NICU PARENT EXPERIENCE: Kelsie Pulliam

I’m Kelsie and this is Casey. I had a late pre-term delivery at 36 weeks and 2 days. Unfortunately complications occurred during my delivery after 30 hours of labor and around 2 1/2 hours of pushing; Casey was stuck in the birth canal.  He was what they call sunny side up, so he was facing up instead of down which makes it harder for babies to get out of the birth canal. I also had a dry birth from losing most of my amniotic fluid. When Casey was born he was not breathing or crying. Shortly after Dr. Hanna (the NICU doctor who was on that night) took Casey to the NICU, he came back and said we were going to be transferred to UK hospital for a higher level of care and to start Casey on brain cooling.  At that time I was so upset I was not even understanding what was going on and I was panicking with fear that my baby wasn’t going to survive. It was a mother’s worst nightmare.  When we got to UK the NICU staff and physicians were amazing! They explained everything and helped me understand what was going on with Casey. Where Casey went into distress during labor and went without oxygen for a bit, he suffered a brain injury. He was diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). This is a type of brain dysfunction that occurs when the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen or blood flow for a period of time. They started Casey on brain cooling, also known as therapeutic hypothermia, to keep his core body temperature at 92 degrees. This method has shown to help reduce long term neurological effects and reduce the mortality rate. The coming days things started getting darker. Casey had a few apnea episodes where he stopped breathing and was placed on a ventilator. Then he was noted to have seizure activity seen on the EEG. At one point, I was on the NICU floor crying out to God to save my baby. Well glory to God along with the wonderful physicians and staff at UK, Casey came home October 1st after 3 weeks in the NICU.  Shortly after coming home I was looking at the website listed on the back of a water bottle I received while in the hospital . It had the website for Early Bird Foundation. I went online and sent off mine and Casey’s story and a few days later I received an email saying Ashton would like to meet me with a gift . Through their Family Specific Needs Assistance Program, the organization graciously gifted us with two cans of formula , an adorable NICU storybook, a baby blanket, and a generous visa gift card to help with co-payments and help with gas for traveling back and forth for Casey’s follow up visits at UK.  This was such a relief and blessing to this Mama. It helped take some of the burden off my shoulders during such a stressful time. We were blessed by this wonderful organization and are forever grateful .

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