50 Days Early

It's hard to believe when I look at our little blessing that he was 50 days early! I love this story, it's the story that God wrote for me.  

As I found out about my shortening cervix at 20 weeks, I began to google it-I know, it's bad right? To look stuff up on the internet-espeically a health issue but I felt that something wasn't right when the doctors wouldn't put me on bed rest and said that the progesterone would do the trick of keeping me from going into preterm labor. They had told me that there was nothing they could do before 24 weeks so I needed to be "careful" So I told Larry that everything I was reading seemed to say that I needed to go on bed rest no matter what the doctors said. So, I did. Ten EXTREMELY long weeks of waking up and going to lay on the couch ALL DAY LONG and watching tons of TV, shopping on the internet and editing old pictures just for practice. I would get out a couple of times a week for a doctor's appts. and of course, a good trip to Chick fil A. I can't tell you how much I would look forward to that. What did I miss the most? Getting Mariah up out of bed every morning, getting her dressed for the day, fixing her breakfast, giving her baths, etc. you get the picture, right? Taking care of my family like a wife and mother should do. I missed doing laundry-yes, honestly I did. It wasn't my favorite chore around the house but when you go from doing everything to nothing, it's a rude awakening. I remember one day walking into the kitchen and looking out the window at my parents playing with Mariah on the swing set. She went down the slide for the first time in her life all by herself, and I couldn't be there to see it.

 But I had to look at the bigger picture, doing all I could do myself to bring our son into the world safely. So I had to suck it up. There were days where I cried-I was so tired of laying around and not getting to do anything. I didn't understand how I could have a perfect pregnancy the first time, perfect VERY fast labor with no pain meds BUT I knew God was doing something in my life and there was something He wanted me to learn from this. As every week passed I would google "baby born at 25 weeks"... "baby born at 26 weeks"... and so on. The biggest goal was to first get to 24 weeks then 28. I passed both of those with no signs of labor. Huge praise. I would read different women's stories on how early they went into labor-some good, some bad. Then one day I thought "God is writing my story, I need to stop reading everyone else's". So I stopped reading all the stuff on the internet and just prayed harder. My faith grew a million times. 

Jump forward 10 weeks of bed rest to Friday, November 8th 3:30am I woke up thinking I needed to go to the bathroom because my stomach hurt. So I went... and the pain didn't stop. I wasn't really aware of what the beginning of contractions felt like since my labor with Mariah was so different. So I tried to go to the bathroom again and it still didn't take care of the pain. Then I decided to wake Larry up. We then headed to the hospital. Honestly we thought they would be able to stop my contractions when we got there so we didn't grab anything except Mariah and my tennis shoes:) On the way I was timing my contractions and they were 6 minutes apart. I got up to my room and the doctor came in and I was fully dialated. No stopping labor at this point! I asked for an epidural and they told me there was no time so I just waited for him to tell me to start pushing. They looked at me and told me that my baby would be on the 3lb range since I was still so small which I had prepared myself for. Labor was pretty interesting... I passed out in the very beginning which was great because I didn't feel any contractions for a brief moment and I had a very fast dream:). Mariah was sitting there on the couch right next to us and she kept saying "mommy, mommy". Poor thing didn't know what in the world was going on. We were trying to get a hold of someone to come and get her but everyone was at least 30-40 minutes away. Finally Larry's secretary came and got her. Once we told the doctor that they had to break my water with Mariah, he realized we had time for the NETS team (the NICU team from UVA) to get there. So then I asked for an epidural and I got a spinal tap (this works faster and for a shorter period of time). I was in HEAVEN after that. It was AWESOME!!!! I had decided before having Justus that if my labor was longer than my previous one, I wanted the meds so I could enjoy every minute of having him and I don't regret it one bit. I got to see the whole thing and it was priceless. After 30 minutes of pushing, Justus David was born at 8:29am weighing 5lbs. 2 oz. 18 inches long. UNBELIEVABLE! We all were in shock at how much he weighed!! Later on everyone in the NICU kept saying they thought we were off on my due date by at least a week but we weren't, it was God taking care of our little one! That's all!

An hour later after Justus was born, they rolled him into me in his incubator so we could see him one more time before taking him to the UVA NICU. So precious. I was so thankful. I wasn't scared, I wasn't sad, I wasn't mad or angry, I was thankful. Thankful God allowed me to carry Justus for 32 weeks and 6 days. I was thankful for an incredible NICU team that was able to be there for my delivery  and take such good care of him. I was happy, honestly I was. 

This video was taken after he arrived at UVA. Larry took my parents and Mariah over to see him. The nurse you hear in the background is Gigi, such a sweet nurse!

I was discharged from the hospital the next morning and got to go over to UVA to see him. By the time I had gotten there, he had already graduated to a different part of the NICU since he was doing so well! 

Since I didn't have Justus to ride out of the hospital with, they let Mariah ride out:)

10 weeks of bed rest
18 days of 2 hour round trips to the NICU
Tons of cafeteria junk food

One healthy baby boy

... yep, it was worth it all. Much to our surprise, he came home this past Tuesday and we were so thankful. I didn't even have his coming home outfit with me so we had to run out to Target and grab something. It swallowed him but he still looked so handsome!

And we had a wonderful Thanksgiving! (he's got on his original coming home outfit)
Justus is now a whopping 5lbs 10oz!

I don't know how people go through times like this without the Lord. God has certainly been good!

PS: I just finished folding my first load of laundry in over 3 months:)