Well, you finally made it—33 weeks and counting. Things are starting to get uncomfortable, and your body is adjusting… maybe even rebelling a little (yes, someday your ribs won’t itch like this anymore). Sweet baby Olivia can come any day, and we can “handle it.”
Those were the 3 AM thoughts I had right before I went into early labor. Labor that the doctors couldn’t stop and led to an emergency C-section. We knew our little girl would have surgery after birth, but we didn’t anticipate it being this fast and furious. One thing led to another, and we were officially NICU parents on New Year’s Eve, 2014. The fears, tears, and agonizing separation of not getting to hold her and follow her into surgery that day subsided when they wheeled me into a warm, cozy room full of bays, handed me a glass of sparkling cider, and introduced me to the most important human on the planet.
Olivia’s journey in the NICU was filled with long, arduous days of learning how to control her body, listening to her daddy’s terrible singing, and putting up with her frantic mom.
I could make a mile-long list of all the things that could have made this process easier, but they all come down to me not being in the room with her 24×7. It was excruciating to go home and focus on my healing without her. It felt like a betrayal to go to dinner without her. I couldn’t enjoy anything knowing she was there without me.
Ah, how I wish I could’ve had more technology back then. Having a baby at UMC and using the Angel Eye feature in the NICU would have changed everything for me. I would’ve been able to sit and eat my lunch or dinner while keeping an eye on Olivia. I would’ve felt a sense of control in a situation that constantly felt like a spiral. I would’ve slept with my phone all night to feel close to my tiny little miracle.
Here’s what it looks like for parents of UMC Children’s NICU patients today:
But, most importantly, this gesture tells me that this hospital cares about how I feel too. Even when I’m not there.
The Angel Eye feature points to the love and care premature babies like Olivia get today at UMC Children’s, and so does the incredible 20th anniversary of the March of Dimes March for Babies. The UMC Health System, including 2023 event chair Jill Shanklin, is “investing in the health, well-being, and protection of our tiniest citizens” by raising awareness and funds for this year’s “Mother of a Movement.” The Lubbock community and UMC Team have already raised $110,000 of their $200,000 goal.
Join Lubbock Moms and the entire UMC Family on March 6th, 10 AM, at the American Windmill Museum as we MARCH for health equality for moms and babies all over the United States.
Read more about the 2023 Mission Family, The Nobles, donate, and join a team today!
Sign up here >>> https://www.marchforbabies.org/EventInfo/?EventID=22286.