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.


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New Life

We are so excited to say that we are home and Shelby is still without her trach!  The ENT told us that everything looks great and didn't need to laser anything!  YAY  we went up to the PICU and stayed for 24 hours of observation to make sure she can keep her sats up and be able to breathe on her own throughout the night.  We came home and all has been good!  She has been telling us that she is a big girl and the sound of her laugh has been making her laugh even harder :)  But not everything has been perfect...Shelby has been traumatized by being in the hospital again, she was refusing to take a bath and wouldn't let us touch her in fear that something was gong to hurt her.  I have to say that is the hardest thing about having a child that has a chronic illness, they know what is going on and want nothing to do with it!  We took Shelby to the Science Museum today and it was really weird we only brought a small bag with a few things in it for her and the diapers took up most of the room!  If you have ever traveled with us you know we normally take a small ER with us everywhere we go!!  Honestly we could help anyone in almost all situations with the stuff we carry around!  Including a full time staff of nursing that also comes with us everywhere!  Life is going change for us and we are only hoping for good things!  I don't know how to explain it but for us we live life everyday as of it is our last day, we grieve for our child still and we also celebrate milestones as if it were never going to happen!  Its a tough life we live but it is also an amazing one!  I want to say thank you everyone for all of your prayers!  Without all of your continued support I am not sure we would have made it as far as we have in these past 4 years!!  Thank you again and God Bless to everyone!
9 people hearted this



Rachel Hastings
By Rachel Hastings
Suzanne your courage and love bring tears to my eyes. I am so lucky to know you and your family. You are an inspiration and I can't wait to see Shelby growing up - and maybe catching up a little as the years go by. Love you! xx
Deirdre Quinn
By Deirdre
Oh yay!! Sending big snowy(yes it snowed again!) love from Montana. I love you all and miss you. Thank you for your updates. Hang in there. ❤️😋
julie hochstatter
By Hochstatter crew
Loved reading this! Love you guys!!!
kim regensburger
By kim regensburger
Praise God!! Wishing you all continued physical and emotional healing!!

Love you!!
Maria Trueblood
By Maria Trueblood
I am so excited for Shelby and happy she is handling the transition to the naked neck club well!