Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sharing Hope

The Gift of Faith Project is all about giving support and sharing hope.  Many parents that have babies in the NICU don't know anyone that has been through a similar situation.  They don't have anyone that's been there before to give them a hug, stand beside them, and help them understand the ins and outs of the NICU, and life after they get home.  They don't know where to look for hope.

We want to help these families find hope.  Hope that their baby can survive, grow, and thrive.

If you would like to share the story of your preemie's birth, NICU stay, and where they are now, please send it to us at  Feel free to include pictures!  The stories will be published and then archived on the blog to offer hope.

This is Catherine's Story:

We were ecstatic when we found out we were expecting our third baby.  After a first trimester filled with morning sickness and fatigue, I started feeling better around 12 weeks.  We decided to take our kids out to a fun center the next Saturday to celebrate.  After we stood in line at the ticket counter, I started feeling like something was wrong.  I went to restroom, and then went and told my husband we needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  I was almost sure I was miscarrying the baby.  We packed the kids back into the car, and covered a normally 30-minute drive in about 10 minutes.

When we arrived at the hospital, they said the baby looked just fine on the ultrasound, which was honestly a shock to me.  After several more scary days, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage--essentially a bleed between the wall of the uterus and the amniotic sac.  I was told it would probably resolve without causing complications, but I should stay on bedrest at home until it did. 

It didn't.

At 26 weeks, I was also diagnosed with partial placental abruption.  They gave me betamethasone shots to help the baby's lungs, and nifedipine to stop the contractions.

I started having regular contractions the night before my son's second birthday.  When I got to the hospital, I was about 1 cm dilated.  They gave more nifedipine and ran IV fluids to try to stop the labor.  In the early morning when they checked again, I was 2.5 cm dilated.  They started magnesium sulfate to try to stop the contractions.  It still didn't stop.

Catherine was born at 8:02 p.m. that night.  (And she gets to share her brother's birthday.) I was 30 weeks pregnant, and had been on bedrest at home for more than 3 1/2 months.  She weighed 3 lb 7 oz, 16 inches long.  She came out crying, and had Apgar scores of 8 and 9!  They put her on the ventilator as a precaution since she was so early, but she was able to come off of it in less than 24 hours and didn't require any other respiratory assistance.  She stayed in the NICU a total of 38 days.  Most of that time was spent learning how to eat.  She was 5 lb 11 oz when she came home.  Now, she is four months old and weighs more than 12 pounds.  She is our miracle.

Right after birth

The first time I got to see her

Three days old

Four weeks old

Going home!  5 weeks, 3 days old

Four months old

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