PPROM memories

One year ago this week began a seriously scary time. It was then that Carol’s water broke – PPROM – at 19 weeks. I don’t know how much you know about PPROM – but it happening at 19 weeks is bad – like almost no hope bad – like assuming that infection or bleeding will end the pregnancy within hours bad.

We talk a lot about Benjamin’s prematurity and the challenges involved but that month before he was born changed everything. PPROM (Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes) is scary. But if you read the support sites or the facebook groups for the women going through this – you will be amazed by the hope they share and the strength they give each other. Carol had that hope and that strength times ten and she never gave up on our baby. No one would have ever blamed her if she did. I think part of each of us imagined we were just prolonging the heartache – the odds were so slim.

Carol (for those of you joining us mid-story) was our gestational surrogate – she carried our embryo (later fetus, later Benjamin). To a lot of people the idea of a surrogate is strange. Some imagine it is some sort of business relationship or a situation we would later hide from our child and pretend never happened. But let me tell you this – I cannot imagine another person, who we only knew for a few months, who would have done everything she did for our son. When we started, Carol might have been our surrogate, but by the time we got through it all, Carol was family. And Carol’s family was family. She was amazing throughout the hospital stays, the never-ending bedrest, the time away from her husband and children and doing everything she could to last one more day to let Benjamin cook.

The month between the PPROM and when Benjamin was born was rough. I don’t think any of us slept much, we were scared of the phone ringing, Amy and I didn’t know what to do with ourselves. But every time the doctors did another ultrasound (which was pretty much constantly) they seemed surprised Carol kept going. And go she did – just over the border of viability. 23 weeks, 3 days.

So, though we have said it many many times- Thank you Carol, thank you Carol’s family, thank you Carol’s friends and everyone who supported her and us and Benjamin.

And if you have stumbled upon Benjamin’s blog because you or someone you love are dealing with PPROM – please stay hopeful. While Amy and I would never have gotten to be parents without doctors and science – they only get you so far. That last stretch was all faith.

Carol and Amy

Carol and Amy - after the very first ultrasound (before things got scary)

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5 thoughts on “PPROM memories

  1. Amazing story!! True love for a sweet baby.

  2. Yes, I remember all to well. Lots of prayers were going up for all four of you. It was a very intense time. I remember Carol doing everything she could to keep little Ben comfortable inside her. Carols’ uncomfortable nights on couch and floor. Her rushing to the emergency. Texting me in the middle of the night for a comforting and encouraging word from a friend. She was such a trooper through it all.
    I can’t even begin to imagine how you and Amy felt. Emergency visits to Lancaster. Missing all those work days. You both supported Carol. She felt so guilty. All the phone calls.
    I remember coming in to visit Carol after delivery. You and Amy barely holding on with hope for a miracle. Checking out websites about what the future could hold for Ben. He was holding his own. Fighting!!!! I mentioned, next year at Valentine’s Day while you ate Lobster Ravoli, Ben would be home with you.
    It sure has been a long year for all involved. I am so blessed to have met you and Amy. I will never forget your courage. You both opened your hearts to a stranger. I hate to say it but, I did enjoy meeting and spending time together in the hospital or, out for breakfast. All three of you have a very important place in my heart. I hope we keep in touch. I know the boys still want to meet Ben. To see with their own eyes the miracle he is.
    Ben has touched so many lives. I am still asked by a friend who is a NICU nurse at Women and Babies Hospital how Ben is doing. I smile when I reply. He is such a miracle. She enjoys any update I can give her. She says she will pass the news along to the other caring hands that helped Ben.
    Sorry this is so long. I will NEVER forget this little part of Bens journey. He is always in my thoughts. I am quietly in my mind still rooting for your little miracle. I send my love, prayers, and hope for Ben’s future. May God smile down on all of you during this difficult time in your memory.

    • Thank you so much for the lovely note Hope. It is such a blessing that through such a horrible time we met such amazing people.

      We’re planning a trip out to Lancaster in the Spring, and we definitely want to see you and your family again! We miss you!

  3. Sometimes God sends us an angel to help us get through the rough times. Thank you, Carol, for being our angel. Thank you, Joe and Amy, for never giving up on Ben and for giving me such a beautiful grandchild! Let’s continue to focus on all the possibilities and blessings we have!

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