Family Team News

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Monday, November 19, 2012


My first and only son Isani (pronounced ee-SAH-nee) was born 7 weeks premature on May 7, 2011. My water broke when I was 31 weeks pregnant. I was admitted to the hospital and spent an emotionally challenging 17 days there. Hospital bed rest was not the way I anticipated spending the last weeks of my pregnancy. One day I was at work and the next day I was in the Hospital, which meant no baby shower, no finishing the nursery, no wrapping things up before maternity leave – It was difficult.

My first day at the hospital, the NICU doctors visited me and shared all the possible things that could happen to my baby if I delivered early, including cerebral palsy, heart problems, Developmental delays, or sepsis infection causing death. I was so scared and overwhelmed. I immediately began researching my condition (Preterm Premature Rupture of Membrane or pPROM) to see what I could do to buy my sweet baby more time in the "oven." I also started reading about the wonderful advancements that have been made in improving the mortality rate and quality of life for premature babies. The March of Dimes website was a phenomenal resource for me during this time. It helped me to not panic and to stay informed about all the options
I had for my care and the care of my unborn baby.

We were thankful for each day that passed with me not going into labor. I was able to give my Isani 17 more days after which I caught an infection, as is common with women with pPROM.
I went into spontaneous labor, caught a fever, and had to have an emergency c-section. Within seconds of being born, my Isani was taken to the NICU. I barely got to see his precious little face. I was taken to recovery and it would be 12 hours before I saw my baby. My husband showed me pictures of him in the NICU, and my heart was heavy; he was so small, only 4 lbs. 9 oz., and the machines were so big. He had a CPAP machine on and IV lines to administer his antibiotics. Despite this visual, his prognosis was fair. He needed a little help breathing the first two days and he spent a few days with the bili lights for mild jaundice, but after three days of antibiotics there was no sign of infection.

Leaving my Isani at the NICU was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I missed him so much. The doctors did rounds every morning. When it was our turn, I was knowledgeable about the terms they were using and prepared with questions about the treatment and progress of my Isani in part thanks to the information, articles, and studies posted on the March of Dimes website.

I recognize that had my Isani been born 10 or 20 years ago our story could have been quite different. Due to studies and advancements in treating premature babies our story ends with us leaving the NICU after 13 days with a healthy baby boy. Isani is 10 months old. I am envious of his spirit and resiliency; he continues to motivate me to be the best mom I can be.

I am so excited about the opportunity to participant in March for Babies. I've done many walks and races before, including ones for Breast Cancer, Aids, and Leukemia with TNT. However, with these walks I didn't have the personal motivation of having someone so close to me who was affected by these diseases. March for Babies is different…please join me.

And so...I am walking for my Isani and the many memories that we will continue to make together as mother and child.

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