Remarkable Reese

  • ReeseAge: 10 months
  • Weight at Birth: 1 pound, 6 ounces
  • Weeks Gestation: 23
  • Time spent in the NICU: 97 days

Super Hero Characteristics: Resilient, Strong, Brave, Energetic, Tenacious

My Preemie Power Story:

I went in for my 24 week appointment at 23 weeks, 3 days. My physician found my cervix to be opened and immediately sent me to the closest hospital with a NICU. I was given magnesium for 3 days, but Reese was ready to enter the world the day after Thanksgiving last year at just 23 weeks, 6 days gestation. She weighed 630 grams. She spent 97 days in the NICU but still came home 15 days before my due date. We had our share of problems while in the NICU, PDA ligation, 7 transfusions, mild ROP. She came home on oxygen for just a few weeks and has not looked back! She is growing well and is meeting or ahead of all of her milestones for her adjusted age of 6 months. She is such a fighter and we couldn’t be more proud to be her parents.

Super Sam

SamAge: 5 months
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 6 oz
Weeks Gestation: 23 weeks
Time spent in the NICU: 118 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Sam was a surprise pregnancy after being told I could not have children. His due date was August 25th. On April 26th at 22 weeks pregnant I went into labor. I was transported to the University of Iowa Hospital and clinics. They were able to stop labor and get me steroids and keep me pregnant for 3 more days. On the 3rd day I developed an infection and he had to come. On April 29th at 245 pm Samuel entered the world. Prior to his birth the NICU staff let me know that if he was not fighting and responsive they would not try to resuscitate him. Luckily he was. His APGAR score at 1 minute was 2 and at 5 minutes was 7. He was born septic with Ecoli and was very sick. We were in Bay 1 the most critical of bays for 3 weeks when he started gaining weight and doing well. They moved him to bay 2 were we only lasted 12 hours before he became septic with staph and back to bay 1 we went. He fought the staph infection and made a recovery. But developed BPD and pneomatoceles in his longs. 2 weeks later we moved to bay 3. He was born at 1 lbs 6 oz . He was 5 weeks hold before the first time I held. He spent 10 weeks on the ventilator with 2 failed extenuation attempts. He has grade 2 IVH brain bleeds, Bronchial pulmonary displasia, had bilateral cataracts (just had surgery for that) and bilateral hydronephrosis (which resolved).

We spent 118 days in the NICU and Sam came home on his due date. He was 7 lbs 6 oz when we came home. He learned to bottle feed immediately suck swallow and breathe seemed to be natural for him. He came home on oxygen and monitors, many medicines and has had 1 readmit to the PICU/Peds for a really nasty UTI. He is a super hero because he shouldn’t still be here, he fought from Day 1, his stubborness, tenacity and fiest drew many nurses to him, and amazed doctors with how well he was doing. He is currently 5 months old and 4 weeks adjusted. He can sit up assisted in a bumbo, he can roll from tummy to back, he reaches for toys and people. He far exceeds any milestone chart for his adjusted age. He is a miracle. We’ve called him Super Sam for many months and the superman logo has been part of his t-shirts and much more. Super Sam is strong and courageous. A true example of Preemie Power!

Super Hero Characteristics:

Strong Courageous Resilient Brave

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

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!

The Great Juju Bee

JulianAge: 5 months
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 5 oz
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 155 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Julian (Juju Bee’s civilian name) was eager to get out of mommy’s tummy and bring joy to the world. There was an infection in mom’s placenta and he knew he had to get out of there fast. At 22 weeks and 6 days, Mom’s water broke, and Julian was on his way out in a super hero pose – one arm up, hand in a fist. He was only 1 lb 5 oz so the doctors wanted to save his strength, and they did a c section to get him out quickly, and The Great Juju Bee was born at 23 weeks exactly.

The doctors didn’t think he would make it through the night, but The Great Juju Bee started his signature move of proving every body wrong. The very next week he underwent emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, and again the doctors didn’t think he would make it – a DNR was signed at the doctor’s recommendation, and a pastor brought in. But Julian knew that he had to be in this world to give people hope and inspiration! He made it through and kept going uphill ever since. Every single doctor and nurse tells mommy and daddy how they are so amazed at Julian – for those first couple of months they didn’t think he would make it. But, as his favorite doctor said, “That’s typical Julian. We give a room and gloom diagnosis, and he goes and proves us wrong, smiling and happy the whole time.”

After 155 days in the NICU, an ROP diagnosis, a VP shunt, and a bilateral inguinal hernia repair, Julian was able to come home to Mommy and Daddy. He continues to build his strength and inspire the world with his bravery – a little superhero!

Super Hero Characteristics:

Super strength, amazing resilience, the power to inspire and give hope, and the ability to bring joy and love to all who come into contact with him!

The Wiggle Worm

EdgarAge: 10 months, 20 days
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 2 oz
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 153 days

Preemie Power Story:

Our story is no different than any other. But they all have their own special meaning. Edgar The Wiggle Worm was born at 23 weeks, also known as micro-preemie, November 25, 2013, weighing in at only 1 pound and 2 oz. We will soon be celebrating his first birthday since he was born. He would always find a way out of his snuggle, knock out his feeding tube and respiratory tube. When the nurses would place him on his belly, he would be so comfortable he didn’t like his assessments. It was always a challenge trying to get through them with out his heart rate dropping or his respiratory going down. He looked like a little man, long eyelashes, dark eyebrows and a small hairy back. As he is growing, he shows us he still has that strength he had while in the NICU.

Having surgery at less than 1 month of being born and another at almost 4 months of being born, a feeding tube for about 4 months, and sometimes not being able to be fed due to having problems with his stomach, and having oxygen support for about 3-1/2months, Edgar is a miracle preemie.

Now at almost being a year old he is one tough Wiggle Worm. He rolls all over the floor, loves to jump around his bouncer.

We are thankful for everyone that helped our Wiggle Worm fight for his life. He is our little miracle preemie.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Loves to wiggle his way out of trouble, drinks his super milk, and uses his strong legs to play.

Alonso Big Cheeks

AlonsoAge: 9 months
Weight at Birth: 500 g
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 154 days

My Preemie Power Story:

The spirit of a superhero fits on a 500g little baby, born at 23 weeks of gestation. Even when he was so small, Alonso decided to comfort his parents and grasped hardly their fingers with his tiny hands to give them a clear message that he only needed time. Then infections began attacking him and doctors almost stopped being optimistic, but one morning good news began to come again and a few days later he was much better. He was 154 days on the NICU, with the help of the great staff of St. David´s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Alonso has a good sense of humor, amazing healing power, a smile ready for his parents and new reasons to make them proud every day. What makes him a superhero? His ability to recover from intestine perforation, multiple infections, IVH, ROP and BPD, among others, and still be very fine today, gaining weight and progressing with his developmental milestones on time, always in a good mood He’s 9 months old (5 adjusted age today).

Super Hero Characteristics:

Healing power. Every time Alonso was sick during his NICU stay, when the doctors were more worried about his health, suddenly he became better. Incredible sense of humor. Alonso was a little more than 2 pounds when he began smiling hearing the voice of his mother. Now he smiles and laughs all the time, he is a happy baby. Growing factor. Alonso has a great capacity to convert his mother´s milk in growth and health. He was born veri early and very small but before his due date his weight was ok and his feeding abilities progressing.

Jonny McDash

JonathanAge: 2
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 5 oz (600 grams)
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 150 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Jonny is fast. As soon as he could stand, he walked. And as soon as he could walk, he ran. This speed is his greatest strength, and his greatest weakness.

Half-way through his gestation, he thought he was ready to fight supervillains. His sisters pleaded for him to stay put. “No-no-no, baby, don’t come out!” His mother told him it wasn’t time. But there was no slowing down McDash. He burst his bubble and made his escape. A superhero was born.

Jonny’s first stop was the Neonatal Incredible Kid University, or “Niku,” a school for super-kids like him. He learned to do normal baby things like unfuse his eyes and hold his heat. He trained to enter the world as his mild-mannered alter-ego. But even in Niku he was not safe .

Episode1: McDash vs. The Potent Deceptive Alternate (PDA) & Necros Ever Crank (NEC)

Knowing that Jonny McDash would become a formidable enemy, the League of Supervillains (LoS) infiltrated Niku. They whispered to McDash to keep a heart duct open. An open duct would make him faster, they lied. He was still young, so their deception worked. His body slowed. A team of superheroes, “The Doctors” gave him an antidote to close the open duct. LoS heard of this. Upset that their deception had been thwarted, they sent Potent Deceptive Alternate (PDA) to open the duct again. “Surge,” the superhero in scrubs, defeated PDA with two staples and a scalpel. Brilliant! But without wasting any time, the LoS attacked again. This time they sent Necros Ever Crank (NEC) against Jonny’s intestines, the source of his energy and strength. Over a half a foot of intestines died. But once more, Surge came to the rescue, discovering the stealthy villain and sending her packing.

Episode 2: McDash vs. the Rush Reserve Operative (ROP)

Having failed to eliminate Jonny McDash, the enemies sought to neutralize him by taking away his eyesight. To catch the speedy hero, they sent in their fastest Reserve Operative (ROP) – Rush ROP. Armed with an impenetrable protein cloud, Rush ROP attacked McDash’s eyes, threatening to tear them apart from the inside. The operative got more than he bargained for, however, since Jonny and the Doctors were ready with their laser cloud piercer, turning back Rush ROP in record time.

Episode 3: McDash strikes out on his own
The Supervillains kept trying, but McDash had grown strong enough to defeat them easily. Desat, Apnea, and Brady often attacked together. Kidney killer threw him into renal failure more than once, and Anemia showed up again and again. But each time, Jonny McDash and his team of teachers (wearing badges like “RT,” “RN,” “NP,” “OT,” and “PT”) and The Doctors warded them off. When ready, McDash passed his graduation exam (known in-house as the “carseat test”), with flying colors. He was ready for the world!

Next Time on McDash: LoS unleash a top secret project, code-named “Failure to Thrive,” and Dr. Nephros delivers McDash from Acidosis Monster. McDash triumphs again!

Super Hero Characteristics

Primary Superpowers:

Speed, quickness, and super-fastness. Also good at being early and fighting supervillians

Super R

GunnerAge: 1 year
Weight at Birth: 1lbs 7 ozs
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 76 days

My Preemie Power Story:

We were not ready or prepared to have a preemie.  I had never been around a preemie and didn’t know at all what happened when you were to have one.  With a 1-1/2 year old  daughter at home, I was not ready for our little guy to be here yet.  Gunner was born at a hospital that was not capable of handling a baby his size. After being bagged for 30 minutes they were finally able to get a tube in to keep him alive with his need for oxygen.

About 4 hours after he was born, he was finally able to get to a hospital that was able to handle such a small guy and get him stable.  He spent 76 days in the NICU struggling to stay ahead of the game.  He had a PDA heart ligation that caused him to go back on 100% oxygen on and off for several days.  He was able to come home a month before his due date, but on oxygen for several months after.

He has been home a year now, and we have had our struggles.  He has sensory issues that requires him to wear a spio almost every day to keep him calm and focused.  He had fluid on the ears and was unable to hear for at least 5 months that we know of and is finally able to hear and respond at 14 months old.  We have struggled with feeds and his food aversions, but every day we try a new food and try to get him what he likes to eat.  We are going to a neurologist who is watching for mild cerebral palsy and he will have an MRI done for the first time next month.  He has some eye turning issues and has glasses that he refuses to leave on.  Life has been very tough for us since our special little guy was born, but we are blessed with every minute he is here.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Super Strength.  Super Speed (Crawling), Reactive adaptation (Was able to adapt and overcome no matter what was thrown at him), Empathy (Always has the power to make everyone smile!)

Storm Trooper

JaylenAge: 9 months
Weight at Birth: 1lb 8oz
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 255 days

My Preemie Power Story:

It was a very sleepness night in the NICU. As I tossed and turned I felt a dark cloud surrounding my room. Where am I? On March 31, 2012, I was awakened by many doctors only to be informed it was time for him to join me in the world. My baby was beginning the fight of his life. Only being twenty three weeks pregnant, I knew then my baby was coming, but I wasn’t sure if he was ready to take on the world. Out of nowhere, I felt a strong and mighty kick! I knew at that moment I had a brave daredevil growing inside of me. What my little guy didn’t know was that all the prayer warriors in our family, at church, as well as friends were constantly lifting him up in prayer. The nobility of the doctors and nurses was also on his side. [Read more…]