Welcome to another Inspirational Mamas post! Another mum I got to know through my pregnancy and babies communities is here to tell a little of her story. Courtney is a mum of three who has been kind enough to tell us a bit about her pregnancy journeys as well as some useful tips for mums with NICU bubbies. I am encouraged as I read her story, and hope you can find some inspiration here, too!
I am a wife, a type 1 diabetic, a mom to 3 boys, and two of my children were preemies.
When we got pregnant with our first child in 2012 my husband (then boyfriend) had only been dating two months. Although we weren’t together long, we were over the moon excited and quite frankly scared. We made it 10 weeks into our pregnancy when we had a miscarriage. I thought for sure he would run but he didn’t. He stayed by my side. The day after what would have been the due date of our first child, we found out we were expecting again, and a few days later my husband asked me to marry him.
Fast forward to 32 weeks and 6 days pregnant; my mom and I were out baby shower shopping, when I started having what I thought were Braxton hicks. Around 10:30 at night the Braxton hicks wouldn’t go away so my husband and I decided to go into labor and delivery. Once there they checked me and told me I was having contractions (mainly back labor) and I was 3cm dilated and we weren’t going anywhere. The next morning after being hooked up to magnesium all night, I sat up in the hospital bed and my water broke. We delivered our first son. He spent 20 days in the NICU, and so did I. I never once left his side and slept in the hospital every night. Since he was our first child we were able to do this and it was the best thing for me and my baby.
In February of 2015 we welcomed our 2nd son into our family. I made it to 38 weeks and had to be induced. Being a type 1 diabetic making it to 38 weeks is a huge milestone!
June 6, I had been having contractions for 4 weeks but every time I went into the hospital to get checked I was always sent home, still contracting very painfully, but I knew something wasn’t right. In a week and a half I gained 36 pounds in water weight, I had a headache that would not go away, spotty vision, but the doctor at the hospital chalked it up to all being normal and wanted to keep me pregnant until 37 weeks, I was only 32+6. When the doctor finally went home and a new doctor came on I was 33+3 and within 10 minutes of this new doctor coming on we were preparing for an emergency csection because I had severe preeclampsia and baby was not doing well at all.
Our 3rd son, was welcomed into our family on June 10th. He is still in the NICU and will be for a while until he learns to eat from a bottle but he is doing outstandingly well.
Through all of my pregnancies and before I have been a type 1 diabetic. It has been very difficult to control my blood sugars but I do what I need to for my children. I have the control and numbers of a non diabetic when I’m pregnant because I’m not only taking care of myself in the situation but somebody else as well. While in the hospital with preeclampsia with my third I did go into DKA (diabetic keto acidosis) because one of the nurses didn’t know how to give insulin shots and never gave me any insulin (the insulin would run down my arm) and I had to be transferred from labor and delivery to the ICU.
All of my pregnancies have been very hard on my body, and my last one nearly killed me. When asked if I wanted my tubes tied the on-call doctor warned me that if I were to get pregnant again the outcome would not be very good for me or baby, so with that I decided to get my tubes tied. My husband didn’t even know until we were in the operating room and they asked and I signed the papers. We had already talked about no more children, but the children we have now need their mom around more.
I am incredibly blessed and thankful to be a boy mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And even though Beau is still in the NICU we are still keeping a schedule and we can’t wait until he gets to come home and join this crazy, amazing household.
Tips from Courtney: Things NICU parents should know:
*it’s okay to ask for help, and if help is offered accept it
*remember to sleep, you are not a bad parent if you miss some feedings
*the NICU nurses will become like family, don’t be afraid to voice any concerns that you have
*ask questions, it’s your child, you have a right to know what is going on
*don’t be afraid to jump in and help (at the end of our nicu stay with our first we were checking his temp and everything)
*cry if you need/want to. If your child is feeling pain you will too and it hurts your soul
*make the NICU like home, if you aren’t ready to go home, stay with your child and snuggle the heck out of them (just don’t fall asleep holding them)
If you have any questions about diabetes, preeclampsia or preterm labour, feel free to check out some of the resources below. Please see your doctor if you have any questions about your pregnancy or birth in regards to any of these conditions or any other questions at all! Feel free to browse my Pregnancy and Beyond Resources as well.
About Type 1 Diabetes: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/type-1-diabetes#1
Pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes: http://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/how-to-get-pregnant-with-type-1-diabetes-all-the-lifestyle-tips
Pregnancy with Diabetes: http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2010/aug/a-guide-to-pregnancy-with-diabetes.html
Preterm Labour: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/premature-labor#1
Photo Credits: http://www.lamaze.org/blog/learning-more-about-preeclampsia