Monday, November 12, 2012

Spotlight on Preemies...Caroline and her Mommy

Who is "your" preemie? (daughter, niece, grandchild, friend) & Tell me a little bit about him/her...
My preemie is Caroline. She is my daughter, born at 28 weeks. She is without a doubt our miracle baby. She is beautiful, hilarious, intelligent, and sweet. She fought her way through 10 weeks in the NICU and has fought ever since to become a big, strong, healthy girl. She loves peaches, being outside, NICU pacifiers, chasing our cats, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She is the most amazing person I have ever met.
How would you say YOUR experience has effected you?
The experience of having a difficult pregnancy and premature birth changed me to my core. It has made me run the spectrum of emotions; joy, excitement, terror, faithful, happiness, pride, defeat, depression, victory. I will never underestimate a premature baby because those tiny little humans can do extraordinary things. I feel envious of those who experience "normal" pregnancies, or those who are completely in the dark about what can go wrong. I worry that I may never see anything past 28 weeks 4 days.
How were you able to handle the NICU experience?
I was in survival mode. I prayed, about a hundred times a day. I leaned on my mom & my best friend. I struggled with communication and patience in my marriage. I used the Preemie page on TB as a tool to reach out to others to find out how THEIR NICU experience had been. I saw a therapist.
Before this experience what did you know about preemies?
I knew that I never wanted to have one, because it would be so incredibly scary. I distinctly remember telling my husband's aunt (who is an OB-GYN nurse practitioner) "I am worried about pre-eclampsia... I mean, I am so scared I'll have like a 28 weeker!" and...then I did.
What have you learned from all of this?
God puts you exactly where he needs you to be when he needs you to be there. For example, the nurse I had the night I got very sick was my aunt's childhood best friend and an incredible nurse. The doctor I had (who didn't know me until that wknd because I switched hospitals upon admission due to needing a high risk OB and a Level III NICU) was on call the entire Thanksgiving weekend, so she "knew" me and knew I was getting sicker by the hour. The first NICU nurse Caroline ever had ended up being one of the BEST nurses in the NI and one of our primaries. The pieces fell into place the best they could. I have learned patience. Compassion. Acceptance.
What advice would you give another person in your situation?
Learn to be an advocate for yourself and your baby. If you are pregnant and something feels off, call your OB. Go see them. ALWAYS trust your gut. If you don't like a nurse, or a doctor, or a plan of care -- talk to someone. Change it. They may be experts in medicine, but you are the expert in your baby. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Don't use the words "discharge" or "going home" - its a jinx! Call the NICU as much as you want. Visit as much as you want - you are NOT a bother. You are that baby's Mama and they need you there. Any good nurse will respect your worry.
Anything else you want to share?
Celebrate EVERY milestone, as minimal as they may seem. Oh, she gained 0.5 ounces! WOOHOO! Oh, she got a bath today? YAY!!! Oh, you have gone four hours with no desats! YES!!!! No milestone is too small for the NI! :)


  1. Does Caroline have a blog? If so, could you send me the links to their blogs? I would love to read more about her story! I can't seem to read enough, I think it helps me cope.

  2. Hi Alicia!

    Caroline does not have a blog at this time. If in the future her momma creates one I will pass along the info to you!

    Thank you for reading my Spotlight on Preemies series.