Find Journeys of The Zoo on Google+ Journeys of The Zoo: Born at 30 Weeks. The Zoo's NICU Story #Prematurity {Loss}

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Born at 30 Weeks. The Zoo's NICU Story #Prematurity {Loss}

When I was 7.5 weeks pregnant, I knew with 100% certainty that my pregnancy would not go to term.

That my offspring would be born premature.

Impossible to know you say.

Not when you're pregnant with Triplets!

Actual ultrasound: 7.5 weeks gestation.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. My peers and I have created a blog hop to support all those that have travelled this road and all those that unfortunately will. Be sure to check out the other blog posts listed at the bottom of this post.

Here is an excerpt of The Zoo's NICU Story.

My three doctors informed me that if everything went according to plan, I would deliver at 36 weeks (something to do with placental deterioration). If I didn't make it that far then surely I would make it to the average gestation for Triplets: 32w4d. Christmas Day was 32w4d. We'd call them Rudolph, Donner and Blitzen.

They tried to talk to me about the risk of delivering earlier (amongst other things) but I would hear nothing of it. Perhaps it was for the better. There was nothing I could do anyways.

This chapter begins at 25w5d gestation when my water broke on Baby A (Alexander). I was admitted to the hospital and they waited for me to go into labour.

We waited...

And waited...

In fact, we waited another 4w5d until I went into pre-term labour at 30w3d. Note that pre-term labour is a very common risk with high-order multiples.

There was nothing that they could do. The kids were coming.

My emergency c-section was crammed in between two twin births and a three-day stretch of winter weather that left the hospital short staffed. You wouldn't have known it with the 16 people that were in my operating room. Note that I delivered at a teaching hospital where one nurse's sole job was to take the kids from the operating room into the adjoining support room. Nothing but the best for my kids.

The birth was uneventful except for my litre of blood loss. One of the nurses literally called out "clean up in the aisle, don't trip". Thankfully, at the time, I didn't comprehend the meaning. Ed did.

Unfortunately, our NICU stay was anything but uneventful or routine.

Alexander 11 days Old After two days, all the kids were breathing on their own (Max even cried at birth). After 8 days, they were eating and gaining weight. The world was their oyster. The staff warned us that we weren't out of the woods yet. We just thought that they didn't know what they were talking about.

Sadly, they did.

After nine days of life, Alexander contracted an infection (NEC, they don't know the cause, however, prematurity increases the odds) and passed away.

But the rollarcoaster didn't end there.

Eight days later, Artemis was also in distress.

As a direct result of her hospital stay (and prematurity), she had contracted sepsis, a blood infection that can be fatal, even in adults. She was just 32-weeks gestation (8-weeks premature) so we had a long fight ahead of us.

This picture was taken in a room that measured approximately 16x18' and housed 4-5 infants with two nurses. The sicker babies where in another room with way more machines and had one-on-one care.

It's surreal to watch your child(ren) die in front of you, and there's nothing you can do.

Maximilian NICU

I think that life should have a "free pass" system. If you lose one child, you don't have to lose another one.

Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way. We know all too well.

I'm not coming out until I'm good and ready!

After three long weeks, Artemis beat sepsis. She survived.

Thankfully, not everyone's story turns out like ours.

Unfortunately, some turn out worse.

I choose not to remember our eight-week stay in the NICU as it is simply a blip on the radar of life, However,

I have not forgotten...

If you find your child in the NICU then ask for help, tell your family what you need. Change your mind if you have to. Look after yourself and your family. If you are the family member, please listen and respect their wishes. Even if you haven't heard from them in weeks. They know you're thinking of them. You can not imagine what it's like to be in their shoes.

As always, feel free to ask me any questions.

I am participating in a Preemie Awareness Blog Hop. Please stop by and visit these other women that have shared their story. Not an easy feat, I assure you.

  1. Prematurity Awareness: Keira's Story
  2. Prematurity Awareness: Julien's Story
  3. Prematurity Awareness: Parenting with Heart
  4. Prematurity Awareness: Being a Parent of a Preemie
  5. Prematurity Awareness: What It's Like To Have Preemies
  6. Prematurity Awareness Month - What It's Really Like To Have a Preemie
  7. Prematurity Awareness: "Tiny" and Kathryn's story

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo


  1. Thank you for sharing so candidly, as always. What a personal story for you and the other bloggers to tell. I love the photos too. Besos (and however you say 'hugs')

  2. Thanks for sharing your story Sarah, luckily I had my box of tissues handy. I knew I had to be prepared!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story - I love the way you write about your life...

  4. Your story made me cry. I can't imagine carrying triplets or watching one of them die. A friend of mine lost her twin sister when they were born; I'm also a twin but we were both healthy all our lives. Another friend of mine lost her firstborn because she was born premature and then contracted an infection. Thanks for sharing your story, and blessings on your babies.

  5. Thank you for sharing! I am pregnant with twins and hope I go to full term. Many blessings to your family as I wipe tears away. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story Sarah. Went through a few tissues while reading. XOXO

  7. What a lovely story. I am so sorry for your loss but celebrate the life of your surviving children.

  8. So sorry for your loss Sarah. I too know what it is like to watch a child die. I know I am late to the party, but here is my link for the blog hop too!

  9. Sarah I am so very sorry for your loss. So brave to share your story. Xoxo and bug hugs.

  10. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. But, thankful for your courage to share. I am sure your post will reach someone who is needing it:)

  11. Oh my gosh. Your story made me cry because it sounds so similar to the stories that went on in the NICU when we were there for Little One's first 72 days of life. So sorry to hear of the loss of your precious babe, but also happy you are able to share your experience with others.

    Big hugs. Thanks again for sharing. xo

  12. You did an amazing thing keeping those babies in until 30 weeks. Giving them time to grow and get stronger every day.

  13. My thoughts are with you for your loss. You do deserve a free pass....thank you for sharing your incredibly touching story with true honesty. None of these preemie stories are easy, but I am grateful we know each other and we are doing this for preemie awareness month. Besos back, mama.

  14. Aw Sarah. :( I'm so sorry for your loss. The NICU is definitely a roller coaster that I would have demanded my money back from. My daughters story will go live on Elizabeth's blog tomorrow. :)

  15. Wow Sarah. I'm touched by your story! Thank you for sharing as I'm sure it will bring much support to those who need it. I'm so sorry for your loss!

  16. Thank you for raising awareness of this important issue, and for your honesty and opennes.

  17. Sarah, I am so sorry for your loss and very touched by your courageous story <3

  18. It's true - we never quite forget.

  19. I remember the days of emailing back and forth and wishing with everything I had that little Artemis would survive because I couldn't imagine you having to go through any more pain. Such a story of survival your kids have.