Today is Fight for Preemies day sponsored by the March of Dimes. If you have a loved one who was born premature, honor them and others, by participating in this Fight For Preemies blog event! You join the event HERE.
I usually try to do a Wordless Wednesday post – or use as few words as possible. This week, it will be Wordfull as I am participating in the March of Dimes Fight for Preemies campaign. My post will be a little different as the baby I will tell you about was not a preemie. But she did spend two very long weeks in the NICU. I do not know any preemies other than Steph G’s son, so I have to go with what I know.
I was one of the few people allowed in the room during the day. I hung out with Steph, talked her ear off, watched TV with them, ran out to get her husband lunch (which I am sure they were glad for the peace!) and told stories about the day Izzy was born.
Then the epi seemed to stop working. And she wasn’t making any progress. We were in for a very long night. I decided that I would head home for the night around 5pm. I had to work the next day and I wouldn’t be in the room for the birth anyway. I hated leaving. I asked her husband and her sister in law to call me if there were any big changes.
At 740 I got a text from her sister in law saying that Steph was now getting sick and her contractions were 1-2 minutes apart. One minute later I got a text from her husband that I should come back, she’s going to have the baby. By 830, her mother, sister in law and I decided we could no longer stand waiting in the waiting room. Because we were allowed in, we went up to her room. We didn’t go in but chose to wait in the hall. It was chaos.
Finally around 915 it was decided that Stephanie would have a c-section. Honestly, I was relieved. It wasn’t what anyone wanted for her but this had been going on too long. She was throwing up every few minutes, she was in pain, she was exhausted. It was time to call it a day and have this baby.
When we were told we wouldn’t get to meet the baby until the next day, I decided to head home again. I asked her sister in law to text me when the baby was born. Maggie was born at 938pm.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I knew what happened. Apparently Steph’s epi had not been working for quite a while. She had to be knocked out and her husband was kicked out of the room. When Maggie came out, her lungs were filled with amniotic fluids and meconium. She had to be intubated and was sent to the NICU. Steph didn’t even get to meet Maggie until the next morning.
Steph was kind enough to let me come and meet Maggie the following day. She is really amazing. She was in such good spirits. I was a mess and I didn’t even go through that terrible experience. I tried to mentally prepare myself for what I’d see. I knew Maggie would be hooked up to tubes and wires. But really, you have no idea how heart wrenching it is to see until you see it in person.
She was this tiny little bird all hooked up. You couldn’t hold her. You could hardly touch her. We were told to only rest our hands on her and not stroke her skin as it might overstimulate and upset her. I was afraid to touch her.
I am not the praying type. Honestly I don’t know where I stand when it comes to matters of religion. But I prayed. I prayed so hard that I thought my heart might rip right out of my chest.
Steph left the hospital without her baby a few days later.
As the days crept by, things improved. There were some set backs – things not happening when we thought they would. Steph and Mike would spend their days traveling back and forth to the hospital – which thankfully was less than 20 minutes from their home.
On July 28th what remained of her support system came out with the exception of the forced oxygen through her nose.
July 29th, the forced oxygen was supposed to come out but they had to wait one more day.
When would Maggie finally come home? This was torture. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for her parents.
July 30th, The oxygen come off but Steph is told they want to keep Maggie until Monday.
Monday came and went and Maggie still wasn’t home. But Steph texts me to tell me that Maggie is a good crier and that ‘she lets you know when she wants anything’.
On August 4th, I got the best birthday present ever. After two seemingly endless weeks, Maggie came home.
Today she is happy and healthy thanks to her stay in the NICU. I hope I never have to go through the experience of having a NICU or premature baby. But my hat is off to those who have been through it. I was merely the audience to this experience and it was exhausting and traumatic. I don’t know that I could find the strength to be a player.
I’m not the praying type but I will pray for the babies and parents that go through this ordeal. Hopefully someone will be listening.