Tuesday, July 12, 2011

12 Ounce Baby Amanda

Jaap Vermeulen, Jacoplane in a Neonatal intens...Image via Wikipedia
In all my years of nursing, I can say that working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was one of the most rewarding of my career.  
One of my smallest patients was Baby Amanda. She was born at around 33 weeks gestation, and weighed under 1 pound. She ended up dropping down to 12 ounces a day after she was born. An average weight of a baby at that age should be around 4 pounds instead!
When we took her first picture, we placed a pencil along side of her and the pencil was even longer! 
I was her Primary Care Nurse and took care of her every day until she went home at her desired birth weight of 4.5 pounds. 
Baby Amanda was so strong and feisty! I will never forget her not needing Oxygen or a Ventilator, she was able to breath on her own from the first day of her admission into the NICU! She was all over the Isolette, despite having her swaddled in the sheep skin blanket.  I would find her in all corners of her new home and would have to reposition her back to the center!
Her Mommy was a smoker and also had Pre-Eclampsia during her pregnancy.  When Mom arrived for the first time she asked me where her baby was, and why was there a little doll in the Isolette? I told her that was her baby girl and eventually after the shock wore off she held her little girl for the first time. 
Baby Amanda had a few scares while in the NICU, but after two months we were able to discharge her home. 
There are many studies out about smoking, low birth weight babies and all the other complications that potentially can arise.  However, this study was encouraging for moms who are able to quit smoking as soon as they find out they are pregnant.  Of course there are never any guarantees, as there are many other variables that can affect this outcome. 
"The findings are based on data from more than 50,000 pregnant women in Southampton, England, from 2002 to 2010. The average weight of babies born to smokers who kicked the habit when they found out they were pregnant was 33 grams (10.6 ounces) more than babies born to women who kept smoking during their pregnancyAgence France-Presse reported."
I lost track of Baby Amanda after she was discharged but always wondered how she was. She would be around 23 years old today! 
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. When Drama was born, she was 2 lbs and 4 ounces. She was in the NICU for 54 very long days. Her lowest weight was 1lb 10 oz. I remember how very tiny she was - I can't even imagine 12 ounces. And for Baby Amanda to not need oxygen, just amazing.

    After my experience with Drama in the NICU, I was passionate about becoming a NICU nurse. However, the 1.5 hour one-way drive discouraged me from ever following up on that dream.

    Thank you for sharing this miracle story!


  2. For a moment there i thought .....I am glad Baby Amanda was well enough to be discharged. Where ever she is now, I hope she is happy and healthy. Maybe she would be reading this post of yours too.


  3. Amanda means "she who must be loved"...and indeed she is truly loved. My baby's first name is Amanda too. I've been witness to a several miracle stories myself. Such a humbling experience.

  4. When I was pregnant,(all 11 times) I wouldn't take anything that may be harmful, because I wanted my babies to be as healthy as possible when they were born.

    Since I don't smoke, or drink coffee or alcohol, this part was easy, but I didn't even want to take aspirin or any meds.

    What a sweet baby...hope all is well with her.

    What a miracle.

  5. Wouldn't you just love to see her now? I hope that her good care and healthy growth continued into her adulthood. Babies like these are so blessed to have such caring nurses like you!

  6. Beautiful story! I love it that you remember her name and personal things about her. I admire you for doing that work--one of my friends is a neo natal nurse at a huge Children's hospital and she is so incredibly knowledgeable about tiny precious babies, as you are I'm sure!

  7. I'm just wondering, what made you think of her this day Lisa? This is so unbelievable! I've heard of babies being 1lb but not 12 ounces! Wow! This is a miracle! I really hope that her mother took really good care of her. Oh, I wish there was a way to find out how she is. I would really love to know.

    Baby Oliver was 4 lbs 10 oz and was 5 weeks early. So it's just unbelievable the difference in just a couple of weeks with baby Amanda. Wow! Thanks for sharing this story.

  8. I had severe preeclampsia, and my son was born at 32.5 weeks. He was 3lbs, 5oz, dropped down to 2lb9oz after birth. He was only in the NICU for 13 days, but it has left me with a lifelong deep sense of respect and admiration for NICU nurses.

  9. What a great post! Thanks for sharing! I am stopping by from Voiceboks and now follow via GFC! Please stop by http://aboutamom.com to say hi!

  10. @Christina,
    I know how difficult it is to leave your baby behind. My second son was born on Christmas day 8 weeks early. The only thing that brought me comfort was that I worked there and knew all the nurses. Leaving him was the hardest thing I have ever done. I am so glad Drama did well!
    I always think of her and a few others of my special babies! Thank you for visiting!
    Hi, thank you for sharing that. I didn't know the meaning of the name!
    @Becky Jane,
    I know me too! I worried about everything even though I was careful not to take even an aspirin!
    @Rachel Joy Thank you! I think about her a lot! Would love to know where she is!
    @Sonja! So nice for you to visit! Thank you so much. I took care of so many babies there are just a few that I always think about!
    @Lexie, So glad Oliver did well too. I don't know what made me think about her that day. I think of her a lot for some reason. I don't remember her last name so there is no way I would be able to find out how she did. It has been so many years now.
    @Nikki, Thank you. It is hard to leave your baby to strangers though. I am glad he was discharged so quickly.
    @aboutamom! Thank you for visiting. I am running behind on VoiceBoks need to catch up to see all the new blogs!

  11. Brought tears to my eyes - precious! What a gift you gave this baby. I pray you're able to make a connection with Ms. Amanda and find out how she is. Bless you (& Amanda!)

  12. Hi Hot Air 1!
    Thank you so much. I wish I could find her picture. She was so tiny, but it felt wonderful to send her home healthy.

  13. That's such a great story! I have a family full of nurses. 5 nurses, plus my grandma that's been out of the field for a long while now!

    My sister just gave birth to a baby that has Trisomy 18 4 weeks ago. My mom and her are both rare carriers. We've had some close calls, but he's hanging in there and is actually gaining weight.

    You can see photo's of him here: http://theapels.blogspot.com/2011/06/wordless-wednesday-cousins.html with out the NG tube and O2 hooked up to him.

    I'm following you from VoiceBoks.


Not what we give,
But what we share,
For the gift
without the giver
Is bare.
~James Russell Lowell

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.