"On April 14, 2018 our sweet miracle baby, Jett, joined our family. He was born at only 23 weeks. I had been diagnosed with urinary tract infection earlier in the week, but I kept getting sicker and sicker and was running a high fever. Finally, after talking to my midwife on the phone we decided to go to the hospital and see if they would give me a stronger antibiotic.
"We later learned I had much more going on than a UTI. My placenta was very infected and it put me into labor. I’m so glad that I went to the hospital when I did because Jett was born exactly 1 hour after we arrived. It was a very scary one for me and my husband. We had never heard of a 23 weeker surviving.
“Prematurity was something we knew very little about. Thankfully, the amazing doctors and nurses went right to work to keep him alive. I had complications after delivery and had to undergo an emergency surgery. I lost a lot of blood, but everything turned out okay with me. My husband was able to be with Jett right away, but because of my surgery, I wasn’t able to see him until late the next day. He was only 1lb. 4oz. and 11 inches long. He was the tiniest baby I had ever seen. He didn’t even look like a baby, he looked more like a fetus. (Which was exactly what he was!)
"Even though he was so, so tiny and fragile, he was strangely perfect. He had perfect little fingers and toes, perfectly formed ears, the tiniest nose, and he even had fingernails and toenails! His eyes were still fused shut. He was an amazing sight... like nothing I had ever seen before. Looking at him was hard because all I could think about was how he wasn’t supposed to be here yet and I wished more than anything that I could put him back in my belly. He is strong, a fighter. We’ve nicknamed him Fighter Jett!
“He was two weeks old when I first held him. He was incubated for a long 37 days. Even though our NICU journey was long, and difficult at times, I know that the issues we faced with Jett could have been much, much worse. We know that many others have had more difficult journeys. Miraculously, he never needed any surgeries and he never battled with infection, except for a UTI when he was three months old. We were able to keep him in our amazing local NICU that was only an 8 minute drive from our home.
"He does have chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension, which when combined, causes frequent and very scary apnea events. Thankfully those are being treated by medication and the scary events have stopped for now. He has ROP, which is a serious eye condition cause by prematurity, that could lead to blindness if not treated, but we are watching that very closely but he may need laser eye surgery in the future.”
“Finally, after being in the NICU for 149 days, on September 10,2018, we brought our little miracle home! Bringing him home to our three other children was one of the happiest days of my life. Our hearts are so full of love and gratitude for the amazing doctors and nurses that took such great care of him, and for our amazing family and friends that prayed, served, and supported us day in and day out.
"We are especially grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that is always mindful of us and gave us the strength, peace, and hope to get through the most difficult time in our life. We love our sweet baby and the miracle he is! We know we are truly blessed to have such a strong and healthy boy.
"Our hearts go out to the NICU families less fortunate than us; those whose outcomes may look grim or those who now have angel babies in heaven. They are the true warriors - they who keep going strong even after their time in the NICU has finally come to an end. Once a NICU family, always a NICU family. We can all strengthen each other!”
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Sewn with love,