In less than eleven months, both of my daughters have made me a grandma, Mimi, and both of them prematurely.
Unfortunately, I don’t mean that I wasn’t ready. Not at all.
Last May, Jerrica had Little Layla two months early (at 31 weeks) due to complications from preeclampsia, and a week ago, Natalie gave birth to Judson, three months early (at just 27 weeks), for the same reason. I thought Layla was devastatingly small at two pounds, fifteen ounces, until I met her cousin Judson, who was a mere pound and eight ounces.
This stuff must be genetic, because it happened to me, too, though I don’t recall doctors calling it preeclampsia. When I was pregnant with Jerr, I lost my mucus plug and went into labor at 33 weeks. Doctors were able to stop the contractions with oral medication, but two days later, I was right back in the hospital in labor again. After the magnesium sulfate, something I also watched my daughters experience, more medication stopped the labor, and I was sent home on bedrest with a terbutaline pump (which research now shows causes maternal heart problems and death). At 37 weeks pregnant, on the day I was allowed to stop taking my medication, my water broke, and my first little bundle of joy was born at five pounds, thirteen ounces. (Connor was also almost four weeks early, weighing in at just over five pounds, but not Nat—she was two days overdue and a whopping 7 pounds, one ounce, compared to her siblings.)
The past eleven months have been some of the happiest of my life, blessed by our little miracle, Layla Lorraine, who I like to call my Peaches. Watching her grow, becoming stronger and more beautiful by the day, has given me answers to questions I asked after my own trauma nine years ago. Little Layla is my reason, and the tenuous circumstances that surround her birth have made her and my daughter that much more precious to me.
My two girls, Jerrica and Natalie.
And my two babies, Peaches and Sweet Pea.
I can’t wait to live this next year.