Celebrating Little Victories in the NICU
Just when it seemed like everything was going wrong in Lindsey Williamson’s pregnancy, there came a silver lining: the birth of her beautiful daughter. Although baby Audrey’s birth wasn’t without complications, the Williamsons came to trust and find comfort in the nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas ― who helped set things right.
The trouble began for Lindsey at around 20 gestational weeks, when she was diagnosed with placenta previa. It’s a condition that causes the placenta to implant low in the uterus and cover the cervix, restricting delivery. At 30 weeks, the first-time mom found herself in the emergency room at Texas Health Dallas with vaginal bleeding.
Lindsey’s placenta previa soon became a placenta abruption followed by a blood clot the size of a fist. With the placenta now detached from the wall of the uterus, Lindsey’s baby was being deprived of oxygen and vital nutrients and mom was experiencing abdominal distress. An immediate cesarean delivery was necessary.
Baby Audrey weighed in at 3 pounds, 3.7 ounces. Being premature, little Audrey needed monitoring and assistance with breathing. She was admitted to the hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to begin her journey to thrive. For the Williamsons, the reality of now being NICU parents took hold. The staff in the advanced neonatal care unit did its best to put Lindsey and her husband at ease.
“Everyone handled not only our child but also our fragile emotional states and the transition into parenthood with grace and compassion,” Lindsey said. “We initially struggled with understanding what was happening but everyone was so thorough, patient and reassuring that slowly that feeling of insecurity subsided. The first time I saw my daughter in her isolette, I sat in a wheelchair absolutely bawling. I know a nurse was there telling me what was going on but to this day I can’t tell you who it was or what she said. All I know is that she cared.”
As Lindsey and her husband nestled in to being parents of a NICU preemie, they learned to celebrate Audrey’s little victories rather than dwelling on her challenges. The Williamsons came to rely on familiar faces in the NICU to bring them peace of mind and help encourage them in parenting activities. The nurses worked with them on feeding, stimulating and bonding with their newborn. For Lindsey, these interactions made all the difference.
“We had a handful of nurses that we continued to see during our time in the hospital, and they honestly made our time there more bearable. We knew who to expect, how committed they were to the babies in the NICU and that if our daughter needed anything at all she would be well taken care of. The consistency of staff was crucial for us. Nobody wants to spend day after day in the hospital, but if you have to do it you might as well be there with nurses who have great attitudes and caring hearts,” she said.
Learn more about having your baby at Texas Health Dallas.