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Alexandra M The Moncada Family

My husband and I will be forever grateful to them; I believe that our daughter thrived there because of each and every nurse and doctor that took care of her.

For Old Bridge residents Bernadette and Michael Moncada, the day their daughter Alexandra was born—last summer on July 31 at 31 weeks gestation, weighing 3 pounds, 6 ounces – was the scariest moment of their lives. “My husband and I did not know what to expect on the journey that was ahead of us,” Bernadette says. “The first time we saw our baby girl, was very, very hard – she was so tiny and was attached to different tubes and a breathing support machine, and it broke our hearts to see her that way. But the experience turned out to be amazing, as the NICU doctors and nurses gave us the strength to get through the hard days and see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bernadette’s pregnancy was not considered high risk, and her doctors couldn’t tell her why she delivered Alexandra nearly two months early. She recalls how challenging it was to go home without her baby, but said they would visit the NICU every day and read and sing to her.

“The NICU staff was phenomenal, and were able to make such a scary and unknown experience so comforting,” she says. “They give so much of themselves each and every day to take excellent care of every baby on the unit; they really go above and beyond to help each family cope with the struggles that can come with having a NICU baby.” Bernadette, a school counselor at Perth Amboy High School, and her husband, Michael, a staff member with the Union County Department of Public Works, recall how the nurses would nurture Alexandra when they couldn’t be there.

“They were like our angels watching over her for us,” she said. “My husband and I will be forever grateful to them; I believe that our daughter thrived there because of each and every nurse and doctor that took care of her.”