Baby Elijah: A Real March of Dimes Victory

Anderson Family Today - March of Dimes Victory

Stephanie Anderson is not only a hard-working Buying Representative here at Famous Footwear, she’s also the proud mother of prematurely born, Elijah.  Here’s her inspiring March of Dimes victory story.

Anderson Family Today - March of Dimes Victory

Tests, Tests and More Tests

On Thursday, November 11th I went in for my glucose test.  My results came back normal, but my platelet’s (it is what clots your blood) came back very low.  They were originally 170,000 at the beginning of my pregnancy, but when my blood was drawn again on that Thursday they came back at 70,000.  The normal is 140,000.  On Tuesday, November 16, the doctor wanted me to come back in and get my blood drawn again just to make sure that the blood results weren’t in error. So I came back on Wednesday to have my blood tested again. On Thursday, I received a phone call from the nurse on Thursday telling me that the doctor wanted to see me because my platelet’s dropped to 60,000.  If my platelet’s dropped to 50,000 the baby would have to come early.

My husband Steve and I went back to the doctor on Thursday November 18.  That is the day that changed the rest of my pregnancy. My doctor decided to admit me to the Women’s Evaluation Unit at Mercy in St. Louis.  From the moment I was admitted I had a 24hr urine drop, a LOT of blood drawn, shots of steroids for the baby, and a lot of specialists and doctors looking in on me and asking me questions.  I didn’t have all the signs of pre-eclampsia, the only thing that appeared to be wrong were my platelets being as low as I was hovering around 50,000.  On Monday the 22nd, I went for a non-stress test, ultrasound and blood flow to the baby ultrasound.  Everything looked good.  I repeated the tests on Tuesday the 23rd. I went in at 11:30am and did not get back to my room until 3:30pm.  The baby wasn’t doing what it was suppose to be doing therefore the doctors and specialists decided to move me to labor and delivery so they could monitor the baby’s heart for 24hrs.

At 5:30pm I was given the okay to go ahead and eat.  I was relieved because I figured if I could eat I wasn’t having a baby that day.  I was due on January 28, 2011 and to have the baby now would mean it would be 10 weeks and 4 days early. My parents and husband went to the cafeteria to get dinner while I finished eating.  I had just started watching Glee at 7:00pm when the specialist came in, looked at the baby’s heartbeat and asked me when I ate last. I told him 5 minutes ago and he said to not eat anything else, get my husband up here because I was going to have a baby tonight.

Here Comes Baby

I called my husband immediately and told him to get back up to the room as fast as he can because we were going to meet our son or daughter tonight.  From then on everything was very chaotic.  The next thing I knew I was being rolled into the delivery room and saw a little baby bed and a ton of nurses and doctors.  I was going to have a c-section and be totally out for it.  I wasn’t going to get to witness seeing my baby born or hear that first cry.  The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery asking for my husband.  The doctors had sent him home because they said that I would sleep for the rest of the night.  They called my husband and the first thing I asked him when he answered was, “What did we have?”  He told me, “We had a boy.” I asked, “Is he okay?” He said, “He is doing well.  They have him in the NICU.”

Elijah at the Hospital

Elijah at the Hospital

Steve came back to the hospital and the doctors let me go see Elijah Steven.  When I first saw him I said, “He is so tiny.”  He had a lot of wires, IV’s and monitors attached to him.  He was my little early bird.  I called him that because he looked like a newborn baby bird.  Elijah weighed 3lbs, 12oz and 16.93 inches.  The steroids that the doctors gave me were for him.  I truly believed that is what saved my Elijah.  He was only on oxygen for a few days.  He did have to have a platelet transfusion.  He was jaundice and still had a little heart murmur.  As long as he was able to lie in an open crib, keep his body temperature up and be able to take a bottle he would be able to go home.  I was up at the hospital every day.  He got pep talks from me, too.  He progressed so well.  He stayed in the NICU for exactly one month.  The support of the staff at Mercy, the NICCUP (NICU support group) and the March of Dimes is the reason that Elijah got to come home on December 23, 2010.  Every one of the doctors and the nurses said that he acted older than he was.

Elijah Today

Stephanie and Elijah at the March For Babies in St. Louis, MO

Stephanie and Elijah at the March For Babies in St. Louis, MO

Today Elijah is 2 years old.  He is 27lbs and 35 inches.  He is a very active little boy, always wanting to be on the go, doesn’t want to miss a thing, has a mind of his own, loves being outside, and if it is a ball or a shape of a ball he wants it.  I see a future Packer or Brewer player in his future!  We had a few formula issues, nap issues, colic, and very intense meltdowns.  When he was born he had a heart murmur whichwas corrected with a balloon angioplasty when he was 10 months old.  He still has a little one, but it is something the cardiologist said he would grow out of.  We now have you very typical two-year old.  Wants what he wants and if he doesn’t get it than he will definitely let you know!  We are very lucky to have a healthy, happy Elijah. While we were in the NICU there were over 60 families still there when we left.  Some of them left when their babies were 5 months or more.   I went through a lot with Elijah (four blood clots after his birth amongst other health issues) but I would do it all over again because he makes me smile every day.  He definitely tries mine and Steve’s patience, but when you see that grin, those dimples, and big eyes you can’t be mad at him for long.  The ironic thing is that the day I had Elijah, I was wearing my March of Dimes t-shirt.  I have always supported March of Dimes and everything they do.  So it was a little surreal for me to have a premature baby, in the NICU, wearing my March of Dimes t-shirt.

Are you feeling inspired by Stephanie’s story? Help us support March of Dimes through a donation or by purchasing a pair of select Dr. Scholl’s shoes ($5 will be donated to March of Dimes with your purchase).

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