Meet Mighty Bee Jane Larson

 

I’m especially excited to introduce this month’s Mighty Bee, Jane Larson Horstman. While we traditionally share families that have received Bee Mighty grants, this family is quite an exception for many reasons.

I met this Mighty Momma, then Jordan Phipps, twenty years ago in Charlotte. Had you asked either of us if we were prepared for our NICU journey ahead, we both would have said, “What is a NICU?”

Jordan and her husband, Jake, have been a tremendous support to Bee Mighty since the very beginning. Jordan’s warm heart and welcoming smile, with a knowing tear would appear with every opportunity, eager to get involved and give back.

Most recently, Jordan’s husband, Jake, has joined the Bee Mighty Board in an effort to further support Bee Mighty’s cause to help NICU families.

It is such an honor to introduce you to June’s Mighty Bee:

Jordan Horstman – Mom to Mighty Jane Larson (8) and Stewart (5)

Jordan, I’m going to start at the very beginning. Tell us about finding out you were pregnant for the first time.  How was your overall pregnancy?

  • My pregnancy was a long journey.  This might be more than you want to know, but it is part of our story! We were told that it was impossible for us to get pregnant on our own. They started us with IUI and we quickly were told that we had less than a 2% chance of conceiving through IUI so they moved us to IVF. Things seemed to be going fine (through all the medication, ultrasounds, shots, etc.) until the retrieval. My retrieval yielded 48 eggs. I don’t know how familiar you are with IVF, but this is unheard of. I must have broken the hospital record. I felt totally fine until early the next morning, when I woke up feeling dizzy, nauseous, and fainted on the bathroom floor.

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Meet Mighty Bee Owen

Mighty Mom: Meredith

Meredith, you made quite an impression with your NICU rap! (stay tuned…)

Before we get ahead of ourselves, thank you for taking the time to share your NICU journey with all of Bee Mighty. To start,  can you tell us about your family and first learning you were pregnant.

Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to be able to share our story! You honestly do not know what it is like to go through this experience until you have gone through it yourself. We hope to be able to relate to other families and help them as they go on this journey.

My husband and I had been married about a year when I first learned I was pregnant. We always knew we wanted to have children and thought we would take it slow in trying. I had been taking birth control for about 10 years, so I figured that I would get off of it let my body get use to not taking it and I would be pregnant a few months later in August (it was February). However, in April my body had other plans I was having some symptoms of being pregnant but did not actually think I was at all. Finally, it was the week of one of my best friends wedding and I thought I would just take a test after her wedding to be sure, but my husband said we will not wait and I took one that day and sure enough I was pregnant! I cried from the shock of being pregnant so fast, but we were so grateful!

Then at our first ultrasound the nurse had the screen turn towards her and kept very quiet for a long period of time.

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Meet Mighty Bee Andrew

Mighty Mom: Tricia Asbra

Mighty Family:

Aaron (dad), Tricia (mom), Andrew (11), Benjamin (11), Kate (8). Grandma and Papa also live with us.

Tricia, tell us first learning you were pregnant and your pregnancy? 

We were just getting ready to celebrate our first wedding anniversary when I started feeling dizzy and nauseated. I figured I was just getting sick, but then a co-worker suggested I take a pregnancy test. We had decided to go off birth control about a month before, but I was told that it should take me several months to a year to get pregnant. I went home and took a test and it IMMEDIATELY came back positive.

We were so excited! We went to my first appointment with my OBGYN and they told me I was VERY pregnant and likely much farther along than I thought I was. My hormone levels were significantly higher than someone who should have been only 6 weeks pregnant. Because of all of this, they sent me for an ultrasound a week later. During that ultrasound, I was complaining to my doctor about all of the severe pregnancy symptoms I seemed to be having: bad any-time of the day sickness, already out of my regular clothes and quickly outgrowing my first set of maternity pants.

She said, “Let’s not talk about ‘normal’ for a second. There’s one heartbeat, there’s two, and there’s a third!” It was at that point that I saw all three babies up on the ultrasound screen for the first time. I was having spontaneous triplets!

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Meet Mighty Bee Olivia

 

Mighty Mom: Ann

Mighty Bee: Olivia

What were your very first thoughts when you found out you were pregnant with Olivia?

We were very excited when we found out we were expecting Olivia. We had a nine month old son, William and we had had a miscarriage three months earlier so we were very nervous as well. We didn’t tell our family at first.

Did the time pass slowly or quickly throughout the pregnancy?

Time went by quickly. When I was about three months pregnant I got very sick and was on bed rest for a week, we thought I would lose the baby. After I recovered I was always afraid I would lose the baby.

Were you aware before giving birth that Olivia would be spending time in the NICU?

We had no idea and never expected to be the NICU. According to our doctor everything was progressing normally and Olivia was healthy.

Can you describe the moment Olivia was born?

I woke up around 4:00 that morning ( two months before her due date) my back was hurting and I noticed a little spotting. My husband and I thought we would just drop off his daughter at school and go get checked out by my doctor. Before he got back from the school I knew this was more than just a normal back ache. By the time we left for the hospital I was in active labor and trying not to push… Read More

 

Meet Mighty Mom Kelly

 

Mighty Mom: Kelly

Mighty Bee: Lucy

 

What were your very first thoughts when you found out you were pregnant with Lucy? 

We were excited! My husband Aaron and I had been together almost 8 years, but married for only 6 months. Lucy was planned and we were finally convinced we were ready to have a baby. I think I took 6 pregnancy tests, I just couldn’t believe we were actually going to do it!

Briefly what were a few highs and lows of your pregnancy and how long did it last?

I was really sick with my pregnancy. I was teaching school and would have to step into the hall to be sick. Once I had made it past the morning sickness at about 14 weeks, I thought the hard part was over. Then we found out at 18 weeks that Lucy had enlarged ventricles in her head. We went to the high-risk obgyn and had so many ultrasounds throughout the rest of the pregnancy. They really didn’t know what was causing them to be enlarged, so they couldn’t really give any answers, just scenarios. It was decided that I would have a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks because of the size of Lucy’s head and to save her the trauma of a vaginal delivery.

What were some of the fears that you had during this time?

I was scared all the time, but tried not to think about it. People would tell me that it was probably nothing. My ob said she just delivered a baby with enlarged ventricles and the baby was fine. I hung on to these stories. We met with a pediatric neurosurgeon when I was 8 months pregnant. They thought she might have hydrocephalus and we were preparing for possibly having a shunt… Read More

 

Bee Mighty Chats with Mighty Mom Jen

 

Mighty Mom: Jen

Mighty Bee: CeCe

 

When did you first find out you were pregnant? How was the duration of your pregnancy? 

I first found out in March of 2010 that I was pregnant with CeCe. We were told at 18 weeks gestation (on June 29th of that year) at what was supposed to be a routine anatomy ultrasound that she had a “hole in her spine” or Spina Bifida.  The pregnancy was EXTREMELY difficult from the standpoint of all the testing that was immediately involved…hours of MRIs, ultrasounds, 2 amnios etc. and the prognoses we were getting were all the same, terrible.

I did not know anything about the NICU before my internship with Bee Mighty.

How much did you know about the NICU? And when did you learn you may deliver your baby early? 

I knew nothing about NICU.  Our first daughter, born 2 years earlier, was a very routine pregnancy.  Information was given to us that same day of the diagnosis about a research study at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) regarding fetal surgery for our daughter. CeCe was full-term (38 weeks, 5 days), but stayed in the NICU in Philly for 9 days and had her first of 4 surgeries there as well when she was 48 hours old.

Tell us about CeCe’s birth and seeing her for the first time. How much did she weigh?

I didn’t get to hold her when she was born because of the hole in her spine.  They let me touch her skin and she was whisked away to the NICU and for further discussion about when to close her back (has to be within 48 hours of birth to reduce chances of infection).  I really only remember touching her for a moment.  She weighed in at a whooping (and lucky!) 7lbs and 11oz….she was the giant of the NICU.

What was it like the first time getting to hold your daughter?  

Read More

 

 

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