New to NICU

At just 24 weeks our beautiful daughter Elle was born.  It was very fast and very un expected.   There were a million things going through my head at the time like how could this have happened?  I was just checked yesterday and everything was fine!  But at 8:30 the next morning contractions hit hard at every 2 min.  Being a nurse myself I thought they could be false until a couple of hours later they weren't letting up.  I drove the 45min to the hospital and was immediately admitted dilated to a 5 with a bulging sac.  She wasn't ready!  I wasn't ready!  They tried to give me medication so they could fly me to a more equipped hospital. But after 4 hours they could only get them to every 14min apart  Not completely stopped. The next time they checked me I had dilated to a 7 and was told that there was no way possible to be transferred out. This hospital was not really equipped to have babies of her gestational age born there.  Luckily they had a doctor that had worked with a flight crew at the hospital that we were going to be going to that volunteered to come in.  she was born at 7:28 in the evening weighing a 1 pound 11 oz and 12.25" long. She only cried twice and I never got to see her because they did an emergency c-section.  There was a storm in between the hospitals so the team was not able to fly out to us and ended up having to come in an ambulance. By time they had gotten there she was already 15 minutes old but the doctor that had volunteered to come already had her intubated and stabilized.

After I was finally allowed out as the ORI got to briefly see my daughter for the 1st time before they loaded her up in took her away. I spent 2 days in the hospital that was almost 3 hours away from  her while my husband was up here with her.  Even thought I felt terrible and needed a blood transfusion I had convinced the dr I was fine so they would release me to go to her....

When we arrived at the hospital I was relieved and devastated at the same time.  She was so small!!  And there were tubes and wires everywhere. My mind was going 100mph and I didn't know how to react so I just cried.  This is not how my pregnancy was supposed to go this was not supposed to happen to her.  I hated myself for not being able to carry her and keep her safe.  She was now in a place of constant danger with every moment hanging in the air.  It was about 2 days after her birth we found out what may have happened...  She had developed an infection of some sort and my body had tried to expel her because of it... Well great that made me feel even worse.  The first couple of days were ok.  She seemed to be doing very well and I had begun to think (ok this will be fine)... Well I was wrong because night before last she had a rough night. Her oxygen dropped into the 50% range and she had to be bagged for 5min before they could get her stable again.  I felt so helpless just sitting there crying, praying God please let her be ok please!... She stabilized and began doing ok again. The next day the Dr came in and told us that this is when the roller coaster really begins.  He said the 2nd to 3rd week of life are usually when things start to happen. She has had 2 different head US that have came back normal!  No bleed in the brain which is very common for one born at her age!  They also did an echo that showed she did have the hole in her heart.  Today she receives the last dose of medication to fix it and another echo Saturday to see if ut worked.. So far today has been a good day which makes me happy for her.... We live life one day at a time now and that's ok as long as she does it with me!  I pray we can take her home one day so she can grow and play with her brothers.

3 Replies

  • Hugs to you mama and congratulations on your baby girl Ella! I know this NICU journey is not what you had planned and its full of so many emotions with ups and downs everywhere but my hope is that you are able to connect with some other mamas for support to get you through this. You are absolutely right - the only way to manage all this is to take it one day at a time. Keep us posted on your strong girl! Will be thinking of you daily!

  • Chelsea, I’m sitting here reading your story and it is so similar to my daughters story. She was born at 21 weeks and 4 days and 14.4 oz. I was also dilated and delivery was eminent. She also contracted an infection while i was in the hospital which the doctors think help kick start her lung development. She also had a rollercoaster of a ride with her oxygen and we almost lost her a few times. It’s amazing how much the nurses, RTs, and doctors can do to save their precious little lives. I have been in your boat and am here if you need support. Please feel free to reach out to me here or on my blog Oh and my little girl will be 4 years old next month!
  • Hello and welcome to Share. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter Elle! I know how hard it can be to have a baby in the NICU. With other kiddos at home, no doubt you must be feeling pulled in so many directions. I hope the nurses are welcoming and keeping you well informed of her care. It sounds like she is a strong little lady! You said it best with one day at a time. That's all that we can ask of ourselves. Hoping you'll update when you have a chance.

    Sending hugs and strength,