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I was a mom now, but had yet to see my new baby. I had no idea what he looked like. My mom and dad had already seen him, and so did all of my friends. Although it was only through a window, it still stung. It was heartbreaking. The next morning, my nurse finally delivered me a picture of my baby. I held it tightly and looked at it often.
I can’t remember exactly when I was able to go see Nicholas–but I was more than ready. I was still pretty sick, and since I hadn’t actually been on my feet for any length of time in many, many weeks, I had to be wheeled down to the NICU. My mom wheeled me down the long hallway, and finally I seen the wall full of windows–blinds drawn. We picked up the phone and asked if we were able to come in.
Upon entering the double doors we were instructed to “scrub up” and place on a sterile hair net, boot covers and gowns. It looked like we were preparing for surgery. I was wheeled over to Nicholas and I stood up to admire his beauty. I stroked him lightly, that was all I could do.
This was my baby. He was so very beautiful. It was a miracle he was even alive. There were so many machines hooked to him, so many monitors.
Then I heard it…
Beeping. Scary beeping. And lots of it. The nurses swarmed his bedside. In the middle of all this I became very dizzy. I held on to the side of his “bed” and tried to pretend I was okay, although I was not. I wanted to be there for my baby. I wanted to admire his beauty and for him to know I was there. I was his mom and I loved him.
My ghost white face told my mom and the nurses that I was not okay. They made me sit down and I was told I had to leave. Seeing Nicholas in that state was apparently too much for me, and I had came this close to passing out. My touch, to Nicholas’s sensitive body got him excited and he forgot to breathe.
His beeping got me excited and I forgot to breathe.
I remained in the hospital for about 1½ weeks after Nicholas was born. I went to see him everytime they allowed me. Even through all the complications we both had, I was adament on breast feeding him. I pumped in my hospital room, and would take my milk down to the NICU in hope Nicholas would soon be able to enjoy it.
Nicholas was starting to do really well, and I was able to hold him and feed him with a bottle (even though it was my breast milk). I loved our time together.
Then I was discharged. Although I was elated to finally be out of the hospital, my baby was still there. I came home to a fully furnished nursery, with no baby to enjoy it. I caught a ride to the city as much as I could (with C-Sections you are unable to drive for 3 weeks) just so I could spend a few hours with him.
Then the day came that he was finally able to come home with me. He was fully mine!
Nicholas did really well at home. I was producing more than he could eat, and I still had a freezer full of milk from his days in the NICU. He began sleeping through the night pretty early on and was a pretty happy baby.
In late December he became violently ill. Nicholas was unable to keep anything down..at all. No breast milk, or diluted pedialyte. We were at the doctor constantly over about a 2 week period, but they were unable to find out what was wrong. He got to where he was able to keep down very small amounts of healvily diluted pedialyte, so we slowly began to up his feedings and dosage. Nicholas was on his way back to being himself. Or so we thought.
During a routine doctor’s visit sometime in January, the doctor noticed something my mom and I had commented on numerous times before. His head was growing at a faster rate than the rest of his body. Everyone had just chocked it up to him being premature, and that the rest of his body would catch up later. After comparing the growth of his head to months past, the doctor ordered an immediate ultrasound on his head to make sure everything was okay.
The results came back, and I was informed that everything was not okay. We were immediately referred to a NeuroSurgeon in the city.
I was 18 and my baby was 4 months.
I was terrified, to say the least.