First I just want to say how absolutely wonderful everyone has been, and I'd also like to apologize for my lack of communication. I simply don't want to answer everyone's messages or texts. It's hard to say the things I have to say. On November 29th they took little Penny out. I had preeclampsia and my blood pressure wasn't going down. The doctor said she'd be safer outside of me, rather than inside. The experience was horrifying. The nurse came in and told me Penny was coming out. They brought me downstairs, put a catheter in, and wheeled me in to a massive, white, FREEZING room. There were about 20 people in it and they were all staring at me. The doctor made me sit up (on my cath) and rubbed freezing liquid all over my back. Two nurses had to hold me down because I was shaking so violently. Then he gave me a numbing shot, and then the actual epidural. I hadn't planned on using an epidural because I knew I wouldn't like not feeling my legs. I was VERY right, and I promptly freaked out when they went numb. I was a terrible patient. They laid me back on the very narrow bed and stretched my arms out. I was still shaking and I kept jerking around in desperate attempts to move my lower body so the nurses had to hold me down again. I tried to stay as calm as possible and asked my poor nurse a million questions to keep my mind off of what was happening and how I couldn't move. It was almost comical because when I'd stop feeling calm and started trying to move again I'd whip my head over and bark at her "HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MARRIED!?" "WHAT ARE YOUR DOGS NAMES!?" Any questions to take my mind away from the moment. I felt a lot of pulling and tugging in my stomach. Lots of weights, and then lightness. She was born at 12:06 am, and I heard the tinest little baby noise. It was Penny. She made two little grunts and that's the only baby experience I had for almost two days. They didn't show her to me or tell me she was okay, they just whisked her away and started poking her with needles and shoving things down her throat. Earlier that day, before we knew they'd take Penny, Jake had gone home. I had a chance to call him before they took me downstairs. He told me he was on his way and then he called my parents. He made it just in time for me to start feeling my legs a bit. Once he got there I calmed down a great deal but I was still shaking wildly. My teeth were chattering and I kept twiching my body to see if I could move my legs yet. I asked the nurse if Jake could see Penny and she said he could, so he went to the NICU to see his 1 lbs, 5 oz daughter. It was around 3am, at some point 3 hours had passed. I laid awake for about 4 more hours until my dad showed up. He drove straight from Vancleave to Memphis. When he arrived at the hospital he and Jake went to see Penny. Penny's grandpa pretty much didn't leave her room until he had to go back to work. I was extremely distraught at not being able to see her also, but they had to keep me in bed hooked up to everything. The doctor had me hooked up to a drug called magnesium that prevented me from having a seizure. It almost makes you feel like you have to flu. NOT a fun time. At some point that morning Jake brought me a picture of her on his cell phone and I finally got to see her. She was very small and red. She looks nothing like a baby, still more like a fetus. However, being her mom, I couldn't help but think she looked perfect. I tried to figure out if she looked like either of us, but she doesn't, it's too hard to tell. She DOES have Jake's ears though. I stayed on that bed for a day and a half until they finally moved me to a new room where I could shower and potty all by myself. Whoot. They made me wait a few hours before they'd let me get up and walk. I was scared to walk because my c-section cut hurt so bad. However, once I was up and moving (and heavily drugged) it wasn't so bad. Jake wheeled me down to NICU and I got to see Penny in person. I felt terrible because I couldn't look at her for a long time. Every time I did I got mad at the doctors for taking her out. Every glance screamed unnatural and not normal. Penny has a 30-40 % chance of survival. Everyday is harder because everyday I love her more. You're pregnant and think you love you're baby so much and then you actually SEE her and it hits you like a ton of bricks. Maybe two tons. It's a new mad, insane, practically animalistic love. Like, when the nurse does something you think is hurting her, you want to jump across the room and tear her throat out with your teeth. Pretty intense. It's crazy how terrible things can make you happy when you have a 24 week developed baby. My first night my only want was for her to live and be healthy. Not much, right? Then, you learn that she'll probably have brain defects and won't function normally, and then your want drops to just wanting her to survive. You'll take anything. I'll be happy with my Penny, no matter what is wrong with her. Then, when things go bad, your wants drop even lower and you find yourself thinking "Oh God, if she could just make it long enough for me to get to hold her." Or maybe "It would be so great if I could have Christmas with her." I try not to feel sorry for myself, and I don't want you to feel sorry for me either. Save it for Penny if it's necessary. Feeling sorry doesn't do any good for anyone. So I'm firmly against it. I think I'm still lucky. I was told I'd probably have difficulty getting pregnant. I didn't have periods, and I was taking birth control. Yet somehow, little Penny was created. She was special right from the begining. Then I found out Penny would probably be male because her dad's family pretty much only makes males. Nope, she was female. Special again. Then, she was born formed only at 24 weeks and she's gone and lived 4 days now. Yep, she's pretty great. I got pregnant. I got to be a mom. I got to see her. I've even gotten to touch her. I'm a million times a better person now, because I have a little girl and her name is Penelope. She's also met almost all of her grandparents and an Aunt. So don't you feel sorry for me, and I won't either. I'm STILL lucky. Being a mommy is so great, no matter how grim the future looks. No matter what may happen, I'm still one lucky girl, and Penny is one special baby. Each day I look at what I have instead of what I don't have. I don't look at the entire road, just the next foot in front of me. I'm definitely older now, but I think it's good for me. No matter what happens, I'll remember what I had/ have, and not what I lacked. I really appreciate all of your support, it really does make me feel better. I'm truely sorry if I don't answer, but I refuse to say bad things about my little Penelope several times a day. I'm in her room as we speak and it's so great. Just me and Penny. So folks. I'm off to read something on the internet that will make me giggle. Only postive engery in Penny's NICU room. Love you all, and Penny says "Hi!"