For Love of Parker

Jana, one of the Northwest Diaper Dreamers, donated diapers in memory of a friend's baby, Parker Norwood, to the NICU at Stony Brook Hospital in Stony Brook New York.
This is Parker's Story:

"My water broke at 26w4d, spontaneous PPROM. I stayed in the hospital on bedrest for 4 days, before I delivered both boys vaginally while Zachary (B) was breech. They were 2lbs 5oz and 2lbs 6oz at birth. Both were doing great! Parker was the stronger one. However, on the 2nd day of life, he suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage. At 1 or 2 am, a Neonatologist called to my room for me to come and be with him, because "he wasn't going to make it"..."Maybe 2 hours" is what he said. I raced down to the NICU and recieved information I never thought I was ever going to hear. Bleeding, NEC, lung damage, brain damage, all system failure, long term ventilation, Tracheostomy...the list goes on. We held Parker, and held him some more. His mommies love hopefully would save him. 

We kangarooed him for nearly 10 hours if not more, which was far passed the 2 hours the doctor told us before. We returned him to his bed and let them examine him. Things were looking up! His body seemed to be recovering for the early morning hemorrhage. Overnight, things got worse again. His lung collapsed and they placed a chest tube to inflate it again. When we returned to the hospital early the next morning, there were so many machines surround his little body we could barley see him. Machines beeping, dripping, and shaking his body. He was placed on the "JET" ventilator. The doctor came over and pulled up a chair....This is when you know its not good. 

We talked about quality of life, and withdrawing care, we talked about full/all system handicapped. His heart was getting weaker from all the interventions, his lungs were getting worse by the second....We had to make a decision which for him, would be the best thing. We withdrew care, we let him fly free. Free of machines, and needles, and pain. Free from a lifetime of being sick, free from all of this. He was placed into my arms and he looked so peaceful. I knew we made the right decision when I looked at his face. Rest. Peace. This is what he needed. This was right. 

I held him as they kept coming back listening for his heartbeat. I talked to him, told him it was okay, we'd be okay, his brothers will be okay. That we will never forget this strength and we will never forget him. His other mommy and I took turns holding him until his heart beated its last beat. He never took a breathe when they disconnected everything, the machines were truly breathing for him. His lungs were far too gone. We bathed and dressed him, took pictures and held him some more. We layed him with his twin, Zachary who was next to us the entire time. We made sure he laid with his brother alive, one last time and took a few pictures for him. We said our goodbyes and spent some time with Zachary before we left. I was so scared that he was going to die too. He was the weaker one. They thought he was going to be the one to pass away...Our boys had other plans.

After Parker passed away, we saw a HUGE turn around in Zachary. Breathing more aggressively over the machines, his labs were coming back with improvements. He was on the mend. The nurses all said that Parker gave Zachary all of his strength. After a few days, he was taken off the oscillator vent which was shaking him so much and was put onto a conventional vent. He was able to wean off all breathing machines and only have nasal cannula at 2 weeks old! He was such a little rockstar. 

He did have a little bump in the road when he had a supected infection and needed to be reintubated at about a month old and needed CPR. He overcame that, and started growing like a little weed! We were able to escape the NICU with no lung damange! After 5 blood transfusions, several IVs and PICC lines, losing his twin, and overcoming an infection, he came home with some reflux after 63 days in the NICU! We were so happy to have him home with his brother. Zachary is now 15 (12 months adjusted) months and is doing awesome. He has been walking since October. With the help of Physical Therapy he has overcome some high tone issues, and is on the move! He says a few words and loves playing with his older brother Ryan, who is 3. And his new baby brother who is 1 month, Oliver. His mommies could not be more proud of him! His entrance into this world was rocky, and his entrance was with one of the best twin brothers anyone could ask for. Zachary has become such a lovable, intelligent and mischievous toddler!"  ~Parker and Zachary's mommy

The staff at Stony Brook was so enamored with the diapers that arrived at their NICU, that the bereavement coordinator contacted us to see if we could donate to their Labor and Delivery unit as well.  NWDD Carol immediately sent blankets and 200 diapers for angels served by the Stony Brook Labor and Delivery unit, also in memory of Parker Norwood.