Featuring: NICU Miracles and Their Mothers

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Photos By: Felecia Causey
Mothers: Karlee Lancaster, Shakayla  Ivey, and Ashley Adams with their kids

In the United States one in eight babies are born preterm. The isn't anything that can prepare a parent, when their baby has to be rushed away to NICU. Many parents who have NICU babies encounters different emotions, and seeing their baby hooked to wires is an experience they will not easily forget.

Since, last month was NICU Awareness month, I have a few mothers who shared their preemie miracles story with recent photos of them taken by me.

On March 16, 2011, I woke up at 8:30 AM feeling very uncomfortable so I told my Mom. She explained to me that it was probably braxton hicks since, I had just turned 31 weeks. I had just had my 4D ultrasound two days before, so she didn't think anything could really be going on. Finally, five hours later she took me to my doctors office. They could immediately see how uncomfortable I was and checked me. I was 9 cm dilated and they took me straight to the hospital. It was an emotional time as I sat there thinking if my baby was going to be okay because she was about to be born 9 weeks early. I delivered a baby girl weighing 3lbs and 6oz and 16 1/2 inches long. They took her by ambulance to another hospital. Being a Mother to a NICU baby is one of the hardest things I've had to do. For the first week, I could only look at her through the incubator. When she was a week old, I finally got to hold my tiny angel and it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I longed for the day that I would be able to bring my baby home instead of only being able to visit her 30 minutes at a time. I am so thankful for the NICU nurses. They supported me and comforted me in my time of need. They took amazing care of my baby girl and gave me some relief. Finally, she was able to come home 28 days later which was way earlier than doctors were expecting weighing 4lbs and 13oz. She is now a healthy 6 year old.

My daughter was born on August 26, 2016 weighing only 2lbs and 1ounce . I was 28 weeks pregnant when I was told I'd have to have an emergency C-section, and believe me when I say I was so scared that everything would go wrong.  I had to pray and keep faith that everything would go right. They took me up for my procedure and her dad held my hand the whole time . They began and when they finally got her out they said "well look at those big eyes, she's just looking around everywhere " and then she began to cry. In that moment I was just so happy to hear that little cry...... After everything was done they rolled me to my room so I could rest, and they took her straight to the NICU. When I could finally walk a little I went to visit my baby girl down there as much as I could . I hated the fact that I couldn't hold her as much as I wanted to, sometimes all I could do was watch her from outside of her incubator. It really hurt me to not be able to just scoop her up and kiss her little head .  I would spend hours with her, and then it'd be time for me to go home. Some nights I cried having to leave my baby there and not be able to bring her home with me . It wasn't easy to just leave without her, but some how I sucked it up and waited patiently until I could come back the next night. Our journey through the NICU felt like it was more than just two months . I called everyday and came to see my baby every night until she was able to come home . The NICU nurses really helped me through our journey though, they were so nice and they remembered my name and welcomed me very warmly every time I went. It wasn't easy, especially when I knew any small thing could set her back from coming home. Like, when she had to get blood because she was a little anemic or when she'd forget to breath and her machine would beep sometimes scaring the living daylights out of me. But I kept faith and it helped get me through it. Watching my baby grow everyday and get stronger until she was able to come home, helped get me through it too ."

I had my son at 23 weeks due to a complete placental abruption. He was 1lb and 2oz. He spent 5 months in NICU. He was born with cataracts and a grade 3 and 4 brain bleed.  He also have bronchopulmonary dysplasia (bpd), seizures, and afos on his legs to help him with his balance. It was a hard thing to leave him behind.  I suffered from postpartum depression, but I made sure I went to see him everyday during visiting hours.  I went every night to give him his night bath and bottle. When he finally came home I was very happy. I did limit our visitors because he came home during RSV season. He is now three years old, and he still has a lot of doctor visits to attend.

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