My husband and I were elated to find out that we were expecting again. At my 20-week prenatal visit, we found out that I was carrying a boy. Everything appeared as it should on the ultrasound, and our son’s heartbeat was strong. Much to our surprise, that sweet little boy, Garrin, made his grand entrance into the world seventeen weeks before his due date, weighing just 1 lb., 9 oz. My husband and I were told that there was little chance of Garrin surviving his extremely premature birth. His road was rough—he almost died on more than one occasion—but he kept fighting. After being hospitalized for 21 weeks, he graduated from the NICU and finally got to join his older brothers and sister at home. Garrin was home with us for four short weeks when his oxygen needs increased, prompting a follow-up visit with his pulmonologist. He was ultimately admitted to the hospital, where he underwent a tracheostomy and gastrostomy. He is recovering and continues to make strides towards returning home with his family.
Garrin has spent most of his life in hospitals in Omaha, two hours from our home. Splitting time between Garrin and our older three children has been extremely difficult for my husband and me. Thankfully, I was introduced to March of Dimes and their NICU Family Support Coordinator shortly after Garrin’s birth. She regularly visited me to ensure that I was taking care of myself in addition to taking care of Garrin. She provided me with resources to help me acclimate to the NICU and others to help my older children understand their brother’s early arrival and all of the intimidating equipment he was hooked up to. Through March of Dimes’ activities, I was able to connect with other NICU parents, many of which I hope to call friends for life. I am forever grateful to March of Dimes for supporting my family when we needed it most.
For more information on Garrin’s journey, visit nicumomlife.com.