Tiny but Strong – Kookyuma Yaw Yat

Twenty-three years ago I gave birth to a two-and-a-half pound son. Upon hearing the final due date, which happened to be my birthday, I bubbled with glee. However, my son decided he wanted his own birthday ten weeks prior to mine. He was due to make his grand entry in April, but changed his mind and came the first week of February.
I remember clearing that January night when fear struck me. The snow was over three feet deep in the mountains where we lived at that time. It was nearing the end of the month. My four- and one-year-old boys were fast asleep; tucked in by the heat of a blazing wood stove. I was sitting in a chair enjoying the quiet of the evening and felt a warm liquid saturate my clothing. Did my water break? No. Too early. I stood and saw the crimson stain on my beige pants.
My body started to tremble. I called for my husband. He rushed to my side and glanced down, his eyes wide with fear. He hustled to the phone and dialed my doctor. I had already had two high-risk pregnancies and was not looking for a third. My legs shook and the pit in my stomach grew like an inflating balloon ready to burst.
My husband hung up the phone and began to pack. He dropped the clothes and picked the phone back up to call my folks. He hung up and then phoned my grandmother who lived thirty-five miles away. She was the closest. She agreed to meet us at the hospital which was 45 miles away. My husband hung the phone up with a crash. He finished packing some belongings, just in case.
We rounded up the sleeping children and off we tore down the icy roads. I felt as if our Forerunner was skating on a pond. I prayed for a safe journey. Our other two boys slept in the back seat. I prayed for a live baby.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I was airlifted to Spokane, Wa. I waited for a month in bed at Sacred Heart Medical Center until it was time. Again I started to hemorrhage, but this time my baby’s life began to drift away. How could he? I did as I was told. I stayed in the hospital bed for weeks. Was that not enough? I glanced over to my sleeping four-year-old. He had permission to stay the night with my husband in tow. He was so peaceful looking. I prayed his baby sibling would live to meet him.
Nurses came to wheel me out. I stared at my husband; a tear slid down my face. He smiled. I found courage. When I woke-up from my cesarean section, the first thing I asked was if my baby was alive. A nurse told me he was. He. I thanked God. More tears flowed, washing away my fear.
Now twenty-three years later, my friend’s daughter recently had a two-and-a-half pound baby. Those same fears flooded my body. That same nervous feeling took root in my belly. Those same tears threatened to fall. But I prayed. Three days later, I was able to thank God for a precious baby girl. The fear faded. My knees steadied. A smile bloomed. All was as it should be.
If you read my book, Change of Heart, who had a premature baby? How did she feel? How did the main character support her? Have you experienced a premature baby? How did you handle the situation?

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