A mother's heart

This post was written by a mom about her little boy's journey in the NICU. Her words are so true and raw that we wanted to post them directly here so that our supporters can read about this family's experience first hand. 

"After the birth of my 2nd child it was discovered that I became RH sensitized.  What this means is that my body makes antibodies that cross the placenta and destroy the baby's hemaglobin, which can result in severe anemia.  We were advised by the Dr.'s that if we decided to have more children that each subsequent pregnancy would be worse than the previous one.  To our surprise and delight this was not our experience.  Therefore, despite the discomforts of pregnany, I was thrilled when I discovered that we were pregnant with our 6th child.  I assumed it would be similiar to our previous experiences.  Little did I know that this pregnancy would be different from the rest.

When I was 28 weeks pregnant an MCA doppler revealed that the baby was anemic.  Two days later I had my first inutero transfusion done.  The procedure went well and was expected to be repeated numerous times until I was 35 weeks pregnant.  At 29 weeks pregnant I was lying in bed and felt a gush.  I quickly got up and discovered that I was bleeding.  My husband rushed me to the hospital and I was immediately put on magnesium to stop the contractions.  An ultrasound revealed that my placenta had partially abrupted.  I spent the next week at United Hospital being monitored.  The baby had become anemic again so another inutero transfusion was done on New Year's Eve. Two days later on Jan. 2nd, it was discovered that my amniotic fluid was only at a four.  The perinatologist recommended that the baby be delivered that evening. 

The next 8 hours proved to be a very emotional time for me as I awaited my c-section.  I was only 30 weeks pregnant.  I was not ready to meet my baby face to face. I was not prepared for my pregnancy to end so abruptly.  I still desired to grow this little one myself.  I didn't know what to expect.  Would the baby be ok?   How would I get through the upcoming weeks with a premature baby and five other children at home, three of which I homeschool, with no family in the area to help?  As these thoughts raced through my head, I prayed that God would somehow see us through this journey. 

Fear pulsed through me as I was prepared for the c-section.  I was so glad that my husband was with me.  Looking into his eyes gave me the strength I needed at the moment.   As soon as I heard the cry of my little baby being born I was filled with hope. There before my eyes was a beautiful baby boy that I had been nurturing inside of me for 30 weeks.  He weighed 2 lbs. 12 oz and measured 15 inches.  I cherished the moment they brought him over to me and allowed me to touch his little face.  He was so perfect, but so small.  Shortly afterwards he began his journey in the NICU.

It has now been over 6 weeks since Basil has been in the NICU.   He received a blood exchange transfusion less than 12 hours after his birth due to the amount of red cell destruction caused by the antibodies.  He spent two weeks under the billi lights followed by one blood transfusion.  He most likely will need another transfusion as his hemaglobin is still declining.  His lung development was much better than we expected.  We were fortunate that he only required C-pap and Si-pap.  He also had many apnea spells,which are very common for preemies.  I struggled with establishing a milk supply, but was determined to do so for the sake of my baby.  It was also a challenge to recover from a c-section.  Some of the most memorable moments that occured in NICU was watching them feed him his first drops of colostrum, spending hours holding him in my arms skin to skin, watching him graduate from an isolette to a crib, and finally making it into the Level II NICU.  Now the next milestone is for him to learn how to eat.   

God truly has provided for us in ways I never would have imagined.  We are so grateful for all the people who have so generously volunteered their time to take care of our children and make meals for our family.  It was a blessing to have found Eden's Garden and read about other people's experiences with a preemie.  It made me realize that there have been so many others who have walked this journey and it gave me hope and peace knowing that I am not alone.

We eagerly await the day when Basil will come home.  His two sisters and two brothers are excited to hold him in their arms for hours on end.  Well, that is if I share him with them.  Afterall, I too can't wait to have him near me all day and hold him in my arms without the all the wires and alarms!