Friday, November 1, 2013

I Still Remember - Prematurity Awareness Month

July 4, 2007
3:16am - I hear his first cry, such a sweet sound; they clean him up quickly, put him on my chest wrapped in the standard hospital blanket with a little cap - just his eyes peeking out; I cry. I hug him. I kiss him. I cry some more.

Next,  they tell me they need to take him to the special care nursery, he isn't breathing properly. I cry, hate to be separated from my precious boy but know it's for the best.

I spend most of the day going back and forth between my room and the nursery, watching him in the incubator. The oxygen is regulated, so I can't take him out. I try and rest, but mostly just think about him all alone in the incubator - without his mama

The day passes in a blur, I am sore, I can't pee (complication from delivery), I am emotional, and all I want is to hold my baby boy.

9:00pm - I try and sleep; I can't. Get up and go check on my baby....come back to my room. Try and sleep....

July 5, 2007
around 1am - Pediatrician on call comes into my room to tell me things are getting worse, his breathing is extremely laboured and he needs more help than they can give him.... he needs to be transferred to a higher level of care. Either the Civic Hospital or CHEO, whoever can take him.  I cry....I call hubby, tell him to come......
1:30 - doctor comes back and says that the transport teams are on calls, and can't get here for quite a few hours...they have called Sick Kids and requested a chopper to come transport him.... 15 minutes later he is back - there is a lightning storm in Toronto, the chopper can't come....we have to wait for the CHEO team, however long that is.
Hubby gets to my room, I fill him in. We go see baby boy. Back to my room, hubby goes to the truck to try and sleep....
around 330 am the transport team arrives. The respiratory therapist talks to hubby and I after they have checked baby boy out....she says things are better than they thought. We go see him, they take him out of incubator, let me hold him, take polaroid pictures of him alone, and us as a family....
I go back to my room, hubby goes home to have a shower (on their orders) and then to meet them at CHEO in 2 hours.

Hubby gets to CHEO, baby boys condition worsened on the way there....his lung collapsed, they need to insert a chest tube and put him on a ventilator to help him out.

Meanwhile, I am stuck at QCH, I can't pee, I am emotional and praying my baby is ok....hubby is trying to keep me updated by phone, while staying near baby boy.
Things are tough. I get a day pass to go see him; relief floods me, he is ok. He is alive. I can touch him, kiss him and tell him I love him.  Back to QCH I go.
I call the NICU every few hours to check on him. Find out his chest tube was blocked...they needed another one.  Call back again - his left lung has an air pocket, but hasn't collapsed....we have to wait and see.
I am scared....I feel alone (being stuck in hospital, still not able to pee) all I want is to be at my boy's side.

July 6 2007
I am released on Friday...... I go see my baby boy.....air pocket on left lung is subsiding, they think it will fix itself.
Sigh....a little more relief.

July 7, 2007
I am frustrated; I am tired, I am sore, I am emotional. I am trying to pump milk for my baby boy, and not much is coming. I feel like a failure.
I see my boy, I touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand....I leave and go home.
I try and rest as much as I can, drink water, pump, rest, drink, pump...back to hospital.  Touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand. Off the ventilator!
Back home, drink, pump, rest. Drink, pump, rest....back to hospital. Touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand.

July 8. 2007

Drink, pump, hospital. Touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand. Home, drink, pump, rest. Hospital - touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand. Home - drink, pump, rest. Drink, pump, rest. Hospital - touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand - hold my baby boy!!! YES - I can hold him. Feeling his sweet body against mine, cuddling up to him. THIS is what I need. Back to the incubator; Touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand.  Home to drink, pump, sleep

July 9, 2007
Repeat above - but no holding of my baby today. He is moved to the next room - which is one step down in terms of care....a step in the right direction! We are able to move him to visit in the family room!

July 10, 2007
goes much the same as the other days. I spend my time pumping, drinking water, resting as much as possible and making multiple trips to visit my boy. Today I have an appt with the ob, catheter comes out - YAY!! To the hospital we go, touch his face, kiss his cheek, hold his hand. 8pm, I cannot pee. My bladder feels as if it is going to the ER I go. Get there, triage, register and my name is called almost immediately ( I can see dirty looks from MANY of the patients that have been sitting waiting, probably for hours) I go in - the nurse asks me questions, tries to put in the catheter...I scream....she can`t get it. She leaves, gets another nurse. They do an ultra sound on my bladder - I am sorry mam, but we have to do this or your bladder is going to burst.... you are going to hate me - but we can`t wait.....she gets it in, it hurt. a lot... but once it was in, relief.  Bladder drains, talk to the doctor, go home.....back to the grind - rest, drink, pump.

July 11 , 2007
Same as before - rest, drink, pump. Hospital Visit, hug, kiss, touch...Home to rest ,drink and pump. Back to hospital. Repeat.

July 12, 2007
Much the same, but I can hold my boy! We visit, we cuddle, I kiss him.  They have me try to nurse, but no luck. Daddy gets to hold Mr. J (for the first time) and does a gravity feed with him.  Good bye sweet boy, back tomorrow.

July 13, 2007
Phone call from the nurse, bring all your gear when you come in - your little boy is going home! I cry. We install the car seat, grab everything we need, and off we go with Grams in tow.... A few tests need to be done (ultrasound, blood work) we sign the papers (home for 24 hours, then back for more tests before they decide if he is released or not).  I hold my boy. I don`t even want to put him in the carseat....
one last nap before heading home
We are home!
To read more about Mr. J and other preemie stories click HERE. Know someone with a child in hospital? Check out this post on ways you can help.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I also have another friend who has her little boy in a NICU. He was born at 21 weeks. He is getting ready to go home soon.

    1. thank you for stopping by. Sending prayers the little guy can come home soon!

  2. I can't even imagine how hard it must be seeing your little one in NICU!! Although my children were never premature, my brother was and I know the difficulties my parents faced during those first few months. I'm so happy he was able to go home :) That must have been the BEST day! :) Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    1. It was definitely an experience I never want to relive, and really wish no other parents had to either. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Wow! I can't even imagine being away from my baby! I had 2 hours after my son was born that I didn't see him as I needed emergency surgery, but I can't imagine being in different hospitals and feeling like you can't do anything. Thank you for sharing your story, sounds like you have a strong little guy! I visited my nephew at the CHEO NICU, and we are grateful to have those wonderful people so close by!

    1. It was tough - not easy no matter what the situation. Thank you for visiting!

  4. So glad your preemie story has a happy ending. I was born 2 months premature and my heart goes out to preemie families knowing what my parents went through. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story. I've never had to experience the NICU and I hope I never have to. I had a friend who had to go through that, it seems very stressful and something I would never wish on anyone (the need to use the NICU, not the NICU itself, I"m sure they do a great job)

    1. the staff are wonderful - thanks for your comment

  6. I can't imagine what you went through. It is one of those things you don't realize unless you experience it yourself.

  7. What an experience you went through and thank you for sharing the story with us.

  8. I am so happy that your story had a happy ending. I know how hard it is to not be able to hold your child. The memory will stay with me forever. Thanks for sharing such an emotional and personal time with us.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

    1. :( it's so tough; and ours was a very different experience than yours was.

      Thank you for your comment

  9. What a terrifying story, but I'm glad that your little guy came through okay. My littlest guy was also a preemie, born 5-weeks early and he luckily had no issues. I understand how very fortunate we were as we were released after 24 hours. He's a strong little guy.


    1. so glad that your little guy had no issues! Thanks for visiting

  10. There are no stronger Mothers, then the Moms of preemies!
    Sharing your story will help so many other Moms!

  11. Reading about your experience reminds me how fortunate I was in my birth experiences. It must have been so difficult for you. I'm glad that it ended well.

  12. What a blessing. I know very well how you must have been feeling. Little One was also preemie. She spend 72 days in the NICU. A LONG 72 days. Our little preemies are such miracles. I'm reminded of this every day...even on days when they can be challenging ;)


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