NICU Awareness Hits Close To Home
NICU mommas, I SEE YOU... “Always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne. You are a FIGHTER too. Trust your mom gut, it will never lead you astray.
In August of 2017, I went into labor a month early with my first son. We were told quickly that he may need to be in the NICU due to being early as many pre mature babies have medical issues that need extra care... matter of fact while going through contractions, a labor and delivery nurse told me words a mother never wants to hear... “premature babies typically die or have a lot of issues, prepare yourself”... From that moment forward there was a true fighter in me.
Waylon did great the first 24 hours of life and then his temperature started to slowly decline and we are very blessed that that is the worst thing that was ‘wrong’ with him. Our time at the hospital was everything short of an ideal experience. My wishes and rules were NOT respected, I had lost faith in doctors and some nurses, it was a really tough time.
That is when the NICU staff realized we needed to admit little baby Waylon. Here we were in a tiny room in the NICU full of the unknown unlike the story of a typical childbirth. We didn’t get the experience of being able to take our baby home on the second day, or hold him all night long if we wanted. As a mother who has been the safe space of her sweet babe for quite some time it is very mentally and physically hard to watch your newborn hooked to monitors and there’s nothing you can do but hope for better each day.
Your babies needs and health come before any and all selfishness for what you or others want. This is not ideally how child birth should be naturally, as a mother you and your baby both crave physical connection to thrive.
Waylon’s new temporary home was the Giraffe incubator, only being able to hold him minutes at a time.
Sitting in a room feeling helpless of the dark unknown, the song “You are my sunshine” repeated through my head. The song still to this day will sometimes bring tears to my eyes because it means SO MUCH more.
Throughout our two weeks in the NICU we became familiar with a nurse who was like an Angel to us, her name is Britney. Britney always came in the NICU at night and had a cheerful positive and uplifting attitude. We cried together. We laughed together. We celebrated Waylons milestones, together. Britney gave me faith that if she was there, my Waylon was taken care of. Thank GOD for NICU nurses like her.
We spent everyday growing together. And testing. Testing all day long. The anxiety that came before every test result was unreal. We just wanted our baby, healthy, home and in our nurturing care. I remember the day we were finally released, I knew that day was the day before there was any real sign. I came back to Waylons room after a short shower as I was staying at the hospital by myself, it was dark and only lit with tiny machines that were hooked to Waylon, it was quiet, there wasn’t the hustle and bustle as there normally was, and I took a picture of that moment. I knew it was the day as I stood there watching my baby sleep so peacefully. I felt a wave of calm, certainty, peace overcome me. I brought the car seat to his little room so they could do one last final test, but this time I didn’t feel anxious. I was confident today was THE DAY. Waylon PASSED!!! I quickly started loading out our belongings to the truck while they were preparing his paperwork to be dismissed.
Once we were dismissed, I immediately wanted to go to a place where Waylon and I felt safe, loved, were respected and honored. And so we did. Family has always been important however the connection of living through these horrible experiences with Waylons birth story made us that much closer.
People may ask why are you so soft but yet so hard, set in your ways, head strong, etc... well I’ve always been that way but being a NICU momma who had to fight for life, fight for freedom, fight for respect made me who I am today.
Every time I share the story of Waylon’s birth and NICU experience I always get questions ‘And how is Waylon today?’, I always reply, “We couldn’t be happier and healthier!”... Waylon is now doing fantastic and for that we are so grateful for!
Whether you’re a NICU momma or someone who is closely related to one... these following quotes are some of my favorites to help uplift spirits and personally gave me an ounce of faith to look forward.
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” – Bob Marley.
“You can do the impossible because you’ve been through the unimaginable.” – Christina Rasmussen.
“What do all preemies have in common? Courage, strength, heroism, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance, bravery, spirit, spunk, and adorability!”
“We all have a fighter in us. Preemies just have a little bit more.”
“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh.
“NICU babies are true survivors. They show us the power of faith and prayer and of the human spirit. They are the embodiment of perseverance.” – Amidst the Chaos.
XOXO Sophia & Waylon