Amylia Grace NICU Fund

Amylia Grace was born at exactly 23 weeks 0 days on Wednesday January 24th, 2018 at 6:49 pm. She weighed in at 450 grams (slightly under a pound) and 30 cm. Her current estimated NICU stay is 3 months. 

My pregnancy has been a rough one from the beginning, however, it was further complicated a little over 2 weeks ago when I was admitted to the hospital in St. Mary's due to waking with some bleeding. At the hospital they discovered I was 3 cm dilated and I was only in my 21st week. I had two options. Option 1: To wait on bed rest and hope I made it to viability at 23 weeks--this only had a less than 10% chance of working. Option 2: To have an emergent cerclage to close my cervix--this gave us a 40% chance of success. However, if my water broke during the surgery there would be nothing they could do. We opted for the surgery to give her the best possible chance. During the entire process I was upside down and awake. All I could think about was our daughter and how much I wanted her to be ok. This was the time that I decided on her name: Amylia Grace. 

The surgery was successful or so we thought. I was discharged the next day but ended up back in the hospital that night when I noticed a lot of bleeding and fluid. They checked my water and it had not broken but said I might have a small leak. My total hospital stay was 4 days when they finally sent me home. They told me not to come back unless I started showing signs of an infection because the hospital could create its own complications of infections. 

On Tuesday January 23rd I went to a maternal fetal medicine specialist to have everything checked out. They discovered that sometime between when I left the hospital a week prior and that day that my water had broken. We immediately went back to St. Mary's hospital where they did an emergent transfer to Georgetown University Hospital. The original plan was to stay at the hospital until it was deemed necessary to give birth. That could have taken weeks or months. However, they discovered I had a very serious infection that comprimised my life and future fertility but also her life. They needed to induce me that day to get her out as quickly as possible. We also needed to decide what measures we wanted to take once she was out: extreme measures or comfort care. We thought she at least deserved a chance. After all she had fought this long. 
The total induction happened every 30 minutes over the course of 3 1/2 hours with no pain medications on my end. However, we did get steriods and a magnesium drip to give her the best shot. 

At 6:49 pm she was born and she was whisked away to the NICU before I had a chance to even see her. The doctors worked hard for  3 1/2 hours before I was able to meet our daughter. Every minute of that was agonizing but I took comfort in the fact that they had not come to give me any news which meant she was still fighting. The first 24 hours of her life had a lot of ups and downs but she has been fighting every step of the way. 

Her current health problems include:
*Pneumonia--being treated with antibiotics
*Pneomothorax--clearing up on its own
*On a ventilator
*A grade 1 brain bleed on her right side and a possible grade 2 on her left--expected to clear up on their own but are stable for now and not getting any worse
*Under developed gastrointestinal tract and lungs
*Under weight for her age
*Inability to keep hormones and electrolights stable--being controlled through IV fluids
*Sensitive to temperature changes
*1 blood transfusion so far

While all the health problems seem daunting she is currently stable. The doctors have said multiple times that she is doing better than expected and they seem hopeful. That is what I keep holiding on to. 

Our current insurance will cover all of her medical costs, however, we will need assistance with our day to day activities. Assistance towards gas, foods, hotels, daily bills, and eventually baby items once we are able to finally bring her home since I never got far enough to have a baby shower. 

Our daughter is beautiful and a fighter. This is not something I ever expected to need to deal with and the decisions have not been easy. As my first daughter I never knew what it was like to love someone as much as I do her and as long as she is willing to fight I will be willing to fight for her.
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Kristina Jourdonais
Lusby, MD

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