Our first child, Mary-Alisson was born in 1982 at what was thought to be 26 weeks gestation. I was seeing a family practitioner and due to bleeding throughout the pregnancy I actually was delivered 3 days before my due date. It was later figured out that I must have lost the original pregnancy and became pregnant without realizing it at the time. I had been having contractions and went to the hospital and was sent home 3 days before I delivered. At that time the doctor on call that saw me told me that the baby was about 5 lbs and that I should deliver within the week. 3 days later my water broke while at home and I returned to the hospital. After laboring (with few contractions for 18 hours) my GP finally called in a OB who took one look at me and realized that the baby was in distress and within minutes I was in the OR having a emergency C-Section under general anesthesia. When I woke up, I was told that I had delivered a baby boy and that he was being sent to another hospital, one with a NICU. Not long after my husband came to see me and I asked him if he had seen our son yet. He looked confused as he had been told that we had a little girl, and the same thing about the transfer. We finally learned that the baby I had given birth to was a little girl. Just before the transfer ambulance came I was woken up and asked what I was naming the baby. The name had been an issue if we had a girl, as my husbands family traditionally named all babies after the grandparents on that side of the family. I was so out of it and with all the name issues, I said "I don't care what you call her, name her Garbage Pail or ask my husband, just get her transferred." The name issue was a sticking point for months and I was not thrilled with the name my mother in-law was called "Rose", and had learned that her birth certificate actually read as "Maria Rosa". We ended up naming the baby Mary, the American version of Maria and Alisson, the modern name for my Grandmother Alice who was close to death at the time, with a hyphen between and no middle name. The odd spelling comes from my husband asking me to spell it while I was still feeling the affects of the anesthesia and pain injections I was being given. Funny thing is that a few months later we got a letter in mail and enclosed was a death certificate for "Garbage Pail Briguglio." Clearly a error was made as my daughter was alive, but still in the NICU. We later had it corrected to a live birth certificate for Mary-Alisson. Mary's weight was 2 lbs 13 oz and 16.5" long. At the time she was the second smallest graduate of that NICU, when she left some 3+ months later.
Our second child, Emilee-Ann Aubrey was born in 1989 at 34 weeks gestation. I was closely followed by a group of OB's and was in and out of the local hospital with early bleeding, later with a blood clot in my leg, and then several times with pre-term labor. I was finally admitted and transferred to a high risk unit. I had wanted to be sent to the one closest to home to make it easier on my husband to visit and my best friend worked as a research RN at the time in the NICU, on the Surfactant Study's being done. Other-wise I would have to be airlifted to a hospital several 100 miles away. It all depended on who had a bed available... I was thrilled when I was admitted to the closest hospital, the one I wanted to go to! I was in that hospital for 3 weeks before I was given a repeat Classic C-Section at 34 weeks. She weighed 5 lbs 3 oz and was 18" long. She came home just over a months stay.
Our third child, John-James Anthony was born in 1989 at 30 weeks plus 3 days gestation. I was again in and out of the hospital with early bleeding, this time I was also admitted due to severe Asthma attacks at about 3 months along several times. I had gotten permission from my OB to travel to my parents out of state for a week, for a family reunion at about 20 weeks. Being at my parents was a vacation as I would have help with the girls and be able to rest more than I would if at home. Just before leaving I knew I was starting pre-term contractions and went from the airport to the hospital and stayed 24 hours for "re-hydration". I came home and started at home monitoring on contractions. That lasted a few weeks before I was admitted and had to stay until I delivered, again by Classic C-Section, some 10 weeks later. My son weighed 3 lbs 9 oz and was 16" long. He came home after a 7 week stay.
All three children had the typical preemie issues, and spent time on a ventilator, had to be under Bili-Lights, etc...
I am blessed that although all three have life long medical issues, the only issues from the early arrival was lung damage that lead to Asthma. They all have other issues, but are auto-immune related (both girls have Lupus, my son is a Type 1 Diabetic, the 2 younger ones have GI issues, and my son had Chiari-Malformation surgically corrected. Plus a few other things) The girls are both married and each has given my husband and I beautiful Grandchild. First Emilee had a little girl, and 2.5 years later Mary a son both came the normal delivery route and are happy and healthy children.