Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Early arrival

For Rachel and Daniel Walsh, the arrival of their first child didn’t go quite as planned.
Daniel, Rachel and Abigail Walsh

Feisty little Abigail Rose decided to come at 30 weeks and 2 days. Rachel remembers contractions starting at around 1 a.m. just two minutes apart. Daniel was working so she called her mom and they decided to hightail it for Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford thinking they’d be told it was false labor pains. But instead, they arrived and she was at 5 centimeters with a hand already coming out. Luckily Dad made it to the hospital quickly because just 45 minutes later and Rachel was at 9 centimeters and the doctor decided to do an emergency C-Section.

“We were surprised because it was a very normal pregnancy,” said the 25-year-old mother from North Fort Worth. “She obviously thought she was ready.”

Abigail has been in the neonatal intensive care unit since her birth on Dec. 7, celebrating lots of holidays with her parents, extended family and of course the NICU nurses.

During her time in the NICU doctors discovered she has a dairy protein allergy, which is common in premature babies whose intestines have a hard time keeping up. For more information, click here.  So Rachel is on a non-dairy diet to provide breastmilk for her daughter. It’s possible that Abigail will grow out of the allergy, but only time will tell.

Now up to 4 pounds, six ounces, Rachel and Daniel are hoping to take Abigail home soon.

Rachel says the biggest lesson she’s learned through all of this experience is to pay attention to what’s going on with your body. Having the support of the nurses in the NICU has helped Rachel and Daniel navigate through the past few weeks and adjusting to Abigail’s needs.
But as wonderful as that support is, “we’re hoping to get to take her home soon,” Rachel said. Rachel and Daniel will stay overnight with Abigail tonight and hopefully the family of three will get to go home together tomorrow.

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