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When Margot Crum Was Born Three Months Early, St. Joe’s Was There with Expert Care

Life was going according to plan for Stacey Crum. She was enjoying her work as an interior designer and relishing time spent with her husband, Josh, and nearly 3-year-old daughter, Carter Claire. When she found out she was expecting again Stacey was thrilled to be expanding her family, and Carter Claire couldn’t wait to be a big sister.

Turns out Stacey’s new little bundle of joy couldn’t wait either – Margot arrived more than three months early and weighed in at only two-and-half pounds.

“My pregnancy up until that point had been uneventful, but on the night Margot was born, I remember feeling a sense of discomfort that wouldn’t go away,” explained Stacey.

She didn’t even consider it might be pre-term labor because she still had so many months to go. When the feeling continued to worsen as the evening progressed, Stacey consulted with her doctor, then headed to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital to get checked out.

“I fully expected to be home in a few hours, but when I got to the hospital, they determined I was actually in labor. That was really scary.”

When Margot made her entrance into the world Stacey and Josh were filled with a mixture of emotions: love, happiness, fear, and shock. While they were thrilled to meet their beautiful new baby girl, they were filled with worry about her health.

“It was such a surreal moment. Margot was unbelievably tiny – I’d never seen a baby so small,” Stacey recalled. “I barely had time to check her fingers and toes before they were whisking her away to the NICU. I knew she was here far too soon and felt helpless.”

Her parents’ concern was soon replaced with cautious optimism.  Though born without major health issues, Margot’s medical situation was still quite serious. Her extra early debut and fragile condition meant she had to be monitored very carefully so she could get the precious time she needed time to catch up – time that would be spent at St. Joe’s.

“When they told me she could potentially remain at the hospital until her actual due date, my heart sank, but I knew Margot needed a level of care we couldn’t provide at home.”

From feeding tubes to a CPAP machine to assist her breathing to the daily checks and balances necessary to ensure her delicate little girl would grow and thrive, Stacey was buoyed by the competency and compassion of the doctors and nurses who made sure every detail was covered.

“It was a week before I could even hold her, but as each day passed and she cleared one hurdle after another, I felt more and more at ease, even though there were definitely challenges along the way,” explained Stacey.

At one point Margot needed a blood transfusion, and sometimes she would stop breathing because preemies forget to breathe, however, the amount of time the hospital staff spent each day updating Stacey on Margot’s progress, explaining next steps, and answering every single question with patience and understanding left her feeling confident Margot would be home with her family soon. And added special touches, like a visit from Santa with all the babies tucked into their own little stocking, lifted everyone’s spirits.

“The doctors and nurses were so amazing. When it came time for Margot to come home, as excited as we were, it was truly hard to leave all that camaraderie and support. You form a bond with everyone there and you can just feel how much they love and care for these little ones. As a parent, what more could you ask for?”

Despite her precarious start in life, Margot is now a bubbly and energetic 4-year-old who is meeting all of her milestones. And Stacey is looking forward to the next bi-annual celebration SJWH organizes to celebrate all the special preemies and their families.

“Living so close to St. Joe’s I’d always heard great things about it, but now having experienced it for myself and my daughter, I can say it definitely lived up to its reputation. Margot is here because of them and I’m so grateful for everything they did for us.”