It all started with a regular scheduled check up on December 27, 2006, that landed me in the hospital on bedrest with preeclampsia, contractions and a placenta abruption. Samantha was born by emergency C-section on December 31, 2006, at 12:29pm. - weighing 3 lbs., 3 oz. This is where our NICU journey began, at least for my husband. Because of my surgery and severe bleeding, I was not able to be with my daughter untilthree days after her birth.
Samantha's lungs seemed to be fine from the start; she was on the c-pap for only an hour after her birth. She did have moments when she would forget to breath, but this was easily treated with caffeine shots. Samantha's biggest areas of concern were her jaundice and her digestion. Not only did she have a feeding tube because she was unable to coordinate suck, breathe and swallow at the same time, but she had problems digesting her "milk" - resulting in a problem called residuals. The "milk" would sit in her stomach and not digest at the expected rate. This was a constant setback for Samantha.
Samantha did eventually learn to suck, swallow and breathe at the same time. She was able to drink from a bottle and eventually breastfeed. Her digestive issues all corrected over time and her jaundice was well managed by the NICU. We brought her home from the hospital on January 26, 2007, at 3lbs. 11oz. She has been healthy with no major health problems since.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff of New Hanover Regional Medical Center for the care, patience and knowledge they provided us during our stay. It was a very difficult, confusing, emotional and frustrating period of our life to have our first born in NICU instead of home...but the staff did a phenomenal job making our family feel at ease and gave us the knowledge to understand the events that were taking place. If it weren't for the amazing doctors and nurses here, our daughter might not be here with us today.