In My Feelings...
Thoughts of a rehabilitated NICU mom turned NICU nurse
My NICU Story
Tenisha Moore was excitedly anticipating the birth of her twins in the spring of 2015, but received an unexpected surprise when she went into labor at Christmastime. “I thought it was a normal Christmas, and that I was just having Braxton-Hicks contractions. I said, ‘well, I’ll go get checked out so I can get back home’ but then I was told that I was dilated nine centimeters. The babies were on the way,” said Tenisha. Because both of the tiny infants were breech, Tenisha was admitted for a Cesarean section, giving birth to a daughter and a son less than two hours after her arrival at The Medical Center, Navicent Health. The infants were immediately taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) at Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health. Born almost four months early, the twins’ prognosis was dire. Tenisha’s tiny son, Legend, weighing only1 lb.,11oz.,did not survive as a result of a brain bleed. Her daughter Hope, however, held onto life as physicians and clinicians in the NNICU did all that they could for the1 lb., 9oz. infant. It was later discovered that Hope suffered from the same bleeding on the brain as her little twin brother. As Hope grew, Tenisha remained hospitalized and was unable to visit her daughter, but she found comfort in the personalized care that her daughter was receiving. “I couldn’t see Hope until the end of January. Her primary nurse was named Debra, and I think she was an angel from God. She treated Hope like her own baby. She made sure she had everything that she needed while I couldn’t be there,” said Tenisha. When Tenisha was finally able to hold her daughter, Debra was by her side, teaching Tenisha the value of skin-to-skin contact for neurological development, and reassuring her when little Hope had episodes of bradys and desats. “Hope was one tough cookie, and the reassurance that Debra provided me, and the way the nurses treated Hope like their own, I never worried when visiting hours were over and I had to leave to take care of my other two children,” said Tenisha. Although the first four months of Hope’s life were filled with progress and setbacks, she held on as clinicians in the NNICU continuously sought ways to improve her chances of survival. After a shunt was placed in her brain to drain fluid, Hope began to make radical progress and in April 2015, she was discharged with a feeding tube. She has grown over the past few months and is thriving, no longer requiring the assistance of a feeding tube. She continues to visit Pediatric Outpatient Therapy for physical and occupational therapies, and Tenisha and her husband Quintin are pleased with her progress. “It was so scary to think she wouldn’t have the opportunities in life that our other two kids, who were delivered at term and are very healthy, would have. But we just keep praying, ”said Tenisha. “With the left side of the brain damaged, she tries to neglect the right side, but she is making progress in therapy. Other than that, she’s like any other kid her age. She’s doing awesome– nothing like we had imagined. She is nothing short of a miracle!