Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A trip back to the NICU.........











So, I have to share these precious photos of my Katie. After a meeting last night at the NICU, I came home and searched my Photobucket account for these photos-and boy, did they bring back some memories. These pictures were taken on the night that Katie "crashed" in front of me. I had just "kangarooed" her, and the nurse was getting her settled back in her warmer. That is when Katie's nurse frantically called for another nurse, and my little girl suddenly lay limp before my eyes. It seemed so surreal. This was not supposed to happen to my healthy 3.8 lb surprise little girl.
I went to the local NICU last night in order to be on a parent panel for the March of Dimes. The MOD was doing a presentation to the NICU staff for continuing education credits. I was asked to be on a panel to talk about my NICU stay and offer any suggestions I may have to improve the stay for parents in the NICU. I was not prepared for the emotions I would have. Now I have been back to this NICU several times, but always with my children to "show them off"! But last night, I was alone. As soon as I went in the elevator to the 3rd floor, I got choked up. I saw the hand sanitizer around the floors and I went up and grabbed some. Oh my-the smell-I couldn't get enough out of it. It brought back a rush of emotions for me.
As soon as I walked into the conference room, I instantly saw the two nurses that saved my baby girl's life that fateful night on Nov. 19, 2006: Diane and Karen. I will NEVER forget these ladies. For minutes, that seemed to last a lifetime, these two women breathed for my little girl, and beat her heart for her. I know they were "only doing their job", but it was more than that to me. I was there and I saw it. They cared. They loved my daughter just as I did. They saved her life that night, right in front of my and Tom's eyes, and I am forever grateful to these two ladies.
I must also mention the doctor involved in saving Katie's life was phenomenal as well. As Diane and Karen fought so hard to keep Katie breathing, the doctor also worked so hard in getting her on the ventilator. It was an extremely scary sight for me. He tried SEVERAL times to get the tube down her throat, and just coulnd't seem to do it. It wouldn't go down. Somehow, by the grace of God, one of the final attempts worked. You could almost see and feel the relief in the room. She was breathing. Amazingly, once she was ventilated, she became "alive". The entire 16 days of her life, she barely opened her eyes, barely moved a muscle in her body. The doctors even talked of Katie possibly having some type of "muscle" disease, since she did notmove. Amazingly, as soon as she didn't have to fight to breathe, and use all of her energy to breathe, she became "alive". She opened her eyes and kicked her feet. We were thrilled.
I just want to take the time to thank all of the NICU staff for their amazing care of ALL four of my little ones. I consider you my extended family and am forever in debt to all of you. And to Diane and Karen, and to Dr. B., I will never forget that fateful night in November 2006. That night you saved my baby girl, and I am so thankful for that. I love you guys!!!! :)
PS-the one picture is of Katie on her CPAP before she crashed that night. Then, she was ventilated, and finally opened her e yes and was so active. It was amazing to see life throughout her body. And last, thereis a pic of Katie and I upon her arrival at CHOP, where she was airlifted to the next day following her crash.

11 comments:

Brandi :) said...

I am sitting here tearing up (once again) over reading your post.... Wow... what a RUSH of emotions! Babies in the NICU are so very fortunate to have all of those angels (nurses & doctors) in the NICU to watch over them, take such great care of them, and perform the "miracles" that they do.
Wow-- loking at Katie just 2 short years ago in the pics... and looking at her now... wow! It's so AMAZING! What a beautiful little angel you have! :)
So happy that you decided to go be a part of the panel and share your experience. What a MOM! :)

p.s. The smell of the hand sanitizer is definitely an instant reminder of the NICU days!

Sarah said...

Maybe the smell of the sanitizer is why I can't stand to use it-too many memories associated with it! Thank you for sharing your experiences in hopes of making NICU stays easier for us parents. So glad those days are over for both of us! Katie is doing great, as are all your little ones!

Fulton Quads said...

That is AWESOME that THEY ASKED you to give suggestions to help other parents whose children will be in the NICU. Ever since our little ones were there I routinely share with the director what I thought helped or did not help me. I did this on my own because we do not have a panel like you are on. YAY! I am so happy that MOD is are on the ball & started one! BTW, I love the pictures! I almost forgot mine ever being that small!

love, Cathy

Misty said...

My heart is breaking for you all over again for you. I too had a similar experience talking about JuJu and RSV season and going thru old photos. You are an amazing & strong mom! And what a champion your Katie is!
Take care!

kim said...

Hi Ann,
It is amazing to me how strong Katie is. I still remember Tom calling and leaving a message telling us that you had the babies. You are such a wonderfil mom!
Kim

Jill said...

Wow!! That was such an emotional post, I'm so glad you shared it with us. Your post reminded me of the very early morning that I watched the amazing dr. and nurses working on my Colin. They gave me 8 precios days with him and for that I will be forever grateful!!
Is Katie getting over her sickness? I hope the other kiddos didn't get it!

jag said...

Your story really touched my heart. I can't imagine the fear you must have felt. Thank God Katie (beautiful baby, by the way) was revived. I too am in awe of the amazing work that doctors and nurses do each day. Thanks for sharing such a difficult memory. I don't know if you're interested, but you can get the widget from the March of Dimes website for the preemie petition to put on your blog! It's super easy. Here's the link: http://www.marchofdimes.com/padpetition/GetWidget.aspx

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie
Oh gosh what a story, you are and amazing writer, I am so glad Katie is ok now. My daughter is 26wks4days with ggbg quads. Her blog is www.azcrisanti.blogspot.com. She is in hospital on the horrible mag thing, but coming off tomorrow we hope. Keep us in your prayers for 28wks at least. Our NICU is suppose to be one of the best in the Country (Banner Good Samaritan in Phoenix). Yours sounds amazing also.
Linda (Kami's Mom)
www.rockynicky@cox.net

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie
Oh gosh what a story, you are and amazing writer, I am so glad Katie is ok now. My daughter is 26wks4days with ggbg quads. Her blog is www.azcrisanti.blogspot.com. She is in hospital on the horrible mag thing, but coming off tomorrow we hope. Keep us in your prayers for 28wks at least. Our NICU is suppose to be one of the best in the Country (Banner Good Samaritan in Phoenix). Yours sounds amazing also.
Linda (Kami's Mom)
www.rockynicky@cox.net

The Huling Family said...

Chills all over my body and bawling is all I have to say. Reading your amazing story and also having flash backs of our experience. WOW!!! Speechless!!!

The Stephens said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! I don't miss the NICU. What amazing strong children (and momma)