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Personal Stories ~ From Lynn
The experience for my son is not nearly as bad as many, but we didn't know that at first, during the first few hours of his life when we were really afraid for him.

The pregnancy was fairly uneventful and I went into labor two days early. Everything progressed normally (18 hours of labor) until it came time to push. Apparently Riley's head, but not his body, had gotten turned sideways and was stuck. Every time I would push, his head would bounce all the way back up above the pubic bone. Talk about frustrating. His head was a little too big and my pelvis a little too small (so they told me at the time). They tried using forceps and the vacuum on him to no avail. Absolutely no progress. I tore from the forceps and after three hours of pushing I was about to pass out from exhaustion.

At about that time, Riley's heart monitor started going crazy, really erratic. Fast then slow and back and forth. They were worried about the stress his body was going through so I ended up having an emergency c-section. Luckily the epidural took quickly on the first try so they were able to get him out pretty quickly.

When they pulled him out he was all blue and barely breathing. They said his Apgar was a 2. That's all I heard before I got a glimpse of him for a second and they took him away to NICU. My husband followed and stayed with the baby. He never even cried.

I was sent to recovery where I was for 3 hours. The nurse couldn't tell me anything about my baby. She wouldn't even call to NICU to find out for me. Needless to say, I was about hysterical trying to know if my baby was okay. Eventually my husband came down with the video camera. He had taken a few minutes of footage of him in NICU. My parents stayed with the baby when my husband came down. I started crying when I saw the video. I was so emotional. He was alive and I was so thankful.

I finally got transferred to a regular room but Riley was still in NICU. This was about five hours after his birth. I was disappointed because I had always thought I would start nursing him immediately after he was born. But still, more thankful because at least he was alive. I could live with that.

A few hours later, Riley was able to leave NICU. His breathing had stabilized and he had FINALLY started crying, which I guess is what they were waiting for. As soon as they gave him to me, I put him in the football hold on some pillows on my bed and started nursing him. He ate for 20 minutes that first time and then fell asleep beside me! He was a champion nurser from the beginning, even after all he'd been through.

He looked like he had been in a fight. He was bruised everywhere, even on his face. He was so sad looking. He stayed in my bed for the next five days while we were in the hospital, except for diaper changes etc. That really helped us to bond after not being together at first. No one at the hospital really had problems with that except one nurse who told me I was spoiling him and another nurse who tried to give him formula without my consent because he was not "eating often enough" in her words. Needless to say, that nurse never came back to my room after I let into her about that one. I guess she was afraid of me. :)

When we came home, we just continued co-sleeping and breastfeeding. It was really hard at first because of the pain from the c-section and then I got thrush and Riley had severe reflux. That is a time I don't really care to re-live. But after about two months, everyone was well and it has been "relatively" smooth sailing from then on. The hospital had great lactation consultants who worked with me for free to get through our problems. The hospital's motto is "breastfeeding is a baby's right!". Cool, huh?

I've enjoyed reading other peoples' experiences and I am just so glad my baby is healthy beyond belief! At nine months old, he is now 30 inches long and 22 pounds.

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