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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Wayde James

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I was 35 weeks along with my second child. My second little boy! I was out celebrating my 27th birthday with his father. We had a good dinner and came home to have cake. After taking a few bites i felt my water break. I carried over with my first son and ended up being induced so i had no idea what was happening. I started timing my contractions and they were five minutes apart. After about two hours we headed to the hospital as naive me didn’t believe i was in labor still even though the contractions were so brutal they would bring me down to my knees. It was too early though this couldn’t be it! After we arrived to the hospital there was no stopping my labor and within two hours my son was laying on the table. They never even showed me my son before the padatricians whisked him away. For four hours I never even seen my baby and since i had an emergency C-section they wouldn’t let me see my baby until i could walk down to the nursery. After 4 hours every nurse and doctor that entered my room I was demanding to take me to my baby. They eventually got tired of me and wheeled me down there. He was beautiful so tiny but perfect in every way. Tears immediately started running when i seen all the wires and tubes hooked up to my baby. I couldn’t even hold him I could only hold his hand. After they returned me to my room the doctor came in and told me my son needed more help than they were able to give so they were transporting him to the local children’s hospital. They wheeled him in and once again l couldn’t even hold my baby i was only able to hold his hand to tell him goodbye. After my baby was taken i immediately called my doctor in and told her i wanted discharged right away. Considering i had just had an emergency surgery she made a deal with me to only stay that night and i could leave in the morning. Worst night of my life. Knowing my baby was in a completely different hospital alone was heartbreaking. The next morning his father and i rushed up to the children’s hospital to be with our son. He was stabilized so after almost 2 days i was finally able to hold my son! When they laid him on my chest his heart rate was racing and it immediately calmed down and his oxygen rate elevated. It was like he knew i was his mama and he let out a little sigh of relief like, “aw, there you are.” From there forward i spent every day at the children’s hospital until he was discharged. Watching my son going through all the needle pricks and tests run on him by the doctors making sure there was no other problems was heartbreaking as a mother. Something no newborn or mother should experience. We had 3 older children at home and they didn’t really understand why Mom and dad was always at the hospital. Thank god for family. They helped us tremendously during the whole experience. My baby only spent a few weeks in the NICU but those few weeks felt like an eternity with endless tears. We finally made it home and he’s a thriving healthy one year old today!

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