BENEFITING: March of Dimes Foundation
EVENT DATE: Nov 04, 2015
Jake (AKA Mighty Bird) was born at 24 weeks, 4 days (16 weeks early), when he decided to make his entry into the world. He was delivered via an Emergency C-section, in the breech position, when his Mother (Kari’s) water broke. Kari was in for a routine ultrasound when it was discovered she had lost nearly all her amniotic fluid, with no signs of pre-term labor.
Please join our family and Mighty Bird in the "Fund the Mission" fundraising campaign. Our goal is $2,526...this amount signified the cost of just Jake's space for one day in the NICU ($1,943) and the Continuing Care Nursery ($583) where Jake spent the first five months of his life. THANK YOU to each and every one of you who joins in the fight, to help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. THANK YOU ALL, for caring about families like ours.
At birth Jake weighed “tipped” the scales at 1lb 8oz, or as his parents say “six sticks of butter.” Jake got a “rocky” start, and had no heart rate at delivery, was apneic and blue. The neonatal team at Hershey Medical Center was able to resuscitate him with positive pressure ventilation, and after nine minutes of life, his vital signs came up and started to stabilize.
Over the next few hours, we learned we were not out of the woods, and it would be a lengthy NICU stay, however, we were not ready for what happened next. Two days after he was born, Jake’s platelet count dropped, and because of his blood pressure and respiratory issues, the doctors ordered a cranial ultrasound, fearing he had a brain bleed (IVH). The fears were confirmed, when the ultrasound showed a Grade IV bleed had happened. The IVH, combined with his lung fragility painted a dim outlook. We were told his odds of surviving the next 24 hours from the IVH were less than 50% and his other complex issues, gestational age and weight, dropped his odds of survival to 3-5%. We made our peace with God and put him in His hands.
The next morning we saw him at rounds, shaking his fists in the air as if to tell us, “I’m here to stay.”
Our NICU journey over the next 148 days was nothing but a surreal experience filled with emotions (both fear and joy) and one that can be described as life altering. We can honestly say that we have found strength, our faith is stronger, and understanding, something neither of us never imagined we were capable of.
Our NICU roller coaster ride came to an end on February 20, 2014, when we brought our 7lb son home. Jake is one tough kid, who raised his little arm that third day and shook his fist in defiance of the odds given him. He took every hit given to him and came out the other side stronger. He personifies the saying “it’s not the size of the person in the fight, but the size of the fight in the person.”
There are no words to express how thankful we are for the March of Dimes and their mission. The research in premature newborn care, especially surfactant therapy, which Jake received, helped to save our son. We hope by sharing our story, we can help other families cope with similar situations.