Sharon’s pregnancy with Levi was comfortable compared to her oldest son. Due to her age, previous miscarriage, and prior c-section, she was considered high-risk. She was monitored closely and received additional OBGYN care. She was very tired during her pregnancy with Levi, but attributed that to chasing around her toddler. Even with the increased medical attention, no one suspected anything unusual with Levi or questioned his health.
Like his older brother, Levi decided to show up early at 36 weeks in March 2018. Levi weighed around five pounds. Medical staff had some concerns about his breathing since his lungs were not fully developed. He struggled to feed and had jaundice, a condition that most often occurs in pre-term babies that indicates the baby’s liver cannot clear waste in the bloodstream and can cause the infant to look yellow. Due to these concerns, Levi was transferred to a specialized children’s hospital where he was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Sharon said, “There were no other signs or symptoms that anything was wrong. He was just an early baby trying to catch up.”
Sharon jumped into pumping breast milk for Levi, taking care of her toddler, and commuting more than 40 minutes each way to visit Levi daily in the hospital. In the NICU, Levi was fitted with a feeding tube and put under lights for the jaundice.
To her relief, Levi quickly improved. Two weeks later she was excited to bring Levi home to her mom’s house, and to bond with him without the wires, sounds, and stresses of the NICU. Upon packing Levi into his car seat she thought, “Okay, everything’s good now. We’ve just crossed one hump, now onto the next one.”