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Challenge: NICU Parenting

The birth of my 1 lb warrior

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April 30th 2014. Three years ago, I was a mess. Everything was HORRIBLE, 8:30 am- I was sitting in Sarah Bush's L&D triage room. Blood everywhere, family all out in the hall. we had just found out the news, I was dilated 5 CM, hemorrhaging like crazy, and having light contractions. 2 hours before this there was no pain, NOTHING its like this just came SO fast!... Ultrasound tech came in, did a quick ultrasound, baby is OKAY, thank god!! She is laying transverse, we will have to take her by c-section. Dr. Benson came in "The plan was to fly you by heli to carle in urbana but they wont fly with the clouds this heavy, we will have to wait until the NICU team arrives by ambulance" ... so we wait, and wait, and wait, what seems like an eternity. Finally, they are rolling me back to the OR. 11:02 am - We are all dressed up in blue, Matt kisses me goodbye, they will have to wait till they get the anesthetics in before he is allowed back. They stick the needle in my back, NUMB everything is numb, even my emotions. I have to force back tears. They can't do this, not here, not now. 24 weeks is too soon, will my baby be okay?? It's too late for me to run, they have me strapped down. Matt walks in, I'm relived hes able to come in. He looks terrified, We just look at each other. Dr. Benson starts cutting, I ask matt if he can see, he said no. I feel tugging and pulling, I get nauseated. I throw up, all over my face and hair. I'm humiliated... They put a cup by me to use, It feels like theres more but it wont come up, I try to sit to force it up... the nurse pulls me back down, she suctions my mouth out and asks if I feel better. They give matt a wash cloth to wash my face. 11:30 am "we have a baby girl" That's all I hear, everyone else is silent. I am panicking, my heart beats faster, I can't hear anything, I feel like my earth is shattering, my lungs feel non existent. I yell "I CANT BREATH" The nurse calms me down and reassures me it's just the medication. Matt's looking in the corner, All I can see is nurses and doctors. I can't see my baby, I can't hear my baby... is she okay? 11:40 am - I hear a MOUSE cry, the tiniest cry you will ever hear. Just one LITTLE cry. I am relieved, I ask matt if he can see anything, he says no, here I go again holding back tears. 11:45 am - they tell me to peak at her while they roll her out, I try but can't see anything. 11:50 am - I'm in recovery, theres a nurse in my room, I really want her to leave, I can't do this, I want to be alone, I want to crawl up in a ball and cry. 12:30 pm - They bring her into my room for one last peak before they leave for Carle. I still couldn't see. No matter how hard I tried to sit up, my body just couldn't do it. I was too weak. That was it. They took off with her. My baby. My sweet little baby.

This all happened so fast. It was 2 days until I actually got to see my child. I didn't care about the pain I was in, I didn't care about how much I needed to rest, I wanted to see my baby, I HAD to know she was okay. When I first laid eyes on her on May 2nd, 2014 I held onto my mother and CRIED. I couldn't imagine a baby actually living that SMALL. I didn't touch her until May 4th, 2014. I was so afraid I'd break her, she was skin and bones. SO fragile. May 9th - I finally got to hold my baby girl. 9 LONG days!!!


This is the beginning of my motherhood. I spent many days going back and forth to urbana to see her, and the days that I was at home I felt empty. I felt guilty, like it was my fault, what did I do wrong that made her come early? I felt angry, angry at the doctors for not paying attention. For not catching this sooner! I felt happy, Happy she was still fighting. Sad, sad because I didn't know the future. Upset, upset to see other pregnant women make it past 24 weeks, if THEY could do it, why couldn't I? My body failed to do its SOUL propose in life. and most of all I felt nervous, nervous to hear good news, nervous to hear bad news. living life always on edge...


Now I look back and I can see, this past 3 years has been such a horrible but yet so AMAZING journey. Would I do this again? yes!!! Do I want to do this again?? NO!! My baby girl is SO perfect in each and every way, and the NICU taught me to be the best mom I could ever be. I want to thank all the NICU nurses and doctors who saved my daughters life and helped her grow. The day I became a mom was very stressful, but a blessing in disguise. Thank you Olivia for showing me the MICRO side of life. You are amazing and I can't wait to learn and grow with you. Love your mommy <3


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