Today’s post comes from Tina B., one of our NICU Ambassadors.
Well, what can I say… I started having contractions and bleeding on November 18, 2011, on a Friday night, I was 26 weeks along with our first child. So, my husband and I went to the ER, and they kept me overnight and then the next morning my OB came in and said that she would be more comfortable if we were at Carle Hospital in Urbana, IL, where they have a neonatal intensive care unit, just in case. So, baby and I got helicoptered to Carle that morning. It was a wild ride and I prayed the Hail Mary the whole way there, I absolutely hate to fly!! Meanwhile, my husband was driving to Urbana, watching us in the sky above him the whole ride there. Our baby waited until Sunday night to introduce herself. Weighing in at 2lbs. 2oz. A baby girl…. Olivia Ann. I had to have an emergency C-section which I was not at all prepared for, but what woman is?)
The doctors there told me that I had a full placental abruption. I lost a ton of blood, the day after I had Olivia I was not coherent, I had to have a blood transfusion, and it was the scariest time of my life. I felt helpless knowing that I had to take care of myself first before I could go to the NICU and see my daughter for the first time.
Once I was on my feet again, I just loved going down to the NICU to see her. She was so tiny, I just cried and cried thinking it was all my fault that I did something wrong during my pregnancy but I didn’t, these things just happen sometimes. I still cannot believe she was 3 months early. It just pained me to see her struggle in that incubator. I just couldn’t wait to hold her for the first time. But, watching over her and just staring at her, I could feel the bond between us, through our eyes. I just couldn’t believe how much I already loved my little one. She was proving herself to be a little fighter. It was very tough to see her so tiny and need so much help, but our little Olivia just kept making her father and I so proud.
I got to hold Olivia 3 days after she was born. From the moment the nurse placed her in my arms, she snuggled right into my heart. She just kept growing by leaps and bounds. I was always overwhelmed by the pumping my milk for her and all the wires and tubes, it was very scary to think that she could have a problem at any moment. Now I know that Great things come in Small Packages. She is a sassy little lady to this day. She is 6 years old now and I still cannot believe she was so tiny when she was born. We waited so long to have her come into our lives, and then when we finally got pregnant with her we were so happy.
Everything was right in this world, we never gave up wanting her in our lives. I always believed that we would be parents someday. I wanted to do everything right when we found out we were pregnant, but I felt like I was walking on eggshells. I dreamt of being a Mom for such a long time and I never thought that what we went through would have ever happened to us. Sometimes I cannot believe that Olivia came 3 months early.
Even looking at her now, you would never have known that she was a preemie. When she was born she only weighed 2lbs. 2oz. The doctors sent up a picture of Olivia the day after she was born, I couldn’t believe that she was mine. She was so beautiful. When I went to see her in the NICU for the first time I wanted to hold her so badly, but I was not allowed to yet. But, the first time I got to hold her it was the most wonderful thing in the world.
She was so tiny in my arms. Holding her was called kangaroo care and it felt so good to have her close to me again. That was our first bonding moment together. I went to see her every day I could. I would give my husband updates every day on her weight, oxygen level, and if she had any Brady’s that day. Before I knew it she graduated from an incubator to a crib. When January came the Dr.’s said that she was strong enough to go home. I was ecstatic!!
The day we brought Olivia Ann home it was very nerve-racking yet our family was now complete, together. Mommy, Daddy, and Olivia..……..All 3!
Finally our Baby Olivia was home with us.