The Big Day
“It’s a boy!!!!” On May 18, 2020, my significant other, Bo, and I were so happy to learn that our expectant child would be a little prince. My pregnancy was a shock to us and our family. It had been nearly 10 years since I gave birth to a child(sigh). My daughter, Trinity, is 10 years old going on 25. She is “a whole mood,” but a blessing to say the least.
About halfway into my second trimester, my OBGYN doctor discovered that my son, Casimir (pronounced Caz-Uh-Meer), was intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR). Intrauterine growth restriction, or IUGR, is when a baby in the womb (a fetus) does not grow as expected.
Life In The Womb
During my 21-week ultrasound, he appeared to only be the size of an 18-week fetus. Around this time, I also began experiencing high blood pressure. Because of this, I was referred to a fetal specialist. Eventually, I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and protein in the urine. In addition, I also was diagnosed with placental insufficiency. My placenta was not delivering an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus; thus, it was not fully supporting Casimir’s development. Although I did not experience high blood pressure prior to the pregnancy, I was diagnosed with chronic hypertension instead of gestational hypertension since the condition was discovered before 20 weeks of
Trust Your Mommi Instincts
Due to these serious complications, at 23 weeks pregnant, the fetal specialists gave me two options. One option was to deliver the baby immediately risking a slim chance of fetal survival due to his approximate weight being 350 grams (a little over half a pound). The other option was to remain pregnant which would risk stillbirth. Stillbirth is the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
I was informed that if I remained pregnant, at any point the baby could die in utero. Obviously this was a hard decision as there was no “right” or “wrong” choice and each option had its risks. I made the decision to remain pregnant and hopefully give Casimir a little more time to bake, praying that he would be okay. Over the next few days, my condition worsened. On August 19, 2020, I was admitted to the hospital so he and I could be monitored closely.
On Aug. 27, 2020 at 10:16 AM, I gave birth to my warrior of a baby, Casimir Dru Green aka Cas (pronounced “Caz”). This was 14 weeks prior to my due date of Dec. 3. At the time of birth, he weighed 430 grams (a little less than a pound). Because he was so tiny, I was unable to deliver him naturally and had to undergo a caesarean section (c-section). During my 12-day hospital stay, my family and I worried about our finances and bills.
But, we also had my health and Cas’s health to be concerned about. We definitely experienced a rollercoaster of emotions (and still recovering). Overall, the hospital staff was friendly and made my stay as comfortable as possible. Mentally, it was a lot for us to deal with, but our only option was to persevere. Thankfully, I’ve had plenty support from family and friends. Although I wasn’t able to have more than one visitor throughout my hospital stay (due to COVID-19), Bo was there by my side through it all. I thank God for him.
Casimir New Home
On Aug. 30, I was finally able to go home – but, without my baby boy. Going home without Cas was a little challenging. However, we were extremely thankful that he made it! His new home over the next few months would be the Northside Gwinnett NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). During our first visit to the NICU, the neonatologist made us aware of the following diagnoses and/or risks associated with his condition:
1. Extreme Prematurity
2. Respiratory Distress
3. Possible Sepsis
4. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) – at risk for pulmonary hemorrhage
5. Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
9. Needs Nutritional Support
10. Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation (NEC and SIP)
11. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
12. Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
14. Metabolic Bone Disease/Fractures
15. Cerebral Palsy
16. Mental Retardation
… and the list goes on.As of today, Casimir is still in the NICU. His corrected gestational age is 33 weeks 5 days. He now weighs 1260 grams (2lbs. 12 oz.). He is almost 2 months old. Even more importantly, he hasn’t experienced many of the risks we were made aware of. Originally, he was placed on an oscillator, which is a type of high-frequency ventilator that breathes for him. Within a few weeks, he was upgraded to a conventional ventilator. Unfortunately, he has recently switched back to the oscillator because his heart rate and oxygen saturation began to drop often. He has some good days and some challenging days, but we know it’s all a part of the process. As far as his eating, he receives breast milk through a mouth tube. Once he is able to switch to a less-invasive ventilator, he should be able to begin bottle feeding. Bo and I have had the opportunity to hold him a few times and experience skin-to-skin. We appreciate those moments! It is always a lovely and humbling experience.
Strength I never Knew I Had
Although our journey hasn’t been easy, it has been peaceful. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we are not afraid of
what the future may hold. We are beyond thankful for our baby boy’s progress and his fighter spirit. He continues to
defy the odds and fight for his life as we pray by his bedside. In fact, we are so BIG on prayer that earlier this year, Bo
and I launched a family-owned clothing brand titled Did You Pray? Our online store can befound at
As Casimir’s parents, we appreciate and understand the doctors’ report, but ultimately we will continue to trust the
Recent Photo of Casimir (10/27/20 – now currently 3lbs)
ShanayeNovember 16, 2020 8:38 pm
Keeping baby Caz in our prayers! Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Shanaye JohnsonNovember 20, 2020 10:19 am
Prayers for baby Caz ! May he continue to grow and get stronger!