The Foster Family
After a year and a half of trying to conceive with PCOS, undergoing fertility treatment with Dr. James Akin, and having a miscarriage; my husband and I were ecstatic to learn we were expecting our first child, but hesitant to share the joyous news given our previous loss.
At 16 weeks we found out we were having a baby girl and decided to share the news with close friends and family. At 24 weeks 1 day we were referred to a high-risk specialist by our obstetrician Dr. Grace Gibbs because the baby’s stomach measuring below the gestational age. Four days later at the appointment with Dr. John Barton with Perinatal Diagnostic Center, my blood pressure was elevated; shortly thereafter, I was hospitalized for two days at Baptist Health (Lexington). I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, given blood pressure medicine, and advised to monitor my blood pressure three times a day and attend weekly appointments.
My blood pressure was still too high and was advised that I should be checked into the Labor and Delivery department at Baptist Health. After several days, I was told I would be in the hospital the remainder of my pregnancy and would not carry my baby to term. This was devastating news and I feared our sweet girl would not survive, but I knew that each day counted and if she could do this, I could too!
We reached our first milestone at 28 weeks; however, three days later my blood pressure skyrocketed and could not be controlled. At 8:11 PM, Madeline Ann Foster entered the world via emergency C-section; weighing 1 lb 12 oz and 13 inches long, she was the tiniest baby I’d ever seen! Neonatologist Dr. Lynda Sanders assured us Maddi was stable and doing well, but immediately took her to the NICU where we were allowed a brief visit.
In the early morning hours, Dr. Sanders advised my husband and I that Maddi had developed discoloration in her right leg, treatment was not effective and so Maddi was then transferred to the NICU at University of Kentucky Hospital. Maddi would need to be airlifted to the NICU at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Our miracle wasn’t even a day old, had already taken an ambulance ride and was transported by helicopter 90 miles away from me… my worst fear had become reality.
Two days later I was discharged and went to Cincinnati. Since we were driving 218 miles daily from home to Cincinnati, we were excited to learn that once she was more stable, she could come back to Baptist, if there was a bed available. After several blood transfusions, coming down on oxygen support, Santa’s visit to the NICU, and launching a poop rocket in her isolette; 22 days later we got the news we’d hoped for… Baptist had a bed.
On December 29, Maddi returned to Baptist Health, where she would remain during her NICU stay. At admission she weighed 2 lbs 13 oz, measured 14.96 inches long and was 31 weeks 5 days gestational. We immediately felt at home stepping off the elevator on the 3rd floor towards the NICU. We celebrated every ounce gained, became pros at changing diapers in the isolette, and bottle fed and kangarooed with Maddi daily. She had regular visits from the ophthalmologist, aced both her hearing test and car seat test, her PDA closed and she came off oxygen on her first trial. After 78 days in the NICU we were able to bring our girl home weighing 6 lbs 8 oz. and measuring 18.5 inches long.
We are very grateful for the continuous research that March of Dimes does and without their support, our journey could have had a different outcome. We are humbled to serve as a 2017 Greater Bluegrass March for Babies Ambassador Family. Please walk with us on May 21st to help give every baby a fighting chance for an extraordinary life.
Originally Published on Wednesday, March 1, 2017