Adalyne Ellie’s NICU Journey
April 10, 2019 was both the best and worst day of my life rolled into one very long day. Early in the morning, after 24 hours in labor, my doctor told me that I needed a C-section, but no one expected what happened next. My miracle girl was born not breathing, limp, and white as a sheet. I will never forget laying in the operating room with no idea what was going on as doctors and nurses flooded the room.
When I heard a nurse start CPR, I knew something was terribly terribly wrong. After what felt like an eternity, but in reality was about 20 minutes, I was wheeled to the recovery room and my daughter was taken to a cooling unit in the NICU. I didn’t get to see her, let alone hold her. The neonatologist stopped briefly to tell us we had a “very very sick little girl” and “that she was about a minute away from being stillborn.” My husband went with her and called shortly after to say he saw her, she was stable, and they had her listed as Baby B. We had a few names picked out and wanted to meet her before picking one. All that went out the window, when I heard Baby B. In a panic, I told my husband through tears, her name is Adalyne, please tell them her name is Adalyne. Today, Adalyne is a thoughtful, smart, vivacious, and talkative 3-year old. She makes us smile every day and we are so grateful for the tremendous care she received at RMHC.
On the day my beautiful daughter was born and the days after, there were so many emotions. I’m lucky to have a fantastic support system in Denver, including my mother-in-law, but there are things that only other NICU moms can understand. For example, I didn’t get to hold Adalyne until she was 3 days old and when I did, I was terrified I’d pull out a tube or a wire. Then, there were so many doctors, tests, medical terms, follow-up instructions, and decisions to be made. Not to mention, I had just had major surgery and a traumatic experience myself. I remember agonizing over whether it was ok to leave the hospital while my baby was still there and feeling such guilt. For all these reasons, Love for Lily would have made such a huge difference and not just for me but for my entire family, including Adalyne. Navigating the NICU and post-NICU is, to say the least, tough and having someone say it’s ok and you’re not alone is huge! It allows you to free up some emotional and headspace to do what you need to do most, just love your new baby. I’m so glad Love for Lily is now in RMHC and we’ll be there to support LFL for the next ten years!
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NICU Love support groups offer facilitated conversation, sharing of stories, and collaborative skills building. Three core skills are emphasized: emotional literacy, stress management, and understanding and navigating key relationships with medical staff, family members, and other allies.