Why I love the NICU 

Hey Loves!

So after the birth of my baby we were scheduled to be discharged the next day until…

After birth my son and I both had complications. I lost a great amount blood leading me to get a transfusion and I was on ‘walk watch’ (meaning I couldn’t get out of bed unassisted) for a while.  I was pretty out of it now that I look back on things. I couldn’t nurse as often as I wanted or needed to. Typing this, I still have some guilt.

My son had low blood sugar issues, we just couldn’t keep it up and, thus, had to be admitted to the NICU. They thought he would need IV fluids (he never did, thank God). That was probably the most pain I ever felt. Before the nurse took him down, I prayed over him, told him how much I love him, to be strong, and never stop fighting.

You see, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, God put it on my heart to pray for NICU moms and NICU babies. He knew I could never fathom knowing that would be us. Every day I prayed for those sweet mamas to have faith and trust God and I prayed for those precious babies to keep fighting and never give up. Every day for 19 weeks and 5 days.

Fast forward and it’s up to me to have faith and trust God and up to my baby boy to be strong and fight.

Yes, it was very scary- down right terrifying but it did so many great things for our family.

We were fortunate enough to be placed in a nesting room and could be with him, with a bit more privacy, every second of every day. We focused on nothing but us. There wasn’t any mail to check. No beds to make. No dishes to wash. Just us being together, learning all about him, learning about us as a family, focusing on our baby’s needs.

I love the NICU and our time there because:

1. It granted me membership to a group of women who will always understand the pain, the fear, the anxiety and the joy of our experience there. I am a NICU mom.

2. It made me realize and eternally appreciate the people in my corner. The people who support me. They people who love me, and now, my son.

3. It brought out my mama bear. I am not a timid person, but with all that was happening, it was just easy and made sense to follow instructions and do what we were told, how we were told. That is until, I felt it wasn’t working. Things needed to be done differently, starting with me. I used my voice and didn’t settle.

4. It made me an advocate. I still pray for NICU moms and babies but I now act. I support events that benefit our NICU. I donate to March of Dimes. I tell my story to empower others.

5. It made me realize schedules and sleep training and whatever else I knew we would do aren’t important. I’m here to love and nurture my kid. That’s it.

There is no way I could thank the NICU staff for their care and concern of our family. Those nurses are the best. There’s no way I could thank my husband for keeping his smile, being positive, and leading me back to God’s plan when I didn’t. I guess that’s the most important reason I’ll always love the NICU, I fell more in love with husband and love my son more than I could ever imagine.

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My Birth Story

*Note* We had a very intimate labor and delivery. No family, no friends. No one’s opinion’s or thoughts. No interruptions. We didn’t even tell people I was in labor. The nurse only came when she had to or when I called (keep reading) That is what was best for us, to focus on just us.  The following was completed without any pain medication or interventions. 

8 weeks ago, we welcomed our precious baby boy.

On Monday, February 16, around 4 p.m. I had my first contraction. I knew it was a contraction but somehow convinced myself it wasn’t. I wasn’t ready. It was too soon. Yes, I was 39 weeks, but I had no signs of eminent labor prior to that first contraction. No Braxton Hicks, I hadn’t ‘dropped’, and my mucus plug was still in tact.

And hour later, another contraction and more convincing myself I wasn’t ready. 45 minutes after that, another contraction and by then my husband was home and sprung into gear. Literally. He leaped from one side of the room to the other and while I’m telling him this isn’t a contraction, he is downloading contraction timer apps.

I wasn’t hungry but felt like I needed to ‘power-up’ so my last meal before meeting my baby boy was a smoothie and pasta salad. Around 8 p.m., there went my mucus plug and I had my bloody show and yet I still convinced myself this wasn’t labor.  I had a prenatal appointment at 10 a.m. the next day, that I convinced myself I would make, and my fabulous doctor would surely agree and assure me this wasn’t labor. Right? So. Very. Wrong.

By 9 p.m., my contractions were about 20 minuets apart. By 1 a.m., they were 8-10 minutes apart and I was in the throws of labor. I did my best to rest. I labored in the tub, I walked around our bedroom. I tried to eat- My body wasn’t having that. We left for the hospital close to 8 p.m. because I knew my water needed to break.  Now, we live (on a good day) 20 minutes away, my husband got us there in less than ten minutes without causing a pile up or making me un-easy. For a second, I thought he was at the wrong hospital.

We checked in, birth plan in hand, ready to get this show on the road. I was about 5 cm dilated. (I honestly don’t remember my effacement percentage or what station I was at.) I continued labor using the tub, squatting bar and walking. Up until about 11 p.m. I was pretty cool. I was level headed. I was in tune with my body and aware of my breath. Then the birth fairy showed up and added a dash of crazy.  I then took her crazy and turned it up a few notches.

I asked my nurse for everything from a C-section to benadryl. I was tired-NO-so exhausted I thought I wouldn’t wake up if I ever went to sleep again. I was over the monotony of contractions. I was officially in ‘The Dark Place’. I mean dark. I’m pretty sure I flipped off breath awareness and there was only 1 affirmation ( What I do in this moment is building a way to my future) and bible verse (Proverbs 3:5) that I would even consider mentally chanting. I was at the corner of done and finished.

Sometime after 1 a.m. (Wednesday morning-can you see why I’m tired now), I was back in the tub and miraculously got a nap in, it was probably just 3 minutes, but it felt like 20 and after that, I decided in was going to push. It was time to meet my baby. No more delaying. No more denying.

I pushed 3 times, standing up. During the third push I heard the screeching feral moan that seemed to last forever and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from…it was me. I was crowning.

Two nurses hurled me in the bed and begged me not to push, to wait and let my lady parts stretch and, equally as important, to wait on the doctor. At this point, somehow, I thought it best to take matters into my own hands because these medical professionals were clearly delusional. Wait? Seriously! I had already driven past the corner of done and finished, waiting was 200 miles behind me. Then my husband activated (again, y’all he was on it) and diverted my attention somehow. He praised me for what I was doing and thanked me. That was a beautiful tender moment. It was fast and fleeting cause this kid had to come out, but beautiful.

The doctor arrived and gave the go-ahead. One push and his head was out, full of black curls-I mean full y’all.  I’m not sure why but seeing his head made the last 39 weeks and 5 days real and worth something. One more push and his shoulders were out. Then, I reached down and pulled my 6 pound 9 ounce, 19.25 inches baby onto my chest.  Nothing can describe that.
More to come! Stay tuned!