By Meghan Langan-
The theme for my youngest son’s conception, pregnancy, birth, and early infancy was, “It could have been worse”. After struggling to get pregnant, my husband and I suffered a miscarriage. My husband, an officer in the Air Force, was scheduled to deploy and we decided we had no time to lose and sought out professional help. My son’s conception was expensive and painful at times, but after only two rounds of the least invasive procedures I ended up pregnant again. We were so thankful and realized that it could have been worse.
My husband left for his deployment shortly after my first trimester which was filled with bleeding and worry. We didn’t plan on his return until a month after my due date. My older son and I stayed put at our current assignment until we got the bad news at 21 weeks. I had placenta previa which would most likely mean an early delivery by c-section with possible bed rest. And so, alone, I made preparations for the worst. Our families helped my oldest son and I move back home into my parent’s spare bedrooms in Illinois. I was a stay at home mom in a financially stable position with a family that lovingly took us in. It could have been worse!
At 31 weeks I had my first episode of bleeding from the placentaprevia. It was a minor bleed and I was put on “princess bed rest” at home. My mother found an amazing daycare for my son and her front door was a revolving door of family helping take care of my son and me. It could have been worse!
My husband’s commanders understood the delicate nature of our situation and arranged for him to come home early. A week after I went on bed rest my husband came home. I could not relocate back to our station with him and after two short weeks he had to leave us with my parents and go back to our home in Alabama. His plane touched down 12 hours before I hemorrhaged. At 34 weeks I delivered our youngest son, Nathaniel, via emergency c-section. My husband’s plane back to Illinois landed one hour after his delivery. We were overjoyed that I had made it to 34 weeks and my husband was home much earlier than we had ever anticipated when this journey started. It could have been worse!
Our son’s NICU stay was 17 days long. He had some breathing troubles and needed to learn to eat.
My mom’s house, were we were still residing, was 45 minutes away and I could not drive. My husband’s unit arranged for him to be on sick leave, allowing us to be at our son’s bedside every day, all day, and by my breast pump all night. My son experienced only a few minor setbacks and was released from the hospital with a great prognosis. It brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about how fortunate we were because it could have been so much worse.
The man I picked to be my partner and father to my children could not have been better. Every time I fell apart, he reminded me why we had to be strong. Every time I thought we should quit, he pressed on for me. From across the globe he still managed to be the glue our family needed. I hope to never repeat our experience with Nathaniel’s early story, but if I do, he’s the only man I want by my side. After all, he is the one who taught me that it could have been worse.