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Challenge: NICU Parenting

The NICU days

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On November 6, 2015 my water broke. I was 27 weeks pregnant with my twin boys. I went into labor and delivery and they confirmed that it was my water and I was in labor. They hooked me up to magnesium to try and stop the labor and gave me a shot to help the boys' lungs. On November 7, 2015, Abel and Aden were born. I had an emergency cesarean. Right before the put me out I can remember the nurse telling me not to be scared and they had two teams from the NICU ready to get the babies. I woke up in recovery and was terrified. I didn't feel pregnant anymore. I asked about the boys but they didn't know anything. I stayed there by myself until they finally took me back into my room. My family was finally able to come and see me. My husband told me all about the boys and they showed me pictures on their phones they were able to take as they were wheeled to NICU. Abel was born at 8:45 and was 1 pound 14.5 oz. Aden was born at 8:48 and was 1 pound 15 oz. I put a smile on my face and immediately was hooked up to a breast pump. I was told Aden had a collapsed lung at birth but he was okay. I was envious that everyone was able to go see my babies but i had to stay in my room. I had a fear that they would die and I would had never seen them in person or tell them I love them. Finally at 4 am the next morning i was wheeled up to the NICU. I had never even heard of a NICU and no one could have prepared me for it. At the hospital we were at they have what is called a Wall of Hope. Any child that was in the NICU there comes back and puts their foot print on the wall. I was overwhelmed by all the prints. The nurse opened the NICU doors and told me how I needed to scrub in. My husband was already a pro. I could hear little alarms going off and a sick feeling came over me. I was wheeled back to where my babies were. They were on opposite sides of the room from each other. They were so small but I was so in love with these beautiful little guys,

After a few days one of many things happened. They discharged me from the hospital. My husband and Mother in Law promised me that they would get me to the hospital every day to be with my babies. One of the hardest things in the world is walking into a hospital pregnant and leaving empty handed. I continued to pump every 2-3 hours a day. I would go and see my little guys every day. I learned so much about how each piece of equipment worked. Day by day my boys would gain a gram and we would cheer,

After a few weeks my boys came off of the ventilator and went to Cpap machines. This was good news because it meant they were learning to breathe on their own. They were able to move from the critical NICU to what we called the Big Boy NICU. My boys were fighters and they were also keeping their nurses on their toes. They would constantly pull out their feeding tubes and oxygen of of their noses. they would try rolling over and were little stinkers.

One day as my husband and I were about to leave the house to go see the boys we got a phone call. The nurse told us to pack a bag and that we were going to be given a room to room in with our boys, I threw everything into a bag and was so excited to be staying all night with them. I was able to help change all the diapers and take their temps. That night flew by and I was sad that it was over. I asked the nurse when we needed to leave and she informed me that the room was ours until they were discharged.

We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in the NICU. The goal was getting the boys home by their due date. That happened to be February. We were told on New Years day that they were about ready to come home. we got our hopes up and a few days later we had to do the car seat challenge. This is where you put the baby in the car seat and their stats cannot drop for as long as the car ride home. For us it was about an hour. That hour was the longest hour of my life. I cheered them on as i sat in the floor with them. They passed and I was told they would be switched to a crib and if they could keep their temps up for 24 hours then we could take them home. A few hours before the 24 hour mark neither one was warm enough. they had to be put back in the isolets and we would try again in a few days. I'll admit that i was upset. I had gotten my hopes up even though i knew i shouldn't. After a few days they tried it again. I didn't get my hopes up but they passed with flying colors. I was going to be taking my babies home at the same time.

We were in the NICU for 63 days. What seemed like such a long time is now just a memory. Without their help along with the nurses that are now more like family, I would probably not have my boys, They just turned two. We took them on their birthday to take a picture with their footprint on the wall of hope. My thoughts and prayers are always with the parents and babies of the NICU. It's something I would never wish on my worst enemy.





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