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.

Dynamic Duo: Outstanding Owen & Bionic Bryce

Owen and BryceAge: 9 months
Weight at Birth: 3lbs 13oz and 3lbs
Weeks Gestation: 30w 5d
Time spent in the NICU: 6 weeks

My Preemie Power Story:

We found out I was pregnant with twins at our first doctor’s appointment in August 2013, I was 8 weeks along. We were so excited and shocked! My husband left for a 6 month deployment to Afghanistan a short 3 weeks later. My due date was March 25th so we had high-hopes he would make it home in time to see the birth of our identical twin boys, but knew he would miss most of my pregnancy. My pregnancy was 100% “by-the-book”; I experienced every symptom, perfect vitals and weight gain, and the babies were growing and healthy as could be. So when my water broke at 30 weeks I was in complete shock, this wasn’t in the book and my husband was still half way around the world.

I arrived at the hospital where I was told, “You probably just wet yourself, its common. There’s no way you are in labor.” A quick check revealed I was 2cm dilated and contracting every 2 minutes. I was quickly put in a room where I was hooked to every monitor imaginable and told I would be on strict hospital bed-rest until the babies were born. They began magnesium sulfate to slow my labor and steroid shots to help develop the boys’ lungs in preparation for a premature birth. The following 2 days were very scary, the magnesium sulfate was working against my body and I was having a lot of trouble breathing. Around 7am on January 13th we were told that Baby B’s heart rate was dropping and that it was time for an emergency C-section, I was 30 weeks 5 days.

At 7:55 we welcomed Owen into the world at 3lbs 13oz followed by Bryce, weighing 3lbs. Owen and Bryce spent a total of 6 weeks in the NICU. Bryce was intubated for a few days, they were both on C-Pap, then Bi-Pap, then high-flow oxygen that was slowly weaned down over the weeks. Both boys had jaundice so were under the bili lights for a few days, caffeine for apnea of prematurity, and had multiple blood transfusions for anemia.

At 3 weeks both boys developed NEC. Owen had developed stage 2 medical NEC so was flown to a bigger hospital an hour, 3 hours by car. Bryce remained at stage 1 so they kept him in our hometown. I now had a baby where we lived, one 3 hours away, and a husband in Afghanistan. We utilized Red Cross to get my husband home at this point. Owen was on antibiotics for 10 days before being flown back to our hometown where they boys were discharged 4 days later. Our family was finally together for the first time! Since being discharged the boys have been doing wonderful! They are both gaining weight, eating great, and meeting their milestones for their adjusted age. We currently have ECI therapy once a week. I love our superheroes so much and love sharing their story of bravery with everyone!

Super Hero Characteristics:
Bravery- Owen and Bryce have been through more than most grown adults have been through medically and continue to amaze the world around them!

Strength- Owen and Bryce are super strong! They have the strength to overcome anything that comes their way.

Power- Owen and Bryce have the power to make everyone around them smile!

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…]

Our Miracle Gaby

GabyAge: 4 years
Weight at Birth: 1lbs 5 ozs
Weeks Gestation: 26
Time spent in the NICU: 314 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Our daughter Gaby was born extremely premature due to pre-ruptured membrane first at 14 weeks. Our doctor advised us to be induced because in his professional experience it was too early in our pregnancy for this child to survive. My husband and I agreed to let nature happen and God’s will be done so I was sent home after 2 days in the hospital. A few days later, my doctor called and was shocked to find out that I was still pregnant so I was placed on complete bed rest in the hospital.

An ultrasound was done once a week until 26 weeks when our doctors couldn’t understand or scientifically explain how it was possible for this child to be growing and weighing appropriately with still no measurable amniotic fluid. A C-section was scheduled and we were before warned that our baby may not be fully developed or formed. Upon delivery, Gaby was taken away after just a glimpse into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She was placed in an isolette, put on a mechanical ventilator, oxygen and all sorts of tubes and wires on her tiny fragile body plus crazy alarms going off every second. [Read more…]

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…]

Lil Miss Sunshine

OpheliaAge: 3 years
Weight at Birth: 576 grams
Weeks Gestation: 26
Time spent in the NICU: 96 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Ophelia had a real rocky time. She was ventilated for a week then put onto cpap. Her oxygen requirements kept going up and down it was so scary. She was put under the uv lights several times to be treated for jaundice, her left lung collapsed several times, she had bleeds on the brain, her haemoglobin kept dropping so blood transfusions became regular.

Most people get to hold their babies straightaway, but it was 9 days before I got to hold our princess. I begged them to let me have some kangaroo care. I will never ever forget that 1st cuddle. It was overwhelming, putting our tiny girl down my top. She was so delicate. We got our 1st family photo and it felt absolutely surreal! Ophelia had a huge personality from day 1 and all nurses would comment they knew who was boss in her incubator.

We were so proud of Ophelia, she had done amazing and every time she was knocked back with infections she would come back fighting twice as hard. We was told Ophelia would probably be home January time and to expect to be taking her home on oxygen. But oh no our little fighter had other ideas she wanted to be home for Santa. Ophelia exceeded everyone’s expectations and came home on the 15th December after a very long 14 weeks in hospital, and even better she came home oxygen free and weighing 5lb 3ozs.

I will never forget that day it was amazing, that moment when the doctors said we could leave I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t believe them, I thought that day would just never come but when I realised they really did mean we could take Ophelia home I was almost running out of the door with her.

Getting Ophelia home was surreal, but it was a great feeling after been in hospital for so long it was like my home I hated leaving Ophelia even to go and eat, it took me a while for it to sink in this was my miracle and she was finally home, I honestly felt this day would never happen, there was no longer nurses to help, I was Ophelia’s mummy and had to care for her and love her and protect her, wow I really couldn’t believe Ophelia survived an absolute miracle!!! I simply can’t imagine what it would of been like if she didn’t survive, I love her more than I ever knew possible!! Ophelia has had her ups and downs since being home and been hospitalised with bronchiolitis’ several times but apart from that we are very lucky and she has no on-going health problems. She got discharged from her paediatrician at the end of 2012 and at her two year check they said she has well and truly caught up and even excelling with some things! My beautiful daughter has just turned 3 and weighs 25lb, she has the most infectious personality truly amazing!

Super Hero Characteristics:

inspirational, fighter, perfect

Isaac the Incredible

IsaacAge: 3 years
Weight at Birth: 4 lbs 5 oz, 16 inches
Weeks Gestation: 30
Time spent in the NICU: 35 days

My Preemie Power Story:

Isaac is what we call our rainbow baby, the youngest of 3 older sisters. His sister before him was still born. So when I found out I was prego with Isaac I didn’t let anyone know right away. At 20 weeks we found out we were having our first boy. At 28 weeks I started going into labor, went to the doctor, stayed in the hospital for 2 days, and got sent home. The next morning my water broke, got air-vaced out to the hospital and stayed there. At 30 weeks I started developing a fever, so on January 9, 2010 they decided it was time for Isaac to make his way into the world so I was rushed down for a c-section. I seen him for a few seconds and they rushed him to the NICU. I finally got to see my baby boy the next day and hold him. He was hooked up to a lot of machines and has tubes in his nose and about 4-5 lines coming out of his stomach with antibiotics and other meds. He also developed  jaundice. He got all the lines out about after 2 weeks, but it took him longer to be in a regular crib because he could not maintain his own body temperature for a while. He had a heart murmur but is doing better. He had quite a few brady’s while we were in NICU. Took him a while to learn how to use a bottle but when he got the hang of it there was no stopping him. He is now a healthy, happy 3 year old, who has finally reached 30 lbs. He is our only son. And like I said he is our Rainbow baby, he is the rainbow that has came to us after the storm.

Super Hero Characteristics:

Incredible
Intelligent
Inspiring

Terrific Tommy

TommyAge: 6 months
Weight at Birth: 4 Pounds 8 Ounces
Weeks Gestation: 30 weeks 5 days
Time spent in the NICU: 38 days

My Preemie Power Story:

On Sunday March 24th my seemingly uneventful and perfectly normal pregnancy came to a screeching halt. I woke up feeling very strange that morning and by the afternoon I was sure that my water had broken. I was only 30 weeks. As this was Sunday I couldn’t call my doctor so I opted to call the hospital instead. They told me I was fine, to rest, and that I didn’t need to come in. A half hour later we were on our way to the hospital because I was sure that this wasn’t normal. Once we arrived the staff confirmed that my water had indeed broken and they administered antibiotics, magnesium and a shot of steroids. 24 hours later I was given another shot of steroids and taken off magnesium and antibiotics. 3 hours later I was dilated to 10 and in full blown labor. I hadn’t even had my baby shower yet!

Just before midnight, March 25, 2013 Thomas made his expedited arrival. The doctors had prepared us earlier in the day that the baby may not cry when he was first born…happy to say the doctors were mistaken and Tommy announced himself quite loudly. [Read more…]

MicroMiracles

Addison & Salvatore ~ Super Hero Alias: MicroMiracles

Addison & SalvatoreAge: 2 years
Weight at birth: Addison 2lbs 4oz / Salvatore 1lb 12oz
Weeks gestation: 29 weeks
Time in the NICU: Addison 58 days / Salvatore 82 days

Diagnosis, complications, surgeries? 

Before reaching 4lbs, the twins had suffered through multiple blood transfusions, jaundice, oxygen desaturation, apneas, bradycardias, collapsed lungs, sepsis, spinal taps, surgeries, staph infections, and quarantines.

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

My twins are my heroes. They have endured more in their short 2 years than most adults have been through in their entire life. They are the strongest people I know, and I have learned so much from watching them. They truly are my “miracles”.

[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…]