Unexpected Guest: Our Birth Story

When expecting visitors one must prepare. This usually entails cleaning. This may include vacuuming the floor, laundering the sheets, and making the room your guest will be residing in tidy so they are comfortable for the duration of the visit.

When you get an unexpected guest, however, you cannot prepare. One must [ wing it.]

When this unexpected guest is your premature daughter born at 32 weeks there is no time to make adequate preparations.

I went reluctantly to the hospital on the eve of Memorial Day. That Sunday wasn’t much different from any other Sunday. We went to church. We hung-out with family. The usual. Except for the finding out I was in labor it was a really peaceful day.

When the OB resident finished my pelvic exam I should have know something was amiss.

Just one week prior on the previous Saturday, Matthew and I had the fun experience of spending the night in Ann Arbor’s, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. I was having cramping that was really intense. So that night (why do these things always happen at night?????) I called my OB and they suggested I head to the hospital to get some tests done. Better safe than sorry, we thought.

Four painful pelvic exams and eight hours later we drug our exhausted butts home – none the wiser as to why I had experienced the cramping. They concluded I was having minor contractions but couldn’t find anything concerning. We were told to call back if anything changed or progressed.

Little did we know it was all about to change!

Monday was business as usual. Expect there was more pain. Only now it had migrated to my back. I grabbed some essential oil, popped a few Tylenol, added some pillows and carried on. The previous 7 months of my pregnancy had been far from comfortable and pleasant so I chalked it up to more bad pregnancy luck and tried my best to manage the aches. By Thursday though, I was OVER it!!! The pain was almost constant at that point. Little gaps of time here and there gave way to minimal relief but I really couldn’t deal any longer. I decided this must have been the “change or progress” the Doc had mentioned that past Sunday so I rang the triage nurse in Ann Arbor.

“If your water hasn’t broke and you’re not bleeding I recommend taking some Tylenol and a warm bath and call back if anything changes.”

Excellent advice Ma’am. I’ll just continue to lay over here dying. Should we mail you the funeral bill when the Tylenol and bath don’t work?

I never said I wasn’t dramatic.

Friday we had a wedding out of town. We planned to crash at my Mom’s in Lansing. Upon arriving to her house, this big preggo made a beeline to the bathroom.


I called her into the bathroom after wiping with an alarming urgency in my words.

“Mom, what is this?”

She looked at the toilet paper and her eyes grew wide.

“That right there is your mucus plug. I think you’re in labor.”

“No way! I can’t be! Don’t say that!” I adamantly piped back.

After all we had been through up until this point of the pregnancy I refused to let the thought of that possibility enter my mind.

With all the determination and strength I could muster, Matthew and I changed into our wedding gear and headed to the church. Nothing was going to slow me down! Not even labor.

The next day on Saturday I definitely slowed down though. The pain was unbearable. I thought the pain was bad on Thursday. WOW!!! Did it just get like 1000 times more intense.

I laid on the couch hoping Google could offer up an answer and maybe even a solution? One of the sites said it could be the baby laying on my spine and described some stretches I could try to nudge the baby to move. I was on the floor in a split second putting the suggested moves in to practice as if I was being judged on my form and technique. Another website said to sleep with a rolled up towel under your back and I did. To my shock and delight Sunday I awoke with little to no pain.

Hallelujah, Praise God! And that, I did at church that morning.

After church we met the family for the Memorial Day parade in St. Clair Shores. I felt pretty darn good considering the excruciating pain I had endured the day before. Both my Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law are nurses so I told them what had been going on to get some more medical opinions.

“You need to call the doctor immediately.” They both urged. “Matthew make her call the doctor as soon as you get home.” Pressed my Mother-in-law.

That he did but I refused. You see after four pelvic exams the week before – I decided the next time someone would reach that far up my lady parts was going to result in a baby coming out. My husband, always being the voice of reason suggested if I made the call and my OB instructed us to go to the ER we’d be home by 10pm but if we waited and things [changed or progressed] we would likely spend another sleepless night in the hospital.

I made the call. We went in.

So as I said the OB resident finishes my pelvic exam and it’s quick with no pain so I should have know something was amiss.

“Your baby is breached. I feel baby parts and you’re dilated.”

With this news I began to cry.


We seriously couldn’t catch a break with this pregnancy. First we loose a twin at 23 weeks. Then the news that the Cardiologist suspects our surviving daughter has a heart condition and may need surgery upon delivery. Now we are going to deliver two months before our baby girl is done cooking.

I mean you talk about running the full gamut during a pregnancy. Thankfully both my husband and I are, [look at the bright side of things people] and knew the long awaited reveal was in the very near future. We would soon meet our daughter.

Much of what happened next was fast and furious. I was given an IV and started on magnesium sulfate to slow contractions and help baby girl’s brain develop. A Betamethasone, steroid shot was ordered and injected into my hip to mature her lungs. I would be given the next shot on Monday and told that 24 hours after the second shot was administered all bets were off – we could deliver.

Just about 50 hours after I was admitted to the hospital we delivered our two girls on Tuesday night, May 31st.

It was a whirlwind. It was emotional. It was the best day of our lives.

Below we are just hours away from delivery.


Here’s our little Peanut, Charlie Faith Bonventre. Weighing in at just 4lbs & 16.9 inches. Happy birthday sweet princess!





2 thoughts on “Unexpected Guest: Our Birth Story

  1. Ohh the mucus plug! Fun times! Thanks for sharing Chavo. Emilio was born at 33 weeks (2 lbs 15 oz). Was in the Nic-U for a month. I know the feelings. Much love to you and your family. Carlos


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