Baby Emery Grace Fund

 Our little Emery was born at 30 weeks, that\'s 10 weeks early. I was having a perfectly normal pregnancy until week 29 when I started to become very nauseous to the point where just moving an inch made me throw up. I finally decided to go to the triage at our hospital on December 8th to make sure everything was alright. After being monitored for several hours the nurse came back into the room and said my blood work was \"all out of whack\" and they had to take me to labor and delivery. I was completely shocked and didn\'t understand how a stomach ache warranted me giving birth that day.

Within 15 minutes my doctor was there and explaining to me that I had developed something called HELLP Syndrome and the only cure was to deliver Emery by emergency c-section in which I would be put completely under. HELLP stands for Hemolysis-the breaking down of red blood cells, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count (meaning I couldn\'t clot blood). They said I had about 2 hours before the seizures would start and so they gave my husband an hour to get to the hospital in rush hour traffic. Miraculously he got there in time.

After my surgery Emery was rushed to the NICU and put on a breathing machine. After I woke up they pushed my bed into the NICU so I could see her for a minute. I was shocked at how small she was weighing only 2 pounds! I wouldn\'t see her again for a day and a half. Emery was such a fighter and only stayed intubated for 24 hours before they put her on a nasal cannula (a breathing tube that oxygen goes through). She had a feeding tube, IV into her belly button, and had to be under lights for jaundice. We could only touch her once or twice a day at first and after a week we could touch her once every 3 hours. The day I was discharged from the hospital was extremely hard, knowing that we were going home without her for an undefined period of time.

We were soon able to hold Emery once a day so my husband and I took turns every other day and the next week it advanced to 2 times a day. Her main problems were she couldn\'t eat on her own and she couldn\'t keep her temperature. Emery is a fighter and advanced quickly to the amazement of all the doctors and nurses and after 33 days she was able to come home to us.

We are still facing the challenges of having a preemie baby at home. Her temperature stays at about 97.3 and that\'s with her wrapped in 2 blankets all the time and our A/C set to 73, we have to feed her every 3 hours so she can grow, she has a very sensitive stomach and has to be held at a 10 degree angle for 30 minutes after she eats and still throws up after most feedings, the veins in her eyes are not developing how they should, and her immune system is very poor.

We are so happy to have her home and for her to be healthy for the most part, but it really took a toll on our finances. We have received some of the bills and they are already totaling $5000 after the insurance. She also has to have 3 shots to help her immune system fight RSV that cost $1000 each. Having me out of work for 2 months unpaid was rough and I just started back this week (2/6/12). Any prayer and support are much appreciated to insure our daughter has the best care!

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Laura Woodruff Courchesne 
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