Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Natalie’s Birth Story

My story is a bit different. This was my third birth. I had problems with preterm with my older two (now 12 and 7), but went on to deliver at 40 weeks and 35 weeks and no problems. Both healthy.

Our baby is now 15 months. Baby Ives was born at 38 weeks. Easy delivery, great pregnancy, until a few hours after birth. Our ped noticed she was bruising badly (assuming it was from the fast delivery) and her toes had turned black. She was rushed to the NICU, of course while my husband was at home getting my stuff together. We were under the impression it was just something simple and she would be ok that night.

After numerous tests and lots of tears, we were told she had some type of infection and nobody knew where it was coming from or what it was. After more tests and her little body was bruised and she had petchia all over we were informed by the amazing NICU doctors she had a very serious, potentially fatal low platelet count. Her platelet count was at 41,000. Normal is 150-400,000. It turns out I am itp positive and had no idea. In pregnancy your platelets tend to be 10-30% lower. Mine were always about 40% lower. Not a huge deal. On top of the platelet issues, she had an infection (still a mystery to this day), and a urinary tract infection. The main concern was how to get those platelets to rise and how long she would be there. Would we be spending Christmas in the hospital with our younger children? She may have been 7.5 lbs and the biggest baby there, but sadly was the sickest.

She was unable to nurse or have anything to eat besides sugar water. She continued to spit up blood. Once I tested positive there were ways to hopefully help her. She needed an emergency transfusion to survive the night on Christmas Eve. They felt her brain could be bleeding.

As parents we felt helpless. It took us 4 years to even get pregnant, with a less than 10% chance of conceiving. Our older two, no issues. We gave consent to an emergency transfusion on Christmas morning around 5:00 AM. The platelets were being flown in that night.

A lot of people could say in similar situations they prayed, but we called everyone we knew and asked for help in praying for this miracle it took us so long to have. The baby that was our 10% chance, the baby whom we so desperately wanted.

Maybe it was the breastmilk they gave her that helped but we like to think God heard those prayers and answered them in a form of a Christmas miracle… because when I got to the NICU at 5:00 AM Christmas Morning to hold her before the transfusion, I was met by a team of NICU doctors and nurses. Her platelets in a matter of hours had gone from 41,000 to 55,000! We were told “no transfusion, something miraculously happened in the last few hours and maybe next week she can come home!”

As a family, we went back at 9:00 AM to visit and her platelets remained steady. At noon they were around 112,000! Her body was slowly healing on its own and by 3:00 PM her count was at 115,000! We were greeted by smiling doctors who told us she was being released on Christmas night (best Christmas gift ever)! Two days after being released her platelet count was 127,000. Today it is normal.

I can’t explain what happened, I can’t even try to explain what happened between the hours of midnight and 6:00 AM on Christmas Day, but I can say there was a miracle performed – one we can’t explain or nobody else can either – a miracle that’s what she is.

Maybe our story isn’t the best miracle you’ve ever heard, but to us, it’s one we will never forget, and we will forever be grateful to the amazing nurse who cared so much for Ives, and the team of doctors who walked us through every step of the way, even if they didn’t know the answers.

Ives spent 4 days in the NICU and turned a year old on December 22, 2012. We took her on Christmas Eve to visit “Sue” her nurse in the NICU. Funny enough, she remembered her. With a name like Ives who could forget.

Ives is 15 months old – she’s amazing, she’s beautiful and she has this aura that sucks you in.

Even though we were there just a few days, the NICU was a hard place to be… going back gave us that closure we needed. Every year we plan on taking her back. They saved our sweet baby girl.

Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    God still performs miracles today! We love our baby Ives! The McCorkles

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh Nat, thank you for sharing this beautiful story and Ives is most certainly a miracle baby! You have such a beautiful family and although i have not met Ives yet i feel like we know her through your words and pictures. Im sure she brings a joy to your heart that has no words! I cant wait to meet her and to see you all soon!

    Love, Krissy, Brandi, and Leighann

  3. Oh my gosh Natalie you weren’t kidding about the tissues!!! I was crying by the end of the second paragraph! ! We serve an amazing GOD who is still in the bussiness of making miracles…baby I is a sweet example:)

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