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

Jillian’s Birth Story

My daughter, Molly Rose was born at 38 weeks and 6 days. There were many complications throughout my pregnancy that all eventually resolved themselves. The day she was born was the happiest day of our lives. Molly was a beautiful 6lbs 7oz little girl with a head full of hair and seemed perfectly healthy. The doctor told us we would be able to take her home the next day as she was doing great and so was I.

That night as I was sleeping (with Molly in the nursery) a doctor came into my room, woke me up and told me he thought something could be amiss with her heart. He would send her for some oxygen and return her back to the nursery as soon as she recovered. He asked if I wanted to give her a kiss before she went to the special care nursery. I immediately knew something was wrong, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that her life was at risk.

The next morning I found her in the NICU hooked up to tubes, machines, monitors, and lights – I couldn’t even see her through it all. Apparently when she got there her pulse ox was 55% and her respirations were around 160 breaths per minute (she was essentially breathing faster than her heart was beating). The doctors weren’t sure what was causing her breathing issues but later found out she had Respiratory Distress Syndrome (formerly known as Hyaline Membrane’s Disease). RDS is apparently very common for preemies, but not a baby of Molly’s size and gestational age at birth.

CPAPs, 2 rounds of surfactant, temporary intubation, feeding tubes, central lines, morphine, aspiration, 8 chest x-rays, blood gas testing everyday, dangerously high bilirubin, possible chest tube, to transfer to CHOP or not – the next month was an absolute blur. I don’t remember a lot but I do remember crying and praying everyday.

I am so thankful for the care Molly received from the nurses and doctors during a very trying time. Without them, Molly would not be alive today. The nurses were also my rock through it all…. always offering us words of comfort and honesty. We still keep in touch with them. In fact, we went back to the NICU to visit Molly’s nurses for her first birthday.

Molly’s month in the NICU was the scariest time of my life – every time I saw my daughter fighting for her life I couldn’t help but blame myself. In my mind, I did this to her. I was the one that carried her for 9 months. There was no one else to blame but myself. Now a year later I still feel the guilt and constantly run through the possible reasons of what could have caused this. What did I do wrong? Did I not drink enough water? Did I not eat right? Did I not rest enough? Did I not exercise enough? I’m finding more peace with each passing day, and now can look at my beautiful happy healthy daughter and understand that life is a precious gift never to be taken for granted. We are blessed!

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.

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