By Cailin Werner
When thinking about my NICU journeys, I need to start with the birth my second son. My c-section was scheduled at 37 weeks and when Cyler was born he was blue. They had to rush him to the NICU. He was diagnosed as a lazy breather and had sugar issues. Cyler was placed in the “air bubble” and then on a c-pap. But within 6 days, he was ready to come home. Due to this experience, I was terrified to have another child.
My third pregnancy went well until 28 weeks when I started having contractions that the physicians could not get to stop. I was placed on bed rest and at 32 weeks Caden, my third son, was born weighing in at 4lbs 9oz. When I came out of surgery, they took me to see him. He was doing well they had him in an incubator. At day three, he was doing amazing. He was maintaining his body temp, on NO oxygen and even gaining weight.
On night seven, the nurse looked at me and said I’m worried about him and placed him back in the incubator. I was devastated. While at the hospital the next day, I was holding my son and suddenly all the nurses came running up to us. Alarms were going off and my son looked like he was twitching. His eyes rolled up and he became stiff. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I looked up at the nurse and said, “What do I do – he’s having a seizure?” She looked up and I will never forget her words she said, “Just hold your baby mama”. After the seizure ended, we put him down and all the doctors started checking him over.
He ended up having 11 seizures in one hour and I have NEVER been so terrified. They started running a battery of tests and start IV lines. Seeing all the bruises on his delicate skin because the IVs would blow was so very difficult. One of the charge nurses came up to me and pointed to a vein in his head and said that one looks good, I honestly thought she was kidding. The doctors finally convinced me to go home with one caveat; that someone would be at the hospital around the clock with him. It was my mother’s turn so I could shower and TRY to get a couple hours of sleep.
I received a call from her, and she said I don’t want you to freak out, but they just put an IV in his head. I lost it! I did not even know this was really a place an IV was placed. I went back up the hospital immediately telling the nurse this is not ok. She looked over at me and explained how it was so much better for the baby, but for me all I could see is that they stuck a needle in my son’s head. (I had to keep telling myself that it was not in his brain) When I would sit down to hold Caden, they had to essentially tape us to the chair. The nurses used so much tape on him and me it was CRAZY. Caden’s body temperature kept dropping as well and I looked over to the nurse and said he is cold he needs a hat to help keep the heat in. She looked over at me and said, “I would give anything for a hat that works with his IV.” I looked at my mom and said, “we are making a hat.” She kind of brushed me off and said “Yeah ok” but, I was driven.
We started designing and designing and designing the perfect hat. It took us 8 months to design a hat with all the seams on the outside so it would be softer for the baby. We created the cap of 100% cotton interlock because it was the softest cotton. Plus, we made the hat so it could be sewn with two panels taken out if we began to see the need for additional medical procedures. We wanted to make the hat with a cute fabric so that we could lessen in the impact of the IV. We will never be able to take away the fear of a scalp IV or its disturbing appearance, but we can distract from the IV. Caden is now a healthy 3-year-old but still has seizures and has diagnosed with epilepsy. You would never know that Caden has a disability. He is doing everything a normal 3-year-old would do and is happy and wonderfully crazy.
Cailin is a photographer, mother and wife to a career Army reservist. Cailin has three boys ages 8, 5, and 3. She has experienced three premature births and two NICU experiences the last one being the most critical. During the last NICU stay Cailin’s youngest son had to have a scalp IV from which her passion to make change began. Cailin and her Mother began Matronee’ as a response to a need. They designed, patented, and manufactured a hat that can be used in conjunction with the scalp IV. For more information visit them at www.matronee.com and view the video which explains their journey. You may purchase caps or purchase caps for donation on the website. If you have any questions, contact them at email@example.com.