On February 2, 2015, our family was blessed with the birth of our second child but not in a way that we had planned.
Like Any Other Day
The day started out like any other day. I dropped our oldest off at school and returned home to rest. As I was driving to pick him up a few hours later I called my doctor worried about the vision in my right eye. Concerned they asked me to come in so they could check my blood pressure. Of course, I didn’t think much of it, so I headed to the office with the hope that my unborn child was still healthy. When I was brought into the room they immediately took my vitals and told me the doctor would be in to see me. The doctor came in to tell me my BP was 160/100, which is not good. I was sent to the labor and delivery floor just to be monitored with my 4-year-old in tow.
A Turn For the Worse
Unfortunately, instead of going down my blood pressure continued to climb. As I lay there terrified of what was going on all I could think of was my family. A few moments later a wonderful woman named Dr. Kelly Jago walked in and explained that if they didn’t deliver the baby soon I would possibly have a seizure or end up having a stroke and that my baby would not survive. Once my husband arrived, the hospital staff sent a NICU doctor in to explain what was going to happen once our baby was delivered. No words can describe the fear and the feeling of utter failure as a mother.
At 6 pm I was wheeled into the operating room and prepped for an emergency C-section. Scared, confused, and numb were just a few of the emotions running through me. All I wanted to hear was the sound of my baby’s cry. The time was now, the words “Okay Daddy here comes your baby” are burned in my brain. While my heart pounded, I finally heard the most beautiful sound in the world. The cry of my newborn baby! I felt my body relax as my husband kissed my forehead and went to cut the umbilical cord. The next time I looked at my husband he was holding a tiny bundle of gorgeous creation! Our son was so small and fragile I was afraid to kiss him. Then in the blink of an eye, he was gone and whisked away to the NICU.
The NICU Emotional Roller Coaster
I didn’t see my son again for another 3 days. Little did I know that our journey was just beginning. The day I delivered my son, my husband handed me a photo that the NICU nurses were kind enough to take of my sweet baby Noah under a forest of tubes. It was the most beautiful and heartwrenching photo I had ever seen.
As the days went by I itched to see my boy. Finally, after being transferred to the Maternity Ward I was wheeled to the NICU! I was about to see my baby for the first time. They opened the doors and there he was with my husband. Numerous tubes no longer covered his body. All that was left was a BP cuff and a feeding tube. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. At first, I was afraid to hold him for the first few days because he was so tiny. When the nurse took him out for skin to skin it felt like I was holding a little doll. He was so fragile but the love I felt was giving me the strength I knew he needed from me.
Going Home Without My Son
The day came when I had to leave the hospital to go home without my baby. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I knew however that the doctors and nurses were the ones that Noah needed at this stage. My husband and I could do anything for him now but love him. And, I knew my older son also needed me. So I walked in my house, shed a few tears, and went about being a mom to Paul.
Baby Boy Comes Home
Throughout our son’s long 5 weeks as a patient, he was given numerous tests and ultrasounds. All of them came back perfect. Our little man was one heck of a fighter. Then on Monday, March 9, 2015, he was finally big enough to come home. Paul was over the moon. His baby brother was finally home. After 5 weeks this was only the second time he was able to see him. The first time was through a sliver of a window. But now here he was! He was able to hold him and love on him. It was the most beautiful sight to see Paul pull up his little chair and just sit there with his baby brother.
Fast forward almost 3 years and I am sitting on the floor watching my almost 3-year-old sleep soundly. A look of pure innocence. I am blessed by the experience of being a NICU mom and treasure the times I get to share my story.