I’m sure if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I just had a baby boy born at 24.5 gestation. I’ve also had a daughter born at 30.1 weeks and my oldest son at 34 weeks. Clearly this mama isn’t meant to carry babies full term.
I have 4 kids all together so that makes one child I’ve actually carried to term and came home with me from the hospital. I feel that having my oldest at 34 weeks was preparing me for my daughter, then having my daughter prepared me for Malakai.
Malakai’s situation is much different from my others. With him being so premature, his lungs were just not ready. I was able to receive steroids in all of my premature births but they didn’t quite have the effect on Malakai as they did on the others. A lot has to do with his gestational age. He was on a ventilator with a tube for 40 days. That hurts, so because of that he’s developed a love of morphine and then he starts to have withdrawals. He literally gets .2ml of medication, that’s nothing yet it’s all he needs. He has now been switched to a cpap mask that they can use with a nasal cannulae as well. It gives him so many breaths per minute and also allows him to take his own breaths as well. With my oldest, he needed no support and my daughter was on a liter of oxygen for two days. At 30 weeks gestation, that’s pretty unbelievable.
What happened that night is nothing short of a miracle. I knew that I get hypertension in pregnancy so I was really diligent to watch it. The reason why blood pressure is so imperative in pregnancy is because that is the indication of blood flow to your placenta then to the baby. You have high BP, your placenta is getting too little nutrition. Your baby can essentially stop growing, then stop breathing. I had been admitted into the hospital on Saturday and released Monday. My BP on Tuesday 9/29 was 172/85. I knew I needed to go back to the hospital. I was admitted again, given medication and all throughout the night the doctor would ask if the NICU came to speak to me about delivery just in case. I didn’t realize it was as serious as it was.
Then around 5am on 9/30 I started getting extremely bad gas pain, I’ve never felt anything like that. I was given more medicine and oxygen and tried to walk around. I kept my eye on the monitor and his heart rate was around 150 but no ups and downs. They want the fluctuations because that shows good blood flow and good activity. When my son would move, it almost felt as if my insides were being churned. It was very slow and felt like a contraction but it was his movements.
Around 7am the doctor rushed in and told me I was going to have a c-section. Ten minutes later, I was being wheeled into the operating room. I was alone, I needed my husband but I also needed to be strong for my son. With my husband on his way, they started the surgery almost immediately. There are windows in the operating room allowing them to pass the babies directly to the NICU for emergency resuscitation. All I could ask was if he was ok and all I was told was that he was born alive. I got to see him 4 hours after he was born and I got to hold him when he was 10 days old. It has been a long road and it’ll be an even longer road once he’s home and learning.
What I have to offer to moms and the difficulty of the NICU and the unknown is that all it takes is second by second, minute by minute. It does get easier, it does become redundant and there are days that you don’t even want to be there. Be strong and take care of yourself. Your kids are well taken care of and so this gives you the opportunity to get better. Mental health is so important in these trying times. Also, listen to your body. Know what isn’t right and who cares who you bother on your way. Sometimes you do get the feeling of being an inconvenience or being paranoid but more than likely, you’ll be right. It’s mothers intuition that helps get your baby to where they need to be.
With Malakai, we have a long ways to go, it almost feels like it will never end. However, I see his pictures from when he was born and what a difference 50ish days make. All my children were meant to be here but I feel his mission is much greater considering all the battles he’s faced. I can’t wait to share updates with all of you and I can’t thank everyone enough. Thank you for the prayers and thank you for your thoughts.