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Violet

Adele Oliveira | Longreads | January 28, 2016 | 5,727 words

Violet was born at 25 weeks and five days—more than three months ahead of her due date. This is a story about becoming parents in the face of uncertainty.

Posted inFeatured, Nonfiction, Story

Violet

Violet was born at 25 weeks and five days—more than three months ahead of her due date. This is a story about becoming parents in the face of uncertainty.
Illustration by: Kjell Reigstad

Adele Oliveira | Longreads | January 2016 | 23 minutes (5,727 words)

I don’t believe in fate, or that life events, both everyday and profound, unfold the way that they’re supposed to. Yet the first six months of my first pregnancy were at once mundane and ordained. I got pregnant quickly. Morning sickness and a sore back arrived right on schedule. Growing up, my mom acquainted me with the details (like gaining 60 pounds) of her two healthy pregnancies and the unmedicated, uncomplicated births that resulted in me and my sister. I’d wanted to be a mother since I was a toddler pretending to breastfeed my dolls, and so I outlined the birth of a healthy child in an indelible mental framework, so unconscious and routine that it felt like destiny.

My pregnancy ended abruptly when our daughter Violet was born two years ago in late September, at 25 weeks gestation, about three months ahead of schedule. The day of Violet’s birth feels like a bad dream, partly because I was on a variety of strong drugs. I remember almost all of it with nauseating specificity, but it still doesn’t seem quite real; like it happened to somebody else. 

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