BISMARCK, N.D. — Renee Sindt spends most of her days in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, at Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota, with her 13-week-old son. This Mother’s Day will be no different.
Matthew was born on Feb. 18 weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces. Renee had preeclampsia when she delivered Matthew, the same complication she had when she delivered her two older boys. She and her husband are also foster parents to a 6-year-old girl. She moved in with the Beulah, North Dakota, family right before Sindt went into labor with Matthew.
“My husband’s been kind of single parenting, with the help of some grandparents and our church family,” she said.
Matthew has been in the NICU for three months and now weighs just over 5 pounds.
“Matthew was very, very sick. He was sicker than my other two boys ever were,” Sindt said. “He ended up with a respiratory infection about a week after he was born and it was really scary.”
He was on an oscillator for a period of time, a ventilator that works to expand the lungs. Nurses and doctors wanted Matthew to rest and heal for the first couple of months because he was so sick and little. During that that time, Sindt wasn’t even able to hold Matthew.
“Now, he’s doing so much better, but I’m still soaking up all of those times I get to hold him and love up on him,” she said.
Away for Mother’s Day
Although Sindt and her husband wish Matthew could come home for Mother’s Day, Matthew will need to stay in the unit a little while longer before he gets to come home.
“It’s not fun, you wish that you could all be at home together as a family for Mother’s Day. But I know that he is well taken care of here and I know that I can come and be with him and we’re starting to feed him now, so that’s a lot of fun,” she said.
Since the family lives in Beulah, she has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House, which is close to Sanford Health in Bismarck. She said she’s grateful to have met so many other moms who know what she’s going through.
“There are a lot of NICU families over there, so you kind of get to know each other and get to know other moms and peek at each other’s babies in the NICU. And they understand what you’re going through, you can interact together in a way that you can’t with other people,” Sindt said.
Nurses are a blessing
She’s also become close with the nurses who’ve been taking care of Matthew during his stay in the NICU.
“The nurses here are spending their Mother’s Day in the NICU, too, and taking care of other people’s babies. And that is such a blessing to us,” Sindt said. “They get paid to do this job, but you couldn’t just do this job just to get paid for it. They are something else in this NICU, they are a blessing.”
The Sindts hope to bring Matthew home by the end of May.
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