tales from the NICU
Aden + Anais celebrates NICU Awareness Month with a story from Rebecca
Time spent in the NICU is wearisome for any parent and new baby, and no one knows this more than Rebecca. Mom to triplets – now 6 months old – Rebecca weaves a narrative that is wrought with emotion and fear. But she attributes the health of her children to the Portsmouth, England NICU. Her story is a reminder of the strength of a mother’s will to keep her children safe and healthy. She also paints a picture of just how important the NICU is to any family during a period of uncertainty, which comes as a valuable reminder during September’s NICU Awareness Month. Just ahead, read Rebecca’s account of her pregnancy and birth.
Our story starts last September when we found out we were pregnant -- I was severely unwell and in intensive care. We were told the pregnancy was slowing down my recovery, and if I didn’t recover soon they would have to terminate the pregnancy for my health. Then, at our scan, we found out we were expecting 3! It was a miracle! Coming from a big family myself, I had always wanted lots of children.
I was put on immediate bed rest and spent the next few months in hospital and resting at home. On the 26th of February 2018, in my 24th week of pregnancy, I went to the hospital with a mild back ache. I wasn’t in any pain, and our scans showed happy babies kicking and hearts beating. After an examination, we discovered that I was 3 centimeters dilated. Being that we only have a small hospital, I was immediately airlifted to Portsmouth. My husband was unable to travel with me. By the time we reached the Portsmouth hospital, I was 6 centimeters dilated and required to have an emergency c-section. I didn’t hear my babies cry, and didn’t know if they were alive. My husband arrived a couple of hours later and we went to see our 600g (1.3lb) babies lying in incubators and covered in tubes. I spent the next 4 months with them, away from home, fighting for their little lives under the incredible care of the NICU team at the Queen Alexandra hospital. During that time, I was readmitted for sepsis and became very unwell. My husband could only come see us on weekends, so the staff became my family. We had several operations, blood transfusions and resuscitations during our NICU journey and are incredibly lucky that all three of our babies, now at 6 months, are safe at home, growing and thriving. We owe everything to the NICU team in Portsmouth. Without them our babies wouldn’t be here with us today.
No matter who you are, if you’ve had to endure any amount of time in the NICU, you understand Rebecca and her family’s worry. To keep yourself – and baby, when the time is right – comfortable during your NICU stay, read our blog on what to always have on hand, here.