Dannielle's Story

Finding out we were expecting our second baby was one of the greatest things we could ever imagine. But from the start, I felt like there was something different about this pregnancy. I had a few complications with our son Landon, but nothing extreme. I had every reason to believe this pregnancy would be the same, but for some reason I didn’t believe it. When I was 12 weeks pregnant, everything changed. I started spotting for the first time and had to go on bed rest and reduce activity. When I was 22 weeks pregnant, we thought all of that was behind us, and we were excited to find out we were adding a girl to our family. Days later, everything changed; due to an infection, I started to have contractions and was on bed rest and in and out of the doctor's office. It was decided at 24 weeks, we were going to try a cerclage.

Unfortunately, 24 hours after the cerclage, my water broke. I was on hospital bed rest for 12 days until Avery decided it was time to make an appearance; I was only 25 weeks and 6 days. To say we were terrified is putting it mildly. She was born on Aug. 16, 2013, at 1 pound 12 ounces. Avery had her ups and downs during her 74 days in the NICU but always continued to beat the odds, especially when she came home 4 weeks before her due date.

Life after the NICU still wasn't easy.  Avery had two more hospital trips with stays in pediatrics due to bronchiolitis; she was on oxygen for 10 months, worked with PT, OT and still goes to speech therapy. The March of Dimes was pivotal in us bringing her home, due to Surfactant, a treatment given to help lung development for preemie babies; their support of NICU Development; and countless other advancements. Now at 3 years old, she wears glasses and just had corrective eye surgery throughout all of this, though she has been our rock star!  She has taught us patience, strength and how to accept the unknown.