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GraceinpatientNo one plans or prepares to have a premature baby, though many find themselves in this situation. This was the case for my husband and I in December 2012. We were excited to be having a girl and slowly, very slowly, had started getting ready for her. At 31 weeks and 4 days I was admitted to Centerpoint Medical Center for Preeclampsia. I had no idea what this was or the impact it could have on myself and my unborn daughter. The staff explained, in full detail, the seriousness of Preeclampsia and what we should expect over the coming days. I listened, still not quite believing we could have a baby at any point from the time of admittance to her due date of February 10th. As the weekend came and went it was clear the situation had gotten serious and by Monday morning an emergency c-section was scheduled. While no one wants invasive surgery, the process was made as smooth as possible by the hospital staff for myself, my husband and our little girl.

As scary as it was, the joy of seeing her face is a moment I will always treasure. Due to the illness I was not able to hold or see her after surgery for a few days. While this broke the mother’s heart in me, the knowledge that she was in the capable hands of the doctors and nurses at the NICU was such a blessing! The six weeks she was in NICU were some of the most trying and joyful times of my life. Not being able to take her home every day was heartbreaking. Seeing her meet “goals” in the NICU was SO joyful!

GracehomeGraceeatingToward the end of her stay we hit a rough patch with her eating orally. She did not want to be weaned from the NG tube. This was the  last  “goal” she had to meet to go home. I was overwhelmed with the possibility of going back to work, trying to see her daily, and all the new mom responsibilities. I was also devastated to have to go back to “normal life” when I had not even had time at home with my baby.

It was during this time the NICU staff showed more compassion than I have ever felt. After a difficult visit, Dr. Hubbard called me at home to see what could be done for us and our sweet little girl, to get her home, or to make the transition of working and seeing her a little easier. She came up with an amazing idea to set us up at the hospital in such a way that we could attend EVERY feeding with our baby girl. Her thought was, if mom and dad could be with her and encourage her to eat perhaps this would help wean her from the NG. Thus we could bring her home sooner, hopefully before my husband and I had to go back to work. While the this idea still had a lot of IFs about it, we were willing to try anything.

Well, it worked! After three days of constant attention and encouragement our little girl started eating with no feeding tube! We were going home! Thanks to the insight, wisdom and understanding of Dr. Hubbard we were taking our daughter home earlier than we thought just a few days before. She went home on her daddy's birthday! I will for ever be thankful to her, the staff at Centerpoint Medical Center and the other Sunflower Neonatology doctors. As was shown to us, we appropriately named our little girl Grace.

Sunflower Neonatology Associates, LLC

11600 College Blvd., Suite 201  •  Overland Park, Kansas 66210
913-310-0225  •  Fax 913-310-0565