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Ayudar a las familias a recorrer el viaje de la UCIN, un milagro a la vez.

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At my 34-week check-up with my first son, my blood pressure was elevated. My doctor asked me to take my blood pressure at home that night and the next morning and call them to let them know what it was. When I took my BP the next morning, it was 180/105. Needless to say, they asked me to come into the office that morning. They ended up sending me to the hospital for quicker blood test results and was, even to my OB's extreme surprise considering my lack of symptoms, diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, the most severe form of pre-eclampsia. Because HELLP messes with your platelet and liver enzyme levels, the only way to cure it is to deliver the baby. So, at 34 weeks, I was told they were going to start the induction process that night. I was terrified! They warned me that Julian would likely have to go to the NICU after birth, but other than that, I had no idea what to expect.

After a night of preparation and another 19 hours of labor, Julian was born at 4lbs. 6oz. The NICU nurse showed him to me and whisked him off to the NICU before I could even touch him. I will never forget the first time I saw him laying in that heated NICU bed, so helpless and hooked up to wires. I sat and stared at him for hours, so in love but feeling so heartbroken that I could not hold my baby. He was struggling to regulate his body temperature, his lungs were not mature enough yet, and his first echocardiogram showed swelling in his heart (thankfully his follow-up one was clear). He ended up having to be intubated for 24 hours to help with his breathing, was on a feeding tube for over a week, and also had some jaundice and spent some time under a UV light.

I got to hold him for just a few minutes when he was three days old, and it was one of the best moments of my life! Ironically, my post and pictures on Facebook from that are labeled "today is a very good day"! Julian had some ups and downs in the NICU and was thankfully under the best care possible. On day 13, we were able to room in with him at the hospital and take him home the next day at barely 5 pounds!

Julian was in the 5th percentile on the preemie growth chart of his gestation for a while, but now, at 4.5 years old, he is in the 70th percentile compared to all kids! He is a strong, smart, witty little boy who has overcome so much, I know he is destined for great things!

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