The Day I became a NICU mum

**The day I became a NICU mum – its 2 years on and I’m now making sense of it all- lets go back and I’ll tell you how it happened**

Its my second day of labour after being induced due to gestational diabetes. The contractions are coming thick and fast… the midwife cranks up the syntocin.

I wish I could burst that drip because this pain is excruciating.

I’ve been reluctant to take any pain relief as I was told it slows down the labour.

Only gas and air is keeping me going and even that i’ve chucked it somewhere. It was making me feel spaced out. I want to be alert for this experience. The birth of my first child.

Its 8.00am and the midwives have had handover. My midwife for the day comes in to introduce herself…Shes nice, calm and on it. I can tell she knows what she’s doing and I feel safe.

Little did I know this baby was about to push her to her limits.

The CTG (cardiotocography- machine that measures baby’s heart rate and contractions ) starts beeping …I look over and see her heart rate has dropped . Its in the 50s . The midwife calmly gets me to change my position- it picks back up. Few seconds later it dips again into the 40s.

She pulls the emergency alarm and I kid you not in 5 seconds the room is filled with about 10 people. The consultant comes to me and reassuringly tells me shes here to help.

She checks me – “you are 7cm, almost there but not yet time to push”. – I’m in agony!

I have the urge to push, despite me being 7cm dilated .

All this while I’m just pooing… like its just flowing. (I regret having that chilli stew my mother -inlaw gave me) I’m slightly embarassed but that’s the least of my worries now… . ‘ I need to pussh!! ‘ … ” I’m pushing I’m pushing” .

The baby heartrate monitor is going off like crazy.

my baby is in distress and she needs to come out now!

The breakes of the bed unlock “Zainab, we have take you to theatres to get your baby out.” –I’m going to have a C-section!

The last thing I hear going into the theatre room is my mum’s shaky voice telling me everything is going to be ok. This may be the last time I hear her voice.

Next thing, im on the theatre bed . I’m fully dilated and the consultant says its too late for a c-section- she can feel baby’s head!

My husband is next to me in scrubs, looking bewildered. (And also like an extra on Grey’s anatomy.)

I’m getting poked left right and centre with needles- they’re trying to get a line in for fluids.

I’m scared, I’m exhausted, I’m disorientated. I have to push this baby out.

The head comes out .

That’s all thats out for a while. I’m pushing and pushing with all the energy I have. Inbetween contractions I tilt my head back and close my eyes.

Babe , babe! – wake up !– my husband is checking that im still alive- i feel dead. This whole thing feels like an outer body experience.

I look at him and he is crying. He is actually crying. This is the first time I’ve ever seen him cry. That’s when it dawned on me that this is real. This is happening even though I wish it were a dream.

5 minutes have gone past and shes still stuck – her left shoulder wedged behind my pubic bone , shoulder dystocia they call it.- The other consultant takes over- whilst he is pulling another doctor is pushing down onto my stomache- I feel like meat at the halal butchers.

Eventually, he yanks my baby out!

Shes lifeless , no cry ,no sound , pale , floppy -like a rag doll. They put her on me for all of 2 seconds then whisk her away onto the resuscitairre to work on her.

I’m bleeding like crazy , my placenta is coming out in bits. “How is she ?, how is my baby?!.” That’s all I cared about. I haven’t had any pain killers, im past that now. I feel numb.

My husband, stands- looking on like a lost child… when he looks to his right he sees his wife heavily bleeding , half conscious on the theatre bed…

When he looks to his left he sees his newborn baby girl being resuscitated- both lives hanging in the balance.

How does one process this?

6 minutes…. 6minutes it took for her to take her first breath. As im writing this now im actually tearing up.

As a NICU nurse you know the consequences of these types of births so you can imagine the kind of things that were going on inside my head.

They take her away to the neonatal unit and im transferred to maternity intensive care . I lost 2.5 litres of blood.

Physically…I felt like I had been run over by a bus.. 5 times. Mentally… I was all over the place. Is my baby going to be ok?

Am I going to recover from this to be there for her?

An overwhelmingly sense of guilt overcomes me.

‘Why did I eat best mangal (turkish food) every other day ? Why was I eating past 10pm every night,why did I not take my insulin and metformin religiously… why didn’t I take my gestational diabetes seriously???’

If I had been more deciplined in what I ate maybe all of this would never have happened.

I blamed myself for eveyththing that I was experiencing with the birth of my daughter. I would cry myslef to sleep on the hospital bed whilst looking at phone pictures of my baby with wires and tubes coming out of her from all directions.

I couldn’t be with her until I got better. I needed to get better.

I got a few visitors that night- only family- as it was ICU the visiting policy was strict. One visit that struck a cord was that of my sister.

She walked in – upon seeing me, she looked taken aback. Concerned, scared even. As if she couldn’t come close to me.

I’m sure if said BOO!, she would’ve ran a mile or two.

Do I look that bad I thought to myself !?

A few weeks later she told me.

I looked as stiff as a board, red blood shot sunken eyes, my complexion had changed completely, probably from the blood loss and shock of it all- she said that night she went home and cried her eyes out. Seeing me , in the state that I was in- it moved her. A memory she will never forget.

I had a blood transfusion, pain releif and fluids…24hrs later I was well enough to be wheeled over to see my babygirl properly for the first time …

she was cold, attached to a cooling machine to protect her brain , leads attached to her head to monitor her brain activity, cannulas on her hands and feet for fluids.- she was so big she filled up majoriry of the cot.

I inspected her from head to toe- my beautiful girl . 4.05kg (8.8lb) she was.

shes sucking on her breathing tube (this girl is a foodie just like her mum)

Her left arm down and weak. The arm that sustsined the vigorous pull to save her life. Her super arm.

I made a silent promise to myslef that I will be the best NICU nurse I can be because this is it. I’m now seeing things from the other prespective. Im now ‘the NICU mum’ . What a scary and anxious place to be in.

I prayed and prayed and prayed so much ,willing for things to get better. And gradually it did- Alhamdulillah

A blood transfusion, 2 MRIs ,6 cannulas and whole bunch of other tests later, me and my little girl were ready to leave the hospital.

What had been a week in the hospital felt like a whole year. Walking outside felt like I was walking into a different world.

A world in which I didnt know what the future would entail. But by God’s grace I knew I’d be fine.

I left with a referral letter to the orthopaedic specialists and with the hope that my daughter would develop normally .

My husband was more worried about whether or not she’d be able to use her arm- I couldnt work out if he didn’t fully understand or if he was actually in denial.

I mean you can get a another arm but not another brain. Right?

He is the optimistic one -away with the fairies sometimes- whereas I… I deal with the reality of things, I see things for what they are. I don’t shy away from the truth. Sadly the truth can be a bitter pill to swallow at times.

What would those 6 minutes of no oxygen to the brain mean for my daughter? I didnt know neither did the doctors … I just had to wait to see how she developed. That was the scary part- FEAR – fear of the unknown.

** keep an eye out for my next 2 blog posts which will be the continuation of this post and my daughter’s development- comment and share – if you’ve had a traumatic birth story I’d like to hear it- Thank you so much for reading **

Zee x

35 thoughts on “The Day I became a NICU mum

  1. Shaida Alabi says:

    I literally cried the whole time reading this. Zaii you are so strong Mashallah. Allah said innie will live a board healthy life and that’s exactly what she’s doing. Alhamdulilah. Love you but I’m mad you made me cry like this. Lol xx

    Like

  2. Priscilla Dede Martey says:

    wow this is what i have been running away from. But Alhamdulillah for everything that happens to us in this life. when i found out i was pregnant i was so happy and sad at the same time because i wished i was married before getting pregnant but eii we don’t own our destiny. I had a stressful pregnancy because i did not have the love i expected from a partner. I lost so much weight in my 12weeks and always been given lactose iv infusion until i was given some herbal tree barks to drink from my son grand mum. That made me gain back some weight and have some colour back to my face. As the pregnancy progresses my doctor was concerned if i could push because my vaginal wall were not expanding and the baby was gaining weight. then i was told i will be induced before my 25th May delivery date. I was induced on Friday 18th May @7:am. I was like oh i am not feeling any pain since i was told it was supposed to be painful. Then by 1pm i started feeling like i was having someone pulling my abdomen. Gradually the pain was becoming so severe and they keep telling me it 1cm dilated. By 5pm i was 2cm dilated and was advised to eat something as i was not dilating fast and i was losing energy. by 10pm i was back to 1cm with severe pains until i was given some pain injection and my iv infusion was changed. then from 1am we realized my baby heartbeats was dropping and he was not moving at all. I was getting still in severe pains. it subsides for about 10mins then it starts again. i was just hitting the hospital wall with my hands. by 3am the midwife called the doctor to come and check how i was doing apparently she could not hear the heart rate of the baby. the doctor then asked my to lie on my left side so that the bay could have get enough blood. by 5am you can not see any heart beat again and i had to be rushed to the theater for an emergency CS. still at 2cm dilated. When my baby was brought out i did not hear any cry sound then i asked the anesthesiologist is he was okay i was told he will be fine but he needs oxygen since he was turning to blue from the sole of his feet. he was on oxygen for a while until i heard him giving a chilling scream then the tear dropped from my eyes. Then i knew i can see him grow up Insha Allah. this is my first child birth and i had want to do it the by myself but the Giver of life Did it in His own way. It not been easy but it was worth it.

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    • throughzeeseyes29 says:

      Wow. Not hearing your baby cry is the worst thing. Its not easy at all. Child birth i always say is between life and death. Alhamdulillah you and your beautiful boy live to tell the tale. By God’s grace We are strong mamas, thank u 4 sharing your story xxx

      Like

  3. Lisa says:

    Girl! Why you letting a hormonal pregnant lady read this on her lunch break!! Shat a fab read Zai and what a tough time you went through! You and your family are amazing xxx

    Like

  4. Bilqis says:

    Wow!! you are a super woman yourself Mashallah. Alhamdulillah for the gift of life..may Allah continue to protect us. You know have got three myself..the first labour was cool however, the second and third were unimaginal experiences. Motherhood hmmn. Thank you for sharing dear.

    Like

  5. Michelle says:

    As Zai your such a G! Think after all of that, you’re both doing fine and baby girl is a sweet and hilarious little lady! You’re doing such a good job. 😊

    Like

  6. Shirvae Edwards says:

    Woooooooow
    Wow
    Wow
    Zay.. im in bits girl, i cant believe e what i am reading 🙈🙈
    I dont even want to write what i wanna say on here, but please believe me.
    I am coming to see you!!!

    Im so so proud of you uno that❤️❤️❤️
    Been a strong girl from day

    I love you zay

    S x

    Like

  7. Farida says:

    Wow wow wow never knew wat u went through…. we were all happy Zainab has delivered never did we knw what you went through both u nd innie. Well done for be strong in such situation and depending on only Allah. I have always knwn ur strong Faith in Allah and he will always walk u out of troubles.
    Big up my superwoman aunty. Allah Devine. Kinsani iiiii

    Like

  8. Umm Yahya says:

    Omg subhanallah this was so heart wrenching, just when I thought it couldn’t get more complicated it’s jjst got more and more complicated, subhanallah, Alhamdulilah that you and your baby are all good now! 6 whole Mins I jjst can not imagine as a mother what ran through your mind and it must have felt that 6 millions minutes subhanallah! May Allah SWT reward you for your struggles ameeeeen ❣️❣️❣️ Looking forward to following blogs xxx

    Like

  9. Khadijah says:

    This honestly made me tear up! SubhanAllah! Alhamdulillah you pulled through and stayed strong throughout, and innie is a bright and beautiful princess, Allahumma barik!
    Thank you for sharing sis ♥️

    Like

  10. L says:

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

    Your very strong woman. This was such a dramatic experience but alhumdulillah Allah knew you could handle this. This is not something easy to go through as a mum may Allah reward you for the hardship you went through amiin. Alhumdulillah your daughter is healthy and may Allah make her the coolness of your eyes amiin.

    Like

  11. ummisa2012 says:

    My heart was in my mouth the entire time!
    Beautifully written, I felt every emotion with you.
    May Allah reward you immensely for your patience and strength through this. May he continue to grant you and your lovely family health and well-being.
    Ameeeeeeen! ☺️

    Like

  12. Nasra says:

    Masha’Allah I had such admiration for the positivity and strength you have shown when you first told me your labour story,but reading it,is a whole new level like bringjng the scene to life like a episode from a BBC drama😁

    Like

  13. Kaha says:

    This is powerful. I had no idea your first birth carried these challenges towards the end of your labour, I commend you for your strength, I really do. The only thing that was getting me through reading the part about theatre was that I know now that she’s a healthy beautiful little girl who’s doing amazing allahumma barik. I can definitely relate to you about things going wrong towards the end though. I was also whisked away to theatre due to baby being in posterior position and also a ‘suspicious CTG’. Ended up being pumped with syntocin as my contractions decided to disappear just as I hit 10cm! Midwives were rubbing my belly like crazy trying to get me to contract. In the end I needed forceps to help get baby out aswell as an episiotomy. I also just stopped at one point although I was conscious in my head I felt the same way about being in a dream or out of body experience. My baby wouldn’t feed after birth and his blood sugar dropped to 1.6 in the morning which meant he was taken to NICU to investigate why. He wouldn’t feed properly for days and was pumped with antibiotics in case it was an infection. In the end, they put it down to the labetalol I was given during labour as my blood pressure was quite high the whole time. It definitely isn’t easy being a NICU mum. I can’t wait to read part 2.

    Like

    • throughzeeseyes29 says:

      Its a scary thing to go through , the birth alone is something, then the stresses that come with your baby being in nicu is another. but Alhamdulillah our babies are doing well. Thank you for sharing your story hunnie xxx

      Like

  14. FAUSAT says:

    Subhanallahi!!! Alhamdulillahi Alhamdulillahi Alhamdulillahi robbil ahlameen…..I honestly don’t know what to say than giving thanks to God. Zainab you shall continue to have reasons to give thanks to God on your children and all that Allah has bestowed on you. 🙏💖💖💪💪Super strong woman

    Like

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