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The arrival of our second son, Jackson Everett, was far from the birth plan we had imagined. We were thrilled to learn of my second pregnancy and were excited to grow our family.

At 27 weeks, I woke up one morning to some light bleeding . I called my doctor, given that this was a high risk pregnancy due to having preeclampsia with my first son, who sent me to the hospital to be examined as a precaution. After numerous exams and ultrasounds determined baby and mom were fine, I was sent home and feeling causiously optimistic. A day after being released from the hospital, I woke up to a huge gush of water streaming down my leg. Nervously, I immediately drove to the hospital and called my doctor to let them know I was coming. Upon exam, it was determined that I had ruptured and my water broke (defined in medical terms as PROM); therefore, I was admitted to the MOM unit at Abington to be closely monitored until my baby was born. Doctors worked closely with us to try to keep baby inside as long as possible, in order for him to mature more. I was given steroid shots to mature his lungs and a dose of magnesium sulfate to help him neurologically.

At 28 weeks and 1 day, I suddenly spiked a fever which indicated to doctors that I was battling an infection. Give this, and risk to me and the baby, doctors advised me that I would need to deliver immediately. I was quickly prepped and rushed down for an emergency C-section. I vividly remember sobbing the whole way to the operating room and praying that our baby would be ok. Jackson Everett arrived promptly on October 24, 2017 weighing 2 lbs 3 oz. He did not cry when he was born (which I remember scared me immensely). Doctors reassured me he was ok and did not cry because he was so little. He was immediately covered in plastic to help kee him warm and was whisked away to the NICU.

His 57 day stay in the NICU was filled with highs and lows. Dips in oxygen levels and days where the monitor would ring constantly became our new normal. We spent each day visiting Jackson while also trying to balance a toddler at home. Throughout our NICU journey, the doctors and nursing staff continued to keep us informed and helped support us emotionally, all while caring for Jackson as if he was their own child. It was truly incredible to witness and helped me sleep through each night away from my son.

Jackson arrived home at 36 weeks old and was welcomed warmly by family. Unfortunately we were thrown another unexpected challenge just 4 days later....Jackson suddenly became very ill and was admitted back to the NICU with bacterial meningitis. It was heartbreaking watching him hooked up to IV’s and struggling to fight off this infection, but day by day he grew stronger and stronger. Finally after 4 more weeks in the NICU, Jackson came home for good. Today, he is thriving and doing well thanks to the amazing medical care we received throughout our journey.

We’d like to extend our sincerest thanks and love to all the doctors, nurses, family, friends, and medical staff that supported us through this unexpected journey. Jackson’s life was saved (twice!) because of you and we are eternally grateful. He is our miracle baby and we are very blessed!

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