Hazel's Story

Meet Hazel.  Hazel was born 11 weeks early weighing only 2 ½ pounds.  At 14 weeks gestation, her parents were told Hazel most likely wouldn't make it.  The placenta had started to tear away.  After countless ultrasounds and tests, her parents were told at the very least she'd have spina bifida, and at worst she would be still born IF her mother didn't miscarry her first.  At 22 weeks gestation it was discovered she most likely had a virus and wouldn't live more than a year after she was born, if she indeed did survive being born.  At this time, the doctors suggested amniocentesis to determine if her parents should terminate the pregnancy.   Her parents were 100% committed to her, and decided that amniocentesis was too great a risk to her life so late in the pregnancy.  Hazel's mom was admitted to hospital at 25 weeks gestation when it was discovered she was 1cm dilated.  Hazel was born at 29 weeks gestation via emergency c-section.  To the doctors surprise, the surgery was too much for Hazel's mom to handle, and 4 surgeons were required to 'put her back together again'.  Her mom would be restricted to an additional 6 months of modified bed rest, however that didn't stop her from visiting Hazel in the hospital everyday for Hazel's 2 month stay.  During that time, Hazel struggled to regulate her own breathing and required assistance.  She also struggled to be able to eat on her own.
Hazel came home two weeks before her actual due date, weighing a whole 6 pounds for her homecoming.

It is common for babies as premature as Hazel to have issues with their head growth, and Hazel's head grew far too quickly and too big, indicating she most likely had Hydrocephalus and would require a permanent shunt to be put in to drain the access fluid. After 7 head ultrasounds, and one cat scan, it was determined that Hazel simply just has a big head.  Doctors continue to monitor her head growth, as do her parents, and her body is in a hurry to catch up!
Today, Hazel is 16 months old and just starting to stand up with her parents' help.  She has regular doctor visits at least every two weeks, and will be followed closely by her team of doctors until she is 6 years of age.
Hazel loves her pet cats, she loves to build with her blocks, and she loves her 
xylophone Santa brought her.  Her laugh is infectious, and she loves to play with other children.  She truly is the miracle her parents, friends and family prayed for.
Photo Courtesy of Angela Churchill Photography