9 years after our 100-day stay at the NICU, I was suddenly paralyzed by PTSD. Every horrible feeling of fear, anxiety, despair, and anger came flooding back all at once, as a sucker punch to the gut. Emotional scars I thought long healed were bleeding again, as I hurt for my friend and for my own experiences.
I saw my physician’s name come across my phone screen, and my heart sank. He explained that the ultrasound showed an abnormality, and he predicted a spina bifida diagnosis. I had no idea what that meant, and the rest of the words coming out of his mouth became a blur.
I was so, so terrified. Not for me, but for her. Would she be okay? Would she be in pain? Please just save her! As I wheeled away from my family, the only feeling I remember is fear. In the OR, faces I didn’t know surrounded me. I was squeezing the hand of a person I’d never met as they prepped me for the emergency C-section.
“There’s a major problem with your pregnancy.” Are words no expecting parents anticipate hearing. At our routine twenty-week ultrasound, the ultrasound technician got the doctor, and we heard the words that would forever change our lives. “The bladder isn’t releasing urine” and “the amniotic fluid level is dangerously low.”
Kangaroo care (KC, sometimes referred to as “skin-to-skin”) is the most optimal way to promote close contact and can be done by placing your diapered (undressed) baby on your bare chest. This seemingly insignificant practice will actually promote a strong and healthy relationship between caregiver and baby while helping baby thrive exponentially.
During Alysha’s 23rd week of pregnancy, their unborn daughter was diagnosed with a rare tumor growing on her heart. Fewer than one in a million babies develop this type of tumor – called a fetal pericardial teratoma – which often results in death.