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On a hot August day, just a couple of months shy of my 40th birthday, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who arrived seven weeks early.  While sitting on the sofa with my husband of 16 years, relaxing after a very long week (it was Friday), my water broke.  We rushed to the hospital and discovered that she was still breach and I was having contractions.  Within an hour, I was in surgery with my husband by my side.  Though I had a strong feeling for months that she would come early, I didn’t think it would be this early.  I laid on the table anxiously listening to what the OB was saying and what the anesthesiologist was telling me as the doctors cut away.  Once she was out, there was a very long pause before she finally cried out.  It also felt like forever before the pediatrician and nurses who were tending to her said anything.  Before I knew it, they were whisking her away because she was struggling to breathe on her own.  All I saw of her was one tiny foot kick up into the air.  My husband, who was present and by my side through all of this, went with the nurses who were taking our baby away.  Sometime later, I was stitched up and sent back to my room.  After an hour or so, my husband had returned and shortly thereafter the pediatrician came in and informed us that our baby needed to be intubated and air lifted immediately to a hospital with an advanced NICU that was equipped to handle her situation.  Of course, our response was to do whatever was necessary; several hours later, the crew that was going to fly our little one to another hospital came into the room with papers for us to sign, and brought her with them.  She was intubated, sedated, and placed in an incubator that she would remain in for the duration of the flight.  It was the first time I got to see her…I could not hold her because they needed to leave, all I could do was touch one of her teeny clenched hands…

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