NICU warrior

‘I don’t want this life. I’m not cut out for this!’ I heard ‘I’m sorry’ on the other end. Adrenaline began, my face got hot. Then the tears started to roll.’: Boy with down syndrome diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

“Oliver was on vacation with his dad when I got the call. ‘He stopped walking.’ Weeks pass. His lymph nodes are swollen. Something just wasn’t right. I remember telling my boss, ‘I have to leave!’ Before I could even get a response, I was gone. I’m worried the ER doctor missed something. The doctor is quiet. I can see in her eyes she is trying to stay calm for me, but something is there. I scream. Deep down, she knows something I don’t.”

‘I kept crying out, ‘Please wait! It’s too early!’ I was 19, pregnant with quadruplets. My water broke at just 24 weeks and wouldn’t stop.’: Teen mom births miracle micro-preeme after losing 3 of her quadruplets

“I stopped feeling my girls move. I lifted my shirt over my baby bump. I could see the ultrasound as the tech moved the wand around. I knew immediately something was wrong. I started to cry to my fiancé. ‘I can’t lose my babies. I can’t.’ The words were burned into me, ‘Babies B and C no longer have heartbeats.’ My cervix was giving out. ‘What else could go wrong?,’ I asked. I had to stay strong so my survivor could have a chance.”

‘I’m having a hard time finding the baby’s head,’ the doctor said. ‘Were you bit by a mosquito during pregnancy?’: Mom births miracle baby with microcephaly, ‘He brings us endless joy!’

“I went for my routine check-up with my OB. The vibe of the room felt off. My doctor asked, ‘Have you been out of the country while pregnant?’ So many questions went through my head all at once. Is my baby alive? Is he okay? How’s his head? How many fingers and toes does he have? I was already in love with him, but so scared. And then I felt it. ‘This baby isn’t going anywhere.'”

‘You must be so relieved. I bet you can’t wait to take her to Target.’ This medical hell would follow us home for years to come.’: Mother shares reality of daughter’s tracheostomy post NICU, ‘If I was going to do this, I’d become the best damn trach parent ever’

“If I was going to do this, I’d become the best damn trach parent that ever lived. The reality is, while our NICU chapter is over, this is far from normal. I can’t take Lily to the store, or anywhere, alone. My husband and I haven’t been alone in 4 months. One of us needs to be awake around the clock to care for her. There is no longer privacy in our home as our ‘special guests’ come in and out all day and night.”

‘The ultrasound tech lubed my belly. ‘OMG. There are SO MANY!’ My heart dropped. ‘So many what?!’: Mom births triplets after battling infertility, ‘It’s hard, but in the end it’s all worth it!’

“The doctor replied, ‘So many babies! There is 1, there are 2, there are 3, and there might be a 4th…’ Shocked is an understatement. I sat there laughing and full of adrenaline, while my husband sat in the corner of the room with his hands covering his face. We were dumbfounded. I went emotionally numb. I couldn’t believe this was happening.”

‘I chose to wear headphones. I didn’t want to hear or see Lily, afraid she would die. I kept my eyes affixed on my husband.’: Parents who lost twin daughter navigate marriage through tragedy, ‘We weren’t remotely prepared for what lay ahead’

“My husband encouraged me to look at my 1-pound daughter. If Lily died, we agreed to sell all our belongings and move to a beach in Hawaii, disappearing until we felt strong enough to return – but Pat knew Lily was strong enough to survive. I had intense, terrifying thoughts. This is not what we anticipated when we took our vows, but we faced each day together. We’ve come so far from stupid teenagers breaking curfew for 5 more minutes together, but if they could look ahead, I know they’d be pretty damn proud of us, too.”

‘Something isn’t right.’ I looked into my husband’s eyes. As I slowly shifted our son’s head, I saw an enlarged cheek.’: Mom ‘never knew’ about newborn’s lymphatic malformation until birth, ‘We were numb’

“Immediately our midwife called in the doctor. Within 3 minutes of meeting our precious Oliver, he was taken off my chest and over to the incubator. I didn’t know how to feel. My midwife was still trying to get me to stop bleeding as I struggled to see my baby. There was no time to process, research or pray. Here he was, our firstborn. We had no idea how to be parents, but then to throw in a special needs child, we were numb.”

‘How the hell did I end up here?’ It took me months to say, ‘My child died.’ We hung her stocking. I’m finally ready.’: Mom celebrates stillborn during holidays for surviving twin to know ‘her sister’s spirit is with her for her lifetime’

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered, ‘How are you?,’ with a forced, fake, ‘Hanging in there!’ just to make the conversation easier. We hung her Christmas stocking on the mantle this year. I am painfully aware that on Christmas morning, that stocking will hang empty as the others burst with gifts. ‘Why me? Why our family?’ But for now, we honor her absence. I am finally ready.”

‘I can feel her head!’ You were pregnant, living under a bridge. Those precious cries are something I’ll never forget.’: 911 dispatcher shares act of kindness for homeless woman birthing twins, ‘sometimes all you need is a little love and support’

“It was 4 a.m. and 39 degrees outside. You had no pregnancy symptoms and found out barely a month ago you were expecting! The contractions hit. You thought you had time to get to the hospital. When they increased in intensity, you realized that was not the case. You quickly dialed 911 and they transferred you to me. This call was a rough one for me. You were in so much pain, cold, and all alone. As a mom too, I can’t imagine how you felt. I could tell you wanted to do better.”

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