My husband and I were expecting our first son and I was 28 weeks pregnant. We went to the doctor and realized that I had severe preeclampsia, and he wanted to monitor me further at the hospital. So I was monitored and labs were done and they thought they had stabilized me. I was told best-case scenario, I would be sent away to Seattle to wait out the remainder of my pregnancy. Worst case scenario, I would have to deliver my son at 28 weeks.
The next day when he was born, he weighed 2 pounds 1 ounce. He was about 14 and a half inches long.
The nurses at Memorial they were my family. They became like family so much so that I wanted to be - I wanted to do that. I wanted to be a nurse just like they were. I wanted to provide that for a family just like they did to me. And then not only did they inspire me to do that, but then as I was going through school they mentored me.
My goal has always been to be able to say I've been where you are and I know what it's like to be here. To be able to say - at that point he was 6 - "he's 6 now, he's great, he has no problems and you can do this, you can get through this and it's gonna be okay." I think they found comfort in knowing that someone else had been in their shoes.
Memorial's NICU means that you can come and visit your baby if you live here. It means that you get to spend the day, day in and day out with your baby. It means you don't have to travel three and a half hours to visit your own son. It means that your family can be here where you live locally to support you, to get you to and from the hospital and to be there when he comes home.
Mason is 13 years old, he is around 5'8" if not taller, playing football in the 8th grade and going to school. You'd never know it. He's definitely different than the 1 pound 15 ounce baby he once was. He's very active and pretty stubborn, but I think you have to be stubborn to get through any sort of situation like that. But we wouldn't and we couldn't ask for anything better. He had no residual problems from being a preemie, which that in itself is a miracle. We were blessed with the staff that was there to take care of him.
Memorial is my family. I would definitely say they're my family and they're my friends. They're part of my history if you will. I am who I am and where I am because of where I started.
If you would like to support the work of The Memorial Foundation you can Donate here.