Most poeple will tell you that a Friday the 13th is an unlucky day - ladders fall on your head, mirrors break and the shards jump out and try to slash your throat, black cats trip you in the dark, and then Jason and Michael Meyers come and kill you in your sleep.
Looking back though, 13 was Acorn's lucky number, and Friday the 13th was the day we both cheated death.
When I was 21 weeks pregnant, I started developing blood pressure issues in an otherwise normal, if a bit over-dosed-with-morning-sickness pregnancy. At 26 weeks, a trip to triage to adjust my meds became an inpatient admit "for the duration"....which I was told was likely to be 2 weeks or less. We were in Labor & Delivery room 13, in a hospital on 13 Mile Road.
Sure enough, at exactly 27 weeks I developed pre-eclampsia, and we induced labor. About 8 hours later, I started to develop HELLP syndrome, and we left labor and delivery room 13 for the OR. At 6:14 am (we belive the time was 6:13, since all the clocks in the building showed a different time), Acorn was born by emergency c-section. It took a couple minutes to get him breathing, but he left the OR with a decent APGAR score (7), and breathing on his own with a CPAP machine. He weighed less than a pound and a half, and was just over 12" long.
Acorn was intubated a couple of hours later, on ventilator 13.
I spent several more days in labor & delivery - not *quite* sick enough for the ICU (though we did have to argue about them not wanting to put me in a wheel chair and wheel me up to the NICU "in case something bad happens"), but definitely too sick for the mother-baby floor and discharge. It was touch and go there for a bit though, because my blood pressure was really stubborn, and I was still developing more pre-eclampsia and HELLP symptoms in the days following Acorn's birth.
My total hospital stay was 13 days, and the day I went home was the day I got to hold him for the first time.
When Acorn was 39 days old (3 x 13), he got rid of his IV "for good" - he eventually got one again for surgery, but that was the end of the phase where he was too small for his digestive system to work.
17 months old this past Friday the 13th, and he'd had his trach a whole year. Crawling, trying to walk, babbling, mostly fed by mouth, and all around too damn cute for words:
So yeah....we cheated death on that Friday the 13th. Both of us survived things that should have killed us - 10 years ago, he might not have survived at all, and if he had, we likely wouldn't have such a normal toddler as an outcome. Our perinatologist told me that 20 years ago, it's likely that neither of us would have survived, given the severity of the situation.
A lot of the things that helped Acorn in those early days, like surfactant for his lungs, and super high tech isolettes, are a product of research done by the March of Dimes. November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and this post is part of the Bloggers Unite "Fight for Preemies" event.