Having a baby early is the most frightening experience I have been through . Nothing else has even come close.
August 22, 2015 felt like a normal day. Savannah, Chase, and I were at the grocery store that evening when Savannah felt a "pop", her water broke. I feared we had lost our daughter, she wasn't due for 10 more weeks. We left everything and went to the front of the store where two police officers happened to be walking in. They radioed an ambulance, which arrived in about 5 minutes. Savannah was rushed by ambulance, and I drove with Chase to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. I was terrified for Savannah, who showed tremendous bravery throughout the entire ordeal.
Our daughter's heart rate was dropping, and doctors had to perform an emergency cesarean section so they could get her out to work on her. It took them 45 seconds to get a heartbeat. She weighed just 2 pounds, 11 ounces (which fell to 2 pounds, 5 ounces before she started gaining weight).
They say preemies are tough. Emerald is no exception. She battled through a lot and really exceeded everyone's expectations. We basically lived at the hospital the first couple weeks. It was really hard leaving her there, but we knew she was in great hands. In all, she spent 38 days in the NICU at St. Mary's. The staff there was incredible.
She was released from the hospital on September 30, 2015 and was home exactly one month before she was even supposed to be born.
We put this video together to show her journey. It's amazing how much adversity she had to overcome not just to be here, but to be thriving as she closes in on 5 months old. She is an inspiration.