My precious little girl was born three months early. She weighed in at an unbelievable 1 lb., 13.3 oz. The journey that my daughter, Paislee, and I took with the Meriter NICU lasted just over three months. The NICU staff told me, "It’s a rollercoaster." They weren't lying!
Paislee's NICU stay was far from a walk in the park. I was initially hospitalized due to a bulging bag and 3 cm. dilation. Exactly one week later, my cervix had dilated to 6 cm. Because I was dilated that far and Paislee was feet-down, there was no more waiting – she had to be out quickly. I remember lying in the bed with meds pumping into me as the nurses were putting a cap on my head and slipping things on my feet... and then I was in the OR. I could never describe the feeling I had lying on that table – not knowing what was going to happen to my little girl, wondering what she was going to look like, wondering if she was going to live. I felt like I was in a nightmare. Soon, my mom was in the room with me, and before I knew it, the doctor reached in to grab Paislee, and I heard the doctor say, "She kicked me!" Just moments later, I heard a tiny little noise that sounded exactly like a newborn kitten. I never got to see my daughter there in the OR; I couldn't. The doctors needed to save her life. She was rushed up to the NICU.
She was born at 11:57 p.m. and I finally got to see her at around 3:00 a.m. Initially, I wasn't able to touch her or hold her. All she had was my voice. Eventually, I was able to touch her and comfort her as best I could while she was inside the isolette, but it killed me that I wasn't able to hold my daughter or take her home with me. It shattered my heart into pieces seeing her bony little body with nearly transparent skin, surrounded by wires and hooked up to so many IVs and different machines. Toward the beginning of Paislee’s stay, I used to sit in the computer chair and lean my forehead against the isolette, put my hand inside so she could hold my finger, and just talk. Typically, I sobbed, begging for her to live – I needed her. I loved her so much, already. If she were to be taken away from me, I didn't know what I would do.
Thankfully, Meriter has top-notch staff and is fully equipped to take care of such tiny, precious little babies. Paislee underwent two major surgeries: one for her heart, the other her tummy. She recovered very well from both. The nurses took great care of my little girl when I couldn't. I want to give a very, very special thanks to Kelly, who was Paislee's primary nurse. There were times when Paislee wouldn't even open her eyes for me. When Kelly would stand at the door, several feet away even, and speak, Paislee’s eyes popped open and lit up. I wanted to break down and cry. I knew right then that you two had a special bond, and she loved you so much. Not a day goes by that you don't cross my mind and I wonder how you are! We miss you, and I hope to come by for a visit soon! Thank you to all of the doctors and nurses who were with Paislee; you all saved my baby’s life. You are wonderful.
Paislee is now home, weighs 13 pounds and is a little over 21 inches long! Her health is perfect, and she is a very happy baby. She takes full feedings, eating her fruits, veggies and cereals, and she is growing like a little weed! She is 6 1/2 months old, but I get so many comments from people thinking she is a newborn! Nope, just my precious little angel! I never really believed in miracles until I saw one right before my eyes... and Paislee Lynn truly is just that: a miracle! =] Anyone who is going through a stay at the NICU for any reason, whether it’s a sick baby or a small, premature baby, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and good luck! Your babies are in INCREDIBLE hands. We love Meriter!