I’m not going to bore you with the details of my admission and labor, as this blog is about my daughter and our journey with her in the NICU. However, I will share with you briefly… I went into preterm labor at 28 weeks, 2 days. I was admitted to the hospital directly from my doctor’s appointment, and remained there until my delivery. Luckily, the delivery was delayed long enough for me to be able to receive two doses of corticosteroids. These help speed up the development of the baby’s lungs and other organs, increasing her overall chance of survival. It has also been shown to lower her risk of getting a potentially life-threatening intestinal disease, known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which I will be mentioning a little later. Additionally, while in the hospital I was able to receive a dose of magnesium sulfate. The purpose of this was to provide neuroprotection and improve brain development of the baby. So we met our time sensitive goals during admission. My admission alone was filled with many ups and downs. Despite the fact that I was 4cm dilated and continued to have contractions anywhere from 3-8 minutes apart, there was talk of me being discharged on 3 different occasions, with the possibility of even being able to return to work. However, on Tuesday, July 8th, Riley Mae Lang decided she had waited long enough to enter this world. She was born at 1:34, with a total delivery time of ~5-8 minutes (no joke…this is a story in an of itself) and she was 2 lbs 9 1/2 oz, 15.5 inches long. “Trouble Maker Lang” was our temporary, and well-suited name for her, as Ian and I had not yet agreed on a name. We fell in love with her immediately. We were officially parents. We thought we had mentally prepared ourselves (at least the best one could) for the expected good days and bad days, ups and downs that come along with having a premature infant in the NICU… but we could never have predicted what the next few days would bring.