April 18, 2016
By Kyle Rankin, P.E.
Our story starts nearly ten years ago just as spring was turning to summer. My wife Ashley and I were expecting our first child at the end of August and all of our regular checkups showed the growth of a normal, healthy baby. Our “normal” pregnancy ended when Ashley went into early labor after only 28 weeks. The doctors ordered immediate bed rest in order to extend the pregnancy.
After only a week on bed rest the doctors discovered Ashley was still progressing and needed to be admitted to Memorial Hospital in York, Pennsylvania. The doctors attempted to slow the contractions with medication but after five days they realized the medications were no longer effective. Ashley was transferred to York Hospital and shortly after gave birth to our son Bryce a little over ten weeks early and weighing only 2 lbs. 8 oz. Bryce was admitted to the York Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for observation and shortly after we realized our journey was just beginning.
Bryce was severely jaundiced, needed to be fed through a tube and required a special breathing device called a CPAP. During the first few weeks of his stay there were very limited opportunities to hold Bryce due to his needs. Slowly his condition improved and he progresses towards the four goals of mouth feedings, maintaining his body temperature, keeping his vitals stable and weighing at least 5 lbs.
Finally after 52 days in the NICU we were finally able to bring Bryce home. Those days felt like an eternity but in hindsight we were so blessed to get the proper care for our premature son.
Fortunately, we were one of the lucky ones. There are many people that we know and thousands that we don’t that have children born premature that have lifelong health issues or sadly don’t make it out of the NICU. For this reason we are still strong advocates of the March of Dimes and all of the research that they support. 2016 will be the tenth year that my family has participated in the March of Dimes Walk for Babies. Nearly half a million babies are born premature every year and it is the mission of the March of Dimes to use your donations to help mothers to have healthy full-term pregnancies and find a cure for prematurity, infant mortality and birth defects. Thanks to the funding and research provided by the March of Dimes my son is now a healthy nine year old with no complications from his prematurity.
Please consider participating in your local March for Babies or donating to your local March of Dimes chapter. Remember that we are all March of Dimes Babies.
AMT has been supporting the March for Babies in Rockville for many years. The company page is here: