I started this blog before I got married but never had time to finish! I saw "NICU Moms" while reading other blogs and I had to participate...but I'm VERY late but I still decided to do it!
Baby's Name: Emma
Gestation Age at Birth: 40 weeks, and 2 days
Time in NICU: 50 days
Birth Stats: 9lbs, 0.8 oz, 21 inches
Reason for NICU stay: At 20 weeks we found out that Emma had a cleft lip, and possibly a cleft palate. So we knew going in there could be a few issues but we didn't expect anything too serious. When I went into the hospital I was having contractions, and I was two days over my due date. Once at the hospital the contractions calmed down but since I was over my due date they said they would keep me and eventually induce me. A few hours after I arrived they induced me, after inducing me I would have contractions but nothing consistent. When the nurses watched my stats they noticed that during each contraction Emma's heart rate dropped. So after a little bit of time we all asked how long does this have to go on (her heart rate dropping) before they paid attention and did a c-section to get her out of there because she has to be in some distress for her heart rate to drop. Eventually the doctors came in and said they were going to do a c-section eventually but we had time, they left out for about 5 minutes then returned saying we are going for an emergency and they were prepping me immediately for surgery.
Once Emma was born she didn't cry out immediately, so we soon found out along with her cleft lip/palate she was born with Pulmonary Hypertension. Basically Pulmonary Hypertension is when babies dont get all the fluid out of their lungs when they are born and this usually happens to C-Section babies. So with this going on Emma was unable to eat because they had to make sure all the fluid was out first before they could feed her because if it got into her lungs there was a possibility of something more serious happening to her. Finally a couple of days later they let her feed, then they realized that during her feedings she would fall asleep from exhaustion. She was exhausted from trying so hard, having a cleft lip she was working EXTRA hard at eating. So this actually went on for WEEKS...we were in the NICU for a total of 50 days. The last week of her being in the NICU, they decided to put a g-tube in her stomach to help with feedings so she could go home.
So before leaving the hospital Emma had to have surgery! The g-tube is a stomach tube that is used to help her feed. When feeding Emma we would let her feed for 30 minutes, all that she doesn't take in 30 minutes gets fed through a stomach tube. I would like to say, even though the tube popped out yesterday (Yes, June 6...we were in emergency to get her tube placed back in her stomach) we havent had to use the tube in at least 2 months. Emma is feeding fine now...THANK YOU JESUS! And she is hungrier than EVER! LOL!
Coping: Coping with being in the NICU was the hardest thing. I never had the bonding time that normal moms have after having a baby. I didnt even get a chance to rest because I was always on the go. I had a c-section so they kept me in the hospital for 4 days. They let me board afterwards so I would be there with Emma, but I was on a totally different floor. And it was like a dormitory that I was staying in, it didnt have a television and there was a community bathroom...so needless to say that didn't last very long. I ended up going home every night. And we were back every morning, and when Darrick went to work, I would stay there until someone picked me up and took me home. Some days I cried my eyes out because I felt hopeless, this entire situation was out of my control! I had to for permission to do everything with MY child! Finally it got the point where I would come in and take over, and they (the nurses KNEW) to only bother me if they needed my permission. We would give Emma her baths, we would dress her up as if she was leaving the hospital. I had one nurse that I probably couldnt have made it through this process without. Her name was Nancy, and I know Nancy was sent to me by God! She was the only nurse that when she was on duty I would leave the hospital and get some rest! We still keep in touch to this day!!!
Also family played a tremendous part in coping with being in the NICU! They were there daily, and they kept Darrick and I laughing and our minds off being in the hospital. They would play with Emma...Emma was the only baby in the entire Unit that had both sides of her family there on a daily basis! My mom came so much they stopped buzzing her in they would just let her walk in...LOL!
Pictures from the NICU...
Day after I had her...
Emma in the oxygen hood...treatment for her pulmonary hypertension
Managed to get a good shot...she was only a few days old
After I was discharged...she was only a few days old
The next few are random pictures from in the NICU...
Yes, we put a Tutu on her in the Hospital...LOL!
Emma in Overalls with Daddy!
My first headband!
The next 3 pictures are from her being prepped for surgery for her G-Tube...
They had given her some medicine at this point and she was kind of out of it!
Finally we are at home...
These last two are the most recent pictures of her...
Looking at these pictures...all I can say is THANK YOU JESUS! Emma has come a long way and we (I can speak for Darrick and I are so GRATEFUL)!!!! Even though we aren't done with surgeries and stuff (Lip Repair Surgery and Palate surgery) I can still say Thank You Jesus for bringing us this far!
God is Awesome!