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Shelby Suzanne’s Story

We were very excited to find out last November that Suzanne was pregnant again with our second child.  Six weeks after finding out, fearing a miscarriage, Suzanne went to her doctor only to find out that there was still a little heart beating inside!  Dr. Chisdak of Big Sky Women's Specialists in Bozeman, Montana informed her that she had a tear in her placenta and she needed to rest for a couple of weeks just to let it heal.

Two weeks later on New Years Eve, Suzanne had gotten home from doing hair for a wedding and was complaining of abdominal pain.  At 2AM on New Years Day we headed to the ER to get her checked out.  The pain had not subsided and she spent the next 3 days in the hospital just to make sure she was taken care of.  Nothing transpired in the hospital and as soon as her pain was under control she was able to come home.

A few weeks later another scary experience brought us back to the ER.  After getting Suzanne checked out they wanted to check for fetal heart tones just to make sure the baby was OK.  After a very long minute or so (and us fearing the worst)...they were able to find a good heart beat still going strong inside.  The next day after an thorough ultrasound (which also told us of another little girl!) and a appointment with Dr. Augustyn (another great doctor at Big Sky Women's Specialists) she was put on official bedrest at home. The tear in the placenta was not healing and this was the best and only remedy to give it a chance to heal.

Two weeks or so went by without any problems.  At around 19 weeks another significant bleeding episode brought us back to the hospital.  After an exam it seemed to be more of the same...everything was the way it was supposed to be at that gestation.  The next day after another appointment with Dr. Chisdak, everything was great with the baby.  Above average size, all internal organs developing as they should, 10 fingers, 10 toes, etc.  Suzanne was healthy too...just that persistent tear in the placenta was acting up again.

At the end of March, Suzanne's mother Heather came to visit and to help us with Annika (our 18 month old daughter).  We went to Suzanne's weekly check-up and ultrasound for her 22 week milestone.  The tear was still there and not getting any better. Dr. Chisdak, Suzanne and I came to the conclusion that she needed to be closer to a hospital that could handle a premature baby since Bozeman can not take babies under 32 weeks.  After a few phone calls to the insurance company and a couple of doctors referrals, Suzanne was going to be going to Sioux Falls to stay at her parents house as well as having their assistance with Annika.

On April 7th, Heather, Suzanne and Annika flew to Sioux Falls leaving me and Maggie (the lazy Pug) to hold down the fort for a while.

The next day after arriving in Sioux Falls, Suzanne (23 weeks along) had a check up with her new doctor Dr. Palmquist of Avera Maternal-Fetal Medicine.  A new ultrasound showed a significant tears in the placenta which was the cause of the continual bleeding and the passing of blood clots.  They determined that she would be admitted to the hospital on April 15th (24 weeks) to be placed on medical bedrest for the duration of the pregnancy...hopefully a long time.

Another bleeding episode 2 days after her appointment with Dr. Palmquist brought her back to the hospital only to be admitted for observations.  Things were not improving and the bleeding was not the way they wanted it so from this point forward she was on bedrest.

On the morning of April 13th I recieved a call from Suzanne telling me that she was having contractions and she feard that today was the day.  After a long distracting day at work I finally contacted Suzanne at around 2:30 PM and she told me it was getting worse and I needed to get to the hospital.  I left a meeting, headed home to grab a backpack and the dog, and jumped in the car for the drive to Sioux Falls.

At 4:21PM, (23 weeks and 5 days) Shelby Suzanne Ullom was welcomed to the world.  She was quickly baptized and rushed to the NICU for immediate care.  She is stabilized and monitored to ensure her continued care and growth.

We are thankful to have our little miracle in this world and can't wait until we can hold her in our arms.  Suzanne and I will continue to update the progress of our little baby in the weeks and months to come.

Please keep Shelby in your thoughts an prayers, she needs all the strength we can give her to be able to continue her fight.


Latest Journal Update

Happy Birthday

Today is a day of mixed emotion for me...Every year the nightmares come back, all the things I am able to push to a place I dont have to see or think about come flooding back.  I will never forget the moment Shelby was born!  I was so overwhelmed!  I was scared she was going to die!  I remember thinking maybe if I dont look it will be easier to say goodbye....I remember holding my Moms hand crying to her "tell them to please help her I cant see her go."  I remember the pastor coming over saying she was able to get her baptized...I remember being so scared to touch her, crying to the doctors and the nurses "thank you for trying".  I remember asking my mom and dad if I can bury my baby girl next to my grandmother so she can watch her if I can't.  I remember telling her it is ok to go, mommy will love you if you cant fight.  All the struggles come back to light...Holding my baby before her first birthday and watching her stop breathing in my arms yet again but this time yelling at her " I have fought to hard to see you go Shelby!  This is not your time!  You cant leave me Shelby"  Then bringing home a baby who was kept alive by technology and in home nursing.  And skip to now....I have a BEAUTIFUL little girl who is 5!!  She can breathe on her own, she talks like other kids, she plays like other kids and most important of all she is one of the other kids!!  Today Shelby is 5!  She has come so far, I am so surprised by her and the things she is able to do everyday!  Shelby has made me the women I am today.  I love that she has taught me so much, I look into her eyes and I see LIFE! I see JOY! and I see the happiest girl on earth who has no idea she started any different that any other little girl.  My sweet Shelby has truly turned the number 13 into the luckiest number on earth!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHELBY!  We love you so much and mommy will never forget what a miracle you truly are! 
8 people hearted this



Sarah McAreavey
By Sarah McAreavey
Happy birthday Shelby!!
Alyssa Girard
Happy birthday, Shelby! I am so touched by your story - you are a remarkable young lady! I wish nothing but the best for you in your future! Have a wonderful day!
Victor Thiemann
By Victor Thiemann
This is an inspiring story Suzanne. I hope Shelby has a wonderful day!
Jennifer Hartwig
By Jenn
Happy happy birthday Shelby! You are amazing!
Courtney Murray
By Courtney
Happy birthday Shelby!! She is an amAzing girl, such a special gift.. Enjoy all the love today!
Barbara Nolan
By Barbara Nolan
Congratulations Dan and Suzanne
Barbara Nolan
By Barbara Nolan
Happy birthday beautiful girl
Rachel Hastings
By Rachel Hastings
You are all such an inspiration! What a happy day. Keep treasuring every moment. You make us all remember how precious our loved ones are. Nothing else matters! xxx
Erica Sehr
By Erica Sehr
Happy 5th Birthday Shelby!
This was a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing with us!