Our family has been chosen to be the 2009 March of Dimes Ambassador Family for our area. We are honored to have been chosen. Boo represents the best possible outcome for preemies. I want to make sure that everyone knows that we realize that we are incredibly lucky.
I had to write "Grant's Story" in less than 350 words. GAH! How can I possibly describe learning that your child may die at birth, seeing bright red blood, hearing him cry for the first time, watching him lift off in a helicopter before I even got to touch him for the first time, watching him turn blue, hearing the monitors alarm, holding him for the first time, dreading the news from the nurses, giving him his first bath, watching him struggle to eat, looking at him smile, and all of the worry and fear of his first few year....in less than 350 words????
Here's what I came up with:
In August 2004, as first time parents, we were thinking about our nursery. Our baby was due November 13th, we had plenty of time. Little did we know we’d have 3 short weeks before meeting him. August 20th, we found out that I had a condition called Vasa Previa. If my water broke, our child would bleed to death before an emergency C-section could be performed. We were lucky enough to have a sonographer and doctor that caught this rare condition. I was air lifted to Iowa City immediately. After confirming the condition, I was sent home on bed rest. I ended up back at Genesis soon after for constant monitoring. We were walking the torturous line between wanting our child to have more time in utero and risking my water breaking. Our doctors supported us; we wouldn’t be where we are now without them.
Grant Spencer Smithson was born 9 weeks early on September 12, 2004. He was 4lbs, 2oz. At 24 hours old, Grant was airlifted to Iowa City because of suspected hydrocephalus. This was an incredibly hard moment. Although hydrocephalus was ruled out soon after he arrived, Grant had many issues to overcome. He received blood transfusions, surfactant for his lungs, and antibiotics. He was treated for Sepsis and, despite having received steroids in utero; he suffered from Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
We were not able to hold him until he was a week old. Holding Grant for the first time on my birthday was the best gift I’ve ever received. Our small family went through many trials that month. Grant, mom and dad rode the rollercoaster that is NICU for 42 days. He came home two days before our first anniversary.
Although he was behind in his milestones for the first two years, Grant is now a precocious preschooler who is caught up to his peers. He loves playing with cars of any kind and riding his BMX bike. He talks our ears off, amazes us with his insights and he is the joy of our lives.