Today, we meet Natasha, who is a big sister to Dominic. We met heart warrior Dominic last week, but if you missed his story, please click HERE.
When I first heard from Anastasia about sharing her story, I didn’t realize she had two premature birth experiences. It is so inspiring to me how she had the strength to go through both experiences, as well as the NICU two separate times. Obviously, as mothers, we would do anything for our children, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult both emotionally and physically. It was just a huge reminder to me how strong us moms are, and how strong our babies are too.
Please read about Anastasia’s first premature birth experience, and her beautiful miracle daughter.
Natasha Angel Marie
1.Tell us about your baby
At 22 weeks 6 days, I lost bits of my mucus plug with no cervix and, I was 4 cm dilated. We were told to prepare ourselves for her birth. The next day I was airlifted to a stage 3 NICU that specializes in neonatal care. We were told the odds were not in her favor as she measured 12 oz on ultrasound and there was 13% chance she would live and 50% chance she would be severely disabled. I was in upside down position for all of 2 days before my water broke, and she was born.
23 weeks 2 days, Natasha Angel Marie was born at 1 lb 5 oz and 11 inches long. She had a small brain bleed, pneumonia, ROP stage 3, a large PDA and battled Sepsis.
2.How long was your nicu journey? What was the hardest part?
We were in the NICU for 131 days. She had a minor set back from the 4 month vaccines. She came home with iron and no oxygen!
The hardest part was the day she literally died on my chest while holding her. She was 26 days old and the tubing had lifted too far up and depleted her air support. I froze from confusion as to what was going on surrounded by the RT’s and the nurses trying to bring her back. After a few minutes, her heart began to beat again and her SATS slowly rose back up.
3.Do you know what caused your premature birth?
Yes, incompetent cervix. We were told at 19 weeks I had next to nothing left of my cervix, and to prepare ourselves to have her any day.
4.How are you and your baby doing now?
We are doing great. Natasha was recently evaluated at the Neonatal follow-up clinic and they are blown away by how well she is doing. Perfect health and bang on with all her milestones, she is just petite for her age, 3! She is a loving big sister to her two brothers Dominic born 25+5 (because of incompetent cervix, had emergency Cerclage (stitch placed in cervix) placed at 19 weeks, but even with bed rest and progesterone, water broke) and Wesley 37+6 (yes we made term!! I also had a Cerclage that failed (split) at 26 weeks, so I had a Pessary (a plastic device that supports the uterus) that helped me go to term.)
5.What advice would you give to new preemie parents?
Take each day as it comes; there will be good and bad days. Don’t underestimate preemies they are resilient and each day is a victory. Doctor’s have to give you the statistic’s but don’t give up on your baby, they are fragile but they can fight. It’s best to feel like being their mom when you do all the cares, I know maneuvering around all those tiny wires is a fear within itself, but you can do it. Let them know you’re there, remember they heard your voice while you carried them, and they long to hear you again, as it gives them encouragement. Don’t lose hope and don’t google, that’s something I’ve learned myself. In this day and age you can connect through social media and talk to moms of preemies who’ve been right where you are.
Such great advice! Thank you so much, Anastasia, for sharing all of your children with us. I am so inspired by your courage to endure two premature births, NICU experiences, and then go on to have a full-term birth. All three of your children are beautiful miracles, and I’m so happy to have learned about them.
Please leave your support and comments for Anastasia, Dominic, Wesley, and big sister, Natasha.