Ginger and Brandon Baxley were enjoying a date night at their favorite restaurant when Ginger’s water broke. Ginger was just 28 weeks pregnant. She shares their birth story below. You can also view their birth story here.
I was barely in my third trimester so immediately we knew this was not a good situation for our baby. Even though we’d planned to deliver at another local hospital, we raced to the WakeMed Emergency Department because we knew if we were having our baby early we wanted to be at the hospital with the best NICU.
Facing a Future of ‘Unknowns’
That drive to the hospital was terrifying. We didn’t know why this was happening and if our baby would survive. I was immediately escorted through the Emergency Department and was receiving care before Brandon could even park the car. Thankfully, I was told my labor wasn’t progressing, and that night I was admitted to the hospital on strict bed rest orders with hopes I’d be there for the next six weeks.
I’ll never forget Dr. Kicklighter visiting my room the first day and saying, “You’re 28 weeks. We got this.” This was a doctor who lives this every day, and hearing his confidence made me realize that everything was going to be okay. Our baby was going to be okay. I knew then we’d made the right decision by coming to WakeMed.
My bed rest didn’t last the six weeks the doctors hoped it would, but I did stay pregnant for three weeks while our baby girl did some important growing. Evie was born on Feb. 12th at 31 weeks gestation and weighed 3 pounds and 15 ounces. The WakeMed NICU team was right there in the delivery room with me, and they immediately went into action working to stabilize her.
An Exercise in Patience
The first 48 hours were tough. Evie was born with underdeveloped lungs and she needed help with her breathing, but Dr. Bastek was so patient with us. We asked a million questions about Evie’s condition, and she stayed with us and answered them all.
After five days Evie came off oxygen support, then graduated to an open air bed, continued to grow and gain weight, and eventually learned how to eat on her own. She hit every milestone they expected of her, and after six weeks in NICU she was ready to go home.
Going Above & Beyond in Patient Care
Everyone we encountered at WakeMed made us feel comfortable, cared for and important. From Miss Peggy who cleaned my room every day, to the NICU nurses that hugged me like a friend each night and promised to take care of Evie as if she was their own, to the doctors that saved my baby’s life.
We are so grateful to be a part of the WakeMed family. And to all of the parents of NICU babies: Celebrate every milestone – from your child getting back to his/her birth weight, to getting off of oxygen support, to being put in an open air crib, to having their first bottle, etc.. When you look back at your time in the hospital, those are the wonderful memories that stay with you.
About Love Light
WakeMed’s annual Love Light tree lighting ceremony began in 1985 with the generosity of Dr. Bill and Colleen Lee, who donated the first Love Light tree in memory of their son, Matthew William Lee. Today, the annual tree lighting ceremony continues with the ability to make Love Light donations in honor of someone special.
Each year, a family of one of our former pediatric patients is selected to kick off our Love Light tree ceremony. This year, we are honored to have the Baxley family light the tree. All of the proceeds earned from the Love Light ceremony directly benefit children’s services at WakeMed.