One clear thought Ravelle remembers having the morning of February 13 was about her hair.
“I remember looking in the mirror, thinking, ‘I should have washed my hair,’” she says. “Just in case the baby came that day, but it wasn’t likely.” She was 34-weeks pregnant, and it was becoming more difficult to perform everyday tasks.
It’s a detail Ravelle might not have recalled, if this day wasn’t also the day she ended up in surgery for a surprise C-section, six weeks before her expected delivery date.
Ravelle’s pregnancy had been normal. She was going to the hospital for a routine appointment and was expecting to go home after. But that afternoon, her doctor, who happened to be on call that day and reviewing her test, saw something unusual on the sonogram.
“They weren’t sure if the baby was getting oxygen,” shares Ravelle. “The next thing my husband, Myles, and I were told was that I would need an emergency C-section right then.”
Ravelle and Myles had been planning a natural birth and realized how fast and unexpectedly their world was about to change. Was their baby going to be okay? What was going to happen during surgery? These were some of the thoughts Ravelle says were racing through her mind.
After the surgery, she was wheeled to recovery where only her husband was allowed to join her. Her family saw her after she was transferred to her room, and her new baby, Logan, born six weeks early, was in the NICU. Ravelle had only caught a few glimpses of him right after he was born and she wasn’t able to hold him yet.
“Myles would send me photos from the NICU,” says Ravelle, as she wasn’t able to leave her bed the first night after the birth. “He described to me what our baby was doing, how he looked.”
Logan spent 12 days in the NICU, connected to the Giraffe Omnibed that would keep him warm, help him breathe, and reduce his bilirubin level.
“It was really hard to see how much he labored to breathe and all the wires covering him. But the nurses and doctor were great. They explained everything to us and I knew it was all keeping him safe,” Ravelle says.
She and her husband brought books to read to Logan while he was in the NICU, including Dr. Seuss and The Velveteen Rabbit.
“I think it helped him,” she shares. “And we always held his hand even if we couldn’t hold him.”
Eventually the care strategy, including a dose of synthetic surfactant (which babies naturally produce while in the womb, but Logan needed because he came so early), worked and Logan began to breathe on his own. Ravelle and Myles were finally given the okay to take him home.
Today, Logan is a happy 20-pound 8-month-old who loves eating and doesn’t like to sleep, like most babies his age.
“You would never know he spent 12 days in the NICU,” says Ravelle.
Ravelle blogs about parenthood and life with a young baby, when she isn’t busy being a new mom. Her advice to families who may experience a situation similar to hers: “Take it one day at a time. Have family there if you can to help support you. And never feel like you are asking too many questions – the nurses and doctors are there to help your baby and put you at ease.”
You can read Ravelle’s 10 learnings from her time on her blog, Matched & Mixed here.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. This story is part of a series to raise awareness and create a community for families who experience a premature birth.