How many kids to do you have? I have one living, Shiloh
How many kids do you have with a NICU journey? Just Shiloh
How long was the stay within in the NICU? 94 Days, from May 8, 2012 to Aug 9, 2012
Where did you draw strength from while in the NICU? I knew that I had to just make goals (not necessarily, Shiloh’s goals like eating, breathing, etc.) like, I will get through today without being negative or I will think of 5 things that are better than they were yesterday.
Was it a song, a Scripture, a quote? Can you share it with us? Three little Birds by Bob Marley was my mantra, and the song I would sing to Shiloh daily as I held her, “Don’t worry about a thing, cuz everything little thing will be alright”
Who within your personal network provided support while you were in the NICU? Parents, Partner, Friends, NICU staff? My family tried to help, but they were at a lost, so many times I had to find the strength within myself. Luckily, my Gramma called me daily and would help keep my spirits up.
In what way did you feel like you were supported by them? Lots of laughs, and encouraging words
Who within your internet network provided support while you were in the NICU? was there a Facebook, twitter, google plus community or communities? Online forum in what way did you feel like you were supported by them? I really didn’t spend much time talking online during those 3 months, I would get on long enough to post updates but I was too consumed with Shiloh.
What are some of your favorite tools, resources or gadgets that made your NICU journey easier? Journaling was the best for me, I knew I could write anything and everything without judgement and then later go back and read it and know that I got through another day.
Can you share with us a good NICU day for your child (a triumph)? What was the day were you need support and strength? The best day was obviously the day they said, “You can take your daughter home”, but we had lots of good days, because to me any day that she continued to fight for her place on this planet was a good day.
The worst day was the day we almost lost her. On Thursday, June 21st, I walked into the ICN to a very noisy room, and the sound of every alarm on Shiloh’s monitors going off, but before I completely freaked, I decided to check on her to hoping that is was just a machine malfunction. As I walked to her crib I notice my baby girl was ashen blue and was not breathing at all. Of course I immediately began to freak out. I tried to stimulate her in hopes that she would take a breath, fearing that my little girl was already gone, and yelled out to the nurse that my baby was blue. The nurse came running, tried to suction out her mouth, and then said the words I was hoping I wouldn’t have to hear, “Get her team in here, we have a code blue”.
I ran to the hall and watched as a team of 7 people rushed to my baby’s bed. I then leaned against the wall, praying like I had never done in my life, just saying over and over, “God, please do not take my baby girl, I will do anything just don’t take her”. About 30 seconds later I heard the most beautiful sound in the world, my little baby, crying. The charge nurse came out, and told me I could go in and hold her, but she had aspirated on some formula, and would probably need some breathing support.
As I held my little Monkey, I felt a love that I have never felt before (don’t get me wrong, I have loved her so incredibly since the second I found out I was pregnant, but after feeling like I was going to lose her, my love only grew stronger). To feel her tiny breath against my cheek, to hear her baby cries, I felt like I was given a second chance, and I guess in a way I was.
Then the questions set in. How long had the alarms been going off? Even though it was a little noisy, why had neither one of the nurses heard her alarms? And the worse question, what would have happened if I hadn’t walked in when I did?
After x-rays, we found she had collapsed her left lung and would most likely have pneumonia. She was put on a ventilator and was given morphine for the pain. It was then in it all hit me again. My 6 week old baby girl, who had been healthy since the day she was born at just a little over two pounds, now had a collapsed lung and pneumonia, because of a careless mistake.
I sat there, crying again, feeling helpless. Wanting nothing more than to wrap her in my arms and hold her, knowing that I couldn’t because she was on so many tubes, and had multiple IVs. I just sat there staring at her swollen body, hoping she wasn’t in too much pain.
It was then that Graham and I had a chance to actually sit down and talk to her doctor. He told us that she would be getting antibiotics to help minimize her pneumonia, and that, because she probably only went without breathing for 3-4 minutes, and that she still had a heartbeat, she most likely would not have any brain damage. But because of the degree of aspiration she might have lung damage. And then the only thing I didn’t really want to hear, had I not walked in when I did, she would have probably died. That as helpless as I felt at that moment, I had actually saved my baby’s life.
If you could share one tidbit with other NICU parents what would it be?! DON’T GIVE UP!
Is there anything else you would like to share? I am free to answer any questions, or talk about my experiences