I peel open the blue pharmacy bag and stare at the little box in my hand. The title screams in big bold black letters; DEXAMETHASONE
It’s time to take my steroids. The precious little tablets that will help develop my baby’s lungs inside of me early, just in case I go into premature labour again.
12 teeny tiny tablets; 6 to be taken in the morning with food and the remaining 6 to be taken 12 hours later with food. The tablets must not be taken before 24 weeks of pregnancy and do not need to be taken again during the duration of my pregnancy- this I have memorised from the front of the box.
As soon as I receive the tablets I open the box and count every tablet to check the box does indeed contain 12. Twice. I place the box in my night stand draw and I wait…
Then bang on 24 weeks, I take 6 tablets out of the packet- handling them with the care I assume one would handle The Duchess’ engagement ring- and methodically count them 3 more times to ensure I have exactly 6 to hand and swallow them, with water, one by one, counting as I go for a seventh time.
Finally I set an alarm for EXACTLY 12 hours later (to the minute) and do one last check by counting I still have 6 tablets remaining in the packet to take later.
When the time comes for the remaining 6 to be taken, I don’t need the alarm I had set on my phone to tell me. I have stared at the time on and off throughout the day (5 hours to go, 4 hours to go, 3 hours to go) and for at least the last 20 minutes to make sure I wouldn’t be late because, let’s face it, someone could call, my phone battery could die- even though I still have 89% battery left- hell my phone could just freeze or blow up!
There could be an impromptu, massive, devastating earthquake, the likes of which England has never/will never/is-impossible-to-ever-have seen and I still would not be a minuet late to take these tablets!
I count that I still have 6 left in the packet, pop 6 out into my hand, count them again to make sure I still have 6 tablets, swallow the remaining 6 tablets one by one (counting them down) and I’m done…
A little excessive you might think? And your probably right. There wasn’t a huge chance that the Pharmacy would fail to give me 12 tablets or that a tablet or two would magically dissolve in the pack, but these tablets could be what saves my little girls life if, for whatever reason, she decides to come early as Harry did.
These tablets are the difference between under matured lungs, almost certain neonatal death and a fairly good chance of survival. These tablets could have saved my boy if we had known to take them. If we had known I was going to go into premature labour and I had taken these tablets, he may have been here today.
The fact is, babies born prematurely whose mothers have been given a course of steroids when baby is still in utero, are TWICE as likely to survive and that’s why, to me, these steroids are priceless jewels and shall be treated as such…