The gorgeous Dennetta Groomes, Genevieve (5), Griffin (2), Bonaventure and Ignatius (1 - identical twins).
Dennetta conceived her first baby when she was 29 and was so excited to be mother. She read as much as she could about having a baby and spoke to her sister-in-law's about their experiences. She was looking forward to a natural birth and breastfeeding experience. Unfortunately, her water broke unexpectedly at 29 weeks. At first she thought her bladder was leaking as it was a slow trickle and scheduled an appointment to follow up with her doctor in a few days. Thankfully, they moved her appointment up to that afternoon and when she told them what she was experiencing, was rushed to the hospital. "I was severely reprimanded, and told I put my baby at serious risk. I felt ashamed, in antiquate, and was not able to reach my husband. I was all alone and fearful for my unborn baby"
Dennetta was put on bed rest until Genevieve arrived at 31 weeks, 4 days gestation and her daughter spent a total of 8 weeks in the hospital. "We were happy that she was healthy but sad that we didn't get to bring her right home right away".
They tried to conceive again for about 18 months prior to getting pregnant with Griffin, and were again, ecstatic. Her pregnancy was great and he was growing well. Around the beginning of February she became ill with what she thought was a virus. She was feeling worn down and ended up missing a week of work. When Dennetta got into the doctor she was given an IV for dehydration but Griffin was doing well. They were uncertain what was making her sick so they ran tests and checked for preeclampsia. Everything came back negative but soon, Dennetta began have difficult breathing and her saturation levels were low. She was given oxygen and a catheter abut still found herself miserable, and unsure of what was happening. Around 3 am the following day, her body shut down and she had to be intubated. They soon learned she had contracted H1N1.
Dennetta's husband and mother came to her side and the doctors told them they had not seen this situation with a pregnant mother before and needed to decide whether to save her or the baby. "After a lot of prayers and discussions my husband determined I would want my son to live. They rushed me into surgery and once Griffin was born they came to tell him about the healthy baby. He asked how I was, and she responded that I just had a baby. He didn't know if I survived or not". Griffin was born at 29 weeks but just needed time to grow and mature. Dennetta was in a drug-induced coma for two weeks in an attempt to let her body heal but they were having difficulty keeping her sedated.
Once she began to get stronger they gave her a tracheostomy so she could come out of sedation and once awake she couldn't believe she had lost two weeks of her life. "My baby was born and I remember nothing of what happened. I was again ashamed and disappointed. What could I have done to prevent this from happening? I wanted to see my baby but I could not bear to be around him. I just felt so inadequate. It was harder to see my daughter as she was three at that time and I was not able to talk with her, hold her, or kiss her". Dennetta was finally released from the hospital three weeks later when Griffin was 5 weeks old but he had to remain there for 5 more weeks.
When Griffin was 5 months old, Dennetta talked to her husband about getting pregnant again and they decided to go for it. At their first ultrasound she noticed two babies but thought she must be looking at things wrong. The tech confirmed she was carrying twins and she was blown away. Dennetta was monitored closely throughout her pregnancy and things were going well, however, during an appointment she learned that baby A was not responding and they needed to deliver that day. Knowing her babies would be taken to NICU again was devastating for her. Thankfully, Dennetta's cesarean went well and the boys were healthy. They were released from the hospital 8 days later and she was thrilled to have everyone home.
"I struggled greatly after the birth of the twins. Life was hard and I'm just learning how to cope with the blessings that we have been given. I am a planner and over thinker and my birthing experiences have taught me that I am not in control. I have to trust my family to be there to support us. I'm not able to do everything and I am still struggling with letting go of the reigns some time. I am dealing with depression and juggling four children under the age of five while working a full time job. It's a struggle but my body, brain, and spirit have not let me down yet. I'm proud of what I have done and where I have been. Each experience has made me stronger and I am learning how to cope with this life of mine".