In the words of Tricia, Cristopher's mother

Neonatal intensive care patient Christopher at 10 minutes after birth
Cristopher 10 minutes after birth.

At 26 weeks pregnant I was at a place where nobody wants to be at this stage - the Labor and Delivery floor at Carolinas Medical Center. It had been a very rough pregnancy and the hospital had become my second home.

Nevertheless, nothing would have prepared me for what was about to happen on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010. Preeclampsia developed, my blood pressure was dangerously high and wouldn't come down. So, the best option was to deliver Cristopher by emergency C-Section. At 11:14 a.m. God blessed us with a tiny miracle that weighed 1 pound 9 ounces and that is where our journey with the Levine Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (NICN) began.

When I walked into the NICN for the first time and saw my precious son in an isolete with IVs, monitors and alarms going off, my heart just sank. The hardest thing was, I knew he was my son, but there was absolutely nothing I could do for him at this moment. I felt helpless and sad. That was until I got to meet the nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors that were keeping my son alive. They went the extra distance to make sure I never felt like that again. They explained what every little thing was for, they made me feel a part of the team, and even when I had a million questions they never hesitated to answer each of them.

Neonatal intensive care patient Cristopher at seven months
Cristopher at 7 months old (4 months adjusted)

Although having such a premature, sick, tiny and delicate baby was the scariest thing I had ever gone through, the NICN staff made sure I felt as comfortable and relaxed as I would in my own home. They never made me feel like an outsider and they included me in all activities that they could, for example, taking his temperature, bathing, changing his diaper, etc. On May 12, Cristopher was finally moved to Neonatal Progressive Care Nursery (NPCN).

The staff in the NPCN was just as incredible and amazing as the ones in the NICN. Cristopher spent an additional 54 days there and on July 6th, he finally got to come home. It was the happiest day of our life. The journey that we had to take with the NICN and NPCN could not have gone better, considering how sick Cristopher was. I look back and know, had it not been for the staff, it would have been so much more of a negative experience. Words can't even grasp how much appreciation we have for all of them and we owe them our life for saving Cristopher's. A message to the staff from us: Thank you all for everything you do and especially for what you have done for Cristopher. We will remember all of you (especially Andrea, Becky, Deloris and Lora!) for the rest of our lives.

Tricia, Oscar and Cristopher

Learn more about the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.

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