We have MOVED!

We are so excited to announce that we have a new website. Please visit Dallaspreemieparents.org for all of our updated information. Over the next couple of weeks we will be working on transitioning this page back to a blog. We will be looking for guest contributors to share their story and/or write on a topic near and dear to their heart. If you would like to contribute or have something you want to see a blog post on please email us at Jacqueline@dallaspreemieparents.org.
Thank you for traveling this journey with us. We will see you on the other side. :)

Introducing Pictures for Preemies Event!


We are excited to announce our first annual fundraiser, Pictures for Preemies! We have 6 awesome photographers who have donated sessions for us. This is open to ANYONE in the DFW area! You do not have to have a preemie to participate. All donates for sessions will go directly to Dallas Preemie Parents. We hope you will join us in making this a FUN day and help some families in the Dallas area.

Here's how it works:

1. Look through our photographers and the locations they have chosen. All photographers have donated their time for a 30 minute mini session. These are for smaller groups, including families, children, siblings. These mini sessions do not include newborn sessions, bridal sessions and very large groups. In addition to the sessions donated, our photographers have also donated 5 edited images for you. Some photographers have discounted prints or other digital images. Check with your photographer to see if there is any additional discounts with this promotion.

2. Pick your photographer and time.

Curry Photography
Sessions will be at Prairie Creek Park in Richardson


Holly Natale Photography
Sessions will be held at White Rock Lake in Dallas


Julian Evans Photography
Sessions will be held in an outdoor location in Prosper...beautiful, natural field using warm, evening light.

Tentative session times
5:30pm ** BOOKED **
6:00pm ** BOOKED **
6:30pm ** BOOKED **

 Sessions would include 5 digital images via digital download and 25% off prints.

Kylie C Photography

Sessions will be held at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano


Paisley Layne Photography

Sessions will be held at the Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake

5:30pm ** BOOKED **

Jacqueline Fox Photography

Sessions will be held at Shops at Legacy in Plano

10:10am ** BOOKED **

3. Email us at Jacqueline@dallaspreemieparents.org to confirm your photographer and time. Once we receive your request we will temporarily hold the session for the time you requested.  We will send you an email with the link to our PayPal for payment of the session. Your session time of your choice will be held for 24 hours. If payment is not made in 24 hours the time will open back up and you will need to resubmit your request. I will update this page frequently to show what sessions are on hold and which ones are booked.

4. Once payment is received we will send you an email for confirmation. We will CC your photographer on the email. You will have an opportunity to communicate directly with your photographer to plan your session.

5. Show up for your session and HAVE FUN!!!


Where does the money go?
Since we are a community organization, in the process of getting our Non Profit Status, all donations go to help with supplies for our events, donations for our support programs, assistance for organizational development and advocacy for our families.

What if my photographer is all booked up?
We encourage you to look at our other photographers who have donated sessions. We have some talented photographers who we are working with.

I emailed you and haven't received a response.
Please be patient with us. We have multiple emails coming in daily. All sessions will be given out per time of request. If you want to book, don't hesitate to email us. The 24 hour clock will start once we receive your request and send you an email for payment.

What do I wear?
You will have an opportunity to talk to your photographer via email before your session. They might have some great ideas on what to wear or you can always check online.

What if I have more questions?
Feel free to email us at Jacqueline@dallaspreemieparents.org

If you would like do donate to Dallas Preemie Parents, please donate through our PayPal account.

Under Construction....


Our website is getting an update. We will be under construction for a little bit. In the mean time check us out on our Facebook page, or email us at Jacqueline@dallaspreemieparents.org.

Father's Day Event 2013

We LOVE our NICU/Preemie Dads!

Photo: NICU dad helping with bath time.
Copyright Dallas Preemie Parents

Our Mother's Day event was such a hit and we couldn't have done it without our awesome members who participated. We had 15 moms between Antepartum and the NICU who were adopted and we supplied 22 additional, smaller, gifts to the moms who did not participate in the event. Overall it was a great success. THANK YOU!!!

With Mother's Day behind us we are looking forward to celebrating the dads! Often times dads are overlooked but yet they play a huge roll while mom is in Antepartum and during the NICU stay. This Father's Day we want to give these dads some fun stuff just for them!

We are looking for volunteers in 3 areas, please see below. If you would like to participate in all areas, great! If you would like to participate in one or two areas, great! Just let us know. Once you have committed to help please let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to help. We are counting on you to make this event the best it can be.

For Father's Day this year we will be giving the dads in the NICU and in Antepartum at Plano Presby a Dad Tool Kit. This will be a wooden tool kit (see below) filled with "tools" just for dads! We would like to provide each dad with snacks, books/magazines, gift cards, along with a handmade card.

If you would like to donate products from your company or would like to provide lunch for the dads on Father's Day, please email Jacqueline at dallaspreemieparents@yahoo.com.

Volunteer opportunities:

1: The Tool Kit.

We will be using this tool kit, found on homedepot.com. We hope this can be a family building event where you can get moms, dads and kids involved. If you sign up to build the tool kit we ask that you purchase it off of homedepot.com and either have it shipped to your home or to the nearest store.  Unfortunately, they do not sell these in the store. Build the tool kit at home and leave it the natural wood color. Drop off for the made tool kits will be Saturday, June 1st at 1:30-3pm at Baker Bros in Plano (6009 W Parker Rd #125 Plano). If you are unable to drop off at that time let us know and we can work out other arrangements.

2: Items for the tool kits. We will be collecting the following items to add to the dad tool kits. Drop off will be same as above, Saturday, June 1st at 1:30-3pm at Baker Bros in Plano (6009 W Parker Rd #125 Plano).

Wish list:
Hand sanitizer
Individual packages of snacks
Nuts/trail mix
Individual size Gatorade, Power Aid, Water, Soda
Magazines: Time, GQ, Sports Illustrated, etc.
Gift cards to various restaurants, gas stations, stores.
Sports tickets, memorabilia
Any "Happy Father's Day" or "I love daddy" items, including frames and books
Personal note from former NICU dad with advice. (Please do not release any contact information)

3: Stuffing Party! We will gather all the items and meet to stuff the tool kits. The date, time and place is TBD. I'm anticipating the date to be Sunday, June 9th in the afternoon or a weekday evening the week before Father's Day. This will depend on how many people sign up for this.

We are excited to be donating to these dads on Father's Day. If you would like to help with drop off, let me know and I will release that information once we get with the NICU about times. Let us know if you have any questions!!

Adopt a NICU and Antepartum Mom for Mother's Day, 2013


We are excited to announce that we have teamed with Plano Presby to support their current NICU and Antepartum moms for Mother's Day. In order to do this we are going to need some help!
If you are interested in helping, here is how it works!

1. Message or email us and let us know you want to adopt a mom! You will fall into one of 3 categories depending on when you contact us. You will be apart of the group that receives forms from the 4/27 deadline, or in the group that receives the 5/6 deadline or the group that is collecting gifts for the moms that come in after the 5/6 deadline. See below for more info. You are able to adopt more than one mom!

2. Once forms come in (4/27) we will assign out adopted moms. The second round will be sent out the week of Mother's Day. This will be for later admits. We will also be collecting gifts for moms who come in after our 5/6 deadline.

3. Once you receive the form with your adopted mom's favorite things you can go shopping for her. Like the Angel Tree.

4. Wait for notification of the date, time and location to turn in your gift.

5. Gifts will be given to the moms on Mother's Day.

We are looking for graduate moms (any hospital), grandmothers, friends or family who prematurity and/or high risk pregnancy has affected. Once we have our graduate mom list we will start to assign current moms. The current NICU or Antepartum moms will fill out a form, listing all of their "favorites". We are asking graduate moms to purchase a gift or items their adopted mom has requested. There are some rules we will need to follow. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please let us know!

  Event Rules:

1. All gifts/items submitted will be reviewed before given to the moms. Please do not wrap anything in gift wrap. Items in a basket or store bought gift baskets are accepted.

2. Please do not provide any homemade baked goods, food or drinks. All food and drink items need to be store bought and properly sealed.

3. Please refrain from providing religious material. Due to the lack of personal information about the moms we are supporting (due to HIPPA) we are requesting that no religious material be given out.

4. Please refrain from giving your personal information in any letters or cards. You are welcome to write your mom a note of support but please do not provide your personal information.

5. Items/gifts will be collected at a time and date that is to be determined. Once you have committed to adopting a mom please fulfill that commitment or notify us asap if you are no longer able to help.

6. There is no price minimum or maximum on this event. Please spend what you are comfortable spending. A little gift and a large gift are equally appreciated!

If you wish to contribute in another way, we are accepting donations through our PayPal account. All donations received between now and Mother's Day will be used for this event. Please click on the Donate button below.

*** please note this link is currently not working. We expect it to be up by the end of the day. Please check back later. Thank you.

We are very excited to be supporting local NICU and Antepartum moms! We hope that you will join us in wishing them a Happy Mother's Day!

Parents of Preemies Day ~ 2013

Parents of Preemies Day was this past Sunday and we were happy to host an event at Texas Health Presbyterian of Plano, for current NICU families. We were grateful to our 6 former NICU parents who helped out with this event and so excited to meet the families that attended. We are looking forward to the next Parents of Preemies Day in 2014. 

Guest Blogger: Emily Grover!

 All of our preemie's have amazing stories but this one starts in a country half way around the world. Thank you Emily for sharing something so personal with us! If you are interested in sharing your story or have a special topic you want to blog about, email us!
Emily's Story:
All of us who have been through the NICU experience have a lot in common, though very few folks have been through something quite like us. Soon after our wedding I had already started looking at adoption brochures, because despite my doctor saying everything should be fine, somehow I knew that we would have major problems conceiving and something had always been wrong with my body. Between a long overdue diagnosis of PCOS and multiple miscarriages I turned out to be right. I remember looking at an adoption brochure from a country that demanded the couple be married 7 years before they could adopt a child. I remember thinking how I could never wait that long.

It turns out we would wait almost exactly that long. After years of financial struggles, failed fertility treatments, and being unable to afford adoption and concerned about some aspects of that option… I had lost hope. I had a dream of a tiny baby that I got to name myself and raise from the first day of life, and that dream seemed to fade with each passing day and I became cynical. But then out of nowhere an opportunity to do surrogacy overseas in India presented itself. After years of emailing a clinic in India without telling us, my wonderful father in law (who had been fighting cancer at the time) told us that we were accepted into the program and he would gift us some of the money to pay for it. My husband and his family are Indian, and I had traveled there before our engagement. It seemed to be the answer to our prayers.

I finished first in my class in night school at the police academy, demoted myself from my day job so that I could better focus on building my family, and got on a plane to India all in one 72 hour period. On the flight to London I passed out from exhaustion. I arrived in India , and three weeks later I departed after a wild trip. We had extracted and fertilized four perfect embryos and implanted them into a healthy surrogate who was eager to help us, and we would lift her family out of poverty in return. But as usual, my eggs did not work out and our first attempt was a failure. I was absolutely crushed and cried for hours until my nose bled. A few weeks later my brother told me they were having twins, and I broke down again wishing I could be happy for them but so sad and jealous that I could do nothing but cry. I decided try again, determined to work enough overtime to save money for a second attempt. However we could not afford to travel overseas again, so we decided it was finally time to try an egg donor. Months later we tried again with my husband’s frozen backup sample and a local Indian egg donor, and we were told that not only was our 2nd attempt successful, but we were having twins!

I no longer cared about these babies not being genetically related to me or that they were carried in someone else’s body. They were real and they were mine and that was all that mattered. I used the pregnancy to become the most prepared mother ever, and by the end of the second trimester I had read every book, stocked the house and nursery with every necessary and unnecessary baby item ever created, and joined my local Mothers of Multiples club to soak up all their wisdom. It was illegal to reveal gender in India , so I prepared and picked names for two boys or two girls or one of each. With twins I knew to prepare for them to be born around 35-37 weeks and was counting on possibly missing the birth and at least two weeks in the NICU. I was ready…or so I thought.

A week before my baby shower I got an email in broken English that one of my babies was “leaking liquor.” I had to wait until that night due to the time difference to call the doctor. Labor had begun so early delivery was imminent. I didn’t panic.

You see, by an amazing coincidence I was extremely prepared for what was to come. My brother’s twins had been premature 5 months previously, born at 28 weeks. And we were at the end of our 27th week! I had followed their NICU journey closely, and watched them emerge on the other side with two beautiful healthy daughters. I wasn’t all that scared, and I had a good idea of what to expect even if there would be a lot of differences between India and the USA . At my brother’s urging, I took a week to pack and prepare because he assured me “until you can hold them there is nothing you can do the doctors and nurses aren’t already doing, so use this time to make sure you are fully ready to bring them home.” I did. I made a rush trip down to see my brother and nieces, and I was given bags of NICU medical equipment they had procured and critical advice of what to expect and how to react to life in the NICU. I’d even connected with two other couples who had done surrogacy at our clinic in India and had premature babies, and they emailed me loads of advice. We decided I would depart the day after our baby shower, and knew that booking a return ticket would be silly because from now on the babies were in charge of what happened next.

48 hours after the 1st email I received a 2nd email telling me I had a son and daughter, along with two pictures. I gazed at those two lone pictures of my teeny babies constantly that week, until I finally made it to their bedside with carefully packed suitcases full of everything we would need for the next two and half months. My husband did not have enough leave time at his new job to join me until it was time to bring them home, so I was utterly alone.

Once I saw their tiny faces and the nurses surrounded me as I wept with joy, I realized I wasn’t truly alone. I had stared at those pictures for hours on end. I knew they would be small and red and wrinkly. But somehow I was still shocked, and sudden fear coursed through me. I had dreamed of a tiny little baby to love and raise. Never did I imagine them to be this tiny, and I certainly hadn’t imagined two of them! Kangaroo care was allowed the hour after I arrived. I cried after the first major apnea episode I witnessed, even though I knew to expect it and that it was normal for their development and it would be okay. I cried a little at the second one. By the third I was stimulating them to breathe like a pro and had my fear under control…most of the time.

Amazingly my babies were among the healthiest in the tiny one room NICU in that small dusty town, despite being only 2 lbs and 2 ½ lbs. They were only on CPAP 2 days and oxygen a few days more. By the time I arrived they were off oxygen and spent the rest of the time as “feeders and growers.” I lived in the NICU or the hotel across the street for a month and half, and between some broken English and playing charades I was able communicate with the health care team. At 4lbs and 4 ½pounds my babies were discharged at 34 weeks, and my mother-in-law had arrived to help me take them to the big city of Delhi where we had family to help us navigate the bureaucracy and get the paperwork we would need to bring them home as U.S. citizens. My husband was delayed by an emergency appendectomy back in the states!

All had seemed well, but my daughter had some bottle feeding issues and breathed a little too fast, but both their PDA’s were too small to be significant and their GERD was under control. I was worried that she slept so much more than my son. Our new neonatologist in Delhi wasn’t happy with her breathing either, and suspected a viral infection. She was readmitted to the NICU. That is when things started to fall apart. She wound up being admitted twice in Delhi due to severe respiratory distress, and that NICU experience was not good despite being one of the best and largest hospitals in the country. It was more like an American hospital, but it lacked the technology and the available specialists to fully diagnose and treat her properly. Little was communicated or disclosed, and I and my husband (who had just arrived there) were patronized and placated. What no one had figured out was that she had very severe GERD, but with exclusively respiratory symptoms. She had never thrown up, but had constantly been refluxing half digested milk into her lungs. She was also aspirating during feeds, but we had not been trained to prevent or recognize it, and I had been told not to use the thickener I had brought for that purpose. No wonder she breathed so hard, and it made her so very tired!

But that problem would not be solved for two more months because something much worse was about to happen. After her second discharge I got them on a plane as quickly as I could despite worries about her fast breathing, because I knew I had to get her to an American hospital. I was right, because if what happened next had occurred in India I don’t know if she would have survived. For the first time in this whole journey, I was about to be truly terrified and was going to face the worst moment of my life.

On the flight home she caught a cold from some other passenger. It couldn’t be avoided despite all our precautions. A simple rhinovirus most children get several times by the age of 2. But in a preemie it can be deadly and turn into pneumonia rapidly, as it did to my tiny 6lb baby girl. After a 40 hour journey with no sleep I finally arrived home, and I was joyful but also becoming delirious. I was put to bed after everyone assuring me she was fine and I was being paranoid, though deep down I knew she seemed just too tired and a little listless. But she ate her full bottle every two hours, her breathing was more regular, and her lungs sounded perfectly clear….so reluctantly I took some rest. I was woken up by my mother telling me she wouldn’t wake up for her bottle. I realized she was unconscious and not breathing. I called 911 and started CPR. I happen to be a 911 Dispatcher and a CPR instructor. I did it perfectly and somehow maintained calm, like I was outside myself watching it all happen. But I knew even in the moment how CPR often isn’t enough, and in 12 years I had never had a known life save at work. So as much as I didn’t want it to be, deep down I thought it was the end. My mother stood tearfully in the corner holding my infant son, watching me try to save her while my husband waved down the ambulance outside. But minutes later the paramedics laid her on the bed and told me she had a pulse. Then I thought maybe this wasn’t the end after all.

She was transported to one of the top NICU’s in the Southwest. The first hours were grim, but then the most talented doctor I’ve ever seen threw a hail Mary treatment at her and it began to work. For a week she clung to life on a an advanced type ventilator the didn’t have in India . There were brief moments thoughts crept in about organ donation, funerals, and life with one twin. But then things took a turn for the better thanks to the amazing care she was given, and the support I received from the hospital and friends and family I was now surrounded by was beyond belief. The specialists and advanced technology and testing helped to finally give her the care she needed. She was diagnosed with RAD/BPD and given breathing treatments and CPT as well as diuretics and steroids and other medications. When her discharge a month later at Thanksgiving was called off due to sudden respiratory distress requiring her to be put back on oxygen after she had been off a week, we finally solved the puzzle. She was scheduled for surgery for a Nissen Fundoplication and G-tube. Surgery was successful, but a week later she threw us a curve ball as usual and tore her stitches. Her second surgery was a success and she was to finally come home for good Christmas day! Once again she decided to throw us for a loop and she had a more severe RAD episode, but the day after Christmas she finally came home in a rare Texas ice storm. I’ll never forget how they insisted I must be wheeled out in a wheelchair with her in my arms, and for once I felt like I got to experience motherhood the traditional way!

5 months in the NICU. 3 Hospitals. 2 countries. But she is finally home and back with her brother. The care schedule is intense, but over time you find yourself getting used to it more quickly than you imagine. I’ve had to quit my job and find one for less pay with better hours in order to care for her, and am still fighting battles to get nursing care covered by insurance or state programs. There a breathing treatments, medications, occasional oxygen, and a parade of specialists. The feeding tube is my best friend and worst enemy at times. It scares a lot of folks when they first see it, but one huge smile from my daughter and they forget all about it and reach out to hold her. My son wanted some medical attention too and needs a minor surgery and a cranial corrective helmet.

I won’t say it’s been easy, and there are times I lose perspective and feel a little sorry for myself that things aren’t the way they are “supposed to be.” But every time I feel a little bit cheated I take a step back, then call someone for some help so that I can take a break and maybe a short nap. That is all I ever need to remember that despite how rough the road has been at times, I feel like the luckiest mother in the world.

"Mom Approved" Doctors!

We are often asked for recommendations for a good doctor who has worked with preemies or children with medical needs. While there are many pediatricians in the area this website gives parents "mom approved" doctors. Take some time and search Dallas Child's website for a list of "mom approved" doctors in the area. Make sure you leave your recommendation so other preemie parents know which doctors are great with our preemies!

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS SICK OR HURT, little else matters. Parents will stop at nothing to help their child reach 100 percent again. Most parents aren't M.D.'s, so in times of trouble, they rely heavily on their doctors. In an area as large as ours, finding a doctor you can trust and connect with can be a daunting task. Finding a pediatrician your child can trust and connect with? Even tougher. The staff at DFWChild realize this, and that's why we've launched Mom-Approved Doctors. We asked our experts - local moms - to reach out to us and share their favorite physicians. These moms are convinced that their doctor is special, and they want you to know why.

WHAT IS A MOM-APPROVED DOCTOR? A Mom-Approved Doctor is a doctor who has earned the trust, admiration and respect of parents. Local parents reached out to our magazine, recommended these physicians and told us why. Whether it's bedside manner, flexibility or professional acumen, moms love these doctors and want to recommend them to other moms. All of these doctors were in good standing with the Texas Medical Board at press time.

WHAT MAKES MOM-APPROVED DOCTORS DIFFERENT? Each year various publications come out with lists ranking area doctors. We think Mom-Approved Doctors are special because they've been nominated by the consumer - moms like you. Moms who love their kids and care about their health. These doctors didn't make it onto our list by purchasing space in the magazine, and their inclusion doesn't imply an endorsement by DFWChild. This is a "parent-to-parent" referral list. It has been a labor of love for us.

IS THE LIST EXHAUSTIVE? The list is by no means exhaustive. There are likely many outstanding doctors who aren't on the list, because our readers didn't pass on a recommendation. If you have a local doctor you love, tell us.

HOW DO I RECOMMEND A DOCTOR? To recommend a Mom-Approved Doctor, click here and complete the Mom-Approved Doctors survey. We ask that you leave comments telling us why you chose this particular doctor. Was it their empathy? Their listening and communication skills? Moms want to know why you think this doctor is special. Comments we publish will be edited for grammar and clarity.

RSV Season 2012

RSV season is just around the corner for families here in the DFW area which means many families are going on lock down. Below are some websites that offer great information about Synagis shots, qualifications for the shots, RSV prevention tips and RSV symptoms. As we preemie parents know, advocacy is key to our child's health.

We also need your help in signing the petition to help increase coverage for preemies to qualify for synagis shots! Sign the petition here.

RSV Resources:

Hand To Hold- RSV 101- What Every NICU Parent Needs to Know
Hand To Hold- Tips to Stay Well During RSV Season
Synagis shot info

The Big Thank You Project

We are excited to be thanking some of the most important people in our preemie's lives... Their NICU nurses! September 15th is NICU Nurse Appriciation Day. We are looking for parents in the DFW area who would like to participate in a group thank you for their NICU. This is not limited to parents, if you are a grandparent, neighbor, friend of a preemie family and would like to say thanks to the nurses feel free to participate!

If you would like to participate please email me the NICU your child was in, child(ren)'s name(s), date of birth, date of death or discharge date, a picture of your child(ren) in the NICU and current picture and a personalized note of thanks! We will make posters for each NICU with these pictures of their grads and plan on meeting up at the NICU to deliver the posters and some sweet treats!

Check out our facebook page for more details!