The Leis Family
Ana, 8 months, Bel Air, MD
"Ana Christina was born on January 19, 2006, 6 weeks earlier than expected. (Her actual due date was March 4.) The night before her delivery, I began experiencing bleeding, so my husband and I took off for the nearest hospital. Shortly after arriving, the doctor insisted that I stay overnight to be monitored. At 6:00 AM the next morning, the doctor announced that he would have to deliver the baby by cesarean, as her heart rate was very irregular.
Ana arrived at 7:25 AM. She was beautiful: a tiny little bundle with fluffy dark brown hair. She had difficulty breathing, was and was immediately whisked away by the nurses. I was unable to hold or see her again until the next morning. When I finally saw her again, she was covered in tubes and inside an oxygen tank. It was a horrible sight!
Due to breathing and feeding complications, Ana had to be sent to the NICU at the University of Maryland. She was there for two weeks until her lungs could function properly and she was able to eat without a feeding tube. It was the most trying experience of my life, but we got through it."
-- Maria Christina, mom of Ana