A premature blessing

"My son's name is Marshall Lee. He was born at 28 weeks on February 7th, 2017. He was 2 lbs, 11 oz and 15.5 inches long. He is almost 1 years old, and he has quintupled his birth weight, but his gestational age is about 9 months old. 

When Marshall was born, he suffered from seizures which we believe we're caused by his premature birth. (Marshall was born prematurely because I had pregnancy induced hypertension which lead to eclampsia, paired with hyperemesis gravidarum). Premature birth, along with neonatal seizures have been associated with long term disabilities. This is why I contacted Rainbows and started meeting with them as soon as Marshall was released from the NICU. Marshall was in the NICU for 11 weeks. When he was released, the latest EEG showed that Marshall's seizures had finally come to a stop. We have met with a neurologist, and we have another EEG scheduled to ensure that he is still seizure free. 

My son has a delay in development due to prematurity. He is not yet crawling, and his fine motor skills need tuning. Angela Pulaski is our Rainbow’ therapist, and she has worked with Marshall and I since he came home. Marshall's head was flat on one side, almost to the point of needing a helmet. (Preemies are known for having odd shaped heads). His head/neck movement was very limited. Angela showed me some tricks and lateral stretching to allow more movement, along with trying to, well, make his head less flat! We had the same problem with his legs, as he couldn't even bring his toes close enough to his hands to touch them. He was like an over stretched rubber band about to break! She helped me, help him, find his own toes! Getting Marshall to bottle feed was the longest, most difficult process, and when he came home he had barely perfected it. Angela took a video of him eating to show her team so they could come up with solutions. He corrected the problem himself in time, but Rainbows was and is always quick and willing to help me find the answers I need. I am a young mom, and Marshall is my first born. Rainbows has helped me so much I honestly don't know if I could have helped Marshall the way he needed/needs without their help. Having a preemie has been overwhelming, even now that he's almost a year old! 

Marshall has been receiving Rainbows services since June 2017 and has made so much progress! From gaining head control, rolling, bottle feeding, head shape, now to pivoting and gaining interest in crawling. This is all thanks to Rainbows! I would recommend Rainbows to anyone and everyone who qualifies for their services! The experience for me as a whole has been personal, absolutely made to fit my schedule, informative, and overall just a wonderful tool in aiding my son and his need. Our therapist, Angela, has been a godsend and I love working with her. Marshall loves her, too! 

As I said before, I am a young mom. Having a preemie was a terrifying experience and I was afraid of the challenge of figuring out what he might need and the difficulties he might face. Being able to sit down with someone who specializes in the development of children and talk about exactly what Marshall is doing and getting most every answer I need is just so comforting to me. I am so thankful for qualifying for the program. No matter what it is, Rainbows seems to always have a solution! 

Marshall is a very happy little boy. He greets every new face with the biggest, cheesiest grin. His favorite word is "dadadada", but never fails to cry out "momoma" when he's placed into his crib at bedtime! Despite my traumatic pregnancy and his traumatic birth, he is such a happy baby, and he's just the apple of my eye. 

Brandon, my husband, and I are both students. I work full time and he works part time. Together, we work hard to support our little family. Marshall has a few guardian angels who watch over him, including an older sibling and my parents. As a family, our downtime is spent at home together, usually cooking, family jam sessions, or just being lazy. Most everything we do is revolved around family."

-Jamison White, Marshall's mother and a Rainbows' parent