The DOMinator

DominicAge: 6 months
Weight at Birth: 1lb 13 ozs
Weeks Gestation: 28
Time spent in the NICU: 91 days

My Preemie Power Story:

I had chronic high blood pressure and an incompetent cervix held up by a cerclage. The doctor always had a difficult time performing the ultrasounds because Dominic wouldn’t stay still. He was already playing hide-and-go-seek. But I loved it! Dominic was telling me he was okay. Medication was no longer helping. The doctor gave me the weekend to get my stuff together before “turning myself in.” I was put on bed rest and constant monitoring, at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston.

The first time Dominic’s heart rate dropped, frantic nurses came in, flipped me to the side and put the oxygen mask on me. I was given Magnesium and Celeston. Then he would stabilize. This happened three times. It was a rollercoaster of emotions worrying about Dominic’s survival inside or outside of the womb. But he still kicked like crazy, telling me I’m ready to play.” The nurses were constantly in my room adjusting the belts to keep him monitored. My husband was so proud of his misbehavior.

The Doctor detected breathing-movement. She also saw Reverse-End Diastolic Flow and Dominic wasn’t growing. [Read more…]

Mighty Micah

MicahAge: 14 months
Weight at Birth: 2 lbs 4 oz
Weeks Gestation: 26 weeks
Time spent in the NICU: 105 days

My Preemie Power Story:

On July 27 of 2012, I was admitted into labor and delivery at 25w 5d because I was dilated to 2cm and 80% effaced. Was I really going into labor? I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. My pregnancy had been perfect up to this point. I always imagined being whisked up to the hospital with a big grin on my face, bags packed, and anxious to see my chubby little pink baby boy. This was not the case. As I lay in a hospital bed, doped up on magnesium to stop the contractions, I prayed. I prayed hard. I begged God to please let my baby stay in. The goal was 34 weeks…that was still another 8.5 weeks away. They told me I had to stay at the hospital on bed rest because if I were at home, we would never make it in time back to the hospital once he started coming. I mentally prepared myself to live in the hospital for 2 months. You can do ANYTHING for your baby. God had bigger plans.

Four days later on July 31st, Micah Emory was born at 2lbs 14.25 inches long. This was not the joyful moment I expected. I was terrified. I had never seen a baby so tiny and fragile in my entire life. I was in shock. Would he live? Would he be ok? What would the next few months have in store for him? What would his life have in store for him? All these questions raced through my mind. Something came over me. God came over me and I had peace; a peace I can’t explain. I knew that this journey ahead for Micah, Royce, and I would not be easy, but I trusted God to see us through. I will walk by faith even when I cannot see. Micah dropped down below 2lbs and was so tiny and underdeveloped. He depended on oxygen and other high-tech equipment to live. Still, I had faith. Micah went through numerous tests, X-rays, PICC lines, and countless IV’s. Still, I had faith. He underwent PDA ligation at 4 weeks old (at 2lbs). Still, I had faith. He had many blood transfusions, a couple of infections, a tumor on his brain (that resolved itself!), and we were told that he had stage 3/4 ROP. The bleeding in his eyes was very severe. It had already affected his eyesight. I was absolutely terrified. Would my baby be blind? Would he see the ocean, play baseball, see my face? Still, many questions raced trough my mind. But still, I had faith. Micah underwent a new procedure that was to stop the bleeding in his eyes and still allow the good vessels to grow. Micah was the first baby at the hospital he was at to ever have this procedure done. After 105 days in the NICU, our sweet Micah finally came home! That was the BEST day of our lives! When Micah was 9.5 months old, we got great news from his retinologist that his eyes are finally fully developed! Thank you, God! He has had several follow up appointments for his heart, kidneys, eyes, and urology and we have gotten nothing but great reports! Micah is now a happy and healthy boy and so full of life!

We never would have made it through without God, a team of doctors and nurses that cared for Micah, and for our family, friends, and complete strangers who prayed so diligently for miracles to happen.

Micah is a sweet reminder of how precious is and how good God is.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Mighty, Strong, Fighter


MasonWeight at Birth: 2.5 lbs
Weeks Gestation: 26 weeks 3 days
Time spent in the NICU: 9 weeks

My Preemie Power Story:

I worked in a NICU prior to giving birth never thinking I would actually be in one with my own child. I was very emotional while I worked there, but I believe God planned it to prepare me for what was to come with our son. Due to the experience I was able to remain strong, unmoved or shaken through the 9wk process. Regardless of what the medical staff said our faith was ALWAYS in God. I believed Mason was perfect from birth. Mason brought such joy to the NICU staff. You would almost think he was the only child in there because of the amount of care and attention he received from nurses and doctors who weren’t even assigned to him. We later found out that the “spiritual” meaning of Mason’s name was “Overcomer.” How fitting considering what he endured. Today, one year later Mason is a healthy, happy, smiling and silly baby. He lights up a room every where he goes. It amazes my husband and I how much unsolicited attention he receives, from all ages, cultures, and races. If I had to do it all over again I would not change a thing. His story brings strength and encouragement to many people. Oh how he’s a blessing. He’s the son we dreamed and prayed for. After being put on complete hospital bed rest at 25wks thinking I’d be there until his original due of Dec 14th was depressing in the beginning. I could not put my feet on the ground or stand. EVERYTHING was done in the bed. Mason still managed to break my water which lead to an emergency c-section. I knew then that it was supposed to be that way. Mason was just ready to enter this world. Lord knows he jumped and kicked while being breech starting at 18wks which caused me to dilate early. Mason has shown my husband and I real strength, joy, peace that surpasses all understanding and happiness. His birth and will to fight bonded an entire family. There wasn’t a day or evening we weren’t at the NICU bonding with Mason. The hospital was 30 miles one way. Distance and time could NOT deter us from making that drive daily for 9wks! There was an overwhelming pull to be there with Mason that I just can’t explain. He’s a tough little boy and definitely “Our Little Hero”!  It’s amazing how time flies by however; we will never forget this experience. Mason helped us realize we can conquer ANYTHING! Especially through Christ that strengthens us… I only wanted two children, but after the birth of our son, we decided, we wanted to have one more. Wow, Mason changed mommy’s mind and my mind was definitely made up about not having anymore children. It’s amazing what an extraordinary life will make you reconsider… Love Mommy & Daddy

Super Hero Characteristics:

Fighter, Joy, Light, Loving, Tough, Anointed


Halle ~ Super Hero Alias: Halle-Bo-Balle

HalleAge: 10-1/2 months
Weight at birth: 2 lb 7 ozs
Weeks gestation: 30 weeks
Time in the NICU: 72 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries? 

Turners syndrome, coarctation of the aorta, along with other heart defects. Had heart surgery at 13 days old. Weighing in at 2 lbs 4 oz.

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

When Halle was in utero, we were told that she most likely had Down syndrome at 8 weeks along. She had a cystic hygroma. That diagnosis changed at 14 weeks. When I went in for bleeding. Our tiny baby girl had become septic, and her body was so swollen that it was failing. Her heart was barely functioning. That diagnosis devastated us. We had to have ultrasounds every few days to make sure her heart was still beating. We saw a lot of specialists and they all came to the same diagnosis. A few weeks past and we decided to get an amnio done. The fluid they pulled out had blood in it and they were worried that it might alter the test results. A few days later my water broke at 19 weeks!! My heart sank again. As we heard all of the problems that happen when your water breaks so early. They strongly encouraged us to terminate. I was stubborn and I wanted to give her the best chance possible. So I went on bedrest.

We did schedule an induction a week later. I went in to the doctors the morning of the induction, to see if by any chance there would be any fluid. The ultrasound tech was as nervous as I was. There was 3 oz of fluid, so my doctor said we could make the choice not to have the induction. We opted out. As weeks went by she got better; there was more fluid and her swelling was going down. Her heart was functioning better. We saw the pediatric cardiologist several times. Until my water broke for the second time, at 29 weeks. This time I was hospitalized, I lasted 6 days before my contractions started, I had her on November 26 at 12:00. She surprised us all and came out crying! She did well the first 2 days. Until we got the call she had to be air lifted to primary children’s to have her heart surgery. We had many downs with a few up in the Nicu. She had several infections and the heart surgery as well as feeding issues.

She came home at 4 lbs 3 ounces, she has had an extremely hard time gaining weight. There are future heart surgeries in her future, as well as growth hormones and lots of specialist. She’s here and that’s what we are so thankful for. She is crawling, and getting better at eating, she gives kisses and high fives, claps her hands. To top it all off she’s only 9 lbs 3 oz. [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 Blessing

Trinity P. ~ Super Hero Alias: Little Blessing

Trinity PAge: 9 months
Weight at Birth: 5lbs 2oz
Weeks Gestation: 32 weeks
Time in the NICU: 36 days

Why should your child be recognized as “Preemie of the Year”?

Right around the time I was gestationally 21 weeks old my Mommy found out that she might have pregnancy conditions called placenta previa and placenta accreta. Her Doctor said that she was early in the pregnancy, things could change and that she shouldn’t worry about it. Low and behold 5 days later Mommy woke up early one morning hemorrhaging. Meeting the ambulance and being rushed to the hospital was the start of a very courageous battle for the both of us. When Mommy got to the hospital she was immediately given her first dose of steroids as well as all the other meds to keep me inside and developing. The Doctors were so nice and encouraging. They set my Mommy’s goals very low and said, each day that you can keep the baby inside really does matter and help the baby beat even more odds. This continued for weeks and included a couple of trips to the L&D ward. I came very close to being born on several occasions.

The day came for me to be delivered and Mommy had to undergo a very bad and complex surgery. She couldn’t see me for several days and when she finally could see me she was so sick that she could only come in for 20 minutes once a day.

I had a really hard time keeping my body temperature, eating and keeping my eyes open.

After spending about 6 weeks in the NICU the day finally came for Mommy to take me home. She had never even had the opportunity to hear me cry, change my clothes or bath me. She was still so sick that our journey home was not only hard on me, but hard on Mommy as well.

God Blessed Mommy and Me. We had a terrific team of doctors, nurses, staff, friends and family that helped us make it each and every day at the hospital and after. Mommy and I beat the odds! It is very likely that had we not have had great doctors and great facilities we wouldn’t be here today. We made it through very tough times and are both here today to be “Modern day Miracles.”
I have had a lot of Doctors and Therapists work with me. Recently they told Mommy “Who would have thought that the small, frail, lethargic baby that you brought home would have turned into this little healthy 20lb chunk?” God knew what he was doing when he sent me to my Mommy. She never gave up and has helped me to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, eat and squeal.

[Read more…]


Dylan and Derek  C. ~ Super Hero Alias: Determinators

Dylan and Derek CAge: 2 months and 3 weeks
Weight at Birth: 4.1  and 4.14
Weeks Gestation: 34 weeks
Time in the NICU: 33 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?

Why should your children be recognized as “Preemies of the Year”?

The determined twins tried coming to this world at 31 weeks. Then again a day later. I was admitted on bedrest in Austin to wait till 34 weeks. The day before I turned 34 weeks the Doctor said I could go home to San Marcos to wait out the pregnancy.  Well The Determineators had other plans. They weren’t leaving Austin without a fight. So at 3:00am I began contracting every 5 mins. At 5:30am I decided to call a nurse. Once again I’m back to the labor and delivery to discover I’m in full blown labor. Once my Doctor arrived he said, “What happened, I thought you were going home today?” I said, “The twins had other plans.” Within an hour, Dylan 4.1 and Derek 4.14 were here. They were sent right away to be with all the fellow NICU babies. From day one these boys were super determined to do what they want. And so they did by taking the bottle right away. They had great sucks and loved donor milk. The nurses said they are doing such a great job and making tremendous progress. They had to be on the lowest amount of oxygen for the A’s and B’s. I knew right there these babies were fighters. One day they were removed from donor milk, and that’s when the determinators tried to show who’s boss. They stopped wanting the bottle and that’s when tube feedings were introduced. After a couple of days they started spitting up and having reflux. They were switched to the spit up formula and once again the Determinators started taking the bottle full force. Days go by and once the twins were off caffeine, the count down to no more Bradys was here.  Here we go again. The Determinators wanted to show who’s boss. Derek was scheduled a few days earlier to take the sleep study and was on the verge of going home without his brother. Well, he had other plans.  He wasn’t leaving without Dylan.  Derek went off and had a mild Brady. So now the twins were on the same countdown schedule to take the test. With such  sadness that I couldn’t have one home, I was also filled with laughter that they didn’t want to leave each other.  So five more days we go and they failed their test. Once again we waited for five more days. Then I received the call that I waited so patiently for. The twins both passed the sleep study. With great joy and excitement, 33 days in the NICU finally came to an end.  Our adventure as a family began.  Watch out world cause the DETERMINATORS are here to conquer all odds with superior force.

[Read more…]

The Magnificent Mylee

Mylee H. ~ Super Hero Alias: The Magnificent Mylee

Mylee HAge: 4 years old
Weight at Birth: 2 lbs 6 oz
Weeks Gestation: 27 weeks
Time in the NICU: 120 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?

Pulmonary Hypertension, Chronic Lung Disease, Congenital Hip Dislocation, and she had a very large Hemangioma that covered her entire left arm, and now Autism.

Why should your child be recognized as “Preemie of the Year”?

Mylee was given a 3% chance of surviving. I started bleeding and had to go on bedrest 6 weeks into my pregnancy with her and went in for my 20 week sex check and found out my water had broken at some point. They advised me to end the pregnancy and said that IF she did survive birth, she would have so many complications that she would most likely only survive a couple of months. Her lungs were almost completely non-existent. Now after 3 years on home oxygen, a 13-hour hip surgery and 4 years on VIAGRA…she is a happy, healthy, normal 4 year old. Her only diagnosis now is Autism. She is truly a SUPER HERO!!!!
[Read more…]

Mighty Thomas!

NICU Reunion, Family Celebration, Hand to Hold Birthday, Photo Contest

Thomas B. ~ Super Hero Alias: Mighty Thomas

Thomas BAge: 2 years old
Weight at Birth: 1 pounds 13 ounces
Weeks Gestation: 29 weeks
Time in the NICU: 96 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries?
I had a blood disorder and Thomas was not growing at a normal rate. He needed PDA surgery, blood transfusions, and throat surgery.

Why should your child be recognized as “Preemie of the Year”?
After 6 weeks on bedrest in the hospital, our Miracle Baby, Thomas David was born on September 10, 2008 at 6:01 am, weighing at 1 pound 13 ounces! Our tiny miracle. The doctors whisked him to the NICU and started working on him. I finally got to see him while I was in recovery. On Thomas’ 3rd day of life, and just as Hurricane Ike was making its way to Houston, Thomas was having PDA surgery, a heart surgery to close a valve that did not close when he was born.

We learned all too quickly, under flickering lights of the storm rolling through, that Thomas would be on a breathing machine, with a line to feed him and would lay under the “french fry” lamp to keep him warm and pink.

What a sleepless night we had! Ike rolled through and the hospital would lose power. The backup generator would immediately come on. Somehow, we were the only ones in Houston with satellite TV! We were glued to the coverage. The next day…. Well, if you were in Houston, you know how it was. Deserted streets, no electricity and damaged buildings everywhere. (I saw all this via the news). Our doctor was even interviewed by CNN because Woman’s was opened for babies in other hospitals to be transported to during the storm.

The hospital let us stay a few extra days because we had no power. Monday morning, September 15, was my first day outside and out of the hospital in 6 weeks! Leaving baby Thomas behind, where were we to go? Our power was still off and none of our friends had electricity either. Our great friends and Tommy’s Godparents, invited us to their parent’s house.

Eventually, after about 3 to 4 weeks, we got to hold our baby for the first time. He stayed in the NICU for 3 long months. We would visit him every day. CPAP, blood transfusions, feeding tubes, struggling during feeds, the heart monitor going off…all of the ups and downs of life in the NICU. The three months in the NICU were very hard, but we are blessed to have had wonderful nurses and doctors who watched over him when we were not there. We are also blessed to have a healthy baby boy full of energy!

Now Thomas is 2! He is small, but fast and happy, full of life and energy! He loves to read books, play basketball and swim!
[Read more…]