The Wallace Family
Pregnancy with my first son was smooth with little to no morning sickness, healthy weight gain, perfect ultrasounds... until one day I had some back pain. At 30 weeks pregnant I stood in Sarasota Memorial Hospital's traige at 8.5 centimeters. I was given steroids and magnesium over the next few hours, which was all they could do before Nash was here! 3.9lbs, pink and screaming - but whisked away faster than I could blink. The experience was scary and overwhelming, but what I know now was that the 31 days we spent in the NICU for low birth weight, premature lungs, desats and feeding issues prepared us for what was to come 4 years later when I became pregnant with our second son.
2018 was the most traumatic year of our lives. Pregnancy wasn't as smooth this time. I had surgery at 16 weeks to be stitched, weekly shots to prevent labor, extra monitoring with maternal fetal medicine, was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and to top it off at 26 weeks our baby was diagnosed with a congenital pulmonary malformation on his lung. To say pregnancy alone was stressful would be an understatement.
At 32 weeks, our sweet Maddox Gray decided he wanted to join us. The course of our next 72 days in the NICU was intense. At 4.4 lbs and 4 days old, Maddox had a 4 hour surgery to remove his entire right upper lobe at All Childrens and the "biggest mass" our doctor had ever operated on on a baby his size was gone! He came out beating some odds and we conquered the preemie milestones with flying colors and more confidence having already gone through it before. But, with all of that came complications after discharge and within 24 hours we were flown back where he had back to back collapsed lungs. He became the first baby of his size in that hospital to have a blood patch surgery and although it was terrifying as parents, we are confident a lot was learned from Maddox’s experience and that he will be the reason another baby is saved in the future. 72 days, 8 chest tubes, one lobectomy, two blood transfusions, meningitis and two blood patch surgeries later, our baby is home with us.
Maddox hasn't skipped a beat since. He is happy, healthy, breathing and hitting all of his milestones at 10 months old today!
We are so thankful for this organization and for the donors who support March of Dimes. I do believe that every year, we are getting closer to a world where families won't have to experience what we have been through two times. Both of our preemies are rockstars and quite frankly the strongest people I know and I hope that our story will inspire you to continue to support this organization.
Our road to get here today hasn't been an easy one, but I'm thrilled we are here to be the Ambassador family for the March for Babies.