For Prematurity Awareness Month, we’re sharing Kimber’s story…
My son, Ryder, was born at 28 weeks on August 6th, 2017. We spent two very long months in the NICU.
I started having what I remembered to be contractions but they were accompanied by HEAVY bleeding. I drove myself to the hospital with no known complications to find out I had a positive early labor test and short cervix along with being 1cm early August.
I spent two days on bed rest receiving steroids for Ryder’s lungs. By day two, doctors were sure I was ready to go home on modified bed rest to get me back to my two-year-old daughter, Blakeleigh, and our everyday life. I was getting dressed to go home and they wanted to do one more cervix check since I live 45 minutes from the closest L&D.
Turns out I’d dilated to 3 cms with off the chart contractions that were accompanied by no pain, and later that night I went into full blown labor again. I could tell something was wrong even though no one would tell me anything except I was being moved to a L&D suite to be “monitored”. Only once I was moved and situated, my nurse told me I was 7 cm dilated and they needed to transfer me another 20 minutes away by ambulance so we could be at a hospital with a high level NICU.
I was too early, my waters were bulging, and an ultrasound showed baby was transverse. I was told if baby came vaginally it immediately became life threatening for us both. My heart sank. I’ve never been so afraid and yet so strong in my life. Everyone in the room along with paramedics began praying over me and my baby. I had an emergency c-section at 3:06 on August 6th, Ryder was born.
Our NICU stay was blessed compared to some. We were never ventilated and started off in an isolette on CPAP at 2lbs 11oz. My son progressed through the A’s and B’s, jaundice, anemia, ROP, an abnormal newborn screen, moved from CPAP to a cannula and was moved to non critical side of the NICU by his first month of life.
Days after I received a phone call at 3 a.m. telling me I needed to make the hour drive to be with my son immediately and consent to care. I must have asked what was wrong a hundred times and all I kept hearing was “It’s bad, come now.” I made the hour drive through endless tears to find out my son had NEC days after major improvements. We went through endless possibilities of what may turn our somewhat routine stay into a life altering surgery or loss. Antibiotics and an amazing team of NNP and doctors’ early intervention saved my sons life.
Eventually we overcame all the trials that once seemed to overcome us in the NICU. We spent our most recent and last weeks in the NICU with a “feeder-grower”. At exactly my sons two month mark of life he graduated from the NICU.
I’ve learned the power of positivity works miracles. Preemies teach you more about life than you could ever teach them.