Michael and Caroline Crawford were thrilled to be expecting a baby girl on November 1st. Caroline’s pregnancy had gone well, and they were planning to head into the holiday season with a joyful new addition to their family. When Caroline started experiencing contractions on September 18th, it was the first sign that something might be wrong.
By the time they arrived at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, they knew that Caroline was going into labor, very early. Caroline also had preeclampsia, a blood pressure disorder that was going to make this delivery all the more difficult. Both Caroline and her husband Michael were fearful about the dangers all of this could pose to their unborn child, but the doctors at Providence Holy Cross’s Labor and Delivery unit assured Michael and Caroline that their team could handle it.
Providence Holy Cross operates a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that can care for premature newborns as young as 23 weeks old. The NICU was ready to receive Michael and Caroline’s daughter Sarah Joy as soon as she was safely delivered, weighing just 3 pounds.
The NICU’s specially trained caregivers immediately began providing round-the-clock care to Sarah Joy while she rested in a specially designed NICU bed that carefully controlled her surrounding environment’s temperature, light sources, access to medication and nutrients. It also featured special monitoring equipment that continuously recorded Sarah Joy’s heartbeat, respiration and other vitals.
The NICU’s caregivers closely cared for Sarah Joy for almost two months as she steadily grew to a healthy weight. They also taught Michael and Caroline how to care for Sarah Joy themselves, so that by the time she was ready to go home, her parents were ready to provide her with everything she needed.
Throughout the entire process, Michael and Caroline were astounded and deeply grateful for the exceptional care the NICU’s doctors and nurses devoted to Sarah Joy. “You set an impossibly high standard of excellence, but we are committed to following your example,” they wrote in a letter of thanks. “You have fed and burped her, you have held and comforted her, you have known when to gently push and encourage her to learn and develop, and we know this is only scratching the surface of the depth of care and provision you have given Sarah, every minute of every hour of every day since she was born.”
Today, Sarah Joy is a healthy toddler who more than lives up to her name, bringing great happiness to her parents and everyone she meets.