Starting a family wasn’t easy for us. After we learned Sophia was pregnant with our first child, our joy knew no bounds. We committed to taking every precaution necessary to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Regular doctor appointments, eating a nutritious diet, light exercise, reducing stress – we did everything. We also planned a “baby moon” for one last get away. But before leaving for a few days in the sun, Sophia received a check up to make sure she and the baby were healthy. The doctor said both were in great health and wished us a good vacation. So at the start of Sophia’s 22nd week of pregnancy, we flew to the US Virgin Islands.
home, Sophia experienced intense cramping so we scheduled a doctor’s
appointment for morning. Immediately
upon examining Sophia, our doctor said words that are still hard to believe - she
was having a miscarriage. We had no
warning. None! One minute we’re in the middle of a healthy
pregnancy enjoying ourselves in the Caribbean and the next we’re losing our
admitted to INOVA Fairfax on November 4th and gave birth to our son at 12:05
am, on November 5th. Nate was
born in critical condition, weighing less than 1.5 pounds, and exactly 4 months
before his due date. Doctors immediately
took Nate to the NICU and so began the longest and most painful journey of our
The doctors gave
Nate less than a 50% chance of survival.
Even if he survived, Nate had a 1 in 3 probability of having a severe
disability. These are terrifying odds.
For 125 days, Nate
fought hard for his life. Twice we
watched in horror as doctor’s administered chest compressions to save his
life. Words cannot adequately describe
the fear you feel watching such a horrible scene unfold right in front of your
Nate suffered – a
lot. At two week old, he endured
open-heart surgery. Nate had tubes in
his lungs and a machine to breath for him.
He withstood all sorts of poking and prodding. We’ve never seen someone so sick fight so
hard and prevail.
It was worth it,
though, because after four months in the hospital, we finally brought our baby
Nate is a wonderful son – he’s
sweet, cares about other people, extremely funny, whip smart, amazingly curious
about all things, and the love of our lives.
He makes us smile every day.
The March of Dimes
helped save Nate’s life. Nate’s immature
lungs posed the greatest threat. The
doctors diagnosed Nate with respiratory distress syndrome. The main treatment is a drug called
Surfactant, which the March of Dimes helped develop by funding critical
research. The March of Dimes
also cares for parents. Sara, the NICU
family support specialist, provided the emotional support inside the NICU that
parents need to cope with such a stressful situation. Without Sara’s support, our four month
journey would have been even more difficult to endure.