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Taylor’s Story at Saint Barnabas Medical Center's NICU

After meeting my husband, Scott, in college, we married in 2006, moved to London in January 2006, and enjoyed travelling around the world. We always knew we wanted to have kids and thought we would enjoy travelling the world while we were living in Europe. We never imagined that it would be so hard to get pregnant so when our 3 IUI’s and first IVF were either miscarriages or misses, we were starting to lose hope. October 2015 we did our second transfer and were beyond blessed that it worked!

Fast forward to April Fool’s Day 2016. It was a regular Friday night in our house; we both got home from work and decided to go out to dinner. We had a nice dinner, came home, relaxed on the couch, watched some TV then headed to bed. I started feeling my stomach hurt around midnight and thought that I ate something bad. I woke up around 5:30 am and knew that we needed to make our way to Saint Barnabas Medical Center as I was having pain every three minutes. Scott jumped out of bed and we were on our way.

Upon arriving at the P.E.T unit, I was 2 cm dilated and within an hour was 6 cm dilated. Nothing was stopping this little girl from arriving at just 25 weeks and 4 days gestation! I was wheeled into Labor and Delivery and at 10:53 am on April 2, Taylor Reiss, born at 1 lb., 13 oz., came out crying. She was whisked away by the NICU doctors and nurses that were in the delivery room with us. We spent four nights in the hospital before I was discharged home. It was the hardest day of my life leaving the hospital without bringing our little girl home with us, even though I knew she was in the best place possible.

During 138 days of traveling back and forth to the hospital with the roller coaster ride of events, we met amazing new friends whom are family now, learned a whole new alphabet and acronyms of NICU lingo and learned more about the human body than we ever knew. Just a few weeks after she was born, Taylor battled through necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for which she underwent 2 surgeries. She also had a third surgery for a Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

Taylor is now a feisty, talkative, inquisitive, two-and-a-half-year-old toddler who is such a joy and blessing in our life. We can’t thank the Saint Barnabas Medical Center NICU doctors and nurses enough for all that they did for Taylor and we are so lucky to have so many of them in our lives. Scott and I both volunteer back in the NICU and recently I have undertaken a year-round project to collect items to make bags for new NICU families. If you are interested in donating items (i.e. unused board books, tissue packs, chapsticks, etc.) to the bags, visit my Amazon wish list or contact hayley.hirschmann@RWJBH.org for more information.

With love and admiration to all of the SBMC NICU staff, Libby T.

Visit our website for more NICU family education and information.