and me to my recovery room. It was an entire week before I was well enough to visit him in his room. I was terrified to touch him, afraid he would break. He had lost a lot of weight, now only a mere 2 lbs 8 ounces. But River was a fighter. After what seemed like the longest 3 weeks of our lives, my 4 lb baby boy graduated from the NICU.
Now 20 months old, he is strong, happy, curious about the world around him and has a contagious smile that shows the world how much love he has for everyone and thing around him. When we share our story to those willing to listen, they ask when we decided to name him River. They are shocked to learn that we actually named him as I entered my second trimester. He has definitely lived up to his name! Gently flowing and calm one minute, fast and raging the next and always, bringing a new sense of life and energy to any who meet him. He is our little warrior.Today: Everett is now almost 10 weeks old
We love birth stories! Each one is unique and amazing. If you’d like to share yours, you can use the button below to submit it. We will read (and probably cry) over each one, and then post one on the first Friday of every month!