December 2020 – Preemie of the Month

Donovan Pablo Quiroz-Quintero
“The miracle we didn’t know we needed, our little fighter mommy and daddy love you so much.” – Karen Quintero

On May 23rd, at 2:00am, was the day my water broke. I was 27 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy.

As we were in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was not allowed to go into the Emergency Room with anyone else to see if I was in labor and to find out what was going on. Let me remind you, I am a first-time mom and never did I think I would be able to have a baby, so all this was unbelievable and when my water broke, I was completely clueless as to what was going to happen to us.

Once I was seen, the doctor confirmed that my water broke and that I was to be admitted. The doctor’s long-term goal was to keep me in the hospital for 7 weeks until I had reached 32 weeks, at which time they would induce labor. With Covid-19 happening, this was probably one of the hardest experiences for me because up until the delivery day, I was completely alone…11 days of isolation and never in my life had I felt so alone. On May 30th, I turned 27 in the hospital. I had what we call a “drive-by birthday” since I was not allowed to have anyone with me in my room, my family drove down and from my hospital room, I was able to see them while they sang happy birthday to me. I was also in nursing school to become an LVN while all this was going on. Thankfully I was able to finish school in the midst of all of this.

On June 4th, at 9:20am, my son, Donovan was born at 29 weeks and 2 days. My experience with delivery was extreme but I was just so happy to hear my baby boy cry when he made his arrival to this world. Since I was admitted, the doctors would come in daily to educate me about what could happen from the worst case scenario to the best possible outcome. They started telling me that my son may need help with breathing so when I heard my baby boy cry, I was in tears. I am so thankful for my team of nurses and doctors who took care of both of us.

Once my son was born, I was able to meet him for a quick second before they took him away. Baby boy had a lot of things going on and at the moment I didn’t understand he was in the incubator with phototherapy because of his bilirubin levels and he was on CPAP high flow oxygen. Baby boy spent 90 days in “baby prison” also known as the NICU and in the end, since all he needed to come home was to be able to eat most of his feeds, I ended up staying all night with him and he was able to finish all of his bottles and they sent him home with me on September 1st.

The whole experience was a lot to take in, but I am so thankful for my strong baby boy who fought hard and is now doing better than I imagined he would be. Donovan is now 5 months old and 13 pounds. He is a little delayed on meeting some milestones, but day-by-day we will get there. I’m incredibly thankful for all the resources, NICU nurses and everyone who is helping my baby boy out.