Nathaniel was born at exactly 27 weeks, weighing 1lb 14oz, and he was 14" tall. He was in the NICU for 85 days.
Birth, NICU Stay, Homecoming
We are Hellp Syndrome survivors. I hadn't been feeling well and had a few weird pains, but everything else was like normal pregnancy symptoms but worse. Nosebleeds, retaining water, back pain, etc... One night I developed a blind spot and went in to L&D around 8pm to get checked out. -Please note, a few days earlier, I'd been to see the OB and everything was fine. This came on quicker and earlier than normal. My blood pressure was 220/130, My platelets and red blood cells were practically gone, and I was loosing protein at an alarming rate. I had to be transferred to the closest hospital with a NICU, and they didn't expect me to survive the 30 mile trip. But we made it, I was transfused, an emergency c-secion was performed under general anesthesia and my son was born at 1:24am.
I came to around 6am, in the ICU. After 3 days I was able to see my son. He was 1lb 14oz and 14" long. By then he was on the oscillator. He was on the oscillator and regular vent for about a month. After I first saw him, I was released soon afterward but I was still hypertensive. I ended up back in his hospital with congestive heart failure. I got straightened out, and spent every day that I could sitting there in the NICU with him. Often times I sat there for 13+ hours/day just to know he was still breathing. We were able to first hold him when he was almost a month old. Every time I would hold him, I felt like he was telling me that everything was going to be alright.
He came home on oxygen and monitors. He's been very lucky, no brain bleeds, no ROP, no hernias. :) He's now off everything (though I keep a snuza halo alarm on him at all times for my own peace of mind) and he is doing amazingly wonderful. So amazingly well. :) He's 4 1/2 months old now and weighs a little over 10lbs.
- If you get put under general anesthesia, when you are ready, I recommend getting a copy of your records. It will help you learn the story of the birth of your child.
- In the NICU be confident in the staff, they are the best of the best, just to be the type of person that can handle working in that atmosphere is amazing. Rely on their expertise and NO QUESTION IS STUPID. They've heard it all before!
- Hold your child, speak to your child, kangaroo if you can. Each day increases their chances of survival, but trust me, you don't want to miss a bit of it. Even if it is hard to see them all hooked up.