Duo of Resilience

Lola and ParkerAge: 6 months
Weight at Birth: 3 lbs 9 oz and 4 lbs 7 oz
Weeks Gestation: 34
Time spent in the NICU: month

My Preemie Power Story:

We were scared out of our minds. We already had such a tramatic pregnancy, but hearing, “It’s time,” being 34 weeks, it tested our ability to stay calm. Parker couldn’t breathe. They took my little man away immediately to intubate him. I just heard him gasping and I just kept yelling for them to tell me if he was ok.

Then my little girl. She came out screaming like a crazy person and I knew immediately she would be just fine. She too had to be swept away immediately, but I knew she was a fighter.

They weren’t sure if Parker would survive and convinced us to give him a shot to help him breathe, a decision I’m glad we made. They both had jaundice, breathing problems and feeding could only be done through tubes. Lola of course hated this and would yank her oxygen and feeding tube out every chance she got. [Read more…]

Kate the Great

KateAge: 10 days
Weight at Birth: 4 lb 10 oz
Weeks Gestation: 34 weeks
Time spent in the NICU: 10 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Katherine was due on Nov. 11th, 2013. On Oct. 4th, the day before our baby shower, my water broke. My husband came home from work and off we went to the hospital, hoping to be back home soon. Kate and my doctor had other plans. I was admitted to the hospital on Friday evening and was a brand new Mommy by the next afternoon. Our Kate had an amazingly strong heartbeat through the whole process and never gave us cause for concern during labor. Seeing Kate for the first time was an amazing moment but it was nothing like the sweet, skin to skin, bonding, family time I’d been imagining for 8 months. Instead, I held her just long enough for Daddy to cut the cord before she was then rushed to the NICU to be evaluated and cared for, it would be three days before I held her again. I saw Kate a few hours later in the NICU, by that time she was hooked up, IV’d, stickered, and plugged in. Kate has worked hard to be alive and has shown a sweet temperament and gentle spirit. Our baby girl has made amazing progress in her time here. She is currently eating 35ccs of breast-milk, has beat a persistent case of jaundice, endured IVs in every available vein in her little body, and graduated to a crib this morning! Although setbacks always possible, we expect to bring Kate the Great home this weekend or early next week.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Kate’s Super Hero Qualities include, but are not limited to, the ability to make a grown man swoon with the flash of her long eyelashes, she assembled a global prayer team in under 48 hours, and has the heart of a lion.

Super Beauties

Skye & LaceyAge: 11 months
Weight at Birth: 3lb 7oz and 3lb 5oz
Weeks Gestation: 34
Time spent in the NICU: skye 3 weeks, lacey 6 weeks

My Preemie Power Story: 

Delivered by planned emergency c section at 34 weeks, the Super Beauties had to have regular scans from 25 weeks due to IUGR and low fluid had to have steroid injections three or four times. They made it to 34 weeks then they were delivered. Skye did well, but Lacey got NEC at two days and was transferred to a different hospital. So I had one twin in one hospital and one in another. Lacey was very ill but she got better and she came home just before xmas to be back with her sister at home. Now they are the most gorgeous little happy girls anyone could wish for 🙂 Skye is now 17lb6 and Lacey is 16lb15. They have come so far.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Determined , beautiful and clever

Willow the Wonder

Willow ~ Super Hero Alias: Willow the Wonder

WillowAge: 3 months
Weight at birth: 3 lb 11 ozs
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks
Time in the NICU: 16 days

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

After a 24 week still birth and a 6 week miscarriage, my husband and I believed that we would never be able to carry to full term. After the miscarriage bloodwork was ran on me and it was determined that I had APS – a clotting disorder – and Lupus. When we found out we were pregnant for a third time we were terrified – I had to take daily injections of Heparin just to keep Willow alive. At 34 weeks Willow came into this world via emergency C-Section because I had a severe case of pre-eclampsia. Willow spent 16 days in the NICU. My world has changed because of our 3 pounds miracle baby – Willow reminds me everyday what love is and how amazingly strong she is. She has taught us how to be thankful and has humbled us at the same time. Life is so precious and Willow has taught us that – she is an amazing little girl.

[Read more…]

Mini Super Coop

Cooper ~ Super Hero Alias: Mini Super Coop

CooperAge: 14 weeks
Weight at birth: 5 lbs 3 ozs
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks
Time in the NICU: 18 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries? 

Cooper was a poor feeder and had a NG tube. He had to be on IV antibiotics for the first 48hrs after he was born.  Three days after he was born he developed jaundice and was placed under “bili lights.” He was placed in a temperature incubator for 6 days.

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

Cooper should be the Preemie of the Year because he is super strong and is a fighter.  He is our special miracle baby.  I never thought I would go into labor early but Cooper had other plans and wanted to see the world early so he could touch people’s lives forever.  My water unexpectedly broke at work and Cooper was born a couple hours later and he came out fighting.  The nurses in special care unit said he may be mini but he is sure mighty feisty.  He quickly got the nickname Mini Coop.  He was known in the special care unit as a “feeder grower.” Cooper tried so hard to eat at every feeding but in the beginning he did not have enough energy.  But that soon changed, he pulled his ng tube out a couple times to let the nurses know he was ready to feed on his own. Cooper continues to amaze us every day.  He loves to eat and his smile makes your heart melt.    [Read more…]

Super Momos

Blaize and Belladonna ~ Super Hero Alias: Super Momos

Blaize and BelladonnaAge: 6 months
Weight at birth: 4.6 and 4.1 lbs
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks
Time in the NICU: 12 and 15 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Monoamniotic twins. Blaize had low blood pressure and belladonna had to be on Cpap for fluid in lungs. Both born at 34 weeks! Same sac same placenta!

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

Our girls are Monoamniotic Twins. They were given a negative prognosis of 50% survival rate. They were “doomed” from the moment of conception. And born at only 4.6 and 4.1 they are now healthy, alive, 18 lb little girls! 🙂 [Read more…]

The Wonder Twins

William and Denise ~ Super Hero Alias: The Wonder Twins

William and DeniseAge: 6 weeks, 3 days
Weight at birth: 4 lb 13 ozs
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks 5 days
Time in the NICU: 16 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Acid reflux, jaundice, eating habits

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

They came into this world so healthy and ready to live. With how my health was at the very beginning of the pregnancy, I’m so surprised at how well they maintained their healthy status. They were practically normal babies. They didn’t need breathing machines or intensive care. The only thing they needed was to be monitored. The doctors and nurses were surprised at how much they weighed and how long they were. For fraternal twins they look very much alike and had the same measurements. Even though they do somewhat look alike they can be different in many ways. They’re only 6 weeks old and already they have such strong personalities.

Overall it’s so hard for me to see them as preemies because they did so well. They do still struggle with their acid reflux and eating habits, but they’re still going strong.

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

Strong willed, energetic, innocent, mischievous, dually unique, wild eyed, shocking, fast learners, playful, piggies, trickster.

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Stay positive and be patient. Give them all the love you can while you’re waiting for them to come home. Be as brave as you want them to be while they’re in the NICU.

Super Boo-Boo

Lilly C. ~ Super Hero Alias: Super Boo-Boo

Lilly CAge: 3 months
Weight at birth: 4lbs 4 ozs
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks
Time in the NICU: 10 days

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

Lilly is absolutely amazing. The doctor forgot to tell her she was a preemie. She came six weeks early (giving mommy a seizure to let her know she was ready to come out) and spent 10 days in the NICU. At first she had a little bit of jaundice but she kicked its butt early in her stay there. Before we could take her home she had to learn how to multitask when eating. Every brady she had made my heart sink but this little girl is a trooper. She doesn’t give up and blows through every obstacle that is put in front of her. This is why I think she is amazing. She makes me think “if this little preemie can do it, I can do it!” Her strength gave me the strength to get up out of bed two days after an emergency c-section so that I could get better to take care of her.

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

Lilly’s secret identity is called Boo-boo. Her super abilities include: Sleeping through the night, power kicking mommy, and making everyone  who meets her fall in love with her. Her trade mark is her tongue, she never keeps that thing in her mouth. She even has her own catchphrase “agee.”

Giada Bean

Giada N. ~ Super Hero Alias: Giada Bean

Giada N.Age: 1 month 2 weeks and 6 days
Weight at birth: 4lbs 11oz
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks and 6 days
Time in the NICU: 12 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Hydronephrosis at 25 weeks

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

I had my daughter on August 17, at 34 weeks and 6 days, due to preeclampsia, while I was on vacation in Flagstaff, AZ. For those who don’t know, Flagstaff is 7500 ft above sea level, and I live in San Diego, CA, which is at sea level. At 34-35 weeks, the fetus is learning how to use their lungs, so to be born at 34 weeks and at such a high altitude, would make breathing a struggle for her. Giada had also been diagnosed with hydronephrosis early in my pregnancy, and the Doctors were afraid she might have some sort of hip dysplasia because I had had it when I was born. She stayed in the NICU for only 2 weeks. After only 2 days, she was taken off of oxygen. Despite being very skinny, she was eating very well. Finally after a long wait, I was finally able to take her out of the NICU, but we still had one more feat: getting back to San Diego. Ten hours of driving later, we made it home. The next week she had a x-rays of her kidneys and an ultrasound of her hips done. They came back normal. She is finally a healthy 8 lbs at 1 and 1/2 months old, with no physical or mental health problems. She managed to over come a lot in only a few weeks, and that’s why Giada should be “Preemie of the Year”.

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

1. Strong – I was told she would have to stay in the NICU until September 22 (her actual due date) but she was released after only 2 weeks.

2. Determined – When she wants something she will do anything to get it.

3. Intelligent – She’s learning new things every day. And every day she gets smarter, she gets stronger, and with that strength comes determination, and when she’s determined to do something, she learns how to do it, no matter what the obstacle, thus giving her the intelligence to do it again or do it better.

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

It is very scary at first, but just trust that your NICU nurses are doing everything they can for your son or daughter, and at some point they will be able to come home with you. Try not to be too upset because the baby can sense that. Visit him/her as often as possible, and bring a ton of outfits for him/her to wear to cheer you up 🙂

The Pee-er

Sterling W ~ Super Hero Alias: The Pee-er

Sterling WAge: 10 weeks
Weight at birth: 3 lbs 11 oz
Weeks gestation: 34 weeks
Time in the NICU: 56 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Truncus and aorta repair. Focal seizures left arm. Moderate stroke. 1-1/2 collapsed lungs. Left vocal chord paralyzed. Jaundice. Arrhythemias. Apnea. Bradycardia. That is all I can think of now. But I’m sure there is more.

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

He has been through so much. He was a preemie, but because of placental failure he was really small for his age. So he had to grow before he could have surgery to repair the truncus and aorta. He had apnea and bradycardia from being premature, but he was also on prostaglandin that just made the apnea and Brady spells worse. The TPN started giving him problems with his liver. He was on Lasix to help with the fluid on his lungs, that threw off his electrolytes giving him arrhythmias. His hematocrit kept dropping so he was having blood transfusions 2-3 times a week. Once he was 6 weeks old (actual) he was finally big enough to have open heart surgery, but those were not without complications. He threw a clot from the bypass giving him a moderate stroke and seizures. All the swelling in his chest collapsed his left lung halfway and his right lung entirely. His left vocal chord was also paralyzed from the surgery. But our little guy is a fighter. He came home at 9 weeks old (actual) on oxygen and a NG tube. But he is finally home with us and we are thrilled. He is now 10 weeks old and weighs 7 lbs 8 oz. we are so proud of our little fighter.

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

strong, charming, calm
Our little guy is well known by all at UCSF. He quickly got a reputation not only for being cute, but for the incredible superpower of being able to pee on everything in his isolette while swaddled in a daiper. He quickly became known as “the pee-er”. He has peed on many of the nurses and his dad. He peed this morning and created a puddle almost twice the size of his body, while in a diaper and swaddled. But the pee-er is not into being dirty. The only reason he screams is if his diaper is dirty.

The pee-er is also known for being incredibly cute–melting hearts with his expressive face.

The pee-er is often accompanied by his trusty sidekick Bear. A beanie baby that was just a little smaller than him at birth. Bear has been by his side through his journey in the NICU and has followed him home to continue to fight together as long as there is a need to fight.

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Occasionally leave the hospital. Sleep in your own bed. Eat a home cooked meal. Especially if the stay is long. You can’t sleep in chairs and eat at the hospital forever.

Bring in hats for the baby. It makes them look like they belong to you and not the hospital. Decorate their isolette. Make a sign with their name. Bring in 1-2 SMALL stuffed animals, think beanie baby size.