Captain Chubbers

CarterAge: 10 months
Weight at Birth: 5 pounds 6 oz
Weeks Gestation: 33 weeks
Time spent in the NICU: 2 weeks

My Preemie Power Story:

Having my first child at full term without complications made me severely unprepared for my son’s early arrival. At 10am as my husband was leaving for the day, I felt my water break as I lay in bed. Luckily he rushed me to the hospital. I wasn’t given anything to stop labor but I did get steroid shots for baby’s lungs. I was told to get comfortable because I’d be in the hospital a long time until he was born. The neonatal team came in and explained what to expect. It terrified me. They did an ultrasound and estimated he would be under 3 pounds at the most. We were so scared and I tried to keep him in longer but at 8:50p that night I knew he was coming. Sure enough, 9 minutes later at 8:59pm, Carter was born at 5 pounds 6 oz. I practically lived at the hospital while he was there and we faced so many obstacles from jaundice over and over to not regulating his body temperature. It was truly a miracle that our little man thrived and after only 2 weeks in the NICU (14 days exactly), we were sent home on Thanksgiving day 2013. What a surprise it was for everyone to finally meet him. He was definitely what we were thankful for that year and every years since. Now he’s almost 11 months and weighs a whopping 29 pounds at 33 inches long. He’s 100% on track developmentally and is doing everything a normal 11 month old is doing including trying to walk. He’s certainly our hero and as his older sister calls him, her Captain Chubbers.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Strong, fearless & feisty.

Smiley Gayily


Age: 6 months
Weight at Birth: 1.6 kilos
Weeks Gestation: 33
Time spent in the NICU: 101 days

My Preemie Power Story:
At 23 weeks the doctors thought I was about to give birth, but after a high risk pregnancy that included surgery and months of hospitalization, Avigayil hung in for an amazing 10 more weeks and was born by c-section at 33 weeks. Right from the start there were surprises. She had IUGR and severe RDS. She was not breathing at birth and it took a few hours for the doctors to stabilize her. During her NICU stay she was diagnosed with severe BPD, GERD, Pulmonary Hypertension, Osteoporosis, FTT and anemia, among a host of other more common preemie problems. She had 3 blood transfusions, was on nitric oxide for 2 weeks and was intubated for 3 weeks.

From the beginning our little red head was a fighter. While sedated on morphine she none the less managed to extubate herself 3 times. Even though she was and still is confronting challenges that no one expected, she is a very happy and social baby.

While in the NICU became the first preemie to use a newly approved machine that would allow her to go home on Vapotherm. It is now in use in the NICU and at homes here in Israel. She is honored to be part of such an amazing breakthrough for preemies and their parents.

Now at 6 months of age she is home and on oxygen and a monitor 24 hours a day. She has an NG tube for feeds with a kangaroo pump and inhalations every 4 hours.

Despite her hard life so far and having to fight for every breath, Avigayil treats every person who comes near to a giant smile with her generally sunny disposition. She loves people and makes friends wherever she goes.

We hope that she keeps that love of people and love of life with her always as she teaches us every day just how valuable life can be.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Avigayil can fly into the hearts of every one around her faster than a speeding bullet. With the incredible ability to charm anyone she can even make the most serious and experienced doctors and nurses smile and coo.

She has amazing agility seen in her talent of being able to remove any tube or cord placed on/in her within 5 minutes, even under sedation!

Mind Control! She brightens peoples day and has touched the lives of people she has never even met as they keep up with her story online.

She goes on every day with her super strength and determination. It is that quality that is helping her parents and 4 brothers and sisters to make it through each day.

The Feisty Peanut

AbigailAge: 22 months
Weight at Birth: 3 lbs 10 oz
Weeks Gestation: 33
Time spent in the NICU: 36 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Our little super hero came in to the world at 33 weeks 3 days when my body started failing due to HELLP Syndrome and severe preeclampsia. I went to the ER, at 33 weeks, with severe back pain. I thought I was just dehydrated, but after being transferred by ambulance to a hospital that was more prepared for preemies, we found out that I had HELLP Syndrome. The pain I was feeling was my liver swelling and my kidneys were not functioning well.

Abigail fought hard, and thanks to her many many prayer warriors, she was able to stay in me three more days while she got two rounds of steroids to help her lungs. On the third day they decided it wouldn’t be safe to wait any longer and they took us in for the c-section. [Read more…]


AlexanderAge: 4-1/2 months
Weight at Birth: 4 lbs 11oz
Weeks Gestation: 33
Time spent in the NICU: 24 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Alexander is a kid who defied all odds. I was told 12 years ago I would not have children, and he is here today. I didn’t even find out I was pregnant until 6 months along! We found out in April and I began the litany of tests, vitamins, appointment after appointment and other precautions. I knew I was a high risk candidate from previously having two miscarriages before the diagnosis.

Alexander always made it very clear he was a boy, and the first ultrasound proved he had all the (ahem) parts necessary for a baby. It was very scary, finding out at 27 weeks that in a few months there would be a new baby in the world. Little did I know the time left wouldn’t be counted in months, but in weeks. [Read more…]

Awesomest Maximus

Elliot L. ~ Super Hero Alias: Awesomest Maximus

ElliotAge: 3 months old
Weight at birth: 3 lbs 5 ozs
Weeks gestation: 33 weeks
Time in the NICU: 35 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries? 


Why Should Your Children Be Recognized as Preemies of the Year?

Due to placental abruption, Elliot was born 7 weeks early by emergency c-section. He has been my little strong guy from day one. The entire time he was in the NICU, he pulled every wire off him. He wanted to breath and do everything on his own. To all the nurses’ surprise, he was holding himself up in the first couple weeks he was there. He continued to have an appetite of a super hero and has gained 1 lb a week when he left.

Using Three Or More Characteristics of a Super Hero, Please Describe Your Child

strong, active, loving, playful

Four Leaf Clover

Frank ~ Super Hero Alias: Four Leaf Clover

FrankAge: 2 months
Weight at birth: 3 lb 2 ozs
Weeks gestation: 33 weeks, 2 days
Time in the NICU: 22 days

Why Should Your Child Be Recognized as Preemie of the Year?

This beautiful addition to our family is only one of our twins.  He has gone through a lot at Johns Hopkins, and came out fighting at 33 weeks and 2 days.  Weighing 3 lbs and 2 oz, he was our 4 leaf clover.  Luck of the Irish was on his side.  Just look at him, he just looks like an Irish superhero.  😉  How many Irish superheros are there?  Frank would be the first if you vote for him.  Frank has a superhero sidekick……his twin brother Jason.  Together – this superhero duo would be unstoppable. [Read more…]

The Tinker Twins

Logan and Avery ~ Super Hero Alias: The Tinker Twins

Logan and AveryAge: 4 months
Weight at birth: Logan – 4 lbs, 15 oz, Avery – 4 lbs, 10 oz
Weeks gestation: 33 weeks
Time in the NICU: 30 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

premature birth of twins after I was on bedrest for 10 weeks

Why Should Your Children Be Recognized as Preemies of the Year?

Logan and Avery proved from the start that no baby’s entrance into the world is ‘by the book’. After 10 weeks of bedrest for this usually highly active momma, these two little nuggets determined it was time to make their big debut. Only, it was about 6 weeks early still!! My water broke with Logan who was clearly tired of all of the moving and shaking his sister did…and wanted out! Avery was much more comfortable and not ready to greet the world. To ensure both babies’ safety, it was time to deliver. [Read more…]

Super Sisters

Eislin and Dylan ~ Super Hero Alias: Super Sisters

Eislin and DylanAge: 2 years old
Weight at birth: 4lbs 9oz and 3lbs 4oz
Weeks gestation: 33 weeks
Time in the NICU: 21 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Eislin had a chest tube, received a blood transfusion and was on a vent for about 3 weeks; Dylan had a picc line.

Why Should Your Children Be Recognized as Preemies of the Year?

I was told multiple times through my pregnancy that my girls would not make it.  I was even sent home by the doctor on two occasions and told I would lose them by morning.  After 20 weeks of bedrest and a rough start, they are thriving 2 year olds.  My girls proved that miracles do happen and we are blessed and reminded everyday that they are our miracles!  They love to work together whether it is figuring out a puzzle or making a mess! Eislin and Dylan are full of life and  bring joy to everyone that meets them!

Using Three Or More Characteristics of a Super Hero, Please Describe Your Child

My girls are a dynamic duo!  Just last spring Eislin spent 15 days in the PICU after RSV turned into double pneumonia.  She wasn’t doing very well and had us all very scared.  She kept asking for sissy.  The nurses obliged and let her twin see her (through the glass of her unit).  It was the first time she had smiled in two weeks, and by the next day she started getting better.  Within a few days we were able to go home.  They have both proven their strength, braveness, and abilities to “leap tall buildings.”  Time and again they have shown what fighters they are and are our own dynamic duo!

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Don’t spread yourself too thin.  They are getting great care while in the NICU; you have to take care of yourself also.  Spend as much time as you can with them but remember they are in great hands and it is okay to get some rest!

Little Miss Tough It

Maya ~ Super Hero Alias: Little Miss Tough It

Maya PAge: 3 years
Weight at birth: 2 lbs 5 ozs
Weeks gestation: 33 weeks
Time in the NICU: 30 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Sleep apnea, Jaundice, feeding tube, couldn’t regulate body temperature, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Ductus Arteriosis, Picc line inserted, caught an infection and had to put in isolation and had to wear gloves and gowns to see her. Normal baby milestones were hard for her to accomplish without therapy.

Why Should Your Children Be Recognized as Preemies of the Year?

Well Maya had a pretty hard struggle as do most Preemies. She made it through every struggle and every infection that was thrown her way. On my worst days she kept me going with her will and strength to live. She couldn’t quite do things, so she had therapy and proved that all she needed was time. She started walking at a year and a half, and she talked more and more everyday. Maya loved learning things from her big sister. When I thought things couldn’t get worse she proved that life is a gift and she was my miracle, my angel sent from above to help me when I felt I needed to help her. Maya is now three and she amazes me everyday with the things she can do when people say she can’t or won’t be able to without help. She’s an incredible little girl and that is why I think she should be Preemie of the Year.

Using Three Or More Characteristics of a Super Hero, Please Describe Your Child

Strong willed, Fearless, Courageous, Unstoppable, Humorous, and Motivated.

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Listen to the nurses and doctors. They really do know what they are doing. If you have questions, ask them; don’t be afraid to tell them something with your baby needs to be done. When you need someone to talk to who understands they are there and will help you. It makes it a little easier to cope with.

Miraculous Makaiyah

Makaiyah M. ~ Super Hero Alias: Miraculous Makaiyah

Makaiyah BAge: 6 months
Weight at birth: 3lbs 8oz
Weeks gestation: 33 weeks
Time in the NICU: 32 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Intrauterine Growth Restriction. She stopped growing at 29 weeks.

Why Should Your Child Be Recognized as Preemie of the Year?

Makaiyah has came a long way and though I realize she was not a micro preemie, she still had her battles to overcome. She had came to complete IUGR at 29 weeks but it was not discovered until I went to labor and delivery for severe pain at 32 weeks. Anything bad could have happened to her in the womb during that time but she held on tight and survived. She amazes us every day with what she accomplishes and she’s such a joy to have.

Using Three Or More Characteristics of a Super Hero, Please Describe Your Child

Makaiyah is strong, strong-willed and stubborn. I believe it was the combination of these three things that kept her alive and going.

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

You’re stronger then you may think. The NICU proves it!