This month also happens to be NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] awareness month! So double blog it is :)
As I am sure most of you know, our little girl was brought into the world at 31 weeks, 9 weeks early. My whole pregnancy was a scary, complicated ride that the further along I got, the scarier it got. I had hyperemesis Gravidarium [ Princess Kate also suffers this- so it has been all over news lately] from day one, and oh how it was awful! From my third week of pregnancy I was the OBGYN's office every other day for IV fluids & IV Phenergan, which barely touched the nausea. I lost enough weight in the beginning to make my doctor concerned.
I started having blood pressure problems around 16 weeks, and was put on bed rest for a few months at a time. It was miserable and super boring, but I had the end sight of a healthy little baby on the way. At 26 weeks when my blood pressure skyrocketed, I was admitted into the hospital [one of the many times I stayed 1+ nights there] and given med's to bring it down. This happened a few times, and my wonderful obgyn let us know that she would be ecstatic to get us to 28 weeks. In fact, the day I hit 28 weeks she called me and said We made it!! When I was 30 weeks along, I woke up so sick. I had a blinding migraine and a lot of vomiting & the amount of protein I was spilling in my urine had doubled. My sister also has a history of pre-eclampsia so Dr. Neri decided to be safe and get me into the hospital.
We got checked in, and I got to meet the maternal fetal specialist, Dr. Kenney. He specializes in babies born before 36 weeks gestation. The migraine at this point was so bad that I was maxed out a drug stronger than Morphine & Percocet combined. After a few days of this, it was decided that we couldn't keep me on all of these medications. So, at 9:59 we were told I needed a csection now, and at 10:03am our little girl was pulled out.
It was terrifying. When we were first admitted the charge nurse from the NICU came down and talked to us about some of the things that could happen when babies are born at this gestation. Nothing is scarier going into a csection knowing your baby could be born with a brain bleed, in organ failure, not breathing, etc. It was the most terrifying time of my life laying there on the OR table.
This little girl came into this world at 10:03am on January 2nd 2013
She weighed 4 pounds 4 ounces.
The days in the NICU were so long. Thankfully recovery went well for me, but that was a double edged sword. I felt guilty for recovering from a Csection so quickly and so well. I was suppose to have a baby to take care of. I was suppose to be exhausted. Instead, I had to put my trust in others to take care of my baby and to help her in ways that I never could.
The neonatologist and the NICU nurses that we were blessed to have working on our daughter were angels. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father knew exactly the kind of people we needed to work on our little Mikayla. What a blessing it truly was. There was one certain nurse that I really clicked with. She talked to me about PPD, and how it was okay to feel sad and be scared and to feel all of these things. She would always dictate and explain what the doctor was saying so we could understand what was going on.
Holding our baby for the first time at a little over one week old.
All things considering Mikayla had a fairly uneventful NICU stay. She had a hole in her chest wall that almost required surgery, but it ended up clearing itself up. Every time her machine would go off, I would wake up from a dead sleep and jump up. My incision regretted that choice, but it would worry me every time.
Our little girl still struggles with her health. She is in need of eye surgeries [already had 2] because of her prematurity. She is small, she will be 2 in January and is still under 20 pounds. The day that she was able to start [they are still big on her] wearing size 12 month clothing was such a happy day!
This is Mikayla this past August. Happy, Healthy and Fisty!