Ireyln in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Ireyln in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

When I became pregnant with my daughter in 2007, I knew being diabetic could cause complications for me and my baby. At my six-month appointment, I alerted my doctor to vision problems I had been experiencing. I was immediately admitted to the hospital and found out along with my eyesight, my kidneys and heart were starting to fail.

As a single mother, I was preparing myself for the worst – the possibility that one or both of us would not survive. Doctors closely monitored me and gave me steroid shots to help my baby’s lungs develop quickly. I was in the hospital for a month when I underwent an emergency C-section.

On March, 28, 2008, my daughter Irelyn was born, and she was immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She had a handful of obstacles to overcome, from breathing problems to low birth weight. She spent the next 27 days under the care of the wonderful nurses and physicians at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, gaining weight and strength.

Irelyn is now a healthy four-year-old and has no health complications except that she is allergic to milk. I could not have asked for better doctors and nurses to take care of my baby. It’s a miracle that we both survived and are here to tell the story today.

I never thought I would have all the complications I did. I am thankful for the March of Dimes for their support and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for saving Irelyn’s life and allowing me to have my miracle home with me everyday.

Walking together for stronger, healthier babies

I invite you to join Ireyln and me on Saturday, April 28, at the March for Babies walk at O’Donnell Park in Milwaukee, Wis. Click here for more information or to sign up for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin team.

– Sharlynn Christianson, mother of Ireyln, guest blogger


Surviving against the odds: March of Dimes and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin help premature babies — 2 Comments

  1. Way to raise money for a fabulous cause! Both of my boys were preemies. 2 1/2 lbs and 3.3 lbs. Scary time but both healthy. I am now volunteering for mod. Happy to hear you and your daughter are now doing well! Good luck fundraising!