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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Not Like We Had Planned...

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It has been almost seven years since I began that CaringBridge site at the suggestion of friends and nurses that were encouraging us to update others efficiently and honestly on the unstable life of our baby.

I was 25 weeks pregnant, only in my second trimester and due in May.
Without a name, without a nursery, without a clue our lives would be forever changed.

Nash was 14 months old.
We had just returned from a vacation.

We had four months to go before Nash would be a brother.
There were no signs.

I woke up in the middle of the night and for some reason turned on the light.
It was 2am. I was in a poole of blood. Our bed was covered.
I woke up Michael and he moved at a pace I have never seen.

I called the doctor.
Michael called my Mom.
Then we called the ambulance.

I remember staring at the ceiling going down the stairs of our home, then seeing the lights from the ambulance glowing off the house as the paramedics climbed in and closed the doors.

Michael waited in the driveway for my Mom to arrive to stay with Nash.

I remember the most tender woman talking to me about her horse, as she began to administer meds in the back of the ambulance. The sirens blared and it seemed like a dream.

I was so cold, my teeth were chattering. Was that shock or just January?

I listened to the paramedic's every word. For some reason the story of her horse was so hypnotizing and calming at the same time.

Was there even a horse? It didn't matter, she had done this before.

My husband beat the ambulance. We laugh about that now. I remember being wheeled to the Maternity floor and he was standing just beyond the handoff from the ambulance to the nurses that were notified I would be arriving.

The pajamas my husband gave me for Christmas just one month ago, were cut off and discarded. Michael held my hand.

The sight was gruesome.

There was no mention of our baby.
Looking back, I think we were too paralyzed to ask.

The doctors and nurses furiously raced around us, preparing us for surgery.

The rest is a blur.

They stopped our baby from coming that night and for a few other tumultuous days that followed.

Below is an email to a handful of friends and family. It would also be the first of hundreds of entries to our caring bridge site, asking friends and family to pray for our unborn child.

January 28th, 2011

I wanted to give you an update on our sweet baby and ask for your prayers.

We were admitted to the hospital last Monday (1/25) with extreme bleeding. After a trip in the ambulance and a lot of chaos and prayers, baby and I were stabilized and moved from the labor and delivery hall to a 'Special Care Maternity unit'. We have been monitored all week with hopes that the bleeding would subside. (Nash was even able to visit a few times - clearly the highlight).

We took a turn for the worse Saturday night. Without going into too much detail, they had us prepped us for delivery. They gave steroids to the baby to help the lungs develop and magnesium to reduce risks for cerebral palsy And help with contractions. The goal is to get me through 24 more hours (which we made tonight!) so the baby can have the second shot of steroids - and any day after.

They've moved us over to more critical room again - no getting out of bed, no visitors, etc. Drs say baby looks good And is strong. i'm just losing blood, which they hope will stop.

Drs say I'm not leaving without a baby - we just pray every day that we make It just one more day. Today, we are 26 weeks. I am not due until May. The dr guesses sweet baby richter is around 2lbs. He/she no doubt is a fighter.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we wait to meet our new little one.

And so it began...


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