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Monday, February 10, 2014

Luke Alexander

Amanda and Marcas Hemmila married in October 2011 and couldn’t wait to start their family. By the New Year they found out they were expecting and started their pregnancy journey. At 31 weeks, Amanda visited Prince William Hospital to check on some pain in her rib cage that she assumed was a “lupus attack.” Since she was over 20 weeks along, Amanda was sent to Labor and Delivery and after just a few tests the doctors informed her and Marcas that she wouldn’t be leaving until she delivered their baby boy. Amanda’s body was shutting down. Her liver and kidneys had already failed, her blood pressure was at stroke/seizure levels, and her platelets had plummeted. All of the sudden their birthing plan was thrown out the window, the baby was given two rounds of surfactant therapy and Amanda was whisked away to undergo an emergency C-section. Amanda spent two days in heavy sedation and all she knew was that on July 10, 2013 she gave birth to a handsome baby boy, Luke Alexander, weighing 4lbs and 6oz and 17inches long. They spent a total of 29 days in the NICU, but Luke came home without any major health issues. They have encountered some challenges, such as Luke having to wear a helmet for a few months, getting the croup in his first spring, and a heart murmur they have to keep an eye on due to a slow developing heart, but overall Luke is now a lively and lovable 18 month old boy.

Being the ambassador for Prince William County is an honor for Marcas and I. When people hear the word “premature” they often associate it with words like small, weak, and fragile, but these babies are stronger than we give them credit for. They come into this world fighting. We love watching Luke grow and learn with each and every passing day and we want people to know that the emotional roller coaster that happens in those first few days, weeks and months only makes you stronger as a parent.  And we NICU parents are a special group for sure! 

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