Kaitlyn Mary

Kaitlyn Mary was born on December 31, 2007. She was born via emergency C-section at 26 weeks at Holy Redeemer Hospital. She weighed 1 pound 15 ounces and was only 13 inches long. On January 5th, 2008 while getting ready to go to the hospital I received a phone call. It was the NICU and we were advised to get there ASAP as she had a taken a turn for the worse. When we had gotten there her incubator was open, there were (what seemed like) hundreds of people around her, and bells ringing but what I remember most is that her eyes were open. They had still been fused shut just a couple days prior but on that day I saw her tiny eyes, looked straight at them and begged her to fight. She needed to be transferred because she had a perforated bowel and was bleeding internally. The priest came and baptized her and I had to sign papers stating I knew she could possibly die en route to the next hospital. The team from Saint Christopher's Hospital for Children arrived and I watched a big, burly, paramedic perform chest compressions on Kaitlyn with his two fingers. He brought her back to life. Once we arrived at Saint Chris's they performed surgery right there in the NICU. They inserted a chest tube and a chest drain. And that was just the beginning.

Kaitlyn was not supposed to make it through that night but she did. At just about 2 lbs. she had heart surgery to correct a PDA. They soon then discovered grade 3 bleeds on both sides of her brain. Doctors were sure she was going to be paralyzed. The perforated bowel healed on its own, the bleeds resolved on their own and the next hurdle was getting her off the ventilator and to eat. Kaitlyn handled the vent on her own terms by pulling it out. Her last surgery was a g-tube placement, hernia repair, and a nissen tie. Kaitlyn came home on May 16, 2008. She had an apnea monitor and a feeding tube but nothing else!

Kaitlyn is now 7 (almost 8) and in second grade. She has no long term health issues. She is a normal, sassy, funny, beautiful little girl. You would never know for a year we had to sign to her while she attended weekly speech appointments to help her talk. I love telling her story and seeing the amazement on everyone's faces when they hear how sick she was and what she went through. It was the longest 6 months of our lives but as a former NICU parent my only advice is to take it one day at a time!

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