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My mom was hospitalized for 3 weeks before I was born by emergency c-section at 26 weeks gestation weighing only 1 pound 12.6 ounce. I wasn’t able to snuggle with my mom at first and she was very sad to leave the hospital without me. During my NICU journey, I grew, I was taken off oxygen only to be intubated later, I got an infection and my lungs collapsed. Slowly my support was lowered and I finally reached a breathing milestone- nasal cannula. I stayed in the NICU 225 days and I love being home with my family.

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Baby Bjorn fought his way into this world 7 weeks early at 4lbs 4oz to a mom (Bianka) who begged and prayed for 15 years to hold a baby all her own. During the unexpected and difficult pregnancy, Bjorn was diagnosed with gastroschisis (intestines, liver, stomach born outside the body). He was a warrior from the moment he took his first breath during his C-section delivery. He endured respiratory therapy, a full repair where his intestines were put back into his body, regulating his own body temp, feeding tubes and speech therapy for oral support, physical and occupational therapy to support his growth and development, NEC (bacterial invasion causing cellular death and necrosis of the colon and intestine), brachial plexus injury causing herbs palsy, surgery to get a g-button, and so many infections due to having a compromised immune system. 

Through all of this Bjorn has always been such a happy, fun loving, spirited baby boy. His smile quite literally touches your soul and can light up any room. Bjorn’s parents were so very excited to bring him home! Most recently Bjorn is starting to crawl and although he still has a strong oral aversion he recently found his love for marshmallows. He is so sassy and such a loving little person with his own happy personality now.

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I was born early at 29 weeks weighing only 3 pounds 5 ounces. I've been in the NICU for more than 3 months and have faced some challenges. My heart developed differently and my blood doesn't pump in the right directions so I might need oxygen for awhile. My renal system is susceptible to urinary track infections and my last infection set me back a long way. I'm recovered now and focused on getting stronger and learning how to eat from a bottle. I'm growing fast and weigh almost 8 pounds now! I might need surgery on my heart in a few months but in the meantime- I hope to go home with my family soon. I'll be trialing off my oxygen soon and cannot wait to get home where I'll be surrounded by the love of my whole family all the time.

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