Not all Queens wear crowns. I always see the verse “God is within her, she will not fall. This verse truly makes me think of Raven though I do not know her on a personal level I watched her and her husband Ward go through the challenge of having a premature baby. Raven’s story speaks volumes to see the unconditional love that a mother can have for their child and go above and beyond is beautiful. It was an honor to interview her and to get to know the mom a little more. Parenting is unpredictable, but nothing is IMPOSSIBLE.
MomTea- When was your original due date?
Raven-My original due date was June 9th
MomTea- At what point did you know there was a complication with the pregnancy?
Raven- Nine days before birth they found a complication during my 25th week sonograms, reverse diastolic flow. It was a very serious complication and I was at risk for needing an emercengy c-section at any moment.
MomTea- How far along were you once you delivered?
Raven- I gave birth at exactly 27 weeks.
MomTea- How was the decision to deliver early made?
Raven- I had an emergency C-Section. They spoke to me about how I felt about delivering that day and I told them I was only nervous for the surgery. They really wanted to keep me until I hit 30 weeks but once he showed signs of complications on the inside they didn’t want to risk anything. The words they used were, “We would rather deliver a somewhat healthy baby right now than wait until he is showing rapid signs of distress.” I agreed and the surgery was set for noon.
MomTea- How did you feel upon leaving the hospital? And where did you find strength and support.
Raven-When I left the hospital I felt empty and my mind was cluttered. I had family in town and I couldn’t focus on anything but thinking about my baby and going to visit him the next day even though I was advised to keep it cool and rest. Coping was not a skill I had for this moment in my life. Everyday of March felt like hell. My husband and mom did the coping for me. They had people praying for me. I truly believe God changed it all around for me once April hit. Somehow, I was then able to breathe and be present with my husband. I could speak more than a few words at a time and I took showers again like I used to. I take no credit for coping I did’t know how. The prayers of everyone around me changed my feelings toward my situation I didn’t. I had a lot of support! My husband Ward was amazing! I was torn to pieces and he allowed me to have that time even though he hated to see me look and feel so bad. My mom was also another big support system. She kept me motivated to get through school and let me cry to her when I needed, which she never really does because she always likes to tell me not to cry and find ways to fix my problems. My friends and family called me and checked on me. If I never felt love before, I felt it during that time. Even Facebook friends and people I went to high school with showed me support and I learned a lot about different people. The support was amazing and I’m so appreciative of it.
MomTea- Are there challenges of having a premature child or being a mom to a preemie?
Raven-There are many challenges to having a preemie but I’ll list 3 big ones for when he/she is in the NICU. Number one is not having them at home. Lucky for me I had a car and the hospital was only 25 minutes away but I visited everyday and for hours at a time. I was in grad school and had such a hard time focusing. Second is having the nurses and doctors tell you when you can and cannot touch your own child. I didn’t get to hold him for 9 days. It was one of the roughest times of the NICU experience. And thirdly, being constantly scared that a complication will arise and when one does arise, knowing what that means for your baby.
MomTea- Will there be more adorable Hughes babies?
Raven- At first I didn’t want more children. Was so traumatized by having a micro preemie. But now I do. I miss being pregnant and I want to experience being pregnant and getting to full term. My pregnancy was such a blur. Right when I started feeling the kick and movements really well, he had to come out.
MomTea-Advice for preemie moms.
Raven-It will be okay. We never think it’s okay, we always worry and we never think it will end but it does. Your baby comes home,the NICU becomes an experience and not your life and your baby grows. One day you won’t look to the monitors to know if your baby is getting enough oxygen or to check on his stats. It all works out. But while you’re going through your experience, take time to feel those emotions. Don’t try to hide them, be as honest s you can because you deserve that time and you need it. Learn to lean on those who are there for you and take the help given. If you’re not fine, admit that. Those are the things I did. Normally I am a very emotionless person but being a NICU/preemie mom brought out all the emotions I could ever imagine and I’m happy that I felt them.