My daughter was born at 24 weeks 6 days. She was a tiny fragile thing amidst the cords and lights. A mere 555 grams (1lb 4oz) when born. We spent 132 days in the NICU. Truth be told, if I hadn’t chronicled most of it, I still get lost in details. So much has happened.
My first child. I expected to go full term, as most women do. My baby shower was in the planning stages. I had bought one little outfit for her.
Then when I was about 24+2 and had a nurse visit. From there, I was told to go straight to labor and delivery. Panicking, I drove there fast as I could. Turns out my blood pressure had skyrocketed, despite the blood pressure medication I was on all pregnancy. I checked in that Monday, had her that Friday and didn’t leave for 9 days. Preeclampsia and IUGR.
132 very long days went by before she was strong enough to come home. She was one of the lucky ones – no brain bleeds, mild retinopathy of prematurity, no major problems. She needed multiple blood transfusions, a chest tube for a collapsed lung, and a spinal tap. Smaller problems but nothing that couldn’t be controlled. A few touch and go moments in the beginning. Her nurses were amazing. I came to know them well.
Fast forward to that first year. She was on oxygen for a year. She was diagnosed in the NICU with Pulmonary Hypertension, which can be fatal to kids. Around age 3 they told me it had resolved. She had a little occupational therapy until age 3. All 5 specialists that she saw tapered off after 3 for her. Then she began her “normal” childhood, minus doctors and oxygen and medications.
She is 7 now. Tall and thin like her dad. The only complication we deal with that is directly associated with being a preemie is asthma. It’s mild, but she’s on meds for it.
She’s incredibly bright, and is even in gifted and talented at school for the past 3 years.
I couldn’t be more grateful to the nurses and staff who held her when I couldn’t, who treated my daughter as if she was their own. I’m not sure where we’d be if that was not the case.
Grateful and thankful,
Tomarra and Lily