Utah NICU Photographer | Harrison

I always admire the perspective NICU parents have from having a little one so early. It’s always a testament to me that the Lord is in our lives and watching over us and our littles. And, the strength of mothers. We go through a lot to get our littles here. We would do anything, even risk our own lives.

Thank you to the Seeley’s for sharing their story with me so I can share it with you. Here’s Harrison’s story as told by his beautiful momma:

Harrison’s Birth Story | McKay Dee Hospital | Ogden Utah

I had severe problems with high blood pressure that wouldn’t go down even after tripling my dose of meds, I also had gestational diabetes and my numbers were very high and we tripled my two insulin meds within the last two months of the pregnancy. I would wake up, fasting to take my blood test, and it would be in the 300’s. Its supposed to be around 100.

The last two weeks of my pregnancy I had a strange headache that I could not stop no matter what I tried and I saw a doctor for it, she had me immediately call my obgyn after taking my blood pressure and it was 180/120. They told me to get to labor and delivery. When I got to the hospital my blood pressure had already spiked even more and was nearing stroke level. They put me on a magnesium drip to help prevent a stroke and help protect the babies brain. They also gave me shots to help the babies lungs develop quickly. My doctor told me we are trying to get to Thursday, it was Tuesday.

The next day I was doing much better and feeling pretty good. We talked about possibly keeping me at the hospital until delivery and a slim chance of going home still pregnant. I got the 2nd lung shot, and we were just waiting at that point to see what we needed to do. I started having some chest pain and some difficulty breathing and they did a x-ray to see what was going on, it showed my lungs were cloudy, but not too bad, so a few hours later I felt a bit better and got up to use the restroom and as I came back to bed I had a episode where it was hurting to breathe and I had a hard time catching my breath. My husband was with me and helped me, and I got to the bed to rest.

A few hours later I went again to use the restroom but on the way back I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t catch my breath, I struggled to get to the call button and the nurse answered asking what I needed but I couldn’t get any words out, just wheezing and I tried to make noise. They came to check on me and quickly called the respiratory response team who rushed in to assist, they gave me a shot, put oxygen on me and waited with paddles ready incase I stopped breathing all together. I don’t remember much after that besides them bringing in a x-ray machine and repeating what was done earlier, but this time there was even more water around my lungs, pulmonary edema.

They had someone do a EKG and a echocardiogram, the echocardiogram showed my valves were leaking, we had made it to Friday early AM but after the baby’s heart rate had dipped a few times and everything else going on my doctor made the call that I needed to deliver and that we needed to get in within the next hour. I was 28 weeks exactly and we made it 1 extra day than our goal and I believe that extra time helped save my little guy, he did amazing for his gestational age and I felt the doctor made the right call.

I had 4 different doctors visit me after the c-section and all of them said that he made the right call, that they all consulted with him but didn’t know what to do, he trusted his instincts and delivered my son, saving both our lives. The c-section went well. I get extremely anxious during my c-sections, this being #5, all emergency, all early babies, but little Harrison was by far the earliest and smallest.

He was 2 lbs 1 oz and 14 inches long. They gave me a tiny peek and whisked him off to get treated and stable. The next few hours are a blur, I know they wheeled me in to see him still in the bed before being transferred back to my room. I couldn’t see much because of the angle, but I knew he was safe and that’s what mattered. He was in room 1 of the NUCU, the critical care room, where every baby has a personal nurse each day. Our nurses were absolutely amazing, our NICU doctor was the very best!

I got to my room and as the nurses kept checking on me and getting more and more worried and staying in my room “just hanging out for a bit.” I knew something was wrong. I hemorrhaged while I was alone with the nurses and assistants it was really bad, they gave me some emergency meds and kept checking me over and over and changing my bed pad over and over. I got sleepy and I don’t remember anything else.

I know I lost a lot of blood, but the nurses saved my life, yet again. I feel blessed to be here, to see my babies grow up, to be with my husband and family. That was the scariest week of my life.

Our sweet Harrison is exactly 1 month old today and we couldn’t love him more! He is a very special baby, one that faught hard to be here, and is still fighting and growing in the NICU. Everyday gets a bit easier and better, there are scary days and hard days where I just want to take him home, but I know he’s not ready to be home and that he has the best care available where he is.

After only one week in room 1, he was moved to room 4, the feeder and grower room! It’s the last room before going home! We have been in this room 3 weeks, seen many babies come and go, but little Harrison will have a long stay. He’s a tiny little peanut, growing bit by bit. He is exactly 1 pound more than he was at birth today, 3 lbs 1 oz. That in itself is a miracle as babies in the NICU don’t usually gain weight quickly as they use every bit of nutrition they get to breathe and work so hard it uses it all up. Our sweet, happy baby guy is doing well and I know he has a strong purpose for being here.

  1. Cindy Kieper

    April 16th, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Oh how I love this! Thank you so much for sharing. I had been so focused on sweet Harrison that I hadn’t stopped to think about what you went through! You are a warrior and are meant to raise this special son! We love your family so much, and you have been on my mind and in my prayers. I am going to message you in the near future to see if I can come bring you dinner and hopefully visit for a bit. Love you!!

  2. Charlene Stoutsenberger

    April 17th, 2018 at 4:05 am

    Thank you Rachelle for sharing your talent with my son, Jonathan, and his lovely wife, Heather. Little Harrison is a miracle. His uncle Jeremy was 10 weeks early way back in the mid-70s and was 2 lb 15 oz. His “hefty” size is what saved him, although he lost his eyesight. He was 8 weeks old before I got to hold him. Treatment of preemies has come a very long way. My first baby weighed 1 lb 12 oz and only lived 7.5 hours. She would be almost 46 years old!

  3. Gennell Bird

    April 23rd, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    I have been priveledged to witness such miracles twice. One was my nephew born on 5lbs exactly and found to have had spinal meningitis from his Momma having had the flu. He is now a Father of 3 and an amazing young man. The second being my niece, Samantha. Momma was having a had time and was worried when she called and discribed a strange rash on her abdomen around her luver. I made the call and ordered her to the ER. She was life flighted to The U of U where she was delivered 8 hours later. Doing her pictures and being the support hub for 2.5 weeks was such an honor. Sammy is now 7 years old and such a beauty. I keep you, Johnathan and littles in my daily prayers. Keep up the hard work you have this!!

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