Madison was born very early at 25 weeks, 15 weeks early. She weighed 1 lb 7.6 oz and 13.25 in and spent 93 days in the NICU. It is hard to experience what should be a joyous occasion welcoming an addition to your family with so much heartbreak.
Madison was delivered by c-section and we heard one cry and the NICU staff said "she stopped breathing." My heart felt as it skipped a beat. They were able to put her on a ventilator and rushed her to the NICU. That night I cried. For the past 5 months, I felt her, knew she was safe and that night she was taken from me and I could not protect her.
The next day I was excited to see her and as Brandon describes I jumped right into action. I stood out of my wheelchair stood by her bed and watched this tiny little baby layed there with so many IV's stemming from her under a plastic sheet and a photo light.
Day after day we sat by her bed side, read and talked to her, prayed over her and waited for the day to hold her and hear her. One day parents were standing waiting to see their babies and the NICU was closed we were told a family had to say goodbye to their baby as they lost their battle against prematurity.
Madison would be touch and go for while. One night we were with Madison and she started crashing in front of us. As a mother, it is so hard to see that there is nothing you can do but stand there and pray as nurses and doctors rush to her side and start bagging her. Madison showed us that she is a strong fighter.
When Madison was able to come home, Brandon and I had to sacrifice things to give Madison the care she needed. We gave up our apartment and moved in with my parents, cut back hours at work and outings were doctor appointments.
It was a great first birthday gift when she was able to breathe on her own. Her journey includes multiple eye surgeries, aggressive respiratory treatments and endless therapies. This past year Madison suffered a retina detachment and we are continously fighting to keep her sight.
Prematurity is not something that goes away when they leave the hospital. Madison has been fighting this disease all her life. Madison Melissa Oliver is our daughter and hero for her strength in this battle and it is our pride to say we can walk in her honor. Please join us support families like ours. So many times we felt as we were at ends meet, didn't know where to find the strength to continue but we had so much support from family and friends. Today Madison is an active 4 year old.
The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.