I gave birth to my daughter, Rosalie, at 28 weeks due to complications during pregnancy. Rosie weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces and was a fighter from the start. She suffered Grade 3 and 4 brain bleeds shortly after birth, which added a complication called hydrocephalus. My husband and I learned as much as we could about what brain bleeds meant for Rosie and what actions would need to be taken by neurosurgery to help drain spinal fluid from her brain. She had brain surgery for a shunt to be placed at one month old. Afterward, Rosie worked hard to get bigger and learn to eat - she spent a total of 3 months in the NICU.
When she was finally able to go home, she needed a feeding tube to help her finish her feeds, but it didn’t last long and soon she was thriving. Rosie had multiple surgeries within her first year of life after being released due to hydrocephalus and has some continued mild physical limitations today. She is now a sweet and sassy 4 year old little girl who loves singing and dancing, copying her big sister, Lucy, and spending time with her extended family.
My husband and I both know firsthand how difficult it was having a baby in the NICU and juggling all of the other parts of our lives during such a tough time. We are big advocates for the Golisano Children’s Hospital and continue to find ways to give back whenever we can throughout each year.
I choose to volunteer in the Parent to Parent program because I know what it felt like to feel happy and sad at the same time while my baby was in the NICU. I know what it’s like to have support in my life, yet still feel lonely, like very few people understand. I know what it’s like to fight fiercely for my baby, yet still feel scared. I know that when I meet another mom that has had a baby in the NICU for any amount of time, she will just “get it” when we share stories. I hope to provide some comfort to other moms going through a similar experience – having someone who understands is sometimes all you need to gain that extra ounce of strength you need.