In 2016, we were very excited to be expecting our second baby. After an uncomplicated first pregnancy with our son Memphis, we weren't anticipating anything out of the ordinary. However, at my 20 week ultrasound it was discovered that my water had already broken. While the baby’s fluid levels should have been between 5-20 cm, it was only at 1.cm of amniotic fluid. Since I was only at 22 weeks and 3 days, I would need to return home on bedrest for another week to give my baby a chance at survival. Although my fluid level had built up again, my water once again broke and I was transferred via ambulance to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. I was just admitted to the antepartum unit at 23 weeks gestation.
At 27 weeks and 2 days, after a week of continuous monitoring, I was taken for an emergency C-section on June 14th. Our son Dax was born weighing 2 lbs, 4 oz, and was whisked off to the NICU while I was taken to recovery. He was on a ventilator for the first 6 days of his life, and then transitioned to the CPAP and NAVA to give him more oxygen support. Every day was an up and down journey in the NICU as he struggled to breathe, gain weight, regulate his body temperature and take bottles on his own. When he was 10 weeks old he became septic, but thankfully after two weeks of IV antibiotics he made a full recovery. After 91 days in the NICU, Dax was discharged home on September 13th with an apnea monitor and oxygen.
Dax is now two and a half years old and doing well. He is followed by Nephrology due to the high blood pressure that he developed, and received physical therapy and feeding therapy along with occasional speech and occupational therapy. Dax continues to amaze us every day– as he is full of energy and fearless, and enjoys playing with his big brother Memphis.
We’ve been participating since April of 2017, in hopes of giving all babies a fighting chance and to work to help all moms have safe and healthy pregnancies. We are honored to be serving as this year’s Quad Cities March for Babies Ambassador family and to not only share Dax’s story, but to give back to the March of Dimes and their mission, while also raising essential funds to support their life-saving research.
Emerie, Ben, Memphis & Dax Ernst