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Hubby Goes Into Doula Mode To Save Wife & 1lb Micro-Preemie

I remember this day like it was yesterday. It actually all started on 6-5-16. Kheri and I had just finished watching game 4 of the NBA Championship. We ordered pizza and wings that night for the game.

Maternal Health Hero:  Dad acts like a doula and advocates for wife with HELLP Syndrome and Preeclampsia.
Daddy Doula saves wife and premature daughter.

Shortly after the game, Kheri went to the bathroom and suddenly I started hearing banging on the wall. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom where I found my wife laying on the floor with tears in her eyes and in so much pain. I helped her up as she was telling me her stomach was hurting and she just wanted to get in the bed. I normally let her have her way, but I knew something was wrong, so I told her NO we’re going to the hospital. She didn’t want to hear that and tried convincing me to let her sleep it off. I gave her a choice to either get in the car so I can take her to Women’s Hospital or I would call 911 and they would bring her to Saint Elizabeth’s since it was only 5 minutes away from our home. After we arrived at Women’s Hospital, they took Kheri to the back and checked her blood pressure which was scary high. All I remember is hearing “code this” and “code that.” Then they told us that they have to prepare for an early delivery. My wife wasn’t happy with the news and did everything in her power to change the minds of the staff at Women’s Hospital. After going back and forth with the nurse, she finally told Kheri this is the only choice, if we don’t deliver this baby tonight you both could die!!! As a husband and hopeful father, that was the absolute worse news to hear. I removed myself from the room and fell to my knees outside the door. I started praying to God that he would save my wife and unborn child. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew My God would see us through. After gathering myself, I went back into the room to let my wife know that everything will be ok. I told her that we will meet our baby girl tonight and that I was calling the family to let them know what was happening. Right before 3am on 6-6-16, our micro preemie was born. She was the smallest baby I’d ever seen. I must admit, I was a little afraid to hold her because she was so tiny. The nurses and doctors were excited and wanted to place our wedding rings on her. They put my ring over her foot and around her leg.

Micropreemie was so tiny that her father's wedding ring fit around her leg.  Family picture.
Daddy's wedding ring goes around 1lb daughter's leg.

A few days later, Kheri took her wedding ring and placed it on Gem’s wrist like a watch. I thought this was so weird at first, but I’m glad today that we have those memories to share with Gem.

Mom puts wedding ring on her micropreemie baby's arm while being treated for jaundice.
Mom's wedding ring fits around 1lb daughter's arm.

My wife was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome and pre-eclampsia disease, so she had to stay in ICU after her emergency C-section while our daughter was fighting for her life in the NICU. I didn’t understand this and often questioned God, “WHY US?”. Kheri is one of the healthiest people I know and she did everything right. She was actually preparing to have an all-natural water birth, but God definitely had other plans. After a week, my wife was released from the hospital, but my daughter stayed for 80 long days in the NICU.

Dad holds micropreemie for the first time in the NICU on Father's Day.
Dad holds micropreemie for the 1st time on Father's Day

When she finally came home on 8-24-16 (Mamba Day), she carried the whole hospital with her from oxygen, a heart monitor, etc.…

Gem gets discharged from the NICU with an excited mom and dad by her side.
Gem gets discharged after 80 NICU days.

It was definitely a challenge, but our faith was strong. She had been through so much and we knew that God would see us through this too. We would pray over our baby every night.

We saw first-hand how God’s miracles saved our baby girl. Three years later, we had a baby boy. He arrived 2 months early (31 weeks), we didn’t worry as much. Jax was 2lbs bigger than his sister who was only 1lb 11oz. We knew that God had everything under control. Kheri went through this with a baby girl and boy, therefore she truly knows and has the experience of being The Preemie Mom Coach, the voice and advocate for moms across the world.

Preemie born at 31 weeks.
Dad and Mom with Gem and Jax's Great Aunt (with Jax)

She shared her story to help others and has now taken it to another level to reach more moms to coach them through tough times and the importance of breastfeeding. Prayers and trust in God helped us. My wife and our kids today, don’t look like they’d endured a cumbersome and heavy burden. God’s plan is bigger than any forces against us. We’re here for the long ride!!!

Preemie and Micropreemie family photo.
Gem & Jax with Mom & Dad. Captured by: Green Tangerine.

It is so important for us as men to advocate for our wives, sisters, cousins and the list goes on. My wife needed my voice when her voice was unstable and traumatized. Speaking out when she can't, cleaning breast pump parts around the clock, fixing her something to drink an unthinkable amount of times, calling the NICU to tell them that your wife is on the way and really wants to do Kangaroo Time really goes a long way. I'm her advocate for life, because I love her life.

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