Updated: December 07, 2021 06:23 PM
Created: December 07, 2021 06:00 PM
Megan Schneider's due date was Dec. 9. But at just 28 weeks along, her water broke during a trip to the Twin Cities.
"They expected or were hoping for me to keep Emmy in there until 34 weeks was the goal," Schneider said. "She made it a few days, so I got the medications that were critical for her development."
She and husband Zach Schneider welcomed their first daughter, Emerson Joann, on Sept. 22.
"The first couple days, the first 4-5 days that we were here, it felt like every hour was life and death," Zach said. "We didn't really know what the future held."
She needed CPR when she was born and was intubated right away. She was 2 lbs, 12 oz. Ten weeks later, she's grown to 6 lbs, 14 oz. She is off oxygen and breathing on her own.
"Every tube that's gone away, it's so exciting to see," Megan said.
"We're just kind of clearing whatever next hurdle is in front of us right now," Zach said.
The biggest hurdle right now is that Emmy can't swallow or suck. A tube from her nose to her stomach is feeding her. Megan and Emmy are still at Children's Minnesota and expect to be there through early January.
"She's like a big puzzle, and we're getting piece after piece, but we just haven't gotten enough quite yet," Megan said.
There have been lots of trips back and forth between Duluth and the Twin Cities. The Schneiders learned last week that they will receive a Northern Lights Foundation grant. They don't have exact plans for the money yet, but they know it will help. They didn't expect Megan to be off work for so long, Emmy will likely need more therapy and treatment throughout her childhood, and they'll have to get diapers and clothes and all the normal things a growing child needs.
"Walking down the street, if you were to meet Megan or I next week, you might not know about what we're going through and what's happening kind of behind the scenes," Zach said. "The Northern Lights Foundation seeks out those people."
Most Northern Lights Foundation grants are $2,500, and even a small amount of money allows parents to focus on what matters.
"No matter what the outcome is for Emmy that our family is prepared to love her and to help her in whatever way we can," Zach said. "So that's what we hang onto every day as we wait for some of the answers."
"People say like, 'Congrats, you're pregnant! Are you having a boy or girl? We hope for a healthy baby.' And you know, a situation like this puts it in perspective, like you just want a baby that's here and a baby that you can love and a baby that you can help thrive," Megan said.
You can be a part of helping ease the stress on families like the Schneiders by donating to the Northern Lights Foundation now.
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