Written by Baby Alexander’s Mother, Alicia.
Baby Alexander was born at 22 weeks gestation on November 17, 2014, weighing just 1 lb. 6 oz. He was given little to no chance of survival.
As his mother, I was overwhelmed and terrified, yet familiar with this scenario. Alexander was not our family’s first premature infant. Alexander’s older brother, Marco was born at 23 weeks, so I guess you could say Alexander was trying to start sibling rivalry at an early age! Before Marco was born, we suffered four miscarriages, so despite being so incredibly premature, we were overjoyed and so grateful for our babies.
From the very beginning it seemed my pregnancy was doomed because of complication after complication. Yet, Alexander kept fighting. When he was born so prematurely via c-section, he really showed us just how strong of a conqueror he truly is. I was told that if Alexander did not fight at birth, they would let him pass away peacefully in my arms. I prayed to God and my recently deceased mother-in-law for Alexander to fight, and he did.
Alexander was whisked away to the NICU, and I was left on the operating table praying for my child, and experiencing this terrifying NICU journey all over again.
Our world was rocked on Thanksgiving Day when I received a phone call saying Alexander had developed NEC and needed to be transferred to another NICU. Once he was transferred, a pediatric surgeon explained that Alex had stool leaking into his body, which caused him to develop sepsis in his blood. He would need a penrose drain in his belly.
We learned about NEC when Marco was born so prematurely. We knew how deadly NEC could be; one of Marco’s pod-mates passed away from NEC. We were terrified, and prayed every day for Alexander to heal.
Miraculously, Alexander the Great pulled through, and did not require any extensive surgeries. We were so lucky that he healed with only the penrose drain and several doses of antibiotics.
Alexander did require VP Shunt placement due to a grade 3 and grade 4 brain bleed, numerous blood transfusions, surgery to correct ROP, surgery to close his PDA, and he went into acute renal failure. The acute renal failure could have killed
him, but by the grace of God he responded to the medication and started urinating again.
Today Alexander is 16 lbs. and is followed by several specialists, including neurosurgery, ophthalmology, nephrology, cardiology, and a developmental follow up clinic. He makes our family complete and we thank God that Alexander beat the many odds stacked against him. We call him “Alexander the Great,” because he is our little conqueror. Marco and Alexander are true miracles; they are our world.