I’ve touched on Vista’s birth story a few times on here.
At 4 weeks early, she was considered a preemie.
We spent only a week and a half with her in NICU / Special Care Nursery.
That week and a half was one of the worst of my life.
That’s Vista in the Special Care Nursery.
That mass you see at the top of her head is an IV. No parent should have to see their newborn with an IV in her head. V had several of them over a couple of weeks. Two years later her head is still sensitive in the spots where the IV’s were.
Every day, a few times a day, they would come in and prick her foot to draw blood. Seeing your new baby screaming all you want to do as a mother is pick up your child and comfort them. But I couldn’t. I got to hold her for 30 minutes every 3 hours. That’s it. Because her bilirubin levels (the jaundice indicator) were at critical levels she had to remain on her bili-bed with extra phototherapy lights.
Not being able to hold and cuddle your newborn? Sucks the big one.
There are many issues that come with having a newborn. Vista had a terrible time learning how to latch onto a bottle (breastfeeding was right out). Because of her under-developed nervous system she would stop breathing occasionally. Let me tell you, watching your child turn blue is beyond scary. Then there’s also the residual effects. She continues to have stomach issues and sensory disorders. She’s also more at risk for respiratory issues. Those are things we may always have to deal with.
What we went through is minor though. There are many parents who spend weeks and even months in the NICU with their newborns because of premature birth.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Prematurity is the #1 killer of newborns. It’s my dream that one day no parent will have to know the stress and fear that comes with having a baby in the NICU. It’s my dream that one day no parent will know the pain of the loss of a child due to prematurity complications. And that one day, no child will suffer the effects of prematurity for the rest of their lives.
Today I’m joining the March of Dimes Fight For Preemies, so that maybe one day all parents can bring their newborn babies home, healthy and happy.