When I think about our time in the NICU, I see it as a gift in many ways

Jules McCarthy, Patient

My husband and I were happy to see our baby was healthy during my 20 week ultrasound. Unfortunately, our joy quickly faded when the ultrasound revealed I had a shortened cervix. This meant I would go into labor far sooner than I should.

I immediately began receiving care from Bronson Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists. Despite the amazing efforts of Gregory Utter, MD, and Brian Nielsen, MD, to prevent preterm labor, they predicted I would deliver our baby within a matter of weeks.

We had a consultation with Seth Malin, MD, of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Bronson Children’s Hospital. He guided us through what to expect after our baby was born. Dr. Malin was so uplifting and gave us the hope that we desperately needed.

I was admitted to the antepartum unit at Bronson Methodist Hospital so the team of providers could closely monitor our baby and me until it was time to deliver.

Lincoln in the NICU at Bronson.

After 30 days, we welcomed our son, Lincoln. He weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces, and we were so relieved to hear his strong cry as soon as he came out. My husband went with him to the NICU as I recovered.

Lincoln spent the following 104 days in the NICU. We experienced many highs and lows as he reached milestones and faced setbacks. Although it was such a scary time, I was so thankful for all of the NICU staff.

The nurses were so comforting and always took the time to give us an update on Lincoln, even if we called late at night. They never acted bothered or made us feel like an inconvenience. I trusted them completely.

We developed a special bond with Shannon Morris, RN, who cared for Lincoln throughout his stay. She was so sweet and I don’t think we could have gotten through that time without her.

We always felt included in Lincoln’s care. His doctors would explain things clearly and we would all decide together on next steps.

Bronson also had great resources, like the Bronson Breastfeeding Center and the NicView web cameras, that helped us through that difficult time.

When we were finally able to bring Lincoln home, it was bittersweet. We were so excited to be able to leave the hospital with our son, but we were also sad to leave the staff! Thankfully, the care didn’t end there. They encouraged us to continue to call to get support if we had any questions or concerns. I remain friends with several of the nurses still today!

Lincoln is now a healthy, happy one-year-old. When I think about our time in the NICU, I see it as a gift in many ways. We got to watch Lincoln grow in ways that most parents don’t see. We also received exceptional care and developed lifelong relationships. Thank you, Bronson!

Lincoln and his family today.

 

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