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

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 🙂


Kastyn & Kenady M ~ Super Hero Alias: Tiny-N-Tuff

Kastyn & Kenady M.Age: 8 months old
Weight at birth: Kastyn 2lbs, Kenady 1lb 15oz
Weeks gestation: 26 weeks
Time in the NICU: Kastyn 120 days, Kenady 141 days

Diagnosis, surgeries, complications?

Kastyn: Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, PDA, ROP, Laryngomalacia, Osteopenia of Prematurity, Hydronephrosis, Gastroesophageal Reflux. Surgeries: PDA Ligation, Supraglottoplasty

Kenady: Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Gastroesophagael Reflux, Subglottic Stenosis, ROP, IVH, PDA. Surgeries: Glottis Granuloma Resection, Tracheostomy, Gastrostomy Tube, Nissen Fundoplication

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

Kenady and Kastyn should be recognized as Preemie of the Year because they are the example of strength. I was put on hospital bed rest at 20 weeks and my doctor thought that within a couple of days I would lose both of them. They held on for 6 weeks. When they were born, they were so tiny yet so strong. Kastyn was the sickest baby and for days we didn’t know if he would live. His lungs were so bad that they did not know if he would be able to come off of the ventilator.  He fooled everyone and 120 days later he came home with no oxygen and very few medications. He now weighs 15 lbs and is growing like a weed.  Kenady also played a few tricks on us. At six days old she was off the ventilator and breathing on her own but was so small she wore herself out. At a week old and only 1lb 12oz she flipped over and extubated herself. We knew she was a fighter.  After 115 days in the NICU it was determined that she would need a tracheostomy.  She received her trach on July 8th and on July 17th she came home. She is still tiny at 11lbs but she is a little spitfire.  After all that she has been through she has a smile that will light up a room.  Kastyn and Kenady are my heroes.

Note (posted Oct 31, 2012):

Thank you to everyone for voting…We just recently found out that our fierce little girl has more obstacles to overcome. We thought she would outgrow the need for her trach but things went the opposite direction and her airway is completely closed. The trach is her lifeline. The doctors hope sometime after her 1st birthday they can reconstruct her airway. She is so brave and still smiling everyday.

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

Kastyn is strong, thoughtful, and energetic.  He has a very sensitive side to him.

Kenady is my brave, fierce fighter. She always has a smile and can melt your heart.