In honor of National NICU month, I’ve chosen to share my story as a NICU baby. This is the story of a NICU experience over 30 years ago, as told to me by my mother, Anita Boyd.
Candace was born at 2:14 a.m., at 28 weeks, weighing in at a whopping 1 pound, 8.5 ounces. She weighed about the same as a loaf of bread. What’s interesting about her birth time, is that we originally thought it was her birthweight! Since then, she’s been known as my “miracle baby.”
The day I gave birth to Candace, I was at the obstetrician’s office for a routine prenatal check up. I mentioned to the doctor that I wasn’t feeling her move as much. At that stage in my pregnancy, she should have been fairly active. Because of this, my obstetrician did some checking and found that Candace wasn’t growing as she should, so we needed to move fast and get her delivered. As you can imagine, Candace being our first child, we were nervous and scared, and to make matters worse, my mother was out of town on vacation. But, being a person of community, her sister-friend, Carolyn stepped in and met us at the hospital until my mother arrived back in town. That night, we returned to the hospital to prepare for her birth, and what a birth it was! Candace was delivered via c-section. She came out breathing on her own with no major issues, except being small. 1 pound, 8 ounces. Her dad could hold her in the palm of his hand. Small in sized but full of life! The doctors were in awe. They had never seen a baby so small, yet so whole.
My experience as a NICU mom was amazing. Candace spent several months in the NICU. She wasn’t there due to sickness; she just needed to grow. The nurses are what made it so special. They were kind, caring, loving and helpful. I had 24 hour access to my daughter. I was at the hospital everyday. I would visit her everyday. One of the hardest parts was leaving her there, but I knew she was in good hands. The staff treated her like she was one of their own. From helping me learn how to breastfeed, to the educational part of caring for a baby, to being an ear to listen, the staff was amazing. I’m thankful for the experience I had of being a NICU mom; my time was well spent. My miracle baby is still hanging in there, feisty and impressing people, 32 years later.