Savannah – 33 weeks
When I think back to my daughter Savannah’s birth on January 6, 2010 and her two-month hospitalization in the NICU, it brings me to tears. At my 33-week ultrasound, my doctor shared news with me that no newly expecting mother wants to hear: my beautiful baby girl had fluid on her brain. I was devastated and shocked. Soon after hearing this news, my water broke and Savannah was born prematurely weighing only 3 pounds 13 ounces. With little opportunity to hold and bond with her after my delivery, she was rushed to the NICU. Because of her prematurity and the fluid on her brain, the doctors braced me for the possibility of complications that could affect her growth and cause blindness. Savannah also suffered from thyroid problems and problems with her left hip and feet. The battery of tests and examinations Savannah had to endure was heartbreaking to watch, knowing there was nothing I could do to ease her pain. I didn’t want to leave her side. I touched her and spoke to her, hoping that my presence and love would give her the strength to survive. I visited Savannah as much as I could, but it was difficult living 40 miles away from the hospital. At times, I even slept overnight in the hospital chair next to her isolette just to stay near her. I felt helpless, scared and alone.
As a single mom with little support, it was nice to hear that Hailey’s Hope Foundation helped people like me. I came to realize I was not alone. They paid for hotel accommodations as well as transportation, meals and parking so I could visit Savannah more frequently. The doctors told me how important it was for Savannah’s survival and development to hear my voice, to smell my scent and to hold and feed her. I needed and wanted to be there for her, and Hailey’s Hope Foundation helped make that possible. What a blessing! They helped me get through Savannah’s hospitalization, and for that I am forever grateful.