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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Being a NICU Parent is Hard no Matter What

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So our NICU journey starts back in September 2016 when I found out I was pregnant with our 4th baby! We were so excited to possibly be bringing either another boy into our already house full of boys or finally a little princess! Well within a few weeks before we had even announced that we were expecting, on Oct 6th 2016 we found ourselves in our local ER praying our baby was going to be ok I had started bleeding and the thought that we were loosing our sweet baby was the only thing we could think about! Well the doc gave us no answers except saying it may not be a viable pregnancy and follow up with our OB in a week. Well of course we did and we found out that our now sweet boy was fine but that we had lost his twin...yes I said twin at 35yrs old and mother too 3 boys already I was pregnant with twins but like I mentioned we had lost one and he/she was what they call a vanishing twin, he/she passed very early on in my pregnancy and my body absorbed him/her. Well fast forward 7mo to May 4th 2017 5wks before my due date it was a very nasty day in Tallahassee, FL tornado warnings and everything my husband and mother swore I was in labor but I refused to belief it i still had 5wks to go so since I had my regular OB appointment that day at 10am I decided to just wait till then since I felt I was fine. Well 10am came and my mom drove me and dropped me off since our 2yr old fell asleep in the car! Well my doc checked me and immidiatly sent me over to the hospital to try and stop my labor b/c I was indeed in early preterm labor. I spent almost 12 hours in L&D trying to stop our son from coming early with no luck so at 11:04pm on May the 4th 2017 our little Stars Wars baby Anakin Ryder was born at 6lbs 1oz & 17.25in but was immidiatly taken to the NICU for O2. Nothing can prepare you to be coming a NICU parent nothing. That night after I don't think I slept at all, all I wanted to do was go see him hold him, love on him! I felt like he thought I didn't love him like I had abandoned him. The next day when I was finally allowed to get out of bed and go see him I couldn't because his NICU roommate was having procedures done and I couldn't be in there at that time. I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest I seriously thought I couldn't breath and I was going to die. I am pretty sure I yelled at our case worker and my husband a lot. But then finally they made it where I could go see my miracle! He was so tiny and perfect. From that day on we kept getting told he was doing great and he could possibly go home with me when I get discharged on Sunday May 7th well that was not the case they wanted him to stay one more day/night to see how his feedings go so we got lucky and they had nesting room available for us to stay in so we stayed at the hospital with the hopes we would bring our little Anakin Ryder home Monday morning but when Monday came we were told that his jaundice levels were way to high and he now would need at least a day of photolight therapy. Then Tuesday came and again we thought maybe today was the day but no because now the doctor had a new concern our son had lost too much weight he only weighed 5lbs 4oz so another day in the NICU trying to get him to put on weight well Tuesday came and went and now it was Wednesday and he was 6days old, still in the NICU, and he had lost another oz so now they wanted to fortify my breastmilk to get him to put on weight and if he does come Thursday morning then they will finally let him come home. Well since we had hope our little guy was coming home on Thursday we decided not to stay at the hospital that night and instead went home to spend time with his 3 big brothers and my mom. Well when I stepped inside our house thats when it finally hit me we were home but our baby wasn't, we were eating as a family but without a member of our family, we were doing bedtime routines but we were missing someone! I know he was in amazing hand with his NICU nurses and only a few miles down the road from us but it had finally became real that our baby was a NICU baby! At that point I lost it I started to yell at everyone and was ugly crying on the floor! I swore again I was going to die without my baby my husband begged me not to drive back that night to the hospital and to try and get a good night sleep in our bed so after a lot of screaming and crying I finally agreed to stay home. Finally Thursday morning came and my husband's step mom drove me to the NICU so I could feed him and find out if today would be the day. I waited for what seemed like hours for the nurses to do their rounds and weigh him but finally his nurse came in and joyfully said he put on 2oz! I finally for the first time since the night he was born cried tears of joy. Now I just had to wait for the doc to come in to do his assessment and give the ok to discharge him. Well at 1pm on May 11 at 7days old our son Anakin Ryder became a NICU Grad! Now the days and months to follow were not easy he did struggle at first with his weight and for the first 3mo he had colic! But now at 6mo 5mo adjusted he is such a happy baby and a little butterball! We are noticing a few delays but his doc is not to concerned right not since for his adjusted age he seems to be right on so we will wait and see if he catches up on his own. Our NICU journey may have only been a week but it felt like a life time which just goes to show that no matter how short or long your NICU journey is it is hard no matter, what especially if it's your first time in the NICU.


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