I delivered my second son Cooper on August 18, 2016. My estimated due date was September 12, 2016, almost a month later. I had spent the last few months on bedrest with twice weekly checkups due to gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Delivering early due to these issues was nothing new to me, having been induced at 37 weeks for my first son. So when I went in for my last doctor appointment before my scheduled c-section and was told I was contracting and dilated and would be delivering my baby that afternoon, I was fine with that. My first son was a born a healthy 7lb 8oz at 37 weeks, so when I delivered Cooper at almost the same point in my second pregnancy and they gave me his stats of 8lb 1oz, I thought we were golden.
I Was Not Prepared For This
That was until the nurses finally brought Cooper over for me to see him. I immediately knew there was something wrong. Instead of a little pink squishy face, he was grey. The nurses also noticed and said he probably ingested fluid during the delivery. They said they would bring him to the NICU to be checked out, and I would see him soon. I never imagined the next time I would see him he would be hooked up to a thousand machines and have a breathing tube down his throat. Or that when I was finally allowed to walk down to the NICU the next day that I wouldn’t be able to hold him. That it would be an entire week before I was finally able to hold him. That he wouldn’t be coming home with me. That it would be weeks before his big brother got to meet him (no children allowed in the NICU). That I would have to figure out how to spend as much time as possible with my new baby in the hospital, while not completely disrupting the daily life of my 3 year old who just wants his momma back to normal. I was no stranger to birth plans going awry, but this I was NOT prepared for.
Wimpy White Boy Syndrome
Cooper had what is best known as Wimpy White Boy Syndrome. I kind of laughed when the doctor told me and then I asked what it was really called so I could google it. I needed to know everything possible about it. But that is what it is actually called. For some unknown reason, white males tend to take longer to develop. So despite his very healthy size, my little guy wasn’t ready to be outside in the world on his own just yet. The next two weeks were a bit of a blur. I spent all day, every day sitting in a hospital room just watching my baby and the stats on his monitors. Feeling helpless because the one and only thing I can do to help my baby’s progress is pump breastmilk. Breathing easy when numbers were high or low enough and stressing out when they weren’t. Learning which alarms to be worried about and which to ignore. Wondering how I was going to keep this tiny human alive once he was finally allowed to go home (I can thank the Owlet monitor for that peace of mind). All the while wondering if I could have done something differently to prevent this whole situation.
We Survived the NICU
When I couldn’t be at the hospital, I would watch the video monitor Touro Infirmary provides for each of the NICU babies to keep an eye on Cooper. And I wouldn’t have been able to keep myself together while away from the NICU if it hadn’t been for the amazing staff at Touro, as well as family and friends who went above and beyond throughout my entire pregnancy, stepping up when I was too proud or scared to admit I needed help. Being a NICU mom is not a club I ever thought I would become a member of, but I assume that’s the case for most of us. I was blessed to leave that hospital after 15 days with a perfectly healthy baby boy. He is now a happy 14 month old toddler who loves to climb on everything, give the most perfectly crooked mischievous grins, and generally just keeps us on our toes. We survived the NICU, and for that I will be forever grateful.
About Megan Kirchem
Megan is a born and raised New Orleans girl, living life with her two boys and her high school sweetheart husband in Lakeview. She doesn’t know what it means to sit still so if she’s not at her full time job as an Administrative Sales Coordinator with Humana, working on her side business as a Senegence Independent Distributor, or performing room mom duties at her son’s school she’s probably doing yet another project around her house. She’s a girly girl, living in a boys world who is just trying to figure out the boy mom life.