At an unplanned Dr. visit when Angela was 21 weeks pregnant, they found out Angela had a condition called Incompetent Cervix. She was immediately hospitalized and had emergency cerclage surgery to try to save their daughter, Avery.
Had Avery been born at 21 weeks, she would not have been viable and had zero chance of survival. During 3 long, fearful and prayerful weeks of bedrest, with weekly ultrasounds, Avery made it to viability – 24 weeks. Unfortunately, at 24 weeks, 2 days Angela experienced contractions and a premature rupture of membranes, and was rushed to an emergency c-section to save Avery once again.
Avery was born at 24 weeks, 2 days on January 24, 2016. She was a micro-preemie, born almost 4 months too soon and weighed only 1 pound, 7 ounces at birth. She was not much longer than a ruler at 12 1/2 inches long. The McCormick's did not know if their daughter would survive the birth, the day, the week or ever come home from the hospital. If she did, what lifelong complications might she face?
Angela and Stephen did not hear their daughter cry when she was born. They did not get to hold her and they only saw her briefly, hours after birth, as the transport team took Avery to a higher level NICU across Montgomery. It was 8 long days before Angela was able to her our daughter and several more days before she was able to do a Kangaroo hold or Stephen was able to hold his daughter. Avery spent 101 days in NICU, before coming home at 4lbs 8 oz.
Fortunately, Angela was able to receive one steroid shot in the hospital before Avery's birth which helped with her lung development This steroid shot was developed by a March of Dimes funded researcher. Avery was also given surfactant replacement therapy, after birth, to open and lubricate her lungs and make it easier for her to breathe. This was also development by a March of Dimes funded researcher.
A preemie-Mom friend the McCormick's met in NICU recently said "prematurity is a thief". As you have read, prematurity stole many things from the McCormick's, and from Avery. Surviving the NICU and coming home, does not mean the prematurity journey has ended for this family. Prematurity still steals things from them daily, especially during flu season, when they isolate!
The McCormick's want to thank you all for taking a glimpse into their family's story, and for working with them and March of Dimes for a mission that is so near and dear to their family.
of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We believe that
every baby deserves the best possible start. Unfortunately, not all babies get
one. We are changing that. From advocacy to education to research, we're
working to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy.
Because when society supports every family, the future is brighter for us all.
And when communities work together, ever the toughest problems can be solved.
Sr. Development Manager
Greater Alabama Market