Nikki's NICU StoryJun 6, 2019
One crisp, Sunday morning in January, Nikki started her day in the bathroom brushing her teeth. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her lower abdomen. The mother of two girls was carrying a baby boy and knew something wasn’t right. Twenty seconds later, she looked down and saw a small foot! First responders in Natick arrived at the home moments later to whisk Nikki and her husband Nick to the closest hospital, MetroWest Medical Center.
“It was like a TV show,” said Nick. “There were like 20 people ready to accept us when we made it to the emergency room.”
“We immediately brought Nikki to labor and delivery and carefully delivered the baby,” explained Dr. Steven Solano, Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology at MetroWest Medical Center. “She was about 25 weeks along and as a community-based hospital, our Level 2B nursery is typically equipped to take care of babies and moms 32 weeks and beyond. The general cutoff for babies to be able to survive on their own is between 23-24 weeks gestation. Although as board-certified OB/GYNs we are well-trained to do so, delivering both a periviable 25 week baby and optimizing the health of both mother and baby is no small proposition, with a higher-than-average probability of infants needing long-term support or worse. Overall survival rates for a mom who delivers at 25 weeks gestation is roughly 50-80%, with chances of long-term fetal morbidity being as high as 25%. Fortunately, with the help of our multidisciplinary team and Dr. Alyssa Marshall as the covering Tufts neonatologist - the baby was delivered, quickly resuscitated and transported to Tufts Medical Center.”
“I remember everyone working so well together,” shared Nikki. “One of the nurses held my hand the entire time they were resuscitating him. Dr. Solano took his time with us. Our baby was born with no broken bones. He just had a bruise on the leg that came out first.”
On April 12, 2018, Baby Nico was discharged after 88 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Tufts.
“They call him an overachiever,” said Nikki. “I have never had depression or anxiety before, but with this, I did. As a mother, you blame yourself. I’ve always been social and strong, but all that changed. Now that he is home, I’ve made myself get back out there and connect with other NICU families. It is incredibly important and valuable to get help. This was the toughest experience of my life but with the support of so many people, we are all getting through the storm. We are so fortunate to live in this area. Everyone cares and people have so much compassion.”
Nick, Nikki and Baby Nico have stayed in contact with Dr. Solano and the team at Tufts and MetroWest Medical Center. During a recent visit to MetroWest, Nikki shared that Nico’s personality is showing and he is very social. Nico’s story and progress is being shared on the “Baby Nico” Facebook page.