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Personal Stories ~ From Sharon
I am the mother of 3 living angels and 2 in heaven. My first pregnancy ended in stillbirth of my son at 28 weeks. I went on to have a healthy fullterm daughter by caesarian and a healthy fullterm son by vbac. I then miscarried at 10 weeks. This is where by story of our NICU or SCN experience starts . . .

My pregnancy started out as normal, except that I felt extemely sick as compared to my other pregnancies. At 10 weeks I had a huge bleed. Ultrasound showed baby was doing great. I continued to bleed and was put on rest. At 18 weeks, another scan indicated an ecogenic (bright) bowel. This, they said, could indicate Down Sydrome or Cystic Fibrosis. This was terrifying. At 22 weeks, the news got even scarier. The baby's bowel had enlarged, which was more indicative of possible problems. At 33 weeks, my scan showed the bowel had enlarged to the point of bursting, and they did an emergency induction.

Our beautiful daughter entered this world 7 weeks early, pink, screaming, and huge. She weighed in at 5 lbs 11 oz and 18 1/2 inches. She was taken immediately to the special care nursery. Her abdomen was distended, and we knew she was facing surgery. The next day, Kyana was taken to surgery, in which they removed one third of her stomach, joined her stomach to her bowel, and repaired 3-4 atresias throughout her bowel. After surgery, her entire body was covered in tubes, wires, and needles. My poor baby looked so helpless. Not only was she born too early, she had major surgery.

During the next two weeks, she had apnea, bradys,a blood transfusion, endless testing, and so much more. At two weeks old, they had to take her back for more surgery. She still wasn't having a bowel movement. In this surgery, they removed a section of bowel which had e-coli in it. They also put a central line into her chest to feed her; they had ran out of veins in her head. During all this time, Kyana had a tube down her throat draining her little tummy.

At four weeks old, she was taken back to the OR. This time they found something they had missed in the first two surgeries, a web ( a layer of skin blocking the bowel). This surgery was tough on her, and she went into shock, her blood pressure was too low, she wasn't peeing, and her wound was oozing. It was very, very scary. Her little body had so much happen in such a short time, but she is my litttle fighter. She was doing great the following day.

During this whole time, I was pumping my milk for when she could finally eat. This got pretty tough after week six, but I knew how important my milk would be for her, so I continued. She finally got to have my milk just after six weeks. I was so happy about this.

My little miracle came home on her due date, 47 days after she was born. Kyana had to go through so much. She had all the fights of a preemie like BPD, apnea, bradys, 3 blood transfusions plus all the battles of surgery. She endured so much to get well.

Today she is a happy, healthy, six year old who just started first grade. The only thing to remind us of her struggle is all of her scars, and there are so many. She is very tiny for her age, only about 35 pounds, but she is perfect.

The SCN (NICU) is a very scary place, but it is also a wonderful place. What they can do there is incredible, and they are such a support in your time of need.

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