Monday, March 14, 2016

Surprise! (all the deets of that emergency c-section)

Well, I'm here.  And guess what?  Surprise!



There is my baby, not on the inside, but on the outside, itty bitty teeny weeny but very healthy and happy and safe.

WUT?  Didn't I just post my first official bedrest update yesterday??

Girl, you know it's true.

Anyway, here's what happened.  After I posted that bedrest update, I got up to take a potty break and I noted that the fluid leakage was even more pink than normal.  Super pink bordering on red and I just didn't feel right about it.  So I reported it to my nurse and she said it could be just a normal result of the ruptured membranes, but why don't we go ahead and get the baby on the heart rate monitor just in case.

Ah, there's that sweet sound.  But wait....now I don't hear it so well anymore. Try rolling over.  Okay, great!  There it is we'll just watch it for about 30 minutes and....wait, I can't hear it again.  

Commence chasing Ms. Helen all over my belly with the heart rate and contraction monitors.  Okay, I think this spot is good.  Just stay at this exact angle.  

Then the doctor came in and said that since her strips were normally fantastically excellent and this one was basically only rising to the level of mediocre and since we hadn't had an ultrasound since we got here on Tuesday, we should go ahead and put me on the ultrasound list for the morning.

"Hang out on the monitor.  There are one or two gals ahead of you and then we'll scan Helen and then we'll decide from there."

So I turned on ye olde Fixer Upper, wedged my hip in the exact uncomfortable position that would allow us to keep Ms. Thang on the monitor, and tried to stay perfect still waiting for my playdate with the ultrasound.

And then I had a contraction.  One very real, undeniable contraction and at that same moment, Helen's heartbeat disappeared.  Poof.  Silence.

I snatched up the telephone to call my nurse, telling myself that maybe the belt had slipped.  That hopefully I was overreacting.  But it turns out I didn't need the phone because all of sudden there was my nurse standing there already, followed very closely by the doctor on duty, followed very closely by whichever additional nurse he had grabbed when he also saw the no good, very bad thing.

Oh boy.

Tears start streaming down my cheeks.  "Is she okay?  What just happened."  And there's here heart beat again, thanks be to God.  But every time I moved in the non-right way or I had another contraction (and at that moment, I had apparently started to have them.  Timing whoa.) her heartrate would plumment.

Doc: I can't imagine anything that would me allow me to ignore this and justify keeping her in there anymore, not after seeing all this.

Me: Oh, uh, okay.  Yeah.  I understand.

Doc: and it doesn't really matter if she is breech or head first because there is no way she will be able to tolerate labor contractions if that is her response to them right now, so an induction is off the table.  We need to do a c-section and, you know, do it right now.

Me: *sob sob sob* Okay, yes, I *sob* totally agree.  Is she okay? Like right now will she be okay?

Doc: She is as okay as possible, but she will be more okay if we can get her off her umbilical cord, so let's get her out of there.

There was no better option, despite the fact that my peanut was just 32w3d old.  The lack of fluid meant no buffer between her and the cord, so when my uterus pressed onto her, she pressed onto it and cut off that crucial supply of oxygen from the placenta.  Yikes.

I grabbed the phone (hip still shoved in painfully awkward position) and called Tommy.  He was just parking the van at Mass.  The kids had already gone inside ahead of him and were waiting in a pew.  Not for long!  All he could do was to walk in, put on an excited, happy face and whisper "we have to leave NOW guys.  Right now.  Let's go."

Cue weirdness and panic to varying degrees.  But it worked out.  T dropped them off at home and then some of our closest friends agreed to go over as well (Tommy's idea) and feed them burgers and fries and pizza (their idea because they are awesome.)

Hours that were actually only minutes later, Tommy arrived.  Into some scrubs.  Booties over the shoes.  We looked so stylish in our matching blue fabric shower caps.

Then they whisked us back.  It was definitely a well-oiled-machine moment and I was so grateful that I was already here when everything started to go awry.  

And so on March 13th, 2016, I had my very first c-section, just hours after claiming that we would be waiting two more weeks and maybe I could even have a vaginal delivery.  Hah!  Us people and our plans...


Helen Margaret Borobia

Born on 3/13 weighing in at 3lbs 13 oz

She pinked up and cried almost immediately and was given apgars of 9.  

Initially she didn't even have oxygen, just the feeding tube since she can't suck/breathe/swallow yet, but this morning they needed to start her on some antibiotics and also put in the nasal cannula with literally the least amount of "help": 21, whatever that means.

So now we wait.  I'm trying to pump, but after a good first day, this second day has been terrible.  Barely even droplets of milk chillin' at the bottom of the already tiny bottle.  Blergh.  I'm going to try to pump while I have her on my chest later and see if that doesn't help at all. fingers crossed and all the prayers up 

Thank you so much for the prayers that have gotten us this far.  We would be so lost without all of you.

St. Helena, St. Margaret, St. Roderick (on whose feast day she was born), pray for us!


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66 comments :

  1. God bless you both! Baby on the outside is always a great feeling for me. Hope you're feeling better soon too. And the part about Tommy rushing in...so romantical. <3

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  2. Thanks for the update. I like all the medical jargon.
    Thanks be to God, you and Helen are safe.

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  3. So glad to hear that you and baby are okay! Congratulations, and I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

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  4. Very exciting and yay! She's a beautiful baby!! Praying to our Lady of La Leche! Sweet Helen seems to be strong and determined!

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  5. God bless you and little peanut Helen! Thank the Lord she was born safely!

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  6. That you for the birth story! She's so beautiful, and born on the Popeaversary. Will keep praying. Thank God for modern medicine, eh?

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  7. Praying hard over here for Miss Helen to get big and strong fast, fast, fast.

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  8. Oh sweetie! I remember when the words "emergency c-section" came out of my doctor's mouth. It was heartbreaking. A C-section was probably the thing I was most terrified of when it came to labor and delivery. But at the same time, I felt such peace about it. I just knew this was what God intended. And especially afterwards, there was no doubt in my mind that C-section was necessary. I pray you have that peace too. Snuggle her every minute you can!

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  9. Oh sweet beautiful girl!! Is JC still nursing? Can you get him in to help stimulate things for pumping? Do you have a pumping bra so at least you can go hands-free? Prayers!!!

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  10. She is just beautiful! And yes, us people and our plans!

    I had mine c-section and had the worst time with my milk. Just keep pumping and I'm sure it will come!

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  11. She is awesome! Thank you for not naming her Roderick.
    C-sections are so hard on mama -- your milk will come but you gotta rest... good news, after you had all those other babies, you will have milk no matter what, so don't worry if it's not all there right now.
    Congratulations! Praying! God is good!

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  12. I was so happy to see an update here; many continued prayers for you and your sweet Helen!

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  13. Continued prayers! She is beautiful! I've been stalking your instagram but I can't comment there because I don't actually have instagram... but I've been praying!

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  14. Congratulations! I'm so happy that you and Helen came out of it well. I'm praying to the intercession of St. Zelie for both of you as you recover and pump!

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  15. Well then. Congratulations to your whole family! Definitely praying for you guys. Eat all the oatmeal and keep up with the hydration. Snuggle that baby a snuggle for me! (I really miss the newborn snuggles!)

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  16. I thought I commented, but then the toddler visited my laptop. 'Nuff said. 1st: Ahhh! Scary ride there, momma! Praise God for emergency c-sections. So glad Helen is safe and healthy!!! Also, I had exactly the same milk issue. I was thrilled with my 5mL the first time, and then nothing but drips for the next couple days. My little guy got donor milk from the milk bank for a day or two until my milk came in. ...then they told me to stop bringing in so much. You'll get there! :)

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  17. Woah, born on 3/13, weighing 3/13??? Somebody's got a lucky number to play when she turns 18!!! Love seeing photos of sweet Nellie, eat and rest up Dwija, the milk will come!

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  18. Congratulations! Just a nose cannula is great! My little guy was born in December at 38 weeks and needed oxygen. A cannula and 21% is fabulous! Soon, she'll be on room air which is 20%. (Things I could do without knowing but God had other plans!)

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    1. Actually room air IS 21%! So it sounds like she's just needing a little bit of "flow"-- aka regular old air blowing directly into her little nose. Sometimes they just need a little extra air pressure when they're not used to this whole, y'know, "breathing" thing. 😉

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  19. 21 is great! That's the same saturation as room air, sounds like she just needs the cannula for the pressure. That's so, so awesome for 32 weeks! Seriously, girls are just stronger at birth. I'm not saying, but I'm just saying . . . and I can say it because my guy was 4 POUNDS larger than Nellie when he came early and he still wasn't kicking NICU butt as hard as she is!! She is adorable and I hope you are recovering well. Try to rest (although it's nearly impossible), and think milky thoughts.

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  20. Wow- what a birth story sweet Nellie has! Prayers continuing!

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  21. Praying for you! I had an emergency c-section with hysterectomy due to a scary and rare thing called a placenta accrita and I def know what you mean by the well-oiled machine part. To prepare me for such a long multi-step procedure while I was hemorrhaging already was a lot of work for a lot of people who stayed calm and helped me do the same and I would describe it as a ballet really - so amazing! The hospital let me borrow blankets up in my hospital room after my baby had been wrapped in them so that I cold smell them while I pumped. It helped, but baby contact would be even better. The NICU should provide you with a pump at her bedside if you ask and if you don't know what power pumping is, pinterest has easy explanations to help you with that to increase production. I would ask a friend or family member to make lactation cookies for you and bring them to the hospital for you as soonas you are on solids if not yet. I liked the pinterest one called "best damn lactation cookies". Once I was discharged, I filled the biggest double-walled straw cup that I could find with ice water and took it everywhere with me while we traveled back and forth between the nicu, our home over an hr away, and the Ronald McDonald House closer to the hospital that we were blessed to stay at sometimes. I gave my husband the job of keeping it filled for me since sitting still in the nicu was hard for him. If it says no food or drink in your nicu, they mean except agua. Once he is strictly on room air, ask to put him to breast as soon as possible. A lactation consultant told me that each exposure to nursing helps them learn even if they just look at your booby or stick their tongue out. My baby surprised us after not doing much of anything the first time and the second time latched on and ate for a few before he got tired out. The gave him his normal amount through his feeding tube, but the next time he did a little better and she told me to pump after each attempt until empty. I did that for the entire month that my 31 weeker was in the nicu and came home with him eating pretty well, my supply built up, and a small cooler full of frozen milk. I will be praying for similar results for you. Just be patient, drink like a fish (water), and trust God to get you there. After discharge, don't feel guilty about leaving the other kiddos for the nicu or the nicu for your other kids. Just breathe. God bless.

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  22. Praying for you! I had an emergency c-section with hysterectomy due to a scary and rare thing called a placenta accrita and I def know what you mean by the well-oiled machine part. To prepare me for such a long multi-step procedure while I was hemorrhaging already was a lot of work for a lot of people who stayed calm and helped me do the same and I would describe it as a ballet really - so amazing! The hospital let me borrow blankets up in my hospital room after my baby had been wrapped in them so that I cold smell them while I pumped. It helped, but baby contact would be even better. The NICU should provide you with a pump at her bedside if you ask and if you don't know what power pumping is, pinterest has easy explanations to help you with that to increase production. I would ask a friend or family member to make lactation cookies for you and bring them to the hospital for you as soonas you are on solids if not yet. I liked the pinterest one called "best damn lactation cookies". Once I was discharged, I filled the biggest double-walled straw cup that I could find with ice water and took it everywhere with me while we traveled back and forth between the nicu, our home over an hr away, and the Ronald McDonald House closer to the hospital that we were blessed to stay at sometimes. I gave my husband the job of keeping it filled for me since sitting still in the nicu was hard for him. If it says no food or drink in your nicu, they mean except agua. Once he is strictly on room air, ask to put him to breast as soon as possible. A lactation consultant told me that each exposure to nursing helps them learn even if they just look at your booby or stick their tongue out. My baby surprised us after not doing much of anything the first time and the second time latched on and ate for a few before he got tired out. The gave him his normal amount through his feeding tube, but the next time he did a little better and she told me to pump after each attempt until empty. I did that for the entire month that my 31 weeker was in the nicu and came home with him eating pretty well, my supply built up, and a small cooler full of frozen milk. I will be praying for similar results for you. Just be patient, drink like a fish (water), and trust God to get you there. After discharge, don't feel guilty about leaving the other kiddos for the nicu or the nicu for your other kids. Just breathe. God bless.

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    1. A good friend of mine just a baby a few months ago and had to have a c-section and hysterectomy because of placenta acreta. It was bad enough that she needed about 32 units of blood and spent some time on a ventilator after surgery. That is seriously freaky stuff.

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  23. Congratulations!! You are in our prayers as is your sweet Helen (LOVE the name, by the way... We already have a Margaret and Helen is on our list!). God is good!!

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  24. mother's milk tea is wonderful for boosting supply!

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  25. My hormonal, pregnant self just had a good cry reading this story. I'm so glad she's safe, and I will pray for the milk to come!!

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  26. 21 means her oxygen is set at 21% which is room air, what you & I are breathing. That means she's not receiving any supplemental oxygen, she just needs the flow from the cannula to help keep her from "forgetting" to breath. Something preemies need reminding of once in a while. She sounds like she's doing well & just needs to hang out a little & mature. God bless you both!

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  27. God bless you! Don't stress too much about the pumping. I'm a TERRIBLE pumper and thought having to pump for 8 days when my son was in the NICU meant I would for sure never be able to nurse him...and he is 11 months old and still nursing. I got barely anything pumping for the first few days, but I did it religiously anyway. Do your best pumping for now - everything will be easier once she is ready for you.

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  28. God Bless all the Borobia family - the NICU is hard, but there are much worse things, as you well know. So glad she is safely here and will be a feeder/grower - that's a great start, Mama - so good that you know to listen to your instincts - you saved her precious life. So glad you were already in the hospital when everything started happening! Blessings!

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  29. Many prayers, of course. Try turning up the suction level on the pump. I felt like an idiot when I realized that my lack of much pumped colostrum (after day 1, which was decent) was probably mostly that. Also, once my milk did come in, it was plentiful, so no worries there. You've totally got this!

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  30. Many prayers, of course. Try turning up the suction level on the pump. I felt like an idiot when I realized that my lack of much pumped colostrum (after day 1, which was decent) was probably mostly that. Also, once my milk did come in, it was plentiful, so no worries there. You've totally got this!

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  31. What a story you will have to tell her! Such a special baby!

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  32. Oh my goodness gracious! That little Helen is quite a fighter. Praise the Lord you were right where you were suppose to be!! She's beautiful, tiny but beautiful. Congratulations !

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  33. Welcome to your daughter! I'm sorry you had to have such a scary birth situation, but it sounds like you were in good hands all the way. And you were able to be awake during the c-section, so you could see your sweet little miss right away. Good luck with pumping, and may Helen grow and thrive and be loved!

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  34. Congrats so many times!!! She's beautiful.

    I'd like to offer you two bits of advice if you don't mind. When our 26 weeker was born (placenta previa - we were pregnant around the same time with our previa babies - GOD BLESS SWEET NICHOLAS <3), I had the hardest time pumping colostrum. So sticky and thick, but so necessary for the baby! So I started hand expressing the colostrum and my hubby would chase the drops around from one nipple to the other with a syringe. Worked like a CHARM. I squeezed, he sucked. Lol. I got loads of CCs of colostrum that way.

    And two....if they decide to fortify her feeds, look into Prolacta. They were going to put our guy on Enfamil or Similac fortifier and we said no because they're known to be more harsh on a preemie gut - so they got us the Prolacta we wanted. It's a concentrated breastmilk fortifier. He had zero issues and thrived on it.

    Just two little tokens I can offer you from our long NICU stay.

    Oh, and kangaroo that baby ASAP. There's nothing like having a teeny baby tucked into your bra. I look at my huge and healthy two year old now and wonder how he ever got this big from his two pound beginnings!

    Love and prayers, Dwija!

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    1. PS we asked our nurses for the syringes. We didn't use like a turkey baster or anything. ;)

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    2. I second the hand-expressing! The pump is great, but hand expressing gets the "dregs" so to speak. If you're not sure how to do that, ask for a LC - they are super helpful.

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  35. Praising God with you today for that well oiled machine!! So glad she is doing so well! We are keeping you all in prayer! Hope pumping goes better for you! {hug}

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  36. congratulations! Praying for Saint Helen to "find" your milk like she found the true cross!! So awesome how they were so responsive and she is so healthy. Wonderful!!! Hang in there!

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  37. Pumping colostrum is almost nothing. Frequency is more important than volume or duration. Just like a nursing newborn would nurse practically 24-7. Get help from LC if needed or worried or La Leche League (if only to hear all the atta-girl, you are doing awesome! that you need). Way to go, you're doing awesome, by the way! Prayers!

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  38. "ARGH!" I yelled, sitting here next to my husband with my laptop, "Dwija had her baby! Too soon!" and he's all, "What the wut? What's a Dwija?" Shows what he knows. Oh my goodness. I'm so glad she's doing ok. Hope you are doing ok too. I had one in the nursery on antibiots and oxygen, not a preemie and just for a couple of days, but I felt like a caged animal in there. Soon you will be home and snuggling that baby in your own bed!

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  39. Pumping colostrum is very difficult. There are some old excellent videos out there of some women hand expressing colostrum into a spoon. It's SUPPOSED to be small drops. But you will get there. I had a c-sec (placenta previa) at 34w5d. pumping while recovering with that huge bandage on you and dealing with all the premie worries plus post partum hormones is not fun. day 3 is always my bottom dropping out day also (realized after 4 kids). But, keep the faith with the pumping and you will SEE that milk come in. Remember, colostrum is thick and in small small amounts.

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  40. Oh my! I am praying for all of you. It's going to be ok and I am just so glad you were at the hospital already. God bless and look over all of you.

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  41. So so happy for you and thankful for such a beautiful healthy baby girl!! Praise God! Your milk will totally be in soon. It's normal for the milk to take a few days even with a standard full term birth anyway, right? You've already nursed lots o babes so I have no doubt your body will kick right into gear and you'll be leaking through hospital gowns in no time ;) In the meantime hand expressing works way better for colostrum and will be so good for her. Our Lady of La Leche, pray for Dwija and Helen!

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  42. Congratulations! I have been praying. After my first c-section with #9, my milk wasn't coming in. Mother's milk tea took care of that problem. My prayers for you and that beautiful baby will continue.

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  43. Wow, that is something! I am so glad they got her out in good time! Prayers that your milk comes in right away, and for all of you. -FarmandAway

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  44. What a rock star baby!!! So excited to see her! Praying for your peace and her health and your husband's sanity. :) Rest up! Drink your water!

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  45. Wow! What a birth story. Welcome baby Helen! Good job mama. :)

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  46. As you probably already know, I'm a NICU mama too. Your little peanut was 1 oz. larger at 32w3d than I was at full term almost 36 years ago!

    Everyone else had explained the 21 number and people have wisely suggested kangaroo care. The only thing I have to add from my NICU/c-section experience with my kiddo is to take it easy and listen to your body. A c-section is major surgery!

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  47. Congratulations! So glad to hear that everything is ok. I am sure your milk will come in and that colustrum is literally drops. But if you do run into milk supply issues Fenugreek works super well for upping supply. I used it with great success and swallowing pills can be easier than making cookies and drinking multiple cups of tea. Just google the details for how much to take since I can't remember offhand. Good luck! Beautiful Baby!

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  48. Aww....My first baby turned 17 on the 13th. She too had a birth that I never anticipated or wanted. But in the end, happy and healthy is most important (although I know that's easier said than felt sometimes). Congrats to you and your family! God and modern medicine are great!

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  49. What a scary yet beautiful story of life! Beautiful life. I may have sobbed a little bit with ya. We're still praying for you all. I am sure healthy and at home is what your is desiring now. Thank you for sharing your story!! Don't stop sharing those IG pics! Hugs and baby snuggles!!

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  50. What a scary yet beautiful story of life! Beautiful life. I may have sobbed a little bit with ya. We're still praying for you all. I am sure healthy and at home is what your is desiring now. Thank you for sharing your story!! Don't stop sharing those IG pics! Hugs and baby snuggles!!

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  51. Congratulations! She is beautiful! I had an almost same situation as you. Water broke at 32 weeks, hospital bedrest, C-section. My little preemie is now a big 3 year old. Those first few days\weeks in the hospital are no fun, but before long she will be home with you all. Blessings to you!

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  52. I'm terrible at commenting, but I'm refreshing instagram all day every day!! Lots of prayers have been sent up for Helen, for you, and the rest of the family, too :)

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  53. Welcome Helen!! My oldest is March 13 and she is the exact right mix of sweet and sassy. Praying yours is the same and your recovery is easier than you thought!

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  54. We've been praying for you both every night. I'm so glad everything is working out. I hope your recovery goes well. :)

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  55. BEAUTIFUL GIRL!! Lots of love and prayers to y'all!!

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  56. Dwija! I'm praying for peace & a grace to you in this surprising time! And she's lovely =), so many congratulations!

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  57. congrats on your precious gift.

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  58. Ive been praying for you and your family....Please give us an update.

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