My son was born at 26 weeks gestation, weighing 1 lb 4 oz, and 11 in long. He was the size of a 24-weeker due to extreme IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). This was my first pregnancy and I had been closely monitored due to many complications but mainly a bulky placenta. It was slowly failing and my son was at risk. I was told to stop working and to prepare myself for hospital bed rest. I didn’t get a chance to have steroid shots or to start bed rest. My body had different plans. It was a Sunday night and I was home alone. Out of nowhere I started to hemorrhage and was in an incredible amount of pain. When I was in the ambulance I kept telling them to take me to Portland. I had to get to Maine Medical Center. I knew the NICU was the only chance we had. My bleeding slowed as we passed the closer hospital. I was so relieved when the EMT told the driver to continue to MMC.
When we arrived the decision was made to deliver Kai by emergency c-section. I was in so much pain and felt helpless and scared. I wasn’t ready to be a mom. As they wheeled me into the operating room I looked over and saw the NICU team waiting for Kai. There were at least 10 people standing there, and they were ready to save my baby. As soon as he was born I asked if he was alive, and they said, “Yes.” I watched as they wheeled him by me. I only saw his tiny bent knee covered in clear plastic. His dad followed them while my mom stayed with me. I had lost a lot of blood and was terribly sick, so it took five hours for me to finally be stable enough to officially meet my son. They wheeled my stretcher so I was next to him. The top of his incubator was up, and I was able to hold his hand.
Dr. McBee introduced herself. She was the neonatologist in the delivery room. She is the one who saved Kai and gave him a chance. With a kind and soft-spoken voice, she told me about Kai, and explained all of the machines that were being used to keep him alive. I will never forget how grateful I was to even have the chance to touch him. I was in awe of him.
Over the next five months I saw the doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapist that saved my son’s life. They celebrated every milestone with me and truly became part of our family. Thanks to them, I am the proudest mama of a healthy five-year-old boy who loves life and has the most unbelievable sparkle in his eyes.
Kai has been in therapies since he came home from the hospital, and was diagnosed with autism. Being a micro-preemie has not been an easy road, but he is making us proud every day with how hard he works! Kai loves his family, music, going to the beach, and swimming. He is a very special boy, and I am so lucky to be his mom. Thank you, Maine Medical Center NICU, for saving my son.
Story written by Kai’s mom, Megan.