Thursday, March 5, 2009

Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation

Some of you may have noticed that I added some other blogs/links to my sidebar. All other blogs have this and I thought I might join them! The real reason that I did it now is that I wanted to add the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation link. I will let you all read for yourselves, because I know you know how but wanted to tell you about how I know Zoe.

I met Zoe on her first day of life, her first hour really. On December 20th, 2006 I walked into work and found my name next to the "admissions" spot on the assignment sheet. I also had another tiny one to be taking care of that day. When I walked into the Pod however, the night shift nurse informed me that the "team" had just gone to labor and delivery for 25 week triplets. This is not what I wanted to hear at 7 o'clock in the morning! I was barely awake. And, she told me, I would be getting Baby "C". As all NICU nurses know, "A" usually does the best and is usually the reason for the delivery meaning they think they are ready even if their siblings are not! So, when you get baby "B", "C" or even "D" it's usually a little more of a complicated admission process. And this proved MORE than true in this case.

Zoe's sisters arrived in their pods around 7:05/7:10. I kept waiting on baby "C". Where was she/he? Finally around 7:25, the door swung open and their she was. So tiny, so bruised, but so pretty. The "team" had had trouble intubating her. So much so, that she wasn't even intubated when I opened the transporter door. Her little head was about the size of a lemon. She was dark headed and had the longest eyelashes I've ever seen on a preemie. Her little cheeks were red and excoriated from removing tape from them every time the breathing tube was taken out to try and re-intubate her. We finally got her on the ventilator and checked an X-ray. Two pnemothoraxes (air not in the right place of the lungs), one on each side. So, we opened a procedure tray and put in a chest tube. Do you see where I'm going with this? This was one SICK little girl and the next time I looked at the clock, it was 1pm!

She was by far the sickest admission I had ever taken care of.

But, for whatever reason, I immediately bonded with her. This doesn't happen often for me.

We all knew it would be a long road for Zoe and it was. She stayed with us at Northside until October 7, 2007. Over those months, I cared for her sisters, Avery and Lily and got to know her parents as well. Wonderful, wonderful people and even better parents. But Zoe? Oh my goodness, she was so sweet, big green eyes and a wonderful smile. And those eyelashes never went anywhere, neither did her dark hair, it just got sweet curls. Everyone in the NICU knew Zoe and her wonderful disposition. When Zoe finally went home, she was on oxygen, had a feeding tube, monitor, medications, therapies and hearing aids. She did beautifully at home and was making great strides. Due to her advanced lung disease however, she contracted the flu and pneumonia and was admitted to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. She fought her hardest but lost her battle on February 16th, 2008.

Yes, Brice's birthday. Zoe's mom, Keira, and I have kept in touch since Zoe's discharge from the hospital as well as her death. I have done my best to support Keira throughout the past year even though I can't even begin to comprehend the grief. Avery and Lily came over to play last summer and there have been several occasions of Zoe showing herself in my life.

I have told Brice about her life and death and he asks about her often. I think the biggest "sign" I have received was that Zoe was in the same room Anna was at Scottish Rite! I just felt Zoe's prescence in Anna's room one day and emailed Keira and sure enough it was the same room! For whatever reason, I am connected to this little girl.

Zoe's life was cut short like so many babies born too early. The Foundation was created by Keira, Richard (Zoe's daddy), and others to help support those who experience the scary world of prematurity. All I ask of you after reading this post, is to check out the website. It is not completed yet so keep checking back. Unfortunately, prematurity has probably affected most people in some way or another. At the same time, it is a very foreign world to a lot of people.

So, the Foundation's purpose is to...

...well, check it out and see for yourself!


Lauren said...

That gave me chills... Hope you are doing great! I'd love to chat sometime soon.

chbaker said...

Oh Jennifer, I just read the Mother's blog. I was boohooing. I can't even imagine the loss of a child. Thank you for sharing and allowing us to be a part of this sweet families life. I am so glad you are blogging!!