My Lucky 35 Weeker

Chloey ~ Super Hero Alias: My Lucky 35 Weeker

ChloeyAge: 2 years old
Weight at birth: 4 lbs
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 9 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries? 

Chloey had a hard time  keeping her oxygen and heart rate up  and she  also had a blue spell when she was  nursing and stopped breathing. Her NICU  team had to  bag her  for a few minutes!

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

Chloey was born at 35 weeks!  She was my lucky 35-weeker because her lungs where working on their own. She was in an open crib since day one! She has been a fighter since she was born. She had blue spells, she has low muscle tone, she has early intervention, but she never gives up she keeps on going when the going gets hard!

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

Strong!!  Never  gives up!!  and a Fighter!

Super Rhyan

Rhyan ~ Super Hero Alias: Super Rhyan

RhyanAge: 15 months
Weight at birth: 4 pounds 14 ounces
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 15 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

respiratory distress syndrome, GERD, weight gain struggles, developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, possible hip dysplasia.

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

Rhyan has overcome more in her short life than many do in a lifetime. She has taught me how to be a mother. She loves to prove everyone wrong. Despite all of her therapies, tests, and life itself, Rhyan always has a precious smile that motivates me to do great things!

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

As tiny as she started out, and as tiny as she still is today, Rhyan is the strongest person I know. She had a renal ultrasound to test for possible kidney reflux, no sooner than the test was done she was “talking” to the nurses and trying to feed them Puffs. She is my inspiration that’s for sure!

Tessa the Great

Tessa ~ Super Hero Alias: Tessa the Great

TessaAge: 7 weeks
Weight at birth: 5 lb 4 ozs
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 11 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Atrial flutter, premature lungs, svt, reflux,

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

My daughter was born at 35 weeks gestation via emergency c-section. The doctors had to take her early due to heart problems. They said she would have heart failure if they waited any longer. They thought she would stay in nicu for storage a couple months. I think she should be Preemie of the year, because she only had to stay in nicu for 11 days! She is such a fighter!  She started out eating only 1ml and by the time she came home she was eating 2oz! She is on heart medicine now and she is a very happy baby! She now weighs 7lbs 9oz!! Oh and she had to stay under an oxyhood but by day 8 she was breathing on her own and keeping her body temperature up all by herself! She truly is my little miracle!:)

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

My baby girl is so strong! She had her first eye appointment yesterday and they had to clamp her eyes open to do the exam. She squeezed her eyes so hard that the clamp came out 3 different times! She finally just let them do the exam. She is a fighter too! When she was in the nicu, she would start to brady, but she always pulled herself out of it before the nurses could even get to her. Overall she is my mighty super hero!! She has helped me be strong through all of this! She teaches me more and more everyday! She puts a smile on my face everyday!

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Every day is a struggle but everyday is progress made! 🙂

Amazing Levi

Levi ~ Super Hero Alias: Amazing Levi

LeviAge: 11 months
Weight at birth: 4 lb 12 ozs
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 8 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

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

He was so little when he was born.  He is so big now.  He is crawling and hitting all the mile stones that all the babies are his age that are not Preemies. It was my complications that caused him to come so early. He also had to have an MRI of his brain at 5 months old because they thought he might have a tumor.  But again with all his fight there was none and his condition is cured. He now only has to have a blood test every other month to check his hormone levels. He is a true fighter and my little hero.  He is just the most amazing baby he could be.

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

High energy, strong, amazing & a fighter.

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Take one day at a time.  They will get stronger.  Even though they are small in size they have 10 times the fight we think they do.  They happiest day is the day they tell you the baby can go home.  That day will come.

Haillees Comet

Haillee C. ~ Super Hero Alias: Haillee’s Comet!

Haillee CAge: 15 months
Weight at birth: 3lbs 14oz
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 43 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Turner’s Syndrome; repair of PDA; coarctation of aorta; dextrocardia; bicuspid valve

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

She fought through all the pain with a beautiful smile on her face! There were many downs but she managed to defy the odds. I know there is a long road ahead of us but we will continue to hold our heads high and smile because sometimes that’s all it takes to make the pain and fear go away.

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

Determined, Strong, Fighter, Happy, Lovable

No matter how hard things got she was determined to do everything possible to meet her milestones! She didn’t sit unassisted till 11 months. At 12 she started army crawling and rolling. By 13 she was walking! I am so unbelievably proud of my daughter. No matter how impossible it seems she is determined to prove she can do anything she wants to do!

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?

One day at a time! Baby steps! All that matters is when you’re there holding your precious miracle. The rest of the world can wait.

Captain Elliott

Elliott B. ~ Super Hero Alias: Captain Elliott

Elliott B.Age: 2 months
Weight at birth: 11lbs
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 12 days

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

He was my second preemie and the only to survive. I am proud of him and I am so happy to be his mommy.

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

Strong, brave, kind

Captain JerBear!

Jeremiah H ~ Super Hero Alias: Captain JerBear!

Jeremiah HAge: 2 months
Weight at birth: 5lbs 13 oz
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 9 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Forgetting to breath at birth, jaundice, and low blood sugar.

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

This little man is honestly a superhero to his family. He was a magnificent surprise. He just wanted to show everyone how cute he was, 4 weeks earlier than expected, but boy, was the journey something else. The day of his birth really didn’t feel like any ordinary day. I was extremely tired, had the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life, and it felt like I was looking through a glass of water. I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon for a non-stress test. Oh Lord, my blood pressure was high. I was sent over to the hospital thinking the nurses were going to observe me for a few hours. Nope, I was being prepped for an emergency c-section, due to preeclampsia. They had to poke me 9 times, just to find the right spot in my spine, for the spinal. Every time they injected the medicine, I felt my little boy tense up, and all I wanted to do was speed things up. 20 minutes later, he had finally arrived, and I heard his first cries, but then it went silent. He was forgetting to breathe. The nurse brought him over, explained what was going on, told me that he needs to go to the NICU, took a picture of our new little family, and left. He was put into an incubator, had to be given sugar water, because his sugar dropped really low. He was hooked up to several machines, and had wires everywhere, I didn’t know what everything was for. I see him as Preemie of the Year because he fought through everything, and hardly cried, only a few times. He needed to tell everyone he was hungry. 🙂

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

Determination- He came out of the NICU in only 9 days. He did struggle, though. He lost half a pound within a 24-hour period. He fought through it; he wanted to prove to everyone he could do it. Within 2 days, he had gained weight. He weighed an ounce more than he did when he was born.

He’s Strong- When he’s eating, he takes a grip on that bottle and will not let you take it from him at all. He loves to grap things, and fights you for them when you try to take it from him. At 3 weeks old, he could raise his head perfectly. We are all amazed.

Brave- He’s definitely brave, all preemies are brave in my eyes. He wasn’t ready for the real world yet, he was nice a cozy in his mommy’s tummy, just relaxing and being warm. Also, having to stay in the NICU, where there were shift changes every 12 hours. He wasn’t used to them, he never heard their voices before. For him to do so good, in a new environment most definitely makes my little man brave.

Desinee and Amy: The Comfort of Knowing You’re Not Alone

Evan, Photo courtesy Dwyer Familyby Amy Carr, Helping Hand Peer Mentor

“Fortunately, not everyone knows another parent who has spent time in the NICU. Unfortunately, when you are that parent, you need someone who has been there to answer your questions and remind you that the feelings you feel are normal,” shared Desinee, a parent who was matched with a Helping Hand peer mentor from Hand to Hold. “The NICU can be a lonely place even when you have the support of friends and family like we did. You still feel alone because no one else quite understands what you are going through. Hand to Hold matched me up with someone who understood the ups and downs and who had been where I was. She’s been an amazing resource and shoulder when I’ve needed it.”

Desinee is the proud mother to Evan who was born at 31 weeks and who spent 26 days in the NICU. They were fortunate to have a relatively uneventful NICU stay and her son has thrived since coming home. I was matched with Desinee because she had a very similar experience to my own. My daughter, Ella,  was born at 35 weeks almost 7 years ago. Her early birth was a complete surprise and unexpected complications led to her 10-day NICU stay.

The experience of having a child born early and their subsequent hospital stay remains with parents like us for longer than most of our friends and family realize. It takes time to work through all that and realize that the complicated “stew” of emotions NICU parents like us face are completely normal. It was a trauma, afterall!  Healing takes time, but it does come.

I was so honored to be able to support Desinee during part of her NICU journey after she brought her son home. Sharing our mutual experiences and feelings was helpful for us both. Even though I didn’t know anyone who had a baby born early when my child was in the NICU, I appreciated the opportunity to lend a helping hand to a fellow mama – if nothing else to let her know that “Yes, I know exactly how you feel!”

 

Miracle Super Brothers

Marco & Carlo F. ~ Super Hero Alias: Miracle Super Brothers

Marco and Carlo FAge: 9 months
Weight at birth: 6 lbs
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
Time in the NICU: 3 weeks

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

My twins were born early because I had preeclampsia and pregestational diabetes and high blood pressure. My pregnancy condition put a lot of stress on me and the babies, but they continued to grow strong and normally. They are fighters.

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

They are brave and have a will and determination to do anything.They love to try new things and love to have fun. They are very happy boys. They smile a lot and laugh a lot.

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

Strong, Brave, Courageous, Lovable, and Smart

What advice do you have for future NICU parents?

Cherish every moment,and take it one day at a time.

The Big Z

Zephran H

Zephran H

Zephran H ~ Super Hero Alias: The Big Z

Current age: 1 year, 2 weeks
Age at birth: 6 lbs 1.7 oz
Weeks gestation: 35 weeks
NICU stay: 10 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Was born with a cleft of the soft palate and jaundice

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

My son was born with a cleft of the soft palate making eating a struggle. He was brave when being poked and prodded daily in the NICU as well as making his first big road trip at under 2 weeks old to see the cleft palate team in Calgary. He is extremely determined and always has been whether it be with learning to eat, holding his head up when he was younger, learning to roll over and standing! He fought like a champ and overcame his eating issues and is now bigger than kids who are older than him and has his cleft repair surgery at the end of October!

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

Brave, Determined, Unique, Intelligent