Our miracle baby Cameron, was born on Christmas Eve 2013 (we joke that because his last name is Noel, he just didn’t want to miss out on Christmas)! After weeks of hospital bed rest, at the start of his 30th week, he was born at Danbury Hospital weighing 3 pounds, 5 ounces, and 16.5 inches long. During delivery his heart rate was dropping, so they had to get him out quickly. The scariest moment, seconds into motherhood, was asking the doctor if he was alive, and getting a response of “I don’t know yet.” The NICU doctors and nurses were in the room, tending to Cameron, as I longed for the moment when I would get to hold my baby boy. After what seemed like forever, they confirmed that he was indeed alive and they whisked him off to the NICU.
Cameron stayed in the NICU for 39 days and my husband and I were there with him every day, and wanted to be involved in every aspect of his care. The doctors, nurses, and staff at the NICU were absolutely amazing! They taught us how to care for our baby through the holes in the isolette walls. We changed diapers, took his temperature, held his feeding tube, and loved when he would wrap his tiny, tiny, fingers around ours. We would stare at the clock, counting down the minutes until it was a “touch time” and we could open the isolette doors and touch or hold our precious boy. Our hearts would sink every time his monitors would beep, as we prayed and prayed for him to just take a breath or for his heart to beat.
Cameron had a trauma to his head from having to be removed quickly during delivery, which left a very large bump on the top of his head. Luckily, after head scans on Christmas day, it was confirmed to be a hematoma on the outside of his skull, and no blood had leaked to his brain. He was anemic, on breathing tubes, and very jaundice, requiring lots of time under the lights. He received two blood transfusions during his NICU stay. He had two heart conditions, one which has since taken care of itself, and the other is currently being monitored. Cameron has been doing physical and occupational therapy since he was born, and utilizes the Birth to Three program. He was unable to turn his head to the left (Torticollis), nor reach his arms above chest level. Because he couldn’t turn left, we were told he would develop a flat spot on the back of the right side of his head (Plagiocephaly), and we would end up having to get a helmet to correct that. He did wear a helmet (two actually) for a several months to round out his head, and through PT, he is now able to lift his arms up and look left! Cameron recently got tubes put in his ears to help prevent ear infections, and now that he can hear better, he is talking up a storm! He took his first few steps at 13.5 months, and has such determination to do more. Cameron is so strong, and I admire his drive. Although only 3 pounds at birth, his strength was seen since day 1, as his little body pushed forward, making strides toward being healthy. I’m happy to report that he has been marked “caught up” to his actual age, and is a chubby, healthy baby boy!
We were so blessed to have volunteers from Tiny Miracles at our side. They provided a blanket to cover his isolette (which Cameron now sleeps with at night!), books on how to cope, tiny preemie hats/clothes, diapers, and most importantly, support. There were many times that volunteers came in to check on how I was doing, and let me cry on their shoulders. They helped me to see there was an end in sight, and encouraged me to continue to be strong and have hope. As many NICU families know, between touch times, meetings with the doctors/nurses, pumping, and more, you often don’t have time to go outside of the NICU and have a meal. They provided snacks to us, that we could grab quickly, run out of the NICU to eat, and be back in no time. What may seem small, meant a lot to us. Thank you Tiny Miracles for all you did for our family, and all you continue to do for other preemie families. You, are a Miracle to us!