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Challenge: NICU Parenting

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My name is Randi and I'm a first-time Mom to my new preemie baby girl, Waverly Jo. My husband and I were of course ecstatic over the birth of our new baby even if she did come 3 months early and gave everyone quite a scare! Waverly was born on September 6th of this year weighing in at 1 pound and 3 oz after I spent close to 6 weeks in the hospital on bed rest due to complications. I had always had a vision of what pregnancy would be like and it turned out nothing like that vision. Although it started out very smoothly - I had zero morning sickness and was in nothing but great health mentally and physically the first trimester, I discovered at 20 weeks that I had an incompetent cervix and also placenta previa. From there on, it was a roller coaster ride of serious bleeds and two hospital stays with a final admission in late July where they told me I was not going home. I don't think I would have gotten through that part of my pregnancy without the support of my amazing husband and my own strong mother. While you know you're doing the best thing for you and your baby, being on bed rest is absolutely tedious and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. At the end of my pregnancy my doctors and nurses had me on a constant fetal monitor where I laid flat on my back for 4 days straight. At the end of those 4 days the doctors decided to take Waverly. She was 27 weeks and 3 days gestation. I've never been more terrified of anything in my entire life. She was born breathing on her own and went directly on CPAP. She did have to be intubated at 2 weeks old and a week later self extubated and went back to CPAP. Just this past week she's finally come off the CPAP mask and is on a nasal cannula with high-flow oxygen. As I type my story I'm sitting here holding my baby girl after getting to bottle feed her for the first time. We've toyed with non-nutritive breastfeeding and I can only hope that we'll get to share that bond very soon. We have a long road ahead of us but I am convinced without the prayers and constant love and support we would not be where we are today with 3 lb 9 oz preemie and on the way to a discharge date. Here's to all the tiniest of fighters and the amazing parents and grandparents and medical teams that see them through each and every day!






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