NICU

‘The doctor said, ‘I don’t want you to think everything is okay. It’s not. Your baby’s hands are fused together,’ then left the room.’: Mom to son with Apert Syndrome urges for kindness, ‘It’s the best gift you can give’

“‘I’m sorry, but he will definitely have mental issues and live in a home.’ The doctor told me to go home. The second I made it to the car, I lost it. I was crying uncontrollably. I called my husband, but I couldn’t get anything out. ‘Ashley, I need you to PULL OVER. I’m coming to get you.’ I couldn’t, I was so distraught. I just wanted to get home where no one could see me.”

‘The nurse kept asking, ‘Are you ready to take her off life support?’ She knelt down with her stethoscope and confirmed she was gone.’: Mom loses 3 babies to kidney disease, ‘We love harder and hug tighter’

“My entire future was dark. How was I going to keep living when my baby died? We were always waiting to find out if our baby would die and now we were waiting to find out if we’d have a baby that would live. That moment was when the world stood still. We were pregnant for the fourth time.”

‘7 months pregnant with his baby, he offered me some meth. I went on a 4-day bender. I wasn’t strong enough to resist.’: Woman survives domestic abuse, says ‘I am living proof there can be a happy ending’

“Every time people saw me, there was another new bruise or broken bone. The night before Johnny gave me some meth and pills, CPS said they had to come and do an assessment. He immediately told the worker I had been ‘up doing drugs all night.’ That night was the beginning of the end.”

‘How could this happen? I thought things like this only happened to older moms or if it ran in your family.’: Mom of Down syndrome baby finds community of support, ’She was made for us’

“’She has a few markers that are consistent with Down syndrome.’ I felt like someone told me my entire family had just died. I felt like I was in a nightmare. ‘I’m not equipped to handle this.’ I listened to my nurse talk about her twin brother with Down syndrome. I couldn’t believe it. That was the first moment where I felt, ‘Maybe I can do this.’”

‘Her intestines are twisted like sheets in an overstuffed washing machine.’ You could cut the silence in the room with a knife.’: Mom survives nearly-fatal child birth, daughter with Functional Short Bowel Syndrome beats death multiple times

“The surgeon called from the operating room. ‘I need you to come downstairs immediately, I found something.’ No other context. No details. Just a call from the surgeon who’d found something so alarming he needed to talk WHILE our baby was open on the operating table. She wasn’t moving. Her belly was huge and so stretched out you could see every vein. Everything came crumbling down in an instant. With mascara-stained tears streaming down my cheek, I held on to her a little tighter, not knowing if she would make it.”

‘Let’s get it over with. Your twins will be born and die.’ She denied me pain medication. I was banned from seeing them because it was a ‘waste of time.’: Mom births twin preemies after pressure to let them die, ‘They can and WILL thrive’

“21 weeks pregnant with my twins, I noticed a tiny smear of pink blood in the bathroom. The doctor spoke cold and matter-of-factly. ‘This is going to be quick. Your babies will be born and die.’ She wouldn’t let me hear their heartbeats. ‘I refuse to start labor again.’ As long as they were inside me, they were safe. When a new doctor randomly walked in, were gone in seconds. I yelled to my sister, ‘Call my husband!’ We were racing down the highway to save their lives.”

‘On behalf of all our brave men and women in scrubs: Don’t just thank God, thank a nurse. They’re doing everything in their power to fight for you.’: Woman urges ‘recognize the sacrifices of nurses’

“While my son was sick in the NICU, I bonded with another mom whose daughter was born severely premature. The prognosis was grim. When the time came to take her daughter home, she had one thing to say: ‘Thank you God for saving my daughter’s life. I know this was all your doing.’ Bloodshot-eyed nurses gazed across the room. I couldn’t help but feel a pang in my chest. She didn’t thank them, she didn’t look at them. She simply swaddled her baby, and left.”

‘The sounds, the smells, the whole NICU experience. It never leaves you.’: Mom of preemie creates nonprofit organization to ‘give back to the premature baby community’

“When I first saw our boy after he was whisked away, it looked more like a NASA mission. He was hooked up to so many computers, wires were coming out of everywhere. It was terrifying. It’s wonderful what they can do to keep our tiniest little ones alive. It’s a community you never want to be a part of, but once you’re in it, you make friends for life.”

‘The sonographer whispered under her breath, ‘Thank you, Jesus.’ Confused, I looked up to her wiping her eyes. My ‘dead baby’ was alive.’: Baby miraculously survives suspected miscarriage 

“I asked the ultrasound tech, ‘What are you talking about?’ There was so much blood. I made peace with the fact that my baby girl was gone. My D&C to remove the remaining fetal tissue from my womb was already scheduled. She turned on her machine, positioned the doppler on my belly. I was flabbergasted. My ‘dead baby’ was alive. The doctor came in and stared down the ultrasound photos in confusion. ‘There is no explainable way your baby survived.'”

‘My husband divorced me after my baby was born. At 28, I had to move back in with my parents as a single, special needs mom.’: Mom to daughter with Cerebral Palsy finds new perspective on ‘true happiness’

“Emily was only 2 pounds. She was so small my husband’s wedding band fit around her tiny wrist. She was crying, but I could not hear her. It didn’t seem real. Quickly, I was told by nurses, ‘You cannot touch her.’ I felt helpless. With each day, it became more and more evident my marriage was not going to survive this horrific ordeal.”

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