Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Texas Moms: Jennifer Woods

Jennifer Woods cradles newborn baby Madison and feeds her a teeny bottle, the baby’s tinier-than-average hands and feet poking out from underneath the blanket.

Jennifer has been waiting three long weeks to take Madison home from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and she’s told by nurses that there’s a good chance tomorrow will be the day.

Madison was born early – at 33 weeks gestation – and her stay in the NICU is meant to help ensure she’s eating correctly, coordinating sucking and swallowing the way full-term babies are able to do.

Jennifer, who lives in Arlington, tells me it’s never easy to have a baby in the NICU. But she’s known longer, scarier waiting periods than this one. While pregnant with oldest daughter Kylie five years ago, her placenta began separating from her uterus at 27 weeks gestation, necessitating an emergency C-section. During Kylie’s stay in the NICU, doctors and nurses closely monitored her heart and administered five different medications daily.

How is a Mom able to get through something like that? I ask. “Visiting often helps,” Jennifer says.

While Jennifer dealt with gestational diabetes during pregnancy with Kylie, she also developed type II diabetes in between pregnancies, which complicated carrying Madison. She was put on bed rest in early July to alleviate high blood pressure caused by the diabetes. She doesn't plan on having more children.

Her advice: “Eat healthy, because everything you do affects your baby when you’re pregnant. Just take care of yourself.”

No comments:

Post a Comment