Today on Micro Preemie Monday, we will meet Amari. It is an amazing story, so I will let his Mom, Jenise tell you.
1. Tell us about your baby.
I am a PROUD micro-preemie mom of a beautiful miracle baby named Amari Jae . The day Amari Jae was born is a day my fiancé, Billy and I will never forget. I had just turned 25 weeks pregnant and little did we know our lives were going to be changed forever.
I had been sick all week, but couldn’t get in to see my doctor. Sunday morning/afternoon didn’t seem to get any better. It was about 450pm and I couldn’t take it. Billy was napping with me and I decided to get up and take a cool shower to help break the fever. I went into our bathroom, undressed, and then felt like I had to pee. I sat down on the toilet and felt like I had to pee but it was blood. I tried to get up and I was CROWNING! I immediately got a huge contraction, and pushed and out my son came.
I didn’t know what was happening! A thousand things were running through my mind. Lord, help me! Please save my son! Yell! Lord HELP! I immediately yelled “BABE!!” as I was skin to skin with my son. My sleeping fiancé opened the door to our bathroom and turned white! I was sitting on the floor with my son on my chest, naked, tears pouring out of my eyes, and not to mention it looked like a crime scene. I had lost so much blood. Billy called 911 and ran for the bulb syringe. And I proceeded to deliver the placenta. I put the placenta on my lap since I didn’t want to cut off the last oxygen the baby would be getting from the umbilical cord. Billy and I suctioned out his mouth, and started chest compressions to save our little boy.
Waiting for the paramedics to arrive felt like the longest time in my life. In actually it was 15 minutes. My heart was pounding, and honestly I don’t know what was going through my mind. I was staring my fear of losing my son right in the face. Lord I need you. I prayed and prayed holding my son in my arms. Paramedics arrived and rushed in, took baby, cut cord, and took off. The 2nd set of paramedics tended to me. Picked my naked body up from the floor, and I felt the life pour out of me. I collapsed.
Rushing to hospital I had lost so much blood they couldn’t get a good line. I was stuck 17 times to try to start an IV. But my veins had all collapsed. Throughout all the pain, and people all around me working on me I couldn’t think of anything but my son. Is he ok? Did he make it?
I was rushed to ER, nurses, doctors, people yelling, bright lights, needle sticks, and Billy’s face looking worried, staring right at me but again, my only thought was of my son. Neonatologist came in, told us he died and they brought him back and he was stable. My heart sank. I had to see him. Once allowed, Billy and I made our way to the NICU. Hand in hand, numb, scared, emotional and lost we walked down the long cold hallway to our son. They took us to his isolate. My heart broke. Tears immediately poured out, I grabbed my fiancé. There he was, our son, Amari Jae 1lb 12 oz., 12 and ½ inches in length, intubated, and lines everywhere. Delivering our son was the most traumatic min experience of our lives and at that moment we knew our journey had just begun.
2. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part?
We spent 84 days in the NICU, seemed like forever. Days turned into nights, nights into days, I lost track of time. I spent every moment at Amari’s bedside since I was not working, and Billy got off work he came straight to hospital. We took shifts seeing him because we have 2 other children at home, but I stayed majority of the time because I couldn’t leave my baby. One thing after another, good days, bad days, progress, setback, highs, and lows. I can’t speak for my fiancé but I experienced every emotion possible during our time in the NICU. The hardest part for me was the fact that I felt hopeless because I couldn’t do anything for my son. Until you have a premature baby, you will never really understand the great distance between one pane of glass.
3. Do you know what caused your babies prematurity?
After all the blood work and tests, my results came back and we found out what caused our baby’s birth at only 25 weeks.
The week of February 9th 2015, I had started with symptoms of fever, stomach cramps, and vomiting. I thought my daughter Lia passed her stomach bug to me so, I decided to wait a day and see if the symptoms progressed or went away. I continued to work as a Rheumatology nurse during the week, even though I still did not feel well. On Friday the 13th I was sent home from work due to high fever of 102 and I had gotten sick while injecting my patient. I immediately called my doctor, described symptoms, and asked to be a walk-in. She refused since I had my checkup that Monday. The nurse told me they were going to send me an antibiotic to the pharmacy and they would see me on Monday. I picked up the Rx and tried to rest. The next day was Valentines and I was feeling even worse. I slept the entire day. When my fiancé got home from work, I got up and dressed since we were going to dinner for Valentines. Dinner lasted about an hour and we had to leave because I feel horrible. We went home and I just went to bed. The next time I got up to use the bathroom, I delivered my baby.
I tested positive for the start of a UTI. The infection and fever had gotten to baby and it got so hot with fever that he self-abort himself. I was furious with my doctor because this could have been prevented if they had seen me on Friday as a walk-in and prescribed correct antibiotic instead of making me wait till Monday.
4. How are you and your baby doing today?
Amari was discharged on May 4th 2015, weighing 5lbs 5oz, 36 weeks gestational, and 18 inches in length. He is truly our miracle baby. In less than a month. Amari is weighing in at7 lbs, 12 oz., and 20 inches long and is thriving with no complications. Our family is complete, and couldn’t be happier. I look at him and still can’t wrap my head around how he was brought into this world. I still don’t know how we did it all. But looking at him makes every moment, every prayer, every tear, every feeling we went through worth it.
5. What advice would you give to a new preemie mom?
FAITH, don’t ever lose faith. As hard as it is, stay positive, your baby is already fighting for you, so fight for your baby. Cry if you need to, breakdown if you must, but pick yourself back up! Your baby is already a miracle because they are here. Believe! And Pray! Ask Questions!!! Learn! BE THERE! Even though you can’t touch your baby at the beginning, they feel you. Lastly, don’t forget about yourself. Take care of yourself, your baby needs a healthy mommy, Rest when needed!
Thank you so much for sharing your story Jenise!