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Challenge: NICU Parenting

All About Preemie Siblings

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Not being able to bring your baby home from the hospital is one of the worst feelings of heartbreak we have felt. It left our daughter with questions we didn't have answers to. So she discovered her own answers and wrote a book to help other siblings. Our journey began in 2010 when I went into the doctor for a regular check up. I had no idea that what would happen next would be life changing. I was working full-time and working on my doctorate and suddenly all of that came to a halt. I was told I needed to walk across the parking lot and check myself into the hospital. I was alone and terrified. Luckily my husband came and my parents were in town. We were going to need support as we listened to what was going to happen next. I was immediately put on bed rest. All I could think about was my daughter and if our son would be ok. We had so many questions and again no answers. Throughout the week several tests were run to monitor our baby. Suddenly the mood changed and we were told our son wasn't thriving. He had stopped gaining weight. My heart sank. What did this mean? We were told I would need to have him soon. That night seems like a blur now. I had an emergency crash c-section. My hospital bed was ripped from the wall. The doctor was changing into scrubs as they were rushing me to the operating room. Everything happened so fast. I felt a bit of relief when I heard my son cry. On 3-2-10 he made a crash landing 7 weeks early weighing 2lbs 13 oz. From here, he would reside in the NICU for 21 days. He was in an incubator and we could only hold him during certain times. Long days and sleepless nights were filled with the buzzing of machines, tears and hope that he would just come home. It is difficult to understand this journey unless you have been through it. You experience every single raw emotion very quickly and intensely. We owe gratitude to family, friends, and hospital staff especially those in the NICU. Furthermore, without the research from March of Dimes our experience may not have had a positive outcome. He is now seven years old, loves sports, and is full of energy. We will be forever grateful.

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