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Challenge: NICU Parenting

My Neonatal Stroke Survivor

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I remember sitting in L&D alone in my bed and hearing a knock on the door. It was one of the doctors from the nursery asking to speak with me. He spoke calmly and slowly, starting with Sydney was taken to the I just stared and listened. I was in shock (I had just delivered my little girl less than 8hrs ago) but I knew whatever he had to tell me required me to gather my strength and to listen up. He explained that while she was in the nursery the nurses had noticed she had gone blue, a moment where she stopped breathing, they resuscitated and things seemed fine but then it happened again and then again. With that said she was transferred to the NICU where she was observed. He began to ask about family medical history, all I kept thinking was "is this real?" "Is she okay" "she needs me" "take me to her" and then there was the other feeling "is this conversation to brace me for the worst?" "Is there a possibility I may not be raising a little girl?" And then I had to remind myself that - get it together as I'll also have to update my husband and mom while processing the emotions of my little girl not by my side. He went on to explain that so far the testing has concluded she was having seizures which led to her desats. They were continuing to monitor her in the NICU and I was encouraged to go see her. A nurse accompanied me, wheeled me upstairs and took me to see my little fighter. It was in that moment I couldn't hold it together anymore, the tears just kept flowing. I looked upon my sedated baby who was only a few hours old, hooked up to electrodes, her head wrapped in gauze, she was unbundled just laying there in the infant incubating bed with the lamp to keep her warm. Doctors and nurses all around, the beeping sounds of all the medical equipment. All I kept thinking to myself was "what can I do" "how can I make it better" "let me take her pain"....the list goes on.

(Reliving this period is tough so I'd like to summarize it from here)

Spinal taps, EKGs, Cat-scan, name it they did it had concluded she had suffered a neonatal stroke and she had an infarct on the left side of her brain. They couldn't pin point if it started during the pregnancy or after. Phenobarbital was administered, the seizures began to regulate after a few days. I didn't want to leave her side....the moments laying in my room while still in L&D were some of the hardest as I heard the little cries of everyone else's baby as they came through their rooms just tore me to shreds and I laid there just praying for her healing. I found myself by her side because I couldn't imagine being anywhere else (even though there was another emotion I was fighting through internally that I had a less than 2yr old little boy at home who needed me too)

There's so much more I could write but again the actual point I wanted to make was, besides my faith, family and friends that gave me strength the NICU family that took care of Sydney were incredible. We are forever grateful for the amazing TLC that not only was given to our little girl but the support that was given to my family. Beyond anything I imagined possible. The doctors/nurses never gave false hope, answered every question we had, shared every possibility of what we could anticipate in the future and entertained my anxious mind whether I was sitting in the NICU or left the hospital to be with my little guy at home and had to call and check in to hear how she was doing.

Here we are, 21mths later, Sydney is a Amazing! She loves books, obsessed with shoes, has an admiration for food LOL and adores her big brother. We are beyond blessed. Thank you for letting me share this story as really we've kept it pretty private.

Thank you GBMC NICU, we are forever grateful because you guys made it possible đź’“

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