The Full Story
Absolutely nothing prepares you to be a NICU mom, and you do not know how much strength and resilience you have within, until you become one.
I had a smooth pregnancy and Ayaansh was born as a full-term baby at 40 weeks. As soon as I checked into labor & delivery, I was told that his heart tracing was not looking very good and to accelerate the birth process, I was taken into an emergency C-section. He had passed his meconium while he was still inside me and went into respiratory distress at birth due to Meconium Aspiration.
Being a second time mom, I had imagined bringing him home, rocking him to sleep in the calm confines of my house, listening to baby lullabies. However, here my baby was, surrounded by beeps from machines, hooked to wires. While entering the NICU, there was a rush of emotions, as much as I was curious to know how he was progressing each day, my heart was gripped with fear as to many things that could possibly go wrong, he was being watched by the hour for the first few days of life.
Every passing day, my husband would tell me that these days will go by soon, and I would hold onto those words and think of the day we would finally be able to take him home. I kept telling myself, no matter how long the journey, today is one day closer to taking him home and watching my older one finally get to hold her brother. The faith and deep trust that the universe has a plan for my sweet boy, kept me going.
The days were long and nights were dark, but the Duke University Hospital NICU staff were extremely competent and comforting, and I did not feel alone, even once. They treat the NICU babies as their own and care for them dearly. I have shared the small victories by hugging them as well crying out loud on their shoulders with setbacks, they have become a part of our memories forever.
Our boy is 3 years old now and we are grateful every day to have met real-life angels disguised as human beings on this journey.