Please help we welcome Amber, as she tells her story about her beautiful son Henry. As I told you about in my previous post on FRIDAY, Amber also had a young child at home during the pregnancy and birth of Henry. Henry was also born at the same gestation as the twins. In each of these stories, I find so many similarities, yet so many differences. Thank you to Amber for sharing with us. Now, let’s meet Henry.
1.Tell us about your baby.
My son Henry was born at 25 weeks 6 days. He weighed 1lbs 13oz and was 12 3 / 4 inches long. Henry is named after my husband’s grandfather who still lives alone on his farm perfectly healthy at 91 years old. We decided that our little miracle needed to be named after such a strong healthy man.
2. Do you know what caused your premature birth?
My first pregnancy went perfect. My labor and delivery were amazing. I was able to nurse until she was 15 months. When I found out I was pregnant again when she was 11 months, I was surprised but excited. 8 weeks into my pregnancy, I had a major bleed and thought I was having a miscarriage. The bleeding stopped, and I went in for an ultrasound at 9 weeks and they found his heart beat right away. I spotted on and off the first trimester but everything else seemed normal. At 18 weeks I bled again, so I went in and they told me I was fine and that I had a lot of capillaries and they were bursting. At exactly 20 weeks, I had I very major bleed. I went into labor and delivery thinking it’s going to be just something little. They did an ultrasound and found no fluid left. But at this point they didn’t know why. They told me I would go into labor within 48 hours and my baby would not survive. After 48 hours in the hospital the bleeding slowed down to a heavy period and no sign of labor or infection. They sent me home pretty much said live your life normally as you will get an infection and we will have to deliver the baby to save your life. I had to go in for an ultrasound every week and took my temperature daily. At 22 weeks, they found the blood clot and it was the size of a lemon. At 24 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital 2 hours from home. I was given steroids and 2 ultrasounds a week. I was told because there was no fluid in my uterus my son had a good chance of severe issues the biggest one was his lungs would have atrophied and not work at all. At 25 weeks 5 days, I went into labor. We tried magnesium to slow or stop it but it was no use. Henry was coming. Henry was delivered by cesarean and I heard him cry. Well it was more like a squeak, but his lungs were working.
How long were you in the NICU? What was the hardest part?
We were in the NICU 2 hours from home. I might remind you at the time Henry was born, I had a 16 month old that doesn’t understand what happened to her mommy. Henry was in the NICU for 87 days.
The hardest part of our NICU stay was being away from home with a toddler for 87 days. About 3 weeks after Henry was born, my husband daughter and I got a cold and had to leave the Ronald McDonald and couldn’t visit the NICU for 10 days. During that time he got an infection. At least it was just an UTI, and cleared up with a round of antibiotics. Then we got the scariest call of our journey. It was day 9 of us begin gone, he was 5 weeks old and almost 3 lbs. We got the call Henry had a hernia that just popped that morning and it twisted and was cutting off circulation to his intestines and testicle and they needed to do emergency surgery and we weren’t able to get there. We left the next morning and he was still intubated but doing ok. We had many other ups and downs mostly with his chronic lung disease. The fact he was so early and had very little fluid we expected that. Our greatest blessing was Henry didn’t have many Brady episodes. He had a few rounds of steroids to get his lungs to develop. Henry had many issues with high co2 levels. When we brought Henry home we came home with oxygen and a pulse ox monitor.
4.How are you both doing now? Henry will be 6 months old tomorrow and is still on oxygen 12 hours a day but he is strong. I have gone on antidepressants and I am in counseling to help with my postpartum depression.
5. What advice would you give to new preemie parents?
My advice to New micro moms would be to stand up for your babies and ask questions and do your own research. Find other micro moms either in the NICU or the Ronald McDonald house. Honestly, without the other moms I met I don’t know how I would have made it. We were able to understand what we were going through like no one else. Always remember that this is a roller coaster and there are lots of ups and downs but the ride will end eventually.
Thank you again Amber. You are both doing amazing, and I can’t wait to hear about your progress.
You are such a strong mama, thank you for sharing your story. Prayers for continued strength for you and Henry.
amber u says
Thanks for reading our story. And for the prayers. Without God by my side I would not have survived
Lindsay (@itssimplylinds) says
Hello handsome Henry! I’m reading this with my 8 month daughter and she’s smiling at his pictures : ) Amber, you are such a strong, beautiful mom. Thanks for sharing your story and advice about advocating for your child by asking questions.
amber u says
Thanks. We are our babies best advocates
My Urban Family says
Thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes to you and your family!
Such a strong and amazing mom. I wish you and Henry all the best. Thank you for sharing their story, Shann.
Your strength is inspiring though I’m sure you don’t feel strong all the time! Thanks so much for sharing your story.
Thankyou so much for sharing your story. I can’t imagine the stress you’ve been through. I’m so glad you both made it through. I had placenta previa through my second pregnancy and ended up away from my family for 5 weeks in hospital with bleeding. But as you say, the roller coaster does end. I hope some prem families gain hope and community from your story. Xx
Sara Strand says
Post partum depression is AWFUL and my heart goes out to you. It’s totally OK to feel how you feel and most don’t understand it, but I get it. Big hugs, mama.
Another cutie! Love the little tuxedo t-shirt! Here’s to hoping he has a strong, long life!
Carmela Pop says
Sending you a big hug because you are one of the best moms ever!
Becky @ Disney in your Day says
What an adorable little man. Someone was telling me a story the other day about how her child was in the NICU for a couple of days and she was able to be there every day but saw the moms that couldn’t be because of situations like this – so she would sit with some of the other babies and sing to them. I thought it was so sweet and it immediately made me think of your blog.
Awe. That is so sweet that someone would do that for the other babies. Thank you for thinking of my blog too, Becky 🙂
wow what a story. thanks for sharing.
Hang in there mama! Sending you loves of hugs. You are strong and brave and phenomenal! Both your kids are lucky to have you. I being born a micro preemie, and having my mom tell the stories of my struggles can relate… May Henry have a long, healthy and happy life, with nothing good spared!!!
Donna Merrill (@donna_tribe) says
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Welcome to the world Henry and my God bless you. He is a tough little guy. You my dear are going through a lot and thank goodness there are other moms around you to give you support.
I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you with two little ones, but hang in there. Sending you virtual hugs and prayers.
Anamika Ojha says
Hats off to you…you are so strong and brave and inspiration for many..!!
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
I imagine it would be really hard to have a toddler and a baby in the NICU. I wish this family the best and a healthy future.
Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) says
A mean a baby in the NICU and a toddler at home.
I love that you do this series! What a great way to spread a positive message of support for moms of micro preemies! What a cutie! I love his little tux onsie!
Joan Harrington says
What an inspiring post and story! Stay strong mom you are doing awesome Amber! Your little ones are so precious and such wonderful gifts 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story.
Yanique Chambers says
I can’t imagine having a baby in the NICU and a 16 month old at home. I truly applaud parents of micro preemies. I don’t know where they find the strength to deal with the stress of it all.
Oh my, no words but lots of prayers heading your way. I hope you, Amber, overcome depression and I pray that Henry will overcome what ever challenges he may be having.
Amanda Rinehart says
Wow. My little brother was born at 27 weeks. And that was 18 years ago, so you can imagine what a miracle he is. He weighed 2lbs and was in the NICU for 4 months. He was on a heart monitor for a long time after that at home. But as I said, he is 18 years old now. And he is perfectly healthy. He has no major complications at all. He is still small, especially compared to my OTHER brother who was born 10 months after him (yes, 10 months lol.) His teeth are probably his worst side affect. He’s a regular at the dentist because of all of the medication he was on as a baby. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel momma! You’ve been so strong so far! <3
I love to hear stories like your brother’s! It always gives me hope for my twins. Thank you for sharing that with us…I really appreciate it 🙂
amber u says
Thank you all for reading our story. He is now 10 months old off of all oxygen and about to crawl. His big sister loves him very much.
Oh my goodness Henry was so tiny and what a cutie too. Amber, thank you for sharing your story with us. I think it’s sweet that you paid homage to your husband’s grandfather by naming your son after him. Here’s to your baby’s 91 years! 🙂
I admire you for being so strong during what must have been the most challenging time of your life. You have a beautiful family.
What an amazing story! Henry is one adorable miracle, and he is blessed to have a mom like you. I’m so glad you found a support system in those other moms.
Aileen Barker says
How awesome that you have this feature and what a cutie pie. I had my son at 27 weeks, in the car, after 2 hospitals sent me home. NICU life is hard but so worth it when you get to bring your little one home. Thank you for sharing!
Tennille @ Two Kids And A Budget says
WOW I can’t imagine having a newborn in the NICU and a little one at home. You are a strong woman and a strong mother for what you have gone through!
These little ones are such an inspiration, such fighters.
Rachel (@thedigger0) says
What a story. I don’t have children, so while reading this story I was nearly reduced to tears and feeling a little squirmish. I don’t know how you coped to be quiet honest. A child just over the age of one and troubles with your second child and your health is a huge amount of pressure.
I must say what I read through this post was a mothers strength. Just the spotting would have had me near fainting and in hysteria. But your miracle was born and while you still went through many trails and tribulations before you bought Henry home you made it. And I want to thank you for sharing your truths especially about post natal depression. Wow – I am still taken by this post.