Little baby Piper was due the end of December. “She was to be my New Year’s Eve baby”, said Piper’s mom. But no one told Piper that. On the day of the baby shower, Piper was born: 9 weeks early; a tiny 2 pounds, 4 ounces, and14 inches long. And, she needed help.
She had trouble sucking, swallowing, and breathing, and needed time to develop these skills. With the help of fluids and nutrients through an IV and breastmilk through a NG tube, Piper grew. She had some setbacks, but “my feisty and beautiful girl took each one head on and always with a smile.”
Piper was born with an obstruction in her bowel, developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), and some of her intestines removed, leaving her with an ostomy bag. Thanks to IV and tube feeding, she was strong and recovered quickly. At almost 3 months, Piper’s doctors felt it was safe to reconnect her intestines and remove the ostomy bag. Piper had grown to 6 pounds, 2 ounces. “We could not believe she had gain so much weight.”
At 4½ months, Piper had a G-tube placed in her stomach, and that allowed her to go home to the joy of her family! It will take some time for Piper to catch up developmentally and to overcome her many adversities. But with the G-tube, she’s home where she belongs and is able to get her mother’s milk through the tube. Her team is working to transition Piper from slow dripped feedings to more meal-like feedings.
“It amazes me that someone so small can be so tough and so happy. She is my inspiration,” said her mom. Thanks to IV and tube feeding, Piper is growing and developing.
May 2021 Update: Piper is continuing to grow and thrive! She’s now getting tube feeding two times a day and will hopefully graduate to just overnight feeds.
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