BENEFITING: March of Dimes Foundation
EVENT DATE: Oct 27, 2016
The morning of August 26, 2014 is a day we will never forget, and for good reason. I woke up early that Tuesday morning and noticed my pregnant wife, Lily, wasn't in bed. I went into the living room and found her on the couch, hunched over in severe pain. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was cramping and had been pretty much all night. We quickly decided that medical help was needed, so we drove to the hospital and were immediately admitted.
It was 7:00 a.m. and they began examining Lily, discovering that she was five centimeters dilated and her contractions were continuing to intensify. The head nurse said "get ready because this baby is coming today!" We thought, "how can this be? We are only 24 weeks along." Although the medical staff did everything they could to prevent our baby girl from coming this early, she was born that day at 1:20 p.m.
When our daughter came, I remember the doctor asking me to cut her umbilical cord. I did, but I couldn't stop looking at her and worrying about how small she was, just 1lb 4oz to be exact. The nurses and the respiratory therapists did an outstanding job getting her hooked up to the breathing machine and all the other devices so desperately needed for her survival, but it was painful to watch. The first couple of hours went by, and then a day, and then another. Our baby continued to fight.
We were briefed by the staff that it's going to be a roller-coaster ride. Emotionally-speaking, that's exactly what it was. We struggled with many different issues: Neriah's PICC Line (which allowed her to get fluids and medicine) leaked, her lungs were underdeveloped, and she had a rare and deadly yeast infection in her blood. We prayed every day that all the meds and antibiotics would not produce permanent damage or have adverse side effects. Her health was questionable hour-by-hour and day-by-day, but Neriah fought hard to live. She slowly became stronger and eventually cleared all the obstacles that came her way. We never felt completely "out of the woods" until the day our doctor said she could go home. That day was January 7, 2015, five months after Lily was admitted to the hospital.
Neriah is now two years old. She's in perfect health and doing fabulously with no signs of slowing down! We thank God for our little miracle and we are grateful to share our story with you. But that story doesn't end here... this is where we ask you to get involved:
The March of Dimes helps premature babies like Neriah, and families just like ours with support programs and treatments they've discovered through years of important research. Without their medical discoveries, our daughter might not be here today. March of Dimes does this work with charitable donations both big and small. Even $20 can help them pursue their mission to end prematurity, birth defects, and infant mortality. Please give what you can so the next baby can have the same fighting chance that ours did. Thank you and God bless you.
Steve, Lily, Elijah, Kaylee, Jayden, Neriah.