Meet the Williams Family
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In the spring of 2014, we were thrilled to discover we would be welcoming a new member to our family, and our son Tommy, was soon to become a big brother. I had a great pregnancy, and actually was a week overdue and had to be induced. We weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary with his delivery and arrival. On January 14, 2015, we went to the hospital for my induction at 41 weeks. However, when I was ready to push, the baby’s vitals started to weaken, and my doctor determined it was best to proceed with an emergency c-section. Our son, Peter was born weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces, but instead of going to the newborn nursery, he was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Unity Point-Finley. The delivery was extremely difficult, and he was being monitored. One of the nurses had noticed that his coloring seemed a bit dusky, and they wanted to keep a closer eye on him.
Just a few hours later, Chris came to my room with the news that his oxygen levels had dropped, and the nurses had to manually bag him to get him to start breathing again. It was frightening as it seemed to be happening every 10 to 20 minutes. I was wheeled down to the NICU, and found Peter hooked up to a bunch of monitors. The pediatrician suspected that his breathing episodes could be connected to seizure activity, and wanted him transferred to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. Chris was able to follow the ambulance while I had to remain behind to recover from surgery.
Upon arrival, Peter was immediately connected to an EEG, and it was confirmed that he was having seizures. They gave him phenobarbital to stop the seizures, and he remained in the NICU for observation. That was one of the longest weeks of our lives. The nurses and doctors were amazing, but seeing your baby hooked up to monitors and equipment while so tiny and helpless was extremely difficult. Before his discharge from the NICU, Peter had an MRI to see if his seizures had any lasting effects. They found two spots on his brain at that time, but were unsure if they were brain damage from lack of oxygen, or residual effects from the seizures. Either way, the doctors couldn’t be sure without a follow up MRI at a later date.
At approximately 6 months of age, we began noticing that Peter wasn’t progressing as he should or meeting all of his milestones. While we knew that every baby develops at their own pace and timeline, we were reassured that all babies were different. But at 9 months when we wasn’t yet sitting up, we started to worry. We repeated the MRI when Peter turned one, and the doctors confirmed that those same spots were still there. He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and we began therapy sessions to help his delays- speech, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Peter is now 2 years old, and the happiest boy around. He cruises around in his gait trainer, and loves playing ball and dancing. While he does have significant physical limitations at this time, we know that with hard work and determination we will all help him succeed. We are absolutely humbled and honored to be serving as the 2017 Signature Chefs Auction Ambassador Family, and to be giving back to an organization whose mission is inspired by all babies, those born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. The research conducted via the March of Dimes and the work of so many compassionate medical professionals is a wonderful partnership. Without the research done by the March of Dimes to help babies like Peter fight, our story may have had a very different ending. We encourage each of you to consider getting involved in this important mission, and look forward to sharing our story. We want our story to provide hope to other families and individuals, to encourage support for this wonderful cause.
The Williams Family- Kirsten, Chris, Tommy, and Peter
Donate to our fundraising efforts HERE