Everyone knows about Linus, my micropreemie, and the inspiration for this blog, but Linus was not my first experience with the NICU. Evan was born in June 2002 at 34 weeks and 5 days at a hospital not equipped with a NICU. After 2 days in labor at 8 centimeters dilated, all it took was 10 minutes of Pitocin to jump start my labor. My obstetrician, who thought he could run to grab a bite to eat was called before he even made it to the parking lot.
I knew there was an issue as the ob was closely watching the rise and fall of my baby's chest as he was being measured in the baby warmer. I heard something about grunting and calling a pediatrician. Soon, my little guy was whisked down the hall to wait for a consult with the pediatrician on call. I wanted to get on down to where the baby was. After a quick shower and a very large ice pack, I waddled myself down the hallway to a little room off of the nursery where my baby was surrounded by nurses and a pediatrician I did not know. She told my husband and I that our baby was having difficulty breathing and that they had tried, unsuccessfully to give him an IV. They had even tried inserting it in his little head. I just wanted to pick him up and snuggle. Instead, I sat next to his bed waiting for transport to come take my baby to another hospital.
The pediatrician wanted to know the baby's name. We hadn't decided yet. I knew his middle name would be Dean. We were waiting to name him until we saw him. He was either going to be Nathaniel or Evan. The pediatrician put in her vote for Nathaniel. We also shared the name our children had voted on: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt! The transport nurse had a good chuckle. Soon it was time to watch my baby being transported out of the hospital while I waddled back to my room.
I kept asking when I would be allowed to leave. I was not staying at this hospital if my baby was across town at another. My ob told me that the minimum was 6 hours, BUT my swelling needed to subside considerably before he would discharge me.
I love those gloves filled with water and frozen after I give birth. They make the perfect ice packs. I iced and rested and tried to pretend that my baby was just down the hall and not miles away. Soon, my 6 hours were up and I was allowed to leave, but not until I filled out the birth certificate papers and named our son. We finally decided on Evan, which means young warrior.
It was now after 10pm and we were in our car, on our way to see our boy. We arrived at the NICU and scrubbed in. Our lovely transport nurse was there taking care of him. I was able to nurse Evan and help give him his first bath. There was a room that we could stay in, reserved for situations like this. I didn't leave the NICU for 3 days. Evan had a few ups and downs and he was discharged with an apnea monitor after 10 days.
We are very blessed.
Happy Parents of Preemies Day 2013.