written byTwo roads diverged in a wood, and I - Took the one less traveled by And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
The journey that premature babies embark on is one of its own with many bumps and bends. With big leaps forward and some strides back the strength and determination of the smallest miracles is that of pure will. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will ultimately change your life forever. You will develop a profound perspective for the value of life after having watched your child, or children, fight for survival. Never lose hope… Miracles Happen Every Day.
August 24, 2014 should have been Kadyn’s 9 month milestone; instead, we are celebrating his first year of life, three months too soon... Kadyn was born on a Saturday, after just 28 weeks of pregnancy. At 20 weeks of pregnancy my waters broke unexpectedly with no medical reason. PPROM, Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes, occurs when the membrane sac holding your baby and the amniotic fluid breaks open before you’re actually in labor. PPROM is a rare condition that affects less than 3% of pregnancies and is the cause of approximately one third of preterm deliveries. In most cases the labor process begins within one week of the rupture.
As we sat that night in the hospital room uncontrollably crying because we thought the end was near Kadyn’s heart beat was ever so strong, 144, and I could still feel every movement and kick. The doctors gave Kadyn a zero percent chance of survival and urged me to terminate the pregnancy. Babies are not considered medically viable until 24 weeks gestation, the earliest a baby can be born and survive with medical intervention. My husband and I we’re faced with a life altering decision as the doctors advised us of the increased number of perinatal and neonatal complications that could arise to include: malpresentation, cord compression, necrotizing enterocolitis, neurologic impairment, intraventricular hemorrhage, respiratory distress syndrome, chronic lung disease, and the list went on and on. Against medical advice, I chose to believe in my baby and myself. Together with sheer will and determination we fought for survival and viability. After 8 weeks of strict hospital bed rest and less than one centimeter of measurable amniotic fluid at any given time, our little fighter made his debut. Born blue and in need of immediate resuscitation, Kadyn had an Apgar score of less than 1. The medical team at Winnie Palmer Hospital stabilized him enough for transport and rushed him upstairs to the neonatal intensive care unit where he spent his first 111 days of life… We spent the first 111 days of Kadyn’s life by his side hoping and praying each and every day. Mostly we prayed for his continued strength and for his survival. Born with respiratory distress syndrome, severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia, patent ductus arteriosus, retinopathy of prematurity, gastroesophageal reflux disease and in the weeks to follow sepsis, Statistics were against us but Kadyn was already beating the odds; He was alive and here. We decided on the name Kadyn because it means fighter; that is exactly what he is. After a successful complete blood transfusion using daddy’s blood, Kadyn began meeting medical milestones with leaps and bounds. Although sometimes it felt like three steps forward and five steps back, as does any NICU rollercoaster ride, his lungs were improving and his ventilator settings were being reduced. Kadyn was on the slow road to recovery. 111 days later we were able to bring our precious gift home on oxygen and a pulse oximeter… After five months home on oxygen Kadyn’s lungs were strong enough to discontinue using it…
PPROM is a rare condition with many uncertainties. Whether a victim of PPROM or another devastating condition, in every state, every hospital, there are women lying in their bed, home or hospital, fighting to keep their baby safely inside the womb. To each and every one of you remarkable ladies… Remember with every ounce of your being… You ARE strong. You will get through this. You’re facing things that the average parent doesn’t even want to imagine, and you’re dealing with it.
“The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you have to fight for something, the more priceless it will become once you achieve it. And the more pain you have to endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. All good things are worth waiting for and worth fighting for.” - Susan Gale