Accepting the Unexpected

“Congratulations, i’ts a healthy, big baby boy!” I held his perfect little body in my arms and embraced being a new mom for the second time.  Another flawless labor and delivery-check. Healthy baby-check.  They took him from my arms after only 5 minutes of skin to skin time to get his stats and clean him off.  It couldn’t have gone any better, really. One after another, doctors, nurses and residents poured into my room to assess his health and make sure everything was fine. Of course he was fine… the doctor had pulled him out quickly and easily- he had said he was healthy and he came out screaming, lungs in perfect working order. I had only held him for 5 minutes- can I have my baby back yet? When will I be able to look at each little toe and finger that I had created? I hoped it would only be a few more minutes…and then, we would snuggle the ENTIRE day together. Or so I thought.

nix3 (1)

When you give birth at a teaching hospital, you get to “enjoy” students and residents of all kinds coming into your room to check on you and your baby.  It was about 15 minutes after I had given birth to my son and he was still in his little bed across the room from me, checking APGAR scores and getting final weight numbers. The next person to arrive to look at my babe was the Physician’s Assistant. She took down his diaper and got a sick look on her face. “Did the doctor notice this? It doesn’t look right…” NOTICE WHAT?! He had already been examined by what seemed like 10 other people, and everyone said he looked amazing! The PA asked the nurse to quickly page the doctor to get her opinion. Sure enough, there was a problem. My son had testicular torsion, a congenital defect that is so rare in infants that the doctors had only read about it in books. I will spare you many of the details, but long story short, he was whisked away for emergency surgery right then and there to see if they could preserve his torsed (twisted-yikes) testicle.  I was devestated. I had only held him for  5 minutes, and now he would be in surgery for the next 2 hours? It was my worst nightmare. Surgery meant he would stay in the NICU for at least the whole first day and first night, and possibly two nights.  He would be connected to cords, monitors, BP cuffs- the snuggling I was envisioning for the two of us was not going to be as routine as I had expected.

nix (1) For the next couple of days I waddled my way in to his NICU bed to nurse him and rock him in the only chair that was provided in the room. My husband had to stand when we were both visiting him at the same time.  It was a small and stuffy room, yet my problems were nothing compared to most others around me.  My little Nix did fine in surgery, and had a complete recovery ( minus one man part, thank goodness those boys have two).  He was strong, and thriving. He was big. Two or three times bigger than most other babies fighting in the NICU. I wasn’t expecting this for my child, yet I suddenly became even more grateful for being blessed with a baby that could have been dealing with much bigger problems.  I’m positive that there are many of you reading this that have had preemies, twins, babes with congenital problems, etc. that know much more about fighting through those hard times than I do. I guess what I wanted to remind everyone of today is that you just never know what you are going to get as a mother. Think positive, but stay guarded. Know that things don’t always go perfectly and that they definitely will not always go the way you want them to. Be prepared for the worst, but anticipate the best. And know that it will always work itself out in the end. Always.  Together we accept the unexpected and do our best to deal with what we are given. Please share any stories that you have of accepting the unexpected as a mother! nix2

Ali Holt
Ali lives in the Carmel Mountain area of San Deigo, with her husband Josh, and three little boys Boston (7), Nixon (4) and Ryker, (2). She is currently a stay at home mama but graduated with a degree in Dental Hygiene. She was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is one of four girls. She met her husband in college and they have been happily married for almost 10 years. Together they moved to North Carolina for his medical school training and fell in love with the East Coast. Their medical journey then relocated them to North Liberty, Iowa where they loved and enjoyed the beautiful Midwest for five years. One last year of training has now brought them to sunny San Diego! They have enjoyed their coast to coast adventure that has brought so many friends and memories into their lives. Ali devotes the majority of her time to her kids but has been known to escape the crazy for a day of retail therapy. She loves being a boy mom, they are her greatest achievement in life! She loves photography, traveling, and a good fountain Diet Coke. Her favorite thing is spending time with family, whether it's at the beach, or at the Costco food court. She is excited about her new adventures with the San Diego Mom's Blog!


  1. I am new to the Iowa City area but I also have a Nixon 🙂 He will be 8 in September. We had numerous “concerns” throughout our pregnancy with him but despite some noisy breathing when born and jaundice and allergies to peanuts and cats – he is a perfectly healthy, rowdy, bossy and amazing boy!

  2. Reading this post once again reminds me of how LUCK we are to live in this community with access to such a top-rated NICU right on our backyards! My twin boys were preemies, but we never thought they would be. Totally uneventful pregnancy, then…BOOM. Preterm labor at 33 weeks. We spent a month in the NICU and can’t say enough good things about the care they received there. You are so right when you remind us to be prepared for the unexpected. It’s always around the corner!


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