It’s not easy to talk about this NICU journey with Brantley. It brings back so much emotion and stress. Even though it was almost two months ago, it’s still so raw and feels like it was yesterday. I’d like share what we went through, because I know there are other mamas out there who may experience the same thing. So please know, you’re not alone. Our third baby was due on September 9th. I had a scheduled c-section on September 3rd. My other two sons were born on the 3rd so I was excited to have this last baby on the 3rd as well. I had my second to last doctors appointment on August 26. It was a routine appointment, ultrasound, everything seemed fine, no big deal, until my delivery doctor came in and told me the news. I had too much fluid around the baby and I had to have an emergency c-section that day…meaning within the next few hours. I literally didn’t believe her, and kept saying ok you’re joking. Once, it finally sunk in, I went into panic, crazy mode. We had no one to watch our two boys since our third baby was two weeks early. My mom was flying in on September 1, but since this was so early, we were winging it. Our two sons did a great job of trying to keep us calm at a very nerve-racking time once we checked in to the hospital. I still didn’t know if the baby was going to be okay because of the fluid around him/her. Luckily, the staff at Sacred Heart on Emerald coast was so awesome, they all took turns watching our sons, especially strolling around our little 15 month old in his stroller, so my husband Travis could be with me in the delivery room. It’s a boy! Brantley Mason Webb came earth side on Friday evening, August 26 at 5:46pm, 7lbs 5oz. Once he was born, he went into respiratory distress. That evening he needed to be rushed to children hospital in Pensacola nicu. It was so scary seeing him hooked up to all the wires and ivs, knowing I couldn’t go with him. I needed to stay at the hospital because I just had a c-section. Pensacola childrens hospital nicu was an hour and half away. Plus my husband Travis had to go take our boys home because kids could not stay over night at the hospital. So I was alone at the hospital, trying to rest and recover, all the while not having my baby in my arms. Seemed like a nightmare. 24 hours later, the hospital discharged me so I could go to Pensacola. It seemed like the longest 10 days. I think in the 11 years of being together, my husband and I got even closer. We leaned on each other for support and comfort. I was in so much pain from my c-sectoin and medication, it all was a blur and I didn’t remember a whole lot. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I didn’t have my husband Travis aka my rock by my side. It was such a stressful and an emotional rollercoaster knowing I couldn’t hold nevermind touch my newborn baby. Brantley’s first day there, his left lung collapsed. He did not produce enough surfactant so he was trying to breathe so hard, he blew a hole in his little lung, causing it to collapse. He had to have chest tube put into his lung, along with ivs, breathing tubes and feeding tubes. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Knowing this was my newborn baby, I couldn’t help but feel like this was all my fault and I caused it. We stayed at a nearby hotel our entire stay to be close to Brantley and be there everyday to sit next to him and talk to the doctors. Staying coped up in a hotel with a wild one year old, a moody 9 year old, and the tropical storm hermine had just hit so my parents flight was canceled, this seemed like an absolute nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. Mind you, we just moved to Florida, so we didn’t know one person. Thankfully Travis’ sister in law drove down on a whim right when I was discharged, to take care of our boys at our house so we could be there with Brantley at the hospital. After Brantley’s chest tube was put in, his recovery was only going up from there. For the next nine days he exceeded everyones expectations. His oxygen went down everyday and he gained weight. Finally after 48 hours of him not being hooked up to any tubes or wires, no oxygen needed, and continuing to gain weight from breastfeeding, we were able to bring him home on Sunday, the day before Labor Day, the same day my parents finally made it to Florida from Boston. What a scary and emotional time we went through. This experience has opened my eyes up about a lot of things. What those nice nurses do is just amazing. The around the clock care they give to these newborn babies and genuine dedication is something I’ve never seen. They are truly angels. Sitting there next to Brantley in his little incubator for over a week, hearing the monitors go off and talking to nurses and doctors all day, we learned a lot. It was a humbling experience. Thank you to Melissa H, Melissa H (who just had her baby), Renee, Kathleen, Joy, Shelby, Billie, and whoever else I may have missed, we are so grateful to you. Having a family member have cancer and this happening to our newborn baby, makes me realize again how much to appreciate life, don’t take it for granted and live happy and fulfilled each day. Don’t sweat the small stuff. The children’s hospital in Pensacola is such a wonderful place where they truly care about our babies and give the best care. I’m so happy we were there and would go there again if we had to. We are happy to be home as a family of five and starting our new normal. Happy chaos as I call it. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Have you had a preemie baby or been to the nicu?