The Kruckenberg Family
You’ve heard about Christmas miracles? Let me tell you about ours.
Ruby Joy was born December 25, 2015. She weighed less than many of the presents under our tree, 2 lbs, 11 oz. She was tiny … and perfect. She was born over two months too soon.
A few days before our little miracle made an early entrance into the world, I was at a regular prenatal appointment. It was a busy day at the office, and we had been warned that we may have to reschedule because our Dr. was busy delivering another baby. Luckily we didn’t have to because with an elevated blood pressure that we weren’t able to bring back down, my Dr. decided it was best to send me over to the hospital for further testing. Pre-eclampsia was the diagnosis. It was a diagnosis that we were unfortunately familiar with, as my previous pregnancy had the same results. I had been placed on bed rest at 35 weeks where I remained until our second child was delivered at 38 weeks.
This time, with our third, I was only 31 weeks. The hope was that I could make it on strict bed rest until at least 34 weeks. The doctors immediately ordered two rounds of steroids to bolster our little one’s lungs in preparation for an early delivery if either of us declined in health. Over the next few days we did our best to prepare. The Christmas tree at home was ready, our stockings hung, but not filled. Our two older children, Noah and Charly, waited and worried at home. The holidays were going to look quite different this year.
Only 2 days later, on Christmas morning, I awoke to the doctor preparing us that we were going to deliver very soon. They prepared me for a cesarean delivery because our baby’s heart rate kept dropping and they were afraid that we could lose her during a natural birth. The nurses did their best to calm our fears and prepare us for the worse case scenarios. We were told that sometimes, babies born this soon do not even cry. It was all surreal. We had decided not to find out the gender of our newest addition so the tension was mounted as they delivered to hear the first cries and to meet our baby. To our relief, the sweetest sound we heard was the loud cry and the doctor’s words, ‘It’s a girl’! The nurse was able to bring her to my side to briefly catch a glimpse of our Christmas miracle before they rushed her off to the NICU.
During our time in the NICU, our little girl was what some nurses called a ‘text book’ preemie. She had jaundice and received intravenous feedings. Her biggest challenges were putting on weight, maintaining her body temperature and learning to feed on her own. We know how very lucky we are for her NICU journey when we think about how drastically our story could have changed if our appointment had been rescheduled that day. We will be forever thankful to the doctors and nurses that were able to help me and Ruby. We brought our beautiful baby girl home after 51 days in the NICU, the day before Valentine’s Day.
We are honored to be serving as the March for Babies Ambassador Family so that we can share our miraculous story. Without research and funding made possible by the March of Dimes efforts, we know we would have had a very different outcome. Serving in this leadership role allows our family to give back to an organization that we believe in. Their advancements in medical research and dedication to infant and maternal health will give all moms and babies a fighting chance.
~Jeremiah, April, Noah, Charly, Ruby & Harper Kruckenberg