Prematurity is not unusual — it affects one in ten babies. But for those who haven’t experienced the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) first-hand, that world can seem mysterious and scary.
The NICU experience took Fiera Ramsey-Hutcherson by surprise. She was not expecting an early birth — and when her doctor told her she would need to deliver 13 weeks before her due date, she was terrified. Her daughter Nia spent the next four months in the NICU, and Fiera had to learn to trust the doctors and nurses around her to help keep Nia alive.
See how Fiera’s family started — and how they coped with their first NICU experience:
Fiera always wanted a big family, but after struggling through four months of the NICU with her first child, she changed her mind. Her trip to the hospital for a family planning conversation was met with a surprise: She was pregnant. The news was met with mixed emotions — she was first scared about the potential for more problems, and didn’t think she could cope with another potential NICU stay. But, over time, that fear melted. She vowed to watch her health carefully, which helped her avoid major medical issues.
Then, at 26 weeks — the same time Nia was born — Fiera was told her amniotic fluid was low. Her doctors were hoping to keep her from delivering for a few more weeks, if possible, but Fiera was once again going to deliver early.
Amari — Fiera’s second child — was born at 30 weeks, and Fiera’s family started their second NICU journey at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.