Amazing Nate

NateAge: 1
Weight at Birth: 2 pounds 12 ounces
Weeks Gestation: 32 weeks 5 days
Time spent in the NICU: 28 days

My Preemie Power Story:

At 28 weeks gestation my water broke. I was admitted to the hospital where I stayed 33 days on bed rest until I went into labor. Despite all we were told little Nathan never needed help breathing and was a feeder and grower while he stayed in the NICU. He gained weight steadly and showed everyone what he was made of. When the doctors thought he was too small for something or were about to change something in his routine its like he knew and would prove them wrong by taking all of his bottles, maintaining his body temp outside the isolette or even nursing with no issues. Just shy of 4 pounds he was removed from the isolette proving to his doctors that he was ready to go home by maintaining his temperature with no assistance and taking all his bottles in record time. 28 days after he was born and at 4 pounds and 1 ounce, Nathan left the hospital and hasn’t looked back.

Super Hero Characteristics:
Strong because he’s proved everyone wrong about what he can do. Curious because he’s always looking around and getting into stuff. Charming because his little smile melts everyone’s heart.

Briella the Crusader

BriellaAge: 2
Weight at Birth: 1lb 6 ozs
Weeks Gestation: 23 weeks
Time in the NICU: 4 months

My Preemie Power Story:

Since before birth, Briella has been showing the world that 23 weekers deserve a chance at LIFE. Briella enjoys flying in her cape all over the world, spreading the news that 23 weekers can thrive and need to be given a chance. Her mission is for every hospital to believe in all babies.

*Briella’s 1st hospital & doctor believed that babies could not survive before 24 weeks & wouldn’t give her a chance. We transferred hospitals…and tah-duh! #Believein23Weekers

(Briella pictured at the Eiffel Tower, the Beach & the United States Capitol)

Super Hero Characteristics:

Extraordinary, Motivator, Adventurous & Independent

Our Fighting Princess

KimberlyAge: 16 year
Weight at Birth: 2-1/2 lbs
Week Gestation: 26 weeks
Days Gestation: 4-1/2 months

My Preemie Power Story:

Kimberly came into this world with many strikes against her.  We became her foster parents and later adopted her.  We were told when we brought her home that she would only live a few months.  She is fed through a G Tube and has seizures, CP, Hydrocephalus, Microcephaly and sleep apnea.  She has had more than 30 surgeries, mostly for shunt infections or breakage,  She has had a spinal fusion, a hip removed, hip surgeries, her tonsils and adenoids removed and many others.  We almost lost her on 2 different occasions.  But she and God pulled her through.  She smiles, laughs and sings all the time.  We do not understand most of the words she sings but we recognize the tune immediately.  She is always happy.  She loves school and wakes around 4 to 5 am saying bye bye because she wants to go to school.  We have learned that the doctors don’t always know what kind of life the child will have or how long they will live.  Our fighting princess was given only a few months to live and on December 5 she will be 17 years old.  She is truly a miracle.  She is a ray of sunshine in our lives and we can not imagine our lives without her.  She so deserves to win this contest.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Happy, Fighter, Loving

Miracle Cydney

CydneyAge: 9
Weight at Birth: 2 lbs 2.6 ozs
Weeks Gestation: 27-1/2
Time in the NICU: 96 days

My Preemie Power Story:

We found out in August 2004 that we were expecting and were elated! Our excitement soon was dashed as at my first ultrasound there was a small bleed. After home bed rest, I began having bleeding and an ultrasound revealed that I had lost part of the placenta. I was put on bed rest and would remain on bed rest at home until a new situation when my water had broken at just 18 weeks on November 14. We were told that she was not “viable” at this age and we were heartbroken as she was more than “viable” to us. A specialist’s diagnosis was there was less than a 5% chance that Cydney would survive. He offered us the chance to go ahead and end the pregnancy that day, because most people just deliver in 2 days at the most he said. As he was saying all of this, I remember grabbing Kleenex and looking past him at a picture of his family. Something changed in my thinking at that moment and I said what are our options for KEEPING the pregnancy. He indicated that I would be hospitalized on tilted bed rest, so that is what we did. Cydney never had more than a pocket of amniotic fluid bigger than 1 x 3 cm, but we know that God provided enough for her and right in front of her mouth. I remained on hospital bed rest for 9 1/2 weeks until Cydney was born on January 18, 2005, as I developed an infection. My husband said Cydney sounded like a baby kitten when she was born and my doctor said “That’s what I wanted to hear.” My doctor said, “There is no medical explanation for why she is here.” and we all know that God is her reason. We went into the NICU together and stopped by an incubator, where inside was the most beautiful, breathtaking sight. I reached my finger in and she grabbed my finger. She weighed 2 lbs. 2 oz. and was 12 and 3/4 inches long. She was on a CPAP machine and they were still getting her settled and running tests. Cydney got an infection at 1 week and was put on a ventilator, which she stayed on for a while. She had a brain bleed as a result of her prematurity,  which would resolve itself on its own. Cydney was able to come home after 13 weeks in the NICU, weighing 6 lb. 9 oz.. Despite her uncertain start, Cydney did well at reaching her developmental milestones. Cydney is our superhero. She had to battle just to be here with her super powers being: prayer, surfactant, and wonderful doctors and nurses. She faced beyond impossible odds of being born, and she defeated and surpassed those odds. When we dreamed of her, we couldn’t have had a more beautiful daughter both on the inside and out. We are so very blessed and thankful everyday for our Miracle Cydney.

Super Hero Characteristics:

“Determined” is a word that would accurately describe Cydney.  She has big dreams and she doesn’t let the size of her dream get in her way of pursing it.  Cydney is a wonderful student and prides herself on working hard and always doing more than she is asked.   Another quality that would describe Cydney is “Brave.”  She has always been smaller than everyone else, but you wouldn’t know it.   She is always up for a good challenge and works hard to compete and excel above whatever the situation is.  “Kindness” is another word that would describe our Cydney.  She is kind to everyone no matter their actions towards her.    She always has the right words to say as she always looks for the positive in all situations.  She is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know and we are so blessed to be her mom and dad.

Lexi Lou

Lexi
Age: 22 months
Weight at Birth: 500 grams
Weeks Gestation: 25 weeks
Days in the NICU: 109 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Our super hero was also our Rainbow baby. After a devastating loss we were ecstatic to find out we were expecting again. At the time I found out, my husband was working over 30hrs away so my son (3) and I decided to surprise daddy at the airport. Unfortunately, only 3 weeks after my husband came home from being away for just over 5 months, I was admitted to the hospital at 24 weeks for dangerously high blood pressure. While admitted we also found out our little rainbow baby also had IUGR . I was told I would be in the hospital for the next 3.5 months until she was born. After only 5 days in the hospital my condition worsened and I developed HELLP Syndrome. I was told to contact my family because they would be taking me in for an emergency C-Section as it was the only option to save both our lives. My daughter was born in November of 2012 rather than March of 2013. Lexi came into this world weighing a mere 500grams, had no respiratory effort and required ventilation. The Doctor told my family that we were very lucky as they don’t often attempt to help babies weighing less than 500grams. During Her first few weeks of life and her 109 day NICU stay, Lexi battled pneumonia, suspected sepsis, Bilateral grade1 IVH , RDS with PIE, BPD, Persistent PDA, mild pulmonary hypertension, stage 2 ROP , Anemia and Apnea to name a few. Our little miracle could only breast feed in the NICU up until 2 days before discharge when she was finally able to master the bottle(Haberman). Finally, 10 days after her actual due date, we got to bring Lexi home ! It was an exciting yet scary day. Lexi had many follow-up appointments after leaving the NICU and she continued to amaze her Doctors and Specialists. Our little preemie decided she could do things according to her actual age rather than her adjusted age and just after her 1st birthday she took her first steps and hasn’t stopped running since. Lexi Looks up to her older brother and he loves her to pieces. I’ll never forget the first time he saw her, he said “she’s so cute” and whispered “grow bigger baby Lexi.” Although I still struggle with PTSD from our rollercoaster of a journey, I have my amazing little miracle to get me through my days. Knowing we can provide hope and inspiration to other families of tiny little miracles helps me get through tougher days. In just over a month Lexi will be turning two and she is the happiest little girl I know. Don’t stop believing in miracles, my daughter is proof they exist!

Super Hero Characteristics:
FEISTY, STRONG, FIERCE

Ary the Incredible

AryAge: 14 months
Weight at Birth: 2 lbs 5 oz
Weeks Gestation: 27
Time spent in the NICU: 75 days

My Preemie Power Story:
The day I found out I was pregnant I was shocked, excited and nervous all at the same time. It was a perfect pregnancy for me. Every day I was so thankful for this little miracle I was soon going to be a first time mom to. It wasn’t until 25 weeks and 6 days I woke up around 3:30 am to use the bathroom. When I turned on the lights and looked down I saw blood running down both my legs and clots just kept coming out. I had my mom rush my to the hospital and as soon as I got there my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes. They did a sonogram and luckily everything with the baby was perfectly fine. My cervix was thinning which was causing me to go into pre term labor. I was given Magnesium to stop the contractions and Celestone to help her lungs mature. I was on bed rest for 8 days before I had her. Coincidentally, I had a doctor appointment that morning to make sure everything was going as it should. As soon as the doctor checked me I was 100% effaced and 2 cm dilated. She told me to go to the hospital because more than likely the baby was coming soon. 2 hours after settling in to the hospital my OB came in to check me and told me I was already 5 cm dilated and going fast. I had an emergency C-section and was amazed to hear her little cries when she came out. They told me not to expect to hear anything and that they were going to rush her to the NICU. She was intubated for a few hours but was able to breath on her own so they switched her to a CPAP. The first month and a half in the NICU was very hard on us but nothing was physically wrong with her. She was just having trouble keeping her weight up. The second month in the doctors noticed she was starting to develop NEC. Thankfully, they were able to catch it early and no surgery was needed. She was not able to have any breastmilk for 21 days while she was on antibiotics. This was an extremely difficult time for us but the little fighter she is made it through. Finally after 11 weeks she was able to come home. She is doing very well except for some developmental delays that she is getting therapy for 3 times a week. She is my miracle baby and I will forever be grateful for the little girl that she has turned out to be.

Super Hero Characteristics:
Intelligent, Inspirational, Extraordinary and One of a kind

Super X

XavierAge: 1 Year
Weight at Birth: 640 grams
Weeks Gestation: 23 weeks
Days in the NICU: 125 days

My Preemie Power Story:
Well, here we are, one year after Super X’s traumatic and premature entrance into this world at 23 weeks gestation. For the first 125 days of his life, he took us on the scariest roller coaster, with terrifying twists and turns. Since his NICU discharge he has been the most chill, relaxed baby.

Super X isn’t just our miracle baby, he is also our “rainbow baby.” A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage.

Super X has overcome what so many people believed was possible. Doctors didn’t expect Super X to survive and they suspected if he did, chances were high that he would be blind, deaf, or suffer from cerebral palsy, amongst other complications.

From the moment I went into premature labor and was admitted at 4 cm dilated with Super X’s foot hanging out of my cervix, God has looked out for him. Super X was able to “cook” in me for five more days, enabling doctors to give me 2 courses of steroids to speed up Super X’s lung development.

They say babies born in the amniotic sac (“born in the caul”) are blessed babies; Super X proves that! He was born with his sac breaking at the last possible moment. Being born in this manner prevented him from trauma, such as dangerous bruising and brain bleeds.

Super X’s bravery was admirable, evident from the day he was born. He fought to live, hardly crying through any of his multiple painful procedures while in the NICU. He has overcome more than what many of us adults have!

Super X overcame Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), the second most common cause of death in preemies, which required 2 intestinal surgeries. He also had ROP and underwent laser eye surgery.

Super X also had a hernia and PDA, which were resolved on their own without medical intervention.

We couldn’t even hold him Super X first few weeks of his life because he wasn’t stable enough, and because his skin was paper thin and could be easily ripped.

We were able to hold him when he was 7 weeks old, one week after his first intestinal surgery, for a few minutes.

Even at his sickest, Super X was a tenacious and feisty firecracker. He was the boss and he was driving the bus, as his doctors would say.

“We’ve learned that you don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have” (author unknown).

We look at Super X every single day and marvel at him, especially when we think back to all the possible outcomes we were given based on his gestational age at birth. Super X is such a happy baby and fills our hearts with joy.

God blessed Super X with the BEST doctors and nurses as well, and for that we are also grateful.

Super X is tough and strong! He is our 1 pound 6 ounce miracle.

“Most people never meet their hero. I gave birth to mine.” (author unknown).

Super Hero Characteristics:

Courageous: From the moment he was born, letting out a tiny kitten sounding cry, when doctors didn’t expect him to be born breathing, Super X has shown his determination to survive to make this world a better place. When first born, he was strong to squeeze our fingers when he held his hands. He sensed our worries and wanted to reassure us with his strong grip. Tiny but mighty!

Tough: Super X is mighty and tough, banishing the most dreaded preemie complication: NEC. He overcame 2 intestinal surgeries and laser eye surgery. He looked muscular even at his birth weight; his muscles were evident.

Resilient: Super X has shown that he can overcome whatever challenges come his way. Super X was discharged from the NICU without any monitors or oxygen needs, almost unheard of for a 23 weeker!

Leilah the Lovebug

LeilahAge: 20 months
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 12 ounces
Weeks Gestation: 26 weeks 1 day
Time spent in the NICU: 85

My Preemie Power Story:
Arriving into this world weighing a whopping 1 lb 12 oz…. Our miracle would turn out to have the greatest power of them all…. The power of Love…times 2! See, she came at a time when we thought having a child was out of our reach! With determination and faith in God, we went for it! So imagine our shock when we found out we were expecting identical twins! But like the previous paths to parenthood we traveled, this would not be ordinary.

Through highs and lows we found out we would lose one of our daughters either at birth or shortly there after. And at 24 weeks we feared this was happening sooner rather than later! However our angel baby knew her sister needed to make her mark on this world so held on and gave us two more weeks in the womb. Finally at 26 weeks, we gave birth to Abigail our angel in heaven and Leilah our Lovebug here on earth! Abigail knew our hearts needed unconditional love and before passing to heaven transferred all her love to Leilah so that our hearts would never be empty….hence the power of love…times 2!!!! The power of her love through her laugh, words, and cries, she keeps our love tank full from now until eternity!

Super Hero Characteristics:
The sweetest, happiest, determined, tenacious little girl we know!

Miracle Man

JacobAge: 5 months
Weight at Birth: 3 lbs 1 oz
Weeks Gestation: 29
Time spent in the NICU: 58 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Jacob is our little Miracle Man! He was the answer to so many prayers in so many ways, and being his parents has been one of our greatest blessings. Jacob’s story of how he came to our family is a miracle, and how he made his grand entrance into the world is even more so. After years of infertility and pregnancy losses, we knew we wanted our older son to be a big brother, and we knew once again adoption was the right answer for us.

We matched with his beautiful Birthmom in mid-April. She was due in July, and we were all enjoying getting to know each other, and planning for Jacob’s arrival. We planned for his delivery, and made arrangements for our 7 hour trip to meet them. Well Jacob had other plans! We received a phone call at 5:30 in the morning on April 28 that his birthmom was in labor. We started to scramble to pack for an immediate trip. By 8:43am Jake had made his way into this world, and we were on the highway heading to meet our miracle. We were later told a placental abruption was the cause of his early delivery. Thinking about that day still floods me with emotion.

Meeting his birthmom in person and sharing our dreams and worries for Jacob, was a conversation I will never forget. Having them open the hearts and selves to us was an amazing experience. By that evening we were finally able to meet our little miracle. He looked tiny and fragile, but indescribably beautiful. I was and still am in awe of how hard he fought just to be here.

Jake was strong and described by the nurses as feisty from day one. He struggled with breathing issues, and spent a good deal of time on a CPAP and nasal cannula. He also had a PDA that resolved with medication. Jacob was slow to give up breathing assistance, and that’s ok, because even miracles take time. We spent 58 days with Jacob in his home state NICU. I will admit it was difficult.

Being far away from home, and trying to plan trips for my older son and husband back and forth to home. BUT he was worth every second! The hardest part was just watching him struggle. However, I found so much joy in each milestone he reached. It was a blessing watching our little miracle in the making! Each day he seemed to get stronger and reach a new milestone. Even the tiniest of milestones, just like the tiniest of neonates are a blessing. At 5 months old Jacob is thriving! He is over 15 lbs., and meeting milestones ahead of his adjusted age. He is the happiest little baby and just a complete joy to have. Watching his bond with his brother is incredible. Miracles happen every day, and I am beyond blessed to get to hold mine in my arms!

Super Hero Characteristics:
strong, resilient, inspiring

Tabby Kat the Terrific

TabithaAge: 15 weeks (2 weeks adjusted)
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 14 oz
Weeks Gestation: 27
Time spent in the NICU: 66 days, plus 6 days in Pediatrics

My Preemie Power Story:
After 27 weeks in her momma’s tummy Tabby Kat couldn’t take it any longer. Her momma was sick and frightened, she clearly needed her Tabby Kat! So at 9am on the dot Tabby Kat came into the world via c-section, her early arrival healing her momma. A tiny 1 lb 14oz and only 13.5 inches long, Tabby Kat was whisked away to the NICU where she started showing everyone what it means to be super.

Tabby Kat should still have been safe and protected in her momma’s womb, but now she was in the big wide world. Breathing is hard work for little lungs that aren’t meant to be used yet, but Tabby kept at. On CPAP for nearly a week, she got more and more tired until she got permission to rest and was intubated. She was intubated for less than two weeks before being able to go back to CPAP. Oh how Tabby Kat hated the CPAP nose prongs, those things were the bane of her existence. So what was she to do except keep knocking them off. Finally after 18 days of daily battle with the CPAP she knocked them off for good! Another 16 days of oxygen and Tabby Kat was breathing all on her own.

Through it all Tabby Kat never forgot the reason she came into this world early. Her momma needed her. Nothing was better than snuggling with her momma skin to skin during kangaroo care. This was where she was supposed to be, not stuck inside a plastic box! So Tabby Kat kept persevering, eating and growing. Soon she was regulating her body temperature and moved to an open bassinet, where her momma could pick her up and cuddle anytime. Then Tabby Kat got so super she stopped having any bradies and the doctors said she could move up to Pediatrics to room in with her momma. Once there Tabby Kat settled down to the business of eating all her meals from a bottle and growing those last few ounces. Then finally the day came, after 66 days in the NICU and another 6 days in Pediatrics, at 38 week gestation Tabby Kat waved goodbye to the hospital and came home at 5 lb 15 oz.

Now home with her momma and daddy, Tabby Kat continues to develop her super powers. To her repertoire she added the ability to soak a burp cloth with a single well timed blurp. And she has a cry that can pierce glass and her momma’s heart. But never fear Tabby Kat would never use such an ability for evil, her cry is only for when momma and daddy are being particularly slow getting her bottle ready. Now Tabby Kat spends her days exploring the world outside the NICU and enjoying every moment being held by her momma and daddy. She wants her story to be an inspiration to other preemies, that no matter how small you are you can still be super!

Super Hero Characteristics:
Super strength, perseverance, cuteness and feistyness. The ability to make anyone’s day brighter. Not to mention projectile spit-up and supersonic screams (never used for evil).

Site last updated April 16, 2017 @ 9:38 pm