In honor of September being NICU Awareness Month I wanted to share my children’s stories. If you’ve followed me for long on social media then you know all four of my kiddos were NICU babies.
Thinking back on those times and how hard it was to leave my babies behind and feeling so heart broken when I should have been excited, doesn’t bring back the best of memories.
Kaley and Arias NICU story isn’t very much, they were brought into the world at 34+1 because of my severe preeclampsia. While they did have some breathing troubles due to immature lungs their biggest struggle was getting their weight up and getting the suck/swallow reflex. Kaley was 3lbs and 13ozs, Aria was 3lbs 9ozs. They were on oxygen for 3 days (Kaley) and 4 days (Aria). They remained in the NICU for a total of three weeks because they weren’t very interested in a bottle and just wanted to sleep but also needed to be well above 4lbs before leaving the NICU.
Jameson and Indie’s story isn’t as easy as Kaley and Aria’s. Even though they were born at 36+1 weeks and weighed 4lbs 12ozs (Jameson) and 5lbs 8ozs (Indie) they had major breathing trouble. For 2 days they were on super high oxygen and still had trouble breathing. I was a total mess going into the NICU and seeing my babies laid in those bassinets with their chests rising and falling so fast and hard. For TWO days they didn’t even think to take a closer look at their lungs.
Imagine being in the hospital already worried about your babies, exhausted, pumping every 2 hours trying to get your milk to come in and being in incredible amounts of pain from a horrible c-section to then being work up by your babies NICU doctor telling you that Jameson has a hole in his lungs and will have to undergo a procedure to help repair it. I couldn’t even think straight and of course we couldn’t ask questions because she needed to go right then but wanted to be the one to tell us.
Not even 20 minutes go by and a nurse comes in and says that they’re still working on Jameson and that Indie will be going through the same procedure now that they’ve called in another doctor to work on here since the other was still with Jameson. Needless to say Nick and I both lost it. How could this happen? For the most part they were healthy throughout my pregnancy, I got stupid shots in my behind to help their lungs because I started going into labor at 33 weeks. I took my medicine to try to stop my contractions to keep them in longer.
After about two hours both doctors came in to let us know both babies are okay and they did great. She said that they are now breathing so much better and are resting easy. They had to place a tube in the side of their chest area that leads to their lungs.
So basically your body is suppose to make surfactant which helps to lubricant the lungs so when you breathe they glide and not rub together. Well J&I for some reason didn’t and their lungs scrapped together when they were breathing which is what caused a tear in their lungs and made it harder to breathe as air was escaping out of their lungs. The photos below shows the tube that went inside to their lungs to repair and pump surfactant so that the lungs continue to glide.
I don’t remember exactly how many days they had the tube but it wasn’t very long. Total days stayed in the NICU was nine days (Jameson) because of his lungs taking longer to repair and for him being lazy on the bottle and breastfeeding. Seven days for Indie, she was a pro at breastfeeding and a bottle so just needed her lungs repaired.
To all you parents who have had/have their baby(ies) in the NICU for whatever reason my heart and love is with you! It’s not easy in the slightest. Stay strong for your little babe(s) get that skin to skin when possible. Share your emotions with someone… anyone and always remember you’re doing all that you can do for them!
Thank you for reading and feel free to reach out to me if you need someone to relate or talk to!