Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Annie’s Birth Story

I am a mommy to two beautiful little people. Penelope is turning two shortly and Liam is just past 5 weeks. Liam is my NICU graduate. Both of my pregnancies were uneventful. I had some issues with anemia and with Penelope I had high blood pressure. Because of the hbp with Penelope, my 2nd pregnancy was considered high risk. My doctor took all the precautions. I had appointments with her every two weeks from 20 weeks on and I met with high-risk doctors. Much to our surprise, I had no issues with Liam. He was growing right and my blood pressure was in the normal range at all appointments. Until week 36…

Liam’s due date was May 28th. I was scheduled to have a C-section (repeat) on May 22nd. At my 36-week appointment, I was still showing no signs of pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure. The doctor however, decided to have me do a 24-hour urine analysis just to make sure. After doing that, I received a call that I had pre-eclampsia. It was not severe yet, but she said it often becomes that way quickly. So she had rescheduled my C-section for the very next week. The weekend before the scheduled c-section, I began getting headaches and also began seeing stars. I was put on bed-rest at this time.

I had some of the typical worries of having your baby early. But I was reassured by any medical professional that I voiced my worries to, that he was full term and should be fine. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. When he was delivered, within minutes they were taking him to the NICU because he was in respiratory distress. The staff kept telling us that this was not abnormal. He was a little early and hopefully he just needed a dose of surfactant and he would be ready to go in 2 or 3 days. Those days came and went. He was not getting better.

Liam on the oscillator and nitric. He is laying like that bc they gave him medicine to paralyze him.

The next 18 days would be a roller coaster for our little man. He went from Cpap to a ventilator. All of the nurses and doctors made us feel like they loved our “big baby” as they referred to him. About the fourth day, he pretty much crashed. These doctors and nurses did everything, I feel like they could possibly do to make him better. In one day, he went on the oscillator (which delivered him 600 breaths per minute); he was put on nitric oxide, and received three antibiotics and one antiviral. Because the oscillator is so fierce, they also gave him a paralytic, and two different painkillers. He also received his third dose of surfactant at this time. All I can say about those few days is it was miserable, pure misery. I cant imagine what his little body was going through. We sat just watching the monitors, feeling helpless. And then as quick as he got sick, he began to get better. Our 2-3 day NICU stay, turned into 18 days.

1 month old

Liam has been home for 3 weeks so far. He seems to be a normal baby. The NICU stay taught me many things. One thing is for sure how appreciative I am to the nurses and staff that cared for my baby. I found comfort when they would come just to check on him even if they were not caring for him that day. I heard probably three or four times a day “How is our “big boy”?” or “we were so worried about him”. Another thing I am thankful for my babies’ health, both his now and Penelope’s. I will not take it for granted again.

One meaning of Liam is warrior. I think he earned his name well. He is our little fighter.

Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Annie,
    ‘Springfield Papaw’ sent me this link.
    Liam taught us that he IS a Warrior and that Prayers work!.
    I sure hope to be able to meet your precious children in Springfield, some time Before either Graduate from HS! 🙂

    Sue G Indiana

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