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

Shawnte’s Story

This story was kindly submitted by Shawnte, one of our readers.

In August of 2010 my Hubby and I found out we were expecting after trying for a year after I miscarried. We were of course excited and couldn’t wait for the first time we would hear the heartbeat. Our first ultrasound at 9 weeks showed a strong heartbeat and a tiny baby. I measured a little small but we just figured I had miscalculated my dates. When we went in for our 18 week appointment and sonogram again the baby measured small so they moved my due date back by almost 3 weeks and I was so disappointed, I was positive of my dates. Our baby was so small the technician couldn’t even see what we were expecting. 3 weeks later we were again at the Dr and again measuring small. Our Dr told us it could be a number of things but he wasn’t too worried,yet. At 28 weeks I did my glucose test and had yet another ultrasound and my Dr told us basically our little girl was not growing the way she should be. I had borderline high blood pressure and he advised me to take it easy until I could see the Maternal Fetal Medicine department. Hubby put me on bed rest.

On February 17, 2011 I went to see the specialist. I was a nervous wreck that morning. Hubby and I went into the ultrasound room and the tech came in and scanned and measured our little girl thoroughly and even took an umbilical Doppler. Before she sent in the Dr she calmly told me “I can’t diagnose because I am just the tech but you have a very tiny baby and it doesn’t look good.” GEE THANKS. When he came in the Dr tried to explain what was happening with my placenta but I really only heard that I was really sick and that I had IUGR. Intrauterine Growth Restriction is just a fancy term for a lazy placenta that is depriving a baby of the much needed nutrients it needs to grow. The next words the Dr said about gave me a heart attack. “So what we’re gonna do is give you a shot of steroids today,one tomorrow and you’ll deliver your baby on Saturday.” And just like that I was ushered down to labor and delivery.

February 19, 2011 after getting my much needed steroid shots to help my baby’s lungs mature I was prepped for a c-section. Katelyn Brooke was delivered at 3:39pm weighing just 1lb 6oz. She was 30w2d gestation but the size of a 24 weeker. She was passed to the NICU through a little window and immediately put on a ventilator and given sedation. Three hours later I was wheeled down to the NICU to see my tiny miracle girl. Katie has been in the NICU for 2 weeks and is doing well. She is gaining weight and is eating through her feeding tube though only in small amounts.We have a long road ahead of us but I am trying to be as optimistic as I can be. I am so thankful she is a fighter and she is able to grow now that my stupid placenta isn’t hogging all the good stuff. I will keep you updated on her progress. Thank Heaven for Little Girls!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. Haanagh Smith says:

    Wishing you all the very best and sending much love to your gorgeous girl and your family. Haanagh x

  2. My baby was also born early due to IUGR. He was born at 32 weeks weighing 2lbs 10oz. I know that is bigger than your baby girl, but I can relate to your ‘shock’. Despite being born early and being in the NICU for 5 weeks, he is doing really well now—a happy 16 month old. The first 12 months were EXTREMELY difficult, but it does get better. Your baby girl may be tiny but the good news is that she was in you for 30 weeks so even though she did not get nutrients to grow she benefited from being inside you for so long.

    Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, I would be glad to answer. ( MiaKay330 at yahoo com)

    Take Care, Mia

  3. Best of luck to you! My little guy was born at 31 weeks and weighed 1lb 10oz due to severe IUGR. My placenta had an infarction after we lost his identical twin brother. Jack spent 8 weeks in the NICU and did very well! He is now 3 months (1 month adjusted) and weighs 6lbs 8oz! Hang in there!

  4. I also have an child who was IUGR. A boy, born at 32 weeks at 2lbs 7oz. You can find many stories about him on this website. His name is Drake. He is now 18 months and doing great. Being IUGR was not his only struggle to overcome and he has overcome them all. Keep the spirits up and believe in miracles because you have one. 🙂

  5. Thank you everyone. Katelyn is now 5 weeks old and holding her own. She is having a tough time gaining weight but is now on high flow nasal cannula. She is still a tiny 1lb15oz but we are hopeful to have her home by mothers day. Thanks for the comments!

  6. I have a very similar story with my daughter Sofia. although she was born at 33wks she was the size of a 26 wk baby. she was born at 2lbs 11oz. she is 8 months (6 monhs adjusted) and doing wonderful!!!! I will get easier, i promise. We will keep you in our prayers

  7. What an amazing little girl. She will amaze you again and again. All the best to you and your little miracle.


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