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Challenge: NICU Parenting

100 days too soon

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When my daughter was born, I didn’t get to hear how much she weighed or how long she was. I wasn’t given her footprints in ink to remember how tiny she was. I was told her lungs were severely underdeveloped. Her sister’s death in the womb put her at risk for infection and many other complications. I was afraid to share her with anyone. I couldn’t risk exposing her to anything she would not be able to overcome. I kept asking God to let me watch her grow up. I prayed and asked others to pray that God would give her the strength to breathe, God’s strength. I desperately prayed that God would heal her, because, no one else could. I learned all about what NICU alarms could be tuned out while others sent my heart racing. Later, I was told that she was born 1lb 14oz and 13.25 inches long, 100 days before her due date. At 4 weeks she had her first heart surgery, a PDA ligation, while I was in a different hospital for my own surgery. By 41 days she was taken off the ventilator and given a C-Pap mask. At 55 days Carly was diagnosed with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). By seven weeks she was taken off of the C-pap mask and given a heated cannula for oxygen. After 76 days she was strong enough to be moved to a step-down NICU. After 97 days she was able to breathe without any supports and I was able to see her sweet face. 7 days later, I took her home.

Today and every day I thank God for letting me be her mother. She is a beautiful, happy 5 year old girl and I am so lucky to be her mom.

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