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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Too Little Too Soon

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In January of 2014 after trying for 6 months, We found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. My husbands first reaction, over the phone no less because I was too excited to wait, was, “just relax and sit down.” Little did I know, that over the course of my short pregnancy, I would be sitting a lot.

I was sick, I was so sick. People talk about morning sickness, but no one tells you it can be all day sickness. Beginning the day after my positive test, I had “morning sickness,” for 18 weeks. Smells, motion, just eating anything would trigger it, and it was awful. I was actually used to eating dinner every night, and then immediately after running for the bathroom. It became routine.

At 14 weeks we found out it was a boy, and were over the moon. At 20 weeks our excitement turned to fear when my ultrasound revealed restricted blood flow through the placenta. We were told that the baby’s measurements were off, it looked like there was a possible obstruction in his bowls, and the placenta didn’t form correctly which was causing the restricted blood flow and growth of our son. At that point they said we still had the option of terminating the pregnancy, but if we didn’t, my chances of developing preeclampsia or other complications were very high. That was just the beginning.

Over the course of the next few weeks my health steadily declined. I developed severe preeclampsia and was at my OBGYN and high risk doctor for appointments 4 out of 7 days a week. I also spent a significant amount of time being monitored in the hospital. They told me that no matter what, i wouldn’t make it past 34 weeks, and inevitably would deliver Pre-term.

Around 28 weeks, my blood pressure and Urine protein levels were sky high. All my doctors decided I wouldn’t be carrying much longer and needed steroid injections ASAP to develop our sons lungs to prepare him for premature birth. 2 Days later I was hospitalized and put on a magnesium drip to prevent seizures. 10 days after that, still on bed rest in the hospital, when my headaches wouldn’t go away, despite all the Tylenol in the world, my dr came in and said, you might want to call your husband. We are taking you for an emergency c-section in an hour. My world collapsed, and if my blood pressure wasn’t high enough already, it definitely got worse. Within 2 hours, our son, Carter Michael was born at 2 lbs 12 ozs 14.5 inches, and all I remember seeing are the two tiniest









legs in the world dangling over me before the NICU team whisked him away for assessment.

Once I was out of recovery, the nurses wheeled my bed down to the NICU to see Carter for the first time. He was so tiny, and was hooked up to so many machines. It was more than overwhelming. All i wanted to do was hold him and kiss his little face. Unfortunately I would not be able to for 2 more days. The time finally came, and it was amazing, although restricted to an hour per day. Yet the hardest part of all, was when i was discharged from the hospital and Carter couldn’t come with me. For the next 38 days I drove back and forth to the hospital that was 45 minutes from our home, twice a day, between pumping every 3 hours, sleeping 4 hours a night, recovering from child birth and caring for the rest of my family at home. Still, I took the trip, and stayed with my little man as long as i could, held him, fed him, bathed him, took his vitals, changed his diaper, read him stories, sang to him, and tried to pretend it was all normal.

He steadily gained weight and became stronger. On day 38 we were finally able to take him home, all 4 pounds of him. He is truly a miracle.

Carter is now a happy, healthy 3 year old who loves trains and Soccer.

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