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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Reagan the "Grower"

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Pre-eclampsia. A "disease" no one told me about and no one talks about. It only affects pregnant women, and there is little know ok how to prevent it.

I was one of those women who got a fast education on what it is and what needed to be done almost 7 years ago. After 24 hours of observation I was told my baby needed to be delivered and he needed to be delivered immediately. I was 32 weeks pregnant and scared. My husband and I trusted my dr when he said it was a life and death situation for me and my baby. We trust God was in control and before I knew it I was on the operating table getting a very early unplanned c-section.

Reagan was born feisty and crying - a great sign! He was 2 pounds 9 ounces. We laugh now that his skin didn't even fit him. Due to my condition he was a month behind in weight even at 32 weeks.

Reagan was called a "grower" while he didn't have any major issues he needed to gain weight. I began pumping and they began feeding through a tube. I didn't actually see him until a day after they delivered him. I remember finally holding him and thinking he was so tiny and it felt like he was lost in the blanket.

He spent 40 days in the NICU. He never had any set backs, he just needed to grow!

He had tests of all kind, eye exams - which he screamed through - blood work, jaundice treatments, heart tests and more.

I remember the first time I was able to actually give him a bottle. There were huge celebrations that day!!

The hardest part was leaving him at the NICU every day. Not being able to take your baby home is torture. If it weren't for the amazing NICU Nurses I wouldn't have been able to do it! They are angels! They would hold him when I wasn't there, and talk to him. One nurse even wrote me notes "from Reagan". They are heros, truly amazing on every way!

Reagan was released and sent home and he hasn't stopped growing and moving ever since!

His little brother, Linkin, was born two years later, he was early and spent time in the NICU too, but he was only a month early and only spent a week in the hospital and it was like a reunion of friends with the nurses and our family! One nurse even took Link off his lines one day so Reagan could meet him at the door of the NICU! It was a special moment and picture we treasure!

Reagan is almost 7 now and Link is 4. Both boys are miracles and while I never WANTED a NICU baby, I am thankful for our babies time in there - they received the BEST care and were truly loved while in there!

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