We had tried for years after we had our son to have a second child but after 7 years we figured it wasn’t in the cards and gave up. Five months later we were surprised to find out we were expecting! We were cautiously optimistic as we had lost pregnancies in the past, but at the 12-week ultrasound everything was on track and perfect, so we let our guard down.
The first hint something was going on was the 13-week blood work which came back positive for down syndrome, only to be contradicted by the 16 week blood work that was positive for spina bifida. With all these crazy results our OB/GYN sent us to fetal medicine for an anatomy scan. The original scan looked good, they were happy with everything and all looked normal, but they still wanted us to come back as the baby was still a little small to see everything clearly.Two ultrasounds and a gender reveal later we were told our baby girl was way too small and had almost no chance of survival. She was 347g at 23 weeks, not even putting her on the percentile chart, we were given our options
Both were something we never thought we’d hear, but she’d been a miracle this far and we were going to see it out.
The weeks went on with weekly ultrasounds to see she was growing and still alive. We listened to our at-home doppler religiously and felt our little fighter kicks and punches like they were her little signs to fight with her.
At 26 weeks we hit the magical number of 505g which meant she might have a small chance on the outside. Yes, she was small, but she was now big enough to fit the smallest NICU equipment. They gave me a steroid shot thinking it might be time to take her out, but a few days later she proved them wrong by continuing to grow and have great blood flow.
At my 32-week ultrasound she weighed in at 735g shortly after that my blood pressure was unmanageable on medication and they decided a C-section was happening that next morning.
On October 29, our little Avery came into this world proving to everyone how much of a fighter she is. She was kicking and screaming and breathing all on her own. At 735g our NICU journey was just beginning. Every day was something new the first three weeks were a blur of doctors and nurse and respiratory techs helping her in every way they could to take any effort or stress off her so all calories went to growth. At that point, everything had been moving steady and then we had our first set back. She started breathing really fast, and after blood, urine tests and X-rays, they found out she needed a blood transfusion.
In the weeks to come, we had to start from scratch on feeding her, working up to her goal intake, ween her off the respiratory supports again, and come off the IV again. It was hard and felt like a huge blow, but she slowly started to gain and before we knew it she was 1000g and then 1500g. She went on to need another transfusion at 6 weeks old. We were more prepared for it but it was still so hard to see the large setback. She reached 1800g exactly on December 22 and nothing could stop us from bringing her home for Christmas. We were so blessed with the amazing staff in the NICU by Christmas the nurses felt like friends as many hours were spent talking as I held Avery.
The support we got from other families in the same bay, the parents’ lounge or hallway can never be forgotten.
Our success is warranted to the tremendous support Bloom receives from local community through corporate sponsorship and from the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. A variety of sponsorship packages are available.