Born: January 23, 2014 – 24 weeks and 5 days.
Due date: May 10
Weight at birth: 861 grams (l lb 9 oz)
NICU stay: 110 days
“I was on bed rest in The Ottawa Hospital for 11 days. I had cramps the day she was born. The nurse came to do a fetal heartbeat, but she couldn’t pick up a heartbeat, or the machine wasn’t picking it up. So, the nurse went to call the doctor, and Myra just came. She was born in a bed pan. Her cord had wrapped around her neck three times. Her dad had stayed with me and he uncoiled the cord. Everybody remembers the baby born at East 8.
She was then whisked over to the NICU and intubated. When she was born she had a level 2 and 3 brain bleed. During that time, her dad gave one or two blood transfusions. They were a match, and he was able to do that. I wasn’t getting milk, so used donor milk. She also got a staph infection and pneumonia. She was on oxygen for 99 days. Her only lasting effect from that is that she has the airway of newborn, and one vocal chord has scar tissue, so she has a high pitched voice. If she gets sick, she gets croup.
The staff was really amazing. Had a lot of wonderful nurses. One would send pictures in the night. I had a photographer come in and did special NICU pictures. One nurse made a tiny tutu, she had Myra dressed up in it. They made stickers for her. They made it special, though it was hard not having control. Some really understand that. We took her home a couple of days after her due date, May 14. By then, she was eight and a half pounds.
-- Judy Hawley, Myra’s mom
Myra loves to dance.
The NICU graduate today: Myra is now a wonderful, very spirited three-year-old. She likes to say that ‘daddy caught her’ and ‘she was a stick of butter.’ The nurse who dressed her in a tutu for a photo got it right, Myra loves to dance. She likes her dance class and gymnastics, and loves my little ponies. She’s very cuddly, and very loving.
The Ottawa Hospital is renovating its current NICU facilities at the General Campus to give each baby a separate room. This allows caregivers to individualize each small patient’s environment and provide a family-centric model of care that will also include technology and equipment updates.
A new NICU is critical for babies like Myra to receive the best, most up-to-date treatments developed at The Ottawa Hospital. This helps give prematurely born babies the best chance at surviving, thriving and growing up.