"YOU GUYS ARE YOUNG YOU CAN ALWAYS TRY AGAIN LATER.” Those were the words my OB uttered as he sat at the edge of my hospital bed. I cried and asked, “Why is this happening to us?” I was 22 weeks pregnant and 2.8cm dilated. His usual candor went from upbeat to sad as he responded, “Sometimes these things just happen. You guys are good people and I hate when bad things happen to good people.” We wanted the truth and his advice…that’s when he said straight forward that we should do "comfort care". Going that route would mean that we would not stop the premature labor, and there would be absolutely no medication given or intervention when our son was born. Simply put, this suggestion meant that if our son was born before 24 weeks, we would hold him until he passed away. Most hospitals won't save a baby unless they are 24 weeks gestation. That's the gestation that many deem viable, although many babies are born and survive at 22 and 23 weeks.
We didn't get any type of heads up or crash course in prematurity UNTIL were hit head on with the untimely circumstance. The first 3 weeks were the toughest I would say as I was dealing with healing from my emergency c-section and seeing my tiny 1lb 2.9oz baby fighting for his life outside of my womb. We were introduced to medical terms, beeps alarms, questions, back and forth trips to the NICU, surgery, a transport to a children's hospital, sleepless nights and MORE!
So, here some tips that I hope will help you navigate through the NICU storm!
I'm sure I'm not the only who feels a bit of anxiety when it comes to leaving your child in someone else's care. I'm not just talking about for a few hours of babysitting, I mean everyday! I am not only a first time mom but I'm a preemie mom! So when the topic of sending Jaxson to day care came up recently, my eyes got big and my palms a bit sweaty. With Jaxson being born extremely premature, I had to relinquish ALL control. I had no real say so as a parent. Yes I was his advocate of course, but when your child is in the NICU, there's only so much parenting you can do honestly. For the first 4 months of his life he lived at the hospital, being cared for by people who I knew nothing about prior to his birth. I was his mom but THEY were his guardians. Talk about a hard pill to swallow! When he came home at 4 months old, I took maternity leave to care for him and ultimately never returned to my Corporate job. Since that time I have started my blog of course, and a small apparel business. My main "job" is still caring for Jaxson and our home while my husband goes to work.