A Mother’s NICU Experience at Howard County General Hospital

I’m excited…nervous, excited… high energy… RN: Hello…are ya ready?
Tamara: I am…I think so. Tamara voice-over: Today is the day… where I get to have a baby… …which is like…I have like electricity springing through my body as I say that… but today is a day I get to have a baby. and um… I’ve been waiting four months. Tamara voiceover: My story starts when my water broke. 25 weeks when I walked in. I was literally twenty five weeks that day… like twenty five weeks and an hour. I remember walking through those doors… confused…I was supposed to go through the ER but they just told me to go straight to L&D.. I’m like “Labor & Delivery? I’m not in labor.” …and I just remember the long hallway. I was alone in this experience. I had to rely on strangers.
Theresa: She was up here by herself going through pre-term labor, being very, very, sick… and not having anybody around her that she knew. Tamara voice-over: Theresa came on at 8am and stayed with me until 8pm. Theresa: She was just so sweet, she was so scared, she was so sick …that it just came to me that I wanted to do everything I could do
to help her. Theresa voice-over: When she went through all this.. she was going to give birth to a live son who was going to be extremely sick and she had to deal with that, but then at the
same time she had to give birth to another baby that she had already lost. Tamara voice-over: The first twin passed. Her name was Nila. The next concern was Xander. Can anyone save my baby? My body is in labor and this baby’s about to come out. I
can’t stop it. I could not keep him inside me. I mean, I spent like two days trying to keep him inside of me, you know, because I knew his chances of surviving
were so poor… and then the reality that he wasn’t going to be able to stay in you know you’re.. the NICU team is already forming. When you see a baby born that early, you see that they’re not really supposed to live. They don’t have what it takes to live. And, so when he was born you feel he’s
not supposed to be out you see him he’s not supposed to be out, you’re like, “please save my baby, he’s not supposed to be out.” Theresa voice-over: When the reality of it all comes… you know, even though we tell them and tell them and tell them, when that’s your baby and you really can’t see the baby and hold the
baby at that time, and you’re trusting somebody’s doing the best for the baby…that’s very hard. Tamara voice-over: It is awful. I wanted to cover him up. I wanted to hold him. I wanted to make him okay. Um, I wanted to soothe him because he was so uncomfortable. Every instinct to hold your child, to take care of them, to feed them, to protect them… you aren’t the best person to do it, and that is
the most… really, painful um… psychological
experience that I’m sure every NICU parent experiences but that was so hard. The best hands for my child for the last
four months were not mine. Tamara: I am a people-person. I am about connection. My dissertation’s on connection. I was looking
for anything…that’s my job… just any signs that something may not be right
and it’s the more uh… invisible things that I’m probably
really great at seeing. They had to be the one touching him, so I needed to know that their intentions were like mine to feel comfortable with it. Theresa: I’d been a nurse for thirty-five, thirty-six years um… so, I have skill. I know how to assess a
patient correctly, I know how to assess… I’m certified in fetal monitoring. I know how to watch what that baby’s doing. Pay attention to what the baby’s saying.
Pay attention to what mom’s saying. So, I think literally I was able to hopefully give her the best care that
she could have. Figuratively, I hope that I gave her reassurance. I hope that I gave her hope when there was hope. um… I hope I gave her honesty when
that was what she needed to hear and I hope I gave her friendship. Somebody to say, “It was nice to meet you…and it was nice to meet your son.” Tamara: What people should know is that the medical staff absolutely are angels
dressed up like humans. Walk and talk like humans, but what they are doing is nothing short of a miracle and I say that with so much sincerity and I don’t
like to overstate or exaggerate. For me, I struggled with a lot, I struggled letting go, and there’s certain things that I would like to do, I like people to talk to me a certain way, and be available when I want them to be, you know, I even had some things where maybe people were having a bad day… an interaction I didn’t like, but in the end when I would have those
difficult moments it was, “Can I trust what’s been happening to my son?” And he is thriving. He’s surviving. They have been just as concerned for him living as I was. Theresa voice-over: To have gone through the NICU, the surgery with him, getting him to this point where she’s taking him home is huge. It’s a miracle. Tamara: They taught me how to hold my son. My mom didn’t. You know, my grandmother didn’t. Leslie,
Kathleen, Joann, Mercy did. They taught me how to change his diaper. All those rituals that are so important
that you get from your family, I got them from these aunty nurses, that’s what I call them. and that is such an important memento and part of my life that I will never, ever forget… and will always be grateful for. Theresa voice-over: She will look back on stuff as time goes on and realize that you know, people did the best by her and by Xander and um… hopefully she can think back and smile…and have a good life with him. That’s what I hope.

3 thoughts on “A Mother’s NICU Experience at Howard County General Hospital

  1. Wonderful thank you for sharing, my baby is currently there and he has the same nurses. Waterworks everyday. This video is so reassuring.

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