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Tiny Blessings: How My Two Pound Baby Survived.

My son's preemie feet. One day old.
My son’s preemie feet. One day old.

The last thing I remember before going under is saying to the nurse, “Please, save my baby!”

Tears rolled down both of our faces.

When I woke up, I had no idea if my baby was alive or dead. I had no idea if the baby was a boy or girl, in those days we liked to be surprised.

Four feet of snow surrounded our home on January of 1990. Scared and shocked, I woke up, hemorrhaging.

My husband packed up our two sleepy sons, and I managed to follow them to our 4-wheel drive truck on wobbly legs. We drove an hour to the nearest hospital in Colville, WA. Doctors could not stop the hemorrhaging, so they decided to fly me to Spokane instead of making another hour drive.

My tears began as I kissed my family good-bye and was lifted into the helicopter.

Flying terrified me.

It wasn’t the first time in a helicopter, but so far, I had not learned to enjoy time in the air. My body shook. It shook from thoughts of a lost baby, it shook from thinking I may bleed out, it shook from having to leave my babied behind, it shook from my fear of being off the ground and in the air with no control whatsoever.

I did the only thing I knew….prayed.

I prayed my way to Spokane, glancing out the chopper window from time to time. Thankfully, it was a quick ride. Quick and noisy.

Once at Sacred Heart Medical Center, nurses admitted me. After some time, my doctor stopped the bleeding and gave me a sonogram. He told I had placenta previa.

Placenta Previa is a condition where the placenta lies low in the uterus and partially or completely covers the cervix.

My thoughts ran wild: how did this happen? What did I do to cause it? With my other two sons, I was high risk due to preeclampsia. I had a trace of it with this pregnancy and now I had placenta issues? I felt like I could explode.

Doctors explained to me this happens to 1 in 200 women and I was not the cause. I sighed with relief. Then they told me I was to remain at bed rest in the hospital until the baby came. It was January. My due date was April 15. Anxiety quickly replaced that sigh of calm. Who would care for my two boys at home? One was in kindergarten. The other in diapers. I’d never been away from them for more than a day or two.

With prayer and petition, I buckled down and settled in.

Until one day. A month later I hemorrhaged. Again. The doctor came in and said he stopped the bleeding but my baby’s heartbeat was diminishing. I could hear the monitor. The beat had slowed considerably. Mine sped up.

The night before, my husband and five-year-old spent the night. It was early morning, so my husband moved my sleeping son to the room I’d have after surgery.

They whisked me away to the operating room, rushing around and prepping me. At the last minute, a mask covered my nose. It felt claustrophobic. It felt final. That’s when I began to cry, begging the nurse to save my baby.

When I woke up, the first thing I asked was if my baby was alive.

Marshall 1 day old. His head fit in the palm of my hand.
Marshall 1 day old. His head fit in the palm of my hand.

Indeed he was. They brought me a picture of an under-developed baby with a doll-sized oxygen cannula up his nose. When awake and stable, we rolled out, making a pit stop in NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, to meet my son. I lay on the gurney, feeling huge amongst such tiny humans. I could not touch my son. I could not hold him. But knowing he was alive was good enough.

Tears once again flowed as I studied the monitors, tubes, and my son, nestled in his incubator like a freshly hatched chick.

But they were tears of joy because he survived. He survived because of bed rest and wonderful doctors. He survived and thrived due to outstanding medical treatment and nurses. He thrived because God has a plan for him.

My son remained in the hospital for six weeks. I was discharged after one week. Again, I cried. This time tears flowed because my arms were empty. It felt like a loss, but I choose to put my faith in the nurses who were in charge of his life and well-being and his Creator. It worked because today he thrives.

This month this two and a half pound baby is twenty-seven. He is a middle school science teacher. He is married and this summer will have his first child. A boy.

I do believe he survived for a reason. It has been a blessing watching God’s plan and purpose bloom in front of me.

All because my baby survived.

Babies had to make and hold four pounds in order to be discharged.
Babies had to make and hold four pounds in order to be discharged.


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  1. Barbara Teter says:

    Carmen, thank you for sharing your story of courage and hope. Our granddaughter was also in NICU for seven weeks. As hard as it was for me, my heart ached for my daughter. Yet she lived in the same city as the hospital and she could spend the entire day. When they tube-fed Isabella her momma could hold the baby to her breast skin — as warm and soft as the tears that slid down her face. Nine years later little “Bells” is healthy and a math genius. And pretty and energetic. I am so happy your son is living a good life. Can I warn you about becoming a grandparent? Praise the Lord — there are no words to describe it. Best wishes to your and your family!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Barbara, thank you for sharing Bells story! It is hard. We have 7.6 grandchildren. One is due the beginning of July. My parents worked at the hospital I was in, so that was a huge blessing. They do pull through, thankfully.

  2. My first career for 40+ years was in healthcare. Now retired, I have morphed into a creative writer with so many exciting moments to share. Thank you for sharing your story and your gratitude. Not all patients were that kind.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Judith, right out of high school I worked in the emergency room of a major hospital in Spokane, WA. I have been both Nurses-aid and patient. It is amazing who are the kind patients and who are not. I had one head nurse have a baby, she became a more caring nurse after her stay. I am filled with gratitude for all health care workers.

  3. Jennifer Wood says:


    Thank you for sharing! What a ride :O I can relate a bit to your story. I had preemie twins that will turn 29 next month. I remember the feeling of going home empty handed and having to leave them at the hospital; one for three weeks and the other for four and a half weeks. 🙁 They are blessing from God just like your son!

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Jennifer, thank you for sharing a little bit of your story. And twins. That’s incredible. God bless you all. I’m incredibly thankful for my tiny blessing.

  4. Oh, my goodness, Carmen. What a story! Your family has been so blessed, both for your courage and for your answered prayers. Thank you for sharing this touching story.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Thank you, Mary. It was quite the ride. And now, a new baby coming in July. We are thrilled.