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The Long Road Home

Making the best out of a NICU stay

The Feldman family never dreamed they'd have a baby who spent nearly 100 days in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Tiffany Feldman didn't have any problems with the delivery of her first son, Lance. But her second son had other plans.

"I remember waking up that morning thinking something just didn't feel right," said Tiffany. "I was feeling some cramping and decided to play it safe and drive to St. Luke's."

It wasn't a quick drive either because the Feldman's live in Delhi.

"If there was something wrong with the baby I knew St. Luke's is where I wanted to be," said Tiffany.

When she arrived at St. Luke's Birth Care Center nurses quickly determined Tiffany was in labor. She soon delivered Jamison. He weighed in at just two pounds, nine ounces and 14 inches tall. He was born 13 weeks early.

Tremendous support

"It was a scary time," said Jeremy Feldman, Jamison's dad. "I remember that first day so vividly and everyone we met. Jamison was immediately transferred to the NICU and the staff was so good about explaining everything to us. The doctors and nurses made a very difficult time a little easier."

"From that day forward I traveled to St. Luke's every day," recalls Tiffany. "I arrived around 9 a.m. and left around 5 p.m. to be home at night with Lance and Jeremy. It was hard but you do what you have to do."

"We had tremendous support from our families and from the St. Luke's NICU team," said Jeremy. "They became our extended family."

"Jamison had difficulty breathing on his own," said Andrew Nordine, MD, St. Luke's neonatologist. "His biggest problem was he would at times forget to breathe and needed vigorous stimulation to get him to take breaths. It was a maturity issue, which is common for preemies."

"There would be times we were set to go home and Jamison would have a breathing spell and it would delay his release from the NICU," Tiffany said.

Happy homecoming

But the day the Feldmans had been waiting for finally arrived, on May 1, 2011, Jamison was sent home. He had gained five pounds since birth and was eating and breathing on his own.

"It was a great day," Jeremy said. "We had fears of going it alone at home without the fantastic NICU staff but they prepared us for what to expect when Jamison came home and there have been no issues."

"I can't begin to describe what the NICU staff did for us," said Tiffany. "They are miracle workers, great people and are still a great comfort to us. I can't imagine going anywhere else for NICU care."

For a personal tour of St. Luke's Newborn Intensive Care call 319/369-8129 or take a video tour.