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Support for Parents Coping with High Risk Pregnancy and/or IUGR

Meet Sabrina, Preemie Parent Mentor

My preemie(s) was born at: 28 weeks
Days spent in the NICU: 75
Current age of preemie(s): 1
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: high risk pregnancy; HELLP syndrome; IUGR; Preeclampsia; c-section

At 12 weeks pregnant, I developed a subchorionic hemorrhage in the placenta which caused bleeding in the uterus and as a result, I was put on complete bed rest while being closely monitored. When I was 26 weeks I started to have some swelling, but I thought it was completely normal. A few weeks later, however, my whole body started to swell and I was getting bad headaches. At a routine checkup I told my doctor about my symptoms, and tests showed protein in my urine and high blood pressure – the signs of preeclampsia.

After numerous tests I was admitted to the hospital and was told I’d be there for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was getting worse by the day and by day five was having bad abdominal pain, severe headaches, decreased fetal movement, extremely low platelets and excessive amounts of protein in the urine. I was in organ failure. My baby and I were fighting for our lives against HELLP syndrome, and I had to deliver to give us a fighting chance.

Jessina Faith was born at 28 weeks via emergency c-section weighing 1 lb., 7.3 oz. Not only was she born 11 weeks premature, but she also had IUGR and was measuring two months behind due to the hemorrhage I had early on. Her birth and the aftermath was the scariest thing we’ve ever been through but God was writing our story and proved to us that miracles do exist! When Jessina made her entrance I didn’t know what to expect but she fought hard and showed everyone what a resilient, strong, feisty girl she was. When all the odds were against her she beat them!

I want to reach out to other parents as a Preemie Parent Mentor because as a NICU mom I know first hand what it’s like to watch your baby fight for their life and how lonely and scary that can be. Our daughter is the light of our lives, has taught us so much and teaches us so much every day. We’ve learned to stay strong, remain in faith and never give up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, be proactive and be an advocate for your child. Try not to compare your situation to someone else’s because each preemie is different.