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"Excuse me? Is there

supposed to be blood...

“Excuse me? Is there supposed to be that much blood on the floor?” I heard my husband ask one of the attending nurses.  


What?! Blood!


As I faded in and out of a semi-conscious state… I wondered how in the world I had gotten to this place again. I vowed to never let myself get here. I was terrified the first time and here I was again having a sense of déjà vu. Another pregnancy which meant, due to my condition, another C-section.


But blood on the floor?! That wasn’t a part of the déjà vu. That didn’t happen the last time. I tried to sit up for a moment then realized that the lower half of my body was still numb and as I felt more tugging and pulling, my nausea bubbled up and just as I was about to throw up -- with one final tug - I saw him.


I saw my baby.


And in those few seconds which felt truly like hours, I wondered if everything was okay because I heard no cry. Then suddenly, with a faint cry the baby was rushed away by another team and the other team of surgeons went to focus on me.


This was my second pregnancy, my second C-section experience, which led to my first NICU experience. I knew going into my C-section that my baby would be whisked away to NICU because of the rules for preemie babies.


But, I wasn’t prepared for the aftermath.


Familiar with the surgery process, I knew the first moments with my baby was limited as the Doctors wanted me to focus on my recovery. But after what seemed like days… alone in the recovery room… no husband, no baby, just me, and the flustered nurse who couldn’t find the proper dosage to ease my pain. Finally, once I was stable, they rolled me back to my room and the silence was piercingly unbearable.


There was no baby. No crying. No cooing.


I looked to my right and my mom was there.


I looked to my left and my husband sat constantly asking me how I was doing.


During those moments… they could have very well been wallpaper because to me they weren’t there. A nurse came in right away to check on me and the baby, “Oh I’m sorry. That’s right. Your baby is down in the NICU. He is probably doing just fine.”


“Probably?” I thought to myself as my mind raced out of control heightening my anxiety.


I believe at some point my husband showed me some pictures of our new baby boy. Then the nurse left and another one came back with congratulatory praise but I noticed her surveying the room and seeing no baby, she then checked her chart and said “Let’s get you manageable so you can see your baby.”


I felt empty and weak.


I know I was exhausted from surgery but something was happening on the inside of me that I couldn’t handle.


I was breaking inside.


After 7 and a half months with my baby inside of me, all of a sudden, I felt like everyone was keeping him from me. I felt like God was keeping him from me. That this was all some major ploy to stop me from being with my baby. Was this some type of government scandal? Where was Olivia Pope? Where was my help?! At that moment I resented everyone. I didn’t trust the nurses or the NICU doctor who came in to “discuss” things.  I didn’t trust the medicine or the hospital. And in those seconds be it the drugs, the trauma, or the reality of it all… I felt like I didn’t want to trust God.


So in that moment I did the only thing that I knew to do…


I prayed.


The prayer didn’t make the hurt go away or even stop the anxiety. But it gave me just enough strength to get through the next moment.


Each prayer.


Each God help.


Every muttered whisper of “God please” helped me get enough strength to focus on the task at hand-- getting better so I could make sure my baby was all right.


I wrote this book because the experience a NICU mom faces is a one of a kind battle.


It is an unstably emotional situation. A “somebody please check me into a padded hospital because I’m losing all mental capacity” type of situation-- but you are already in a hospital and there is nothing you can physically do to help your child! I remember thinking, “I am a mom! Moms fix things! Why can’t I fix this?” And when those thoughts crept up, weakening my disposition, all I could do was whisper… Lord, God please.


Maybe you are a NICU mom right now, maybe you know of a NICU Mom, or maybe you just want to help… well sometimes there is nothing anyone can do to help the internal struggle that they face. I asked myself what someone could do for me while I was going through this journey. And there wasn’t anything tangible I wanted or needed except for people to PRAY.


So I hope that this book will help a MOM in NEED find the words to pray even when they can’t utter a single word. I hope that my words and prayers will reach the broken hearts that need just an ounce of strength and hope to get them through the next moment.


May each prayer that I penned help the NICU MOM press on and grant peace throughout their entire NICU journey.



Tae McKinney


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