Hello Friends and Family!
Those of you that are close to me are aware that I have given birth to a beautiful baby girl! Ava was due July 20th, 2016, but decided to make an early appearance April 10th, 2016. Although she was a surpise (did not know I was pregnant for the first 3 months), the early arrival was even more of a surprise.
I have created this GoFundMe account to help with our medical costs. Because of the complications with my pregnancy and extremely early delivery, I was unable to prepare for such a financial burden. I was in the hospital for 9 days and Ava will be in the NICU for at least 3 months. I am not sure if she will have any long term problems, fingers crossed she will be as healthy as a full-term baby.
The bills are starting to roll in and although I am trying to make as many payment plans as possible, it's getting harder to keep up. Any amount that you can donate will help. I am currently enrolled in school full-time to get my Bachelor of Sciense in Nursing, to create a better life for the both of us.
In March I discovered my blood pressure was on the high side and was given a heavy dose of medication. I was told to monitor it closely to make sure I did not develop preeclampsia; which has no cure other than to deliver the baby. On April 5th, I had an appointment with my high risk doctor for an ultrasound. He noticed that there was low blood flow through the umbilical cord causing the baby's body to be about a week behind on the growth scale. He wanted to keep an eye on it and set up for me to have it checked weekly. I let him know about my high blood pressure from that morning and he didn't seem too concerned. He even said, "We won't do anything crazy like deliver you at 25 weeks!" Well that night my blood pressure went up even further.
The morning of April 6th, I took my blood pressure as usual and my cuff read 171/106. I decided to call my regular OBGYN and let them know. I wasn't extremely alarmed because my cuff had read high in the past. My doctor's nurse returned my call and told me to go directly to labor and delivery (I didn't think it was that serious and wanted to run errands, but she insisted I go). There, they monitored me and decided to check me into the hospital. Later that evening my blood pressure rose to 193/100 and I was at risk for a stroke or heart attack. Numerous doses of blood pressure medication were given through IV with no effect. I was then informed I had preeclampsia!! From what I had read online, this didn't look good. For those who would like an in depth, description follow this link
The high risk doctor on-call came in to let me know my options while the nurse administered Magnesium as a last effort to lower my blood pressure. It worked! That night I received my first dose of steroids to begin the process of developing Ava's lungs in preparation for a 25 week delivery. The next night I got another dose. The hospital was hoping to get me a few weeks further into my pregnancy, but that was not the case. After completing a 24 hour urine test and many blood draws, it was determined that my kidneys and liver were starting to fail. The night of April 9th my blood pressure started to skyrocket again. The morning of April 10th I was given another "lovely" dose of Magnesium and sent to the operating room for a classical c-section. I was told that Ava would not cry when she was born because she would be too small and her lungs too underdeveloped...My little fighter came out crying and stronger than they ever thought she could be.
My baby girl Ava was born April 10th at 1lb 3oz and 10.25 inches. Yes you read that right..ONE POUND THREE OUNCES, a total of 19oz or 536 grams. She was on a ventilator for less than 24 hours (almost unheard of for a baby born at 25 weeks 4 days)! She was breathing forced room air through a cannula in no time! I was able to produce breast milk the first night and she's been eating it through a feeding tube ever since. So far she has had no major problems nor has she needed to have any proceedures (not even a blood transfusion which is common for micropreemies). I attribute her amazing growth and development to the stellar doctors and nurses that did everything in their power to save our lives.
I am so grateful for the family and friends I have supporting us. My mother will be my primary source of help once Ava comes home and I can't thank her enough for her love and support. Those of you that know me know that I have trouble asking for help. This has been a humbling experience and worth all the blood, sweat, pain and tears.
Dominique & Ava
- Kerry Di Pasquale
- Brittany Allen
- Kiara Medina
- Hank Clark