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Challenge: NICU Parenting

The Day My Life Became Meaningful

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May 7th of 2016 is like a terrifying movie that will forever play in my head. I went to sleep the night before feeling normal just like any other day, not knowing my life was about to change drastically. I woke up on May 7th around 3am with some slight stomach pains. Brushing it off to what I thought was just an upset tummy, I went back to sleep. Three hours later I woke up again. Knowing something was not right, I woke up my husband. This time my stomach pain had increased severely and I could no longer see clearly out of both of my eyes. I instantly knew something was wrong so I grabbed my blood pressure machine to check my blood pressure. I had previously been seen the Tuesday before for high BP, but was released and told to take it easy. Once my husband saw the reading on the machine we immediately called my doctor and followed the instructions of getting me to the hospital ASAP. I was diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia/HELP Syndrome that morning. I delivered my daughter at 26 weeks and 2 days gestation. Within less than a 12 hour period I had lost vision in both eyes, had an extremely high blood pressure that continued to climb, and was suffering from severe abdominal pains. I had later learned my placenta was detaching along with my kidneys starting to fail. After driving to St. Francis Hospital and the doctors determining I was highly Pre-Eclamptic along with being diagnosed with HELP Syndrome and could not deliver there due to their NICU not being prepared for a child at 26 weeks, I was rushed by EMS to Greenville Memorial Hospital in hopes of making it to 28 weeks. But God and Bella had different plans. Once arriving at GHS, my room became flooded with doctors, nurses, and family. I was immediately hooked up to machines and being prepared for an emergency cesarean section. I knew something was wrong, but wasn't sure what and why I was experiencing all of these problems. Right before I was wheeled away, my Grandfather-in-law prayed over Bella and I along with more of our family members. I remember wondering if I was going to die, or if Bella would die. I felt like I was watching a movie with a bad ending. I said my "I love you's" and headed back to the operating room. With a failed spinal tap, I was informed I would be put to sleep and my husband could no longer join me in the birth of our child. I fell to sleep crying and unsure what the outcome would be. Once I woke up in recovery, I was crying and I remember asking my husband if she was okay. My whole entire world was born that day, weighing in at 1lb 14oz and was 13.5" long. The doctor told my family that she was out within 2 minutes and we both were okay. They made no promises on my daughters life but said she was as good as expected. I didn't see her until the following day, Mother's Day, where I held her flesh to flesh for the very first time. Greenville Memorial Hospital NICU was her home for 86 days until she was discharged on August 1st, 10 days before her due date! Having no surgeries, no infections, only two blood transfusions, and coming home a little over 6lbs, this child is truly a God given miracle. She is our miracle. Knowing myself and my daughter would have lost our lives had we waited any longer to go to the hospital, has me thanking Heaven above every single day! She is 18 months old now with almost 12 teeth. She can eat more food than me and has the sassiest personality! She is walking, talking, and learning new things every single day. This Heaven sent child is perfect, beautiful, and pure, and we are so extremely blessed!


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