When I was pregnant with my first son, I took classes on newborn care, breastfeeding and what to expect during labor. I was not prepared for the possibility that my baby would be whisked away from me shortly after birth and taken two floors above my room to the Intensive Care Unit.
After nearly ten months of waiting, my eight pound, fourteen ounce son had arrived. After giving birth in the afternoon, I was tired but had so much excitement that I felt energized. I spend every second holding my son’s tiny body close to my own and staring with amazement at his perfect little face. It wasn’t until a few hours later when I was moved to a different room that the trouble began.
Apparently, his rapid breathing was caused by some excess fluid in his lungs. It was not clear if he had taken in some amniotic fluid during birth or if his lungs were developing an infection. The hospital was not willing to take any chances and was moving him up two floors to stay in the ICU. My husband looked at his happy and bright eyed wife as she chatted with the room full of visitors. He now had to break the news to the new Mom that she would be separated from her baby.
I did not take the news well. Not satisfied with what my nurses were telling me, I called our pediatrician and she agreed. I couldn’t stop it; our baby was going to ICU. I became emotional and the room quickly cleared of guests. As I cried by myself, my husband followed our son. I couldn’t bear to watch my seven-hour-old baby have an IV stuck into his tender little hand. Thankfully, my husband was the strong one and he never left our baby boy’s side.