Our NICU Journey

The emergency c-section wasn’t what you’d imagine seeing in the movies… its much worse. They had to move quickly and I don’t think the epidural had time to really get me good and numb. My skin felt nothing, but I felt tearing in my tissues… my muscles… the pain was unlike anything I had ever felt. I kept screaming. The more they cut the louder I screamed. “This is all for nothing.” I thought. “This baby probably won’t even make it…”
The, for lack of better word, sadistic anesthesiologist said he couldn’t help me until they got the baby out. “I just want this to be over.”

I didn’t expect to hear a cry, but lo and behold, Maverick Morris took his first few breaths with several loud shouts. I heard him.. but kept screaming. Dusty yelled (excitedly) “KATIE!! KATIE!!! DO YOU HEAR THAT?!” I stopped screaming for a moment and heard his cries and that is the last thing I remembered for a while. I was unconscious for quite some time after that. I woke up for a short moment to Dusty telling me that Maverick was “okay”.

An entire day later I was able to see Maverick for the first time. “He’s too small” I kept thinking. “There is no way he can make it.” I was told I could only touch his hand. Not rub his hand.. just touch. Preemies have very thin skin that can easily tear.

To read about my experience with preeclampsia check out my page dedicated to preeclampsia.

Preemie. That was a word I was only slightly familiar with. Little did I know this would be a word I used on a constant basis for the next year. I only got to see little Maverick for a short minute. His issolette was taller than my wheelchair could go and I was still in quite a bit of pain. The NICU was on a different floor than where I was staying. I would continue to see Maverick for short periods of time until I was discharged 6 days later.

Every night I thought I would wake up to a call the next morning that he didn’t make it through the night. Each morning brought new hope as he continued to thrive. He went from ventilator to CPAP, to oxygen, to room air, to no breathing assistance. Seeing him on the vent was difficult. There is nothing worse than seeing a machine breathing for your child. The worst feeling was that there was nothing I could do.

Dusty was wonderful, as always. He remained positive, brave and supportive. He would pray with me after ever conversation with a doctor. He would hear the positive things and I would hear the negative things. We were a great balance for each other. I couldn’t have done this without him.

We got familiar with the terms… Brady, TPN, PIC line, NEC, and so much more. We learned so much throughout our NICU experience. The nurses were wonderful. I still remember the nurse that let me hold Maverick for the first time, 11 days after he was born. (Hey Meredith!). We created a care team (Hi Laura, Summer, Sara & Danielle). Our hands were dry and cracking from the constant scrubbing in required to enter the NICU. We were exhausted, but happy to see our little boy making gradual improvements each day.

After two very long, stressful, emotional and exhausting months, it was time to take our handsome boy home. Where is home? TWO HOURS from the hospital. Talk about a nerve wracking trip! But I was giddy. “I get to keep him!” I kept thinking. No wires, no monitors, no nasal canula, no pulse ox machine…. just a baby in a car seat. A very tiny 5lb baby in a car seat, but he was ours to keep!

Maverick’s homecoming was special enough with several loved ones with balloons, signs and lots of cheers to welcome him home. But what made it EVEN MORE special.. was that Maverick came home on Texas Rangers Opening Day! We are baseball fans. We take off work every year to head up to the ballfield and cheer on our favorite team. We were home in time to watch the first game of the 2017 season with our brand new NICU grad.

Little did we know… this is when the REAL adventure would begin.