Ashlee Thomas’ NICU Story

At my 25 week prenatal appointment, my OB did his usual ultrasound and found that Bohdi had ZERO amniotic fluid around him, when he hooked him up to the monitor he was having decelerations of his heart rate so he told me to get to kapiolani immediately, that we would most likely be delivering upon my arrival. To say I was absolutely terrified would be the understatement of the year, I cried all the way down into the lobby and into the parking garage. Two aunties, asked me if I was okay and I told them I wasn’t. During all the scary covid times they came over to me and prayed over Bohdi and I. it was so powerful, and I couldn’t imagine a more perfect moment for two strangers to be such beautiful humans! I got to kapiolani, and they gave me steroids for lung development and magnesium for neuro protection, our goal at that point was to make it 24 hours so I could have my second round of steroids for Bohdi. To all of our surprise, Bohdi hung on! Our weekly ultrasounds started the next day— showing that he was doing fine, miraculously developing more amniotic fluid but growing slower than normal. So we proceeded for FIVE weeks, 38 entirely long days away from the girls, my family, I laid in labor and delivery. 17 IVs, 5 weeks of continuous magnesium flowing through my veins which felt like battery acid towards the 4 week mark. Desperately I just wanted to take all the pain I could away from him being born early, so I was willing to endure anything if it spared him even the tiniest of discomfort. I think I met every nurse in labor and delivery and every Person on the IV team during this time. I barely slept, between all my vital checks every 2 hours and Bohdi’s decels that would send the nurses running down the hall to have me flip and rotate to bring his heart rate back to normal. A few times his heart rate dropped for such a long time they sounded alarms and my room was full of nurses, I was rushed to the OR in preparation for a emergency c section. Then he leveled back out and I was wheeled back to my room. For 5 weeks I lived in a state of constant worry and panic for Bohdi, and guilt for not being there for the girls. Because of covid I was only allowed to have 2 adult visitors. Sean and my sweet sweet friend Jillian, who agreed to be my hospital wife lol both of them absolutely kept me level headed and in touch with reality. My mother in law and father in law flew out to help hold down the house so Sean could be with me and the girls could have some normalcy. So grateful for them!! Also my INCREDIBLE OB Dr.Foley came in every day and would talk about his day or honestly whatever with me, completely unrushed, he would even bring me Thai food from his wife’s restaurant every other day random items from the menu and would set up my tray for me, it was the sweetest most kind gesture! 30 weeks, at my weekly ultrasound appointment. The tech discovered a 7cm blood clot behind my placenta (essentially detaching my placenta) my OB had the tech do a growth measurement and he had only grown 1oz in 2 weeks (measuring 1lb 12oz)— that was that, the end of the rope. Bohdi had to come out. I was given another 2 doses of steroids in 24 hours and told I would be delivering on 3/4. Just so happened to be Seans birthday that day. For 3 days I’m not going to lie, I spiraled. My OB was absolutely prepared had the blood bank ready to go since I hemorrhaged with sage. Told me he would be doing a classical incision this time in order to minimize the bleeding the best he could and also have quicker access. Nurses came into my room to hug me and wish me the best and off I went wheeling into the OR with Sean to deliver our son 10 weeks early. It felt like he was pulling him out from my chest and when he finally got him out and we heard Bohdi cry the tiniest softest little cry both Sean and I cried and breathed a sigh of PURE RELIEF. That’s all I remember, I hemorrhaged again, this time much much worse. I received 2 units of blood in the OR, and after being wheeled to recovery, my blood pressure tanked and they had to call a ‘code crimson’ (not a fan of the name ) and get 3 more units in me as quickly as possible. I felt like I was floating though time? It was terrifying. When I woke up. Everyone was hovered over me I told Sean I went on a ‘trip around the world’ like woah what kind of drugs did they give me?! It was a full day before I could see our son. They had me in ICU again and I needed 2 more units of blood, more blood draws than I could count, another IV. The woman who gave me my last IV (and multiple IVs throughout my stay) also was the one who gave Bohdi his PIC line. It took another 2 days before I could hold Bohdi, I was completely overwhelmed by emotions. This tiny tiny little babe was mine and is such a fighter. He wanted to be here, in our family SO bad he fought though no amniotic fluid, deceling heart rates for WEEKS, a small matured placenta that did him ZERO favors and here he is, fighting again to grow big and strong. My OB told me usually when woman come in and their babies are in that situation he is usually having to tell them they lost their child. To say I feel grateful to everyone is a understatement of a lifetime, especially my OB who was incredibly quick to get me to the hospital and save Bohdi. I was finally released after 6 weeks in the hospital, I felt awful leaving my baby in the hospital. Anxious and panicked that after all this time, the experience I had just gone through and they said it was safe for me to go home. We didn’t tell the girls I was coming home, we surprised the bigs (sage was asleep with O) when I walked though the door I dropped down and hugged Brae and pax and started crying HARD. Man did I miss their touch. Pax held me and told me “it’s okay mommy don’t cry” I told her I was crying because I happy— it hurt my throat to get those words out. Brae brushed my hair for a hour and put it in a pony. We snuggled all night long. Sean held me all night because I was terrified that this was all too good to be true and something bad would happen to me when I was sleeping. When I woke up I walked downstairs and saw sage babe. She stopped in her tracks and stared at me. I was nervous that she would be timid around me from the time passed. I picked her up and she just held me SO TIGHT, rubbed my back, held my face with both of her little hands, touched her tiny nose to mine and kept saying oh mommy, mommy! Mommy! Awe, mommy! Bohdi is safe. I am alive to be a mommy. The girls are happy. + we are home together again. Bohdi was suppose to be the best pregnancy, my last pregnancy, I knew I had to cherish every little flutter/kick my sweet growing bump, OUR FIRST SON. I splurged on all the cutest pregnancy clothes that now just sat in my closet. Truthfully, I feel completely gypped of my last pregnancy experience. I’m now working though all the emotions and anxiety packing my maternity clothes away. We’re still trying to figure out how to be NICU parents with 3 girls at home who are struggling with separation anxiety, and the hospital being all the way across the island. It’s been tough but we are so grateful that we have our boy, healthy and safe. Bohdi is making strides everyday in the NICU, this wasn’t the birth experience I dreamed of but it’s where we are. We absolutely can’t wait to be a WHOLE and have Bohdi home with us. Welcome to the world sweet bub. Bohdi Lee Thomas March 4th 2021 @ 4:02pm 2lbs 3.3oz 14.56”