It’s taken 10 months for me to write this down. 10 months with the most wonderful little girl I could have ever asked for. I feel so blessed that I am writing this now, after time for the events to really sink in. I had a flawless pregnancy with no visible issues. Well, truth be told this was a long time hoped and prayed for. Pregnancy was not quick for us, but none the less we were thrilled to be having a little girl. Our daughter would be the first girl grandchild on my husband’s side and the first grandchild on my side. Every appointment was positive, all tests were normal and where they should be. Then, at 33 weeks, on September 17, 2014 our world turned upside down. I had felt odd all day. I couldn’t place my finger on it, but I will admit now that I felt odd all day. Bathroom trips were absurdly frequent and I by dinner time I thought I had eaten something that did not agree with my stomach. I decided to go to bed early and by 9:30pm I felt cramps. I told myself they had to be those Braxton Hicks pains that people spoke of. I willed my body to go to sleep thinking I just needed some rest. By 11pm I was in severe pain and got out of bed. When I headed to the bathroom and saw blood my heart sunk. I didn’t think I was in labor but instead thought we were losing our baby girl. I was devastated as I called my doctor. He said to meet at the hospital. My husband and I threw on clothes and raced out the door. We didn’t have a hospital bag (we had not yet prepared one) and showed up with our cell phones and my purse. I actually kept telling my husband that when we get there they are just going to send us right back home. We arrived about 11:30pm and I was raced to labor and delivery and they began to run tests- ultrasounds and taking measurements. They determined that baby girl was fine (RELIEF!) and said that I was several centimeters dilated and that I was in labor (I was not having cramps but contractions). I just kept telling them that cannot be right, it’s too early, she needs to stay in, and on and on. My nurse was amazing- she was just who I needed right then. She held my hand and kept assuring me it would be ok. That babies were born at 33 weeks and made it. I really thank God for my husband and this nurse that night. I was administered various drugs to slow down labor and antibiotics to protect the baby. Eventually my doctor arrived and I was taken into a labor room. I was situated right in front of a huge clock and noticed that my contractions were a minute apart. I told my doctor this and he said not to watch the clock (ha, it was so big and right in front of me!). He asked how much pain was I in and I responded with a lot and does it get worse. When he said yes, I knew I needed to choose the drugs. When the epidural guy came in he said to sit straight down and still. This was impossible to do with my contractions, I kept bargaining with him and finally he told me if I didn’t sit that way he would leave and I would miss my chance. Again, my phenomenal nurse stepped in and coached me through the process. And then my husband was allowed back in the room. It was 2 am maybe at this point. They said that things would slow down now and to get some rest. I didn’t really feel contractions anymore, just pressure, and they periodically came in to measure how dilated I was. My husband and I tried to sleep and watched TV on and off through to the next early afternoon. I know he left and got food sometimes and I kept eating ice chips. We also communicated with some of our family members to let them know I was in labor. Just before 4 pm they said I was dilated enough to start pushing. Our daughter was born very quickly; she arrived at 4:14 pm on September 18, 2014. She weighed four pounds ten ounces and was 17 inches long. She came out screaming and had a full head of dark hair! A NICU doctor and some nurses were standing by during the birth and once she was out and the cord was cut they took her and honestly I am not sure what work was done on her. I was briefly handed my daughter, long enough to see her and give her a kiss and then she was gone. Just before she was born, my husband and I chose a name; we were undecided upon arriving at the hospital. And it was a name that we had not even really considered before. Once my daughter was taken to NICU, I was on my own in my room with my husband. I was given a pump since I said I wanted to breastfeed. I had no idea what to do but the kind nurses helped me out. My husband went home to grab us some clothes and toiletries. I believe I also slept a bit. Later that night, we visited my daughter in NICU. I remember being so emotional- I just had my child and yet I couldn’t even hold her. We took some pictures with her though and were assured she was in good care and they hoped I could hold her in the morning. I went to bed, waking every three hours to pump. My husband and I went to visit our daughter as soon as we could that next morning. We held her and helped to give her a bath. We took so many pictures. She was beautiful and we couldn’t wait to take her home. I stayed in the hospital one more night and stayed until early afternoon the day I was released. I visited my daughter as often as possible and continued to pump. I was so hopeful that she would come home with us soon. Once we got home I was slammed with the reality that my daughter was not with us. It was so hard to be separated like that. Little did I know this would go on for 8 weeks.