Evan

127 days.

That’s how long my son, Evan, was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Abington Memorial Hospital. Originally due a few days after Easter 2012, Evan, also known as “All Star,” was born four days before Christmas in 2011 – at just 24 weeks. I had suffered a miscarriage earlier that year and was elated that I was able to get pregnant again. But I was under constant medical supervision and, following what I thought was a routine visit, I was rushed to the hospital because I was dilating in my 22nd week. For sure the only thing scarier than spending more than a week in the hospital and facing weeks of bed rest was seeing my 1 lb. 6 oz. son in an Isolette, tube after tube seemingly connected to
every part of his tiny body.

I was discharged on Christmas Day, a joyous moment because I was able to be at home with my daughter and husband. But, it was bittersweet because we knew All Star was in for the fight of his life. First and foremost, I know the prayers of so many people worked because God made All Star’s journey a successful one. But, I have to give so much credit to the doctors, nurses and specialists who made our NICU experience less of a burden. The way nurses rallied around Evan, posting notes at his bedside for each memorable occasion, from gaining a pound to drinking from a bottle, put me at ease each time I had to leave him there. And I was especially encouraged to see the NICU graduates and their families come and share their stories, giving us hope that things would get better. And they did! Evan was discharged on April 27, 2012, weighing just over 6 lbs. I call him All Star because he is a fighter, a champion; someone I know is destined to do some great things. I am thankful for this experience because it also made me stronger. And while every birth is a beautiful miracle, I fully believe preemies are children who inspire people to believe that anything is possible with just the right amount of love and support.

Family, friends, nurses, and doctors reminded us to take the NICU journey "one day at a time". We rejoiced in the "good" days.

Martha & Paul / Wyndmoor, PA

Martha & Paul