The decision that saved our baby's life

December 19, 2017 10:57am
Our baby had overcome insurmountable odds already, could he survive this too? At just 29 weeks into my first pregnancy, strong, painful cramps woke me up in the middle of the night...

As a nurse, I am used to staying calm in stressful situations, but nothing could have prepared me for what was coming.

We live in North Vancouver, so we headed to Lions Gate Hospital. Despite the medicine they gave me to ease the cramping, the pains continued. The doctors discovered that I was slightly dilated and sent me over to BC Women’s Hospital immediately.

This decision saved our baby’s life.

I spent four long days in the Evergreen antepartum unit at BC Women’s, knowing that every day was a bonus for our baby’s development. The pains continued and the doctors said I could go into all out labour at any time.

I vividly remember how I felt when a nurse came to talk with me in detail about what we could expect if our baby was born at 29 weeks. She even gave me a tour of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), so I could see firsthand the level of care provided. I felt so reassured.

This reassurance came at the perfect time, because suddenly our baby was coming and I was rushed to Labour and Delivery. 

I was able to deliver him naturally after two good pushes…well, I guess you could say after four days of pains, and two good pushes!

Finnegan was perfect. He was tiny and needed to be in the NICU, but for his first ten days he was completely healthy. Then, one morning, I returned to the NICU to find Finnegan struggling for his life - his skin had turned from a soft, rosy pink to a sickening shade of yellow overnight.

I was devastated. Finnegan had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds already, could he survive this too?

The doctors worked quickly and discovered a spontaneous perforation in Finnegan’s intestine that made him septic. We were terrified, but the team sprung into action with a surgical intervention done right at Finnegan’s bedside in the NICU.

 Finnegan’s skin slowly turned to pink again. After two more months of valuable time in the NICU, he was ready to come home with us.

I can’t say enough about the amazing care we received at BC Women’s Hospital. I’m tremendously grateful for the team of people who never stopped believing in Finnegan. You are a vital part of that team, and I can’t thank you enough for being there for our family when we needed you the most.

My Mother’s Day wish is that you’ll to join me in equipping BC Women’s Hospital to give the gift of life to other tiny newborn babies like Finnegan.

Finnegan did not have an easy start. And, just like him, 1,200 more babies born this year will desperately need the BC Women’s NICU to survive their first hours and days.

Your donation to BC Women’s Hospital means compassionate support and vital medical care for families as they get their start. 

Please, give generously this Mother’s Day.

You have given me the chance to be a Mom to Finnegan - join me in giving this same precious gift to others.

With gratitude,

Cheryl Stevenson 
Grateful mom to Finnegan