Our StoriesTouching Stories from members of TLC
Grace Josephine Lynch
When I was just 22 weeks pregnant, my water broke (for unknown reasons) and our crazy story began. I was put on strict bed rest, and all the while we were inundated with information about survival rates, health risks for our baby, what the NICU would be like, what we should expect, etc. We were completely overwhelmed, and our only hope was to stay positive and pray for the best. After 2 weeks of strict bed rest I gave birth to our daughter, Grace Josephine, on March 27, 2009 at just 1 pound, 5 ounces and 12 inches.
Grace had a rough start in the NICU; her lungs were just so underdeveloped from having almost no fluid during the last two weeks in utero. Things started looking good when she was going off the vent for the first time, but she just wasn’t ready and ended up back on the vent again. At that point things seemed worse than ever. That seems to be the norm in the NICU, a few steps forward and a few steps back…the ups and downs are inevitable but these miracle babies fight on.
It all seemed like a bad dream. The late night visits, the pumping, the low “sats”, the incessant beeping…it was all just too much. In addition to having Grace in the NICU, we also had an older daughter, Abigail, who was only 17 months old. Needless to say, we were not at the hospital as much as we would have liked. But our Grace was a fighter, and she continued to be strong and fought the odds. As time went on, Grace became stronger and we finally felt like we could breathe again.
Grace stayed in the NICU for 12 weeks and came home a month before her due date, weighing 5 pounds 8 ounces. She came home still on oxygen, so we still had plenty to remind us of the NICU at home. I could go on and on about Gracie’s story, but in the end, the most important part is that she is a complete miracle. We were told to expect the worst, but instead we have a wonderful, perfect little miracle!
In March 2015, Grace will turn six! She is an amazing little girl. She was obviously quite a fighter in the NICU and she still has that in her! Grace started kindergarten this year and is currently in a self-contained class (15:1:1). Grace still receives services during the school day, but she is doing wonderfully! She is learning to read and is very excited that she can read an entire book on her own. When people hear Gracie’s story, they are always shocked because they would never have known she was a “micro-preemie.”
I remember sitting in my hospital bed looking online for positive outcomes of micro-preemies and finding next to nothing. There were days when my head was spinning from all of the information I was bombarded with along with the risks and awful possibilities. All I wanted was a story that would help me realize we would be okay. I hope that Grace’s story can give that hope to anyone who needs it.