Something to Celebrate: Beau’s 3 Month Journey Culminates in NICU Graduation

newborn Beau with dads hand for scale

After 13 years together, Ashley and Kyle McCormick decided it was time to add a precious bundle of joy to their family. Ashley has lived with Type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years, so the couple knew their journey to parenthood could be filled with complications. In fact, as soon as Ashley’s pregnancy was confirmed, she was sent directly to Dr. Emma Rodriguez, an expert on the Maternal Fetal Medicine team at CHRISTUS Children's in San Antonio.

“The first trimester went very smoothly,” Ashley recalled. “My blood sugar was looking good. And we were able to find out the gender very early! During an ultrasound, the technician asked if we wanted to know the gender. Kyle hesitated, but I could not wait! The technician said, ‘I think it’s a girl!’ Just a few minutes later, the baby flipped, and she laughed and said, ‘I lied to you – it’s definitely a boy!’”

Within minutes of the gender reveal, Ashley knew her son’s name would be Beau, in honor of her grandfather who died from COVID-19 complications just two weeks before Ashley and Kyle’s wedding in 2020.

“My grandfather helped raise me,” Ashley said. “He was one of the most important men in my life, so his loss hit me especially hard. Beau was actually his nickname, but he preferred it to his real name. We asked my grandmother’s blessing to name our son Beau, and, of course, she was so happy about our decision.”

The Appointment That Changed Everything

The first warning sign came in June 2023 when regular testing would reveal that baby Beau was measuring small. Kyle was working in Colorado at the time, and, while there was nothing he or Ashley could do except wait, the concerns about Beau’s progression prompted Kyle’s early return home.

“I clearly remember the morning of Wednesday, July 26,” Ashley said. “We had a follow-up appointment at 9 a.m. to check Beau’s measurements. But before they could check on him, they diagnosed me with preeclampsia and told me to go straight to the hospital.”

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related condition marked by elevated blood pressure usually occurring after 20 weeks. If left untreated, it can lead to complications for both mother and baby, necessitating careful monitoring and management to ensure their well-being.

Ashley was rushed to the obstetrics emergency room at CHRISTUS Children’s, where the team confirmed the preeclampsia diagnosis and admitted her.

“I kept thinking I would be sent home in a few hours, and then one of the physicians explained I couldn’t leave the hospital until after I had given birth,” Ashley said. “I was like, ‘No way, I’m just 28 weeks pregnant!’ And, he said it could be three hours, three days or three weeks, but I would be in the hospital until the baby arrived.”

Over the next few days, baby Beau would keep the care team on their toes.

“I was so swollen, and Beau was still small, so it was difficult to keep a monitor on him,” Ashley explained. “They taped multiple monitors, tried bands, everything you could think of. Finally, a nurse who was also pregnant just sat next to me and held the monitor on him as he moved.”

A Cesarean section was scheduled for the morning of Monday, July 31. Beau had passed all of his tests, and the care team felt his early arrival was the safest option for both mother and baby.

“This decision was made on Friday afternoon, so we quickly notified our immediate family, and my mom went to our house to pick up clean clothes for us,” Ashley recalled. “Later that day, the doctor came back and told us there was a change of plans. The maternal fetal medicine team was worried that Beau was growth-restricted in utero and struggling, so they wanted to deliver him the following morning. That definitely wasn’t the turn of events we were expecting, but we had an entourage of family members visit us before the c-section, and their love definitely helped comfort us.”

Ashley and Kyle also received a visit from Dr. Maria Pierce, System Director of Neonatology at CHRISTUS Children’s.

“We knew that they had given me steroids to help with Beau’s lung development, but beyond that, Kyle and I knew nothing about the NICU or what challenges a premature baby faced,” Ashley explained. “And that’s why I’m so grateful to Dr. Pierce for that first meeting. She spent nearly an hour explaining to us what the NICU looks like and what she was going to do when Beau was delivered. She said she’d be there in the operating room with us and ready to whisk Beau directly to the NICU. I was already a nervous wreck about the surgery, but she made me feel so at ease because I knew that Beau would be in good hands.”

The morning of Saturday, July 29, 14 people gathered in the waiting room at CHRISTUS Children’s in anticipation of baby Beau’s arrival. The c-section went smoothly, and he weighed in at 2 pounds, 2 ounces. He was born prematurely at just 28 weeks gestation.

“I heard a little cry, and then Beau and Kyle were off to the NICU,” Ashley said. “For a moment, I felt completely alone, even in a room full of people. Then, my anesthesiologist started a conversation with me, and we ended up talking about espresso machines. I don’t remember much about the conversation, but I do remember how peaceful it made me feel. It was the first time in days where I had a moment to take a breath, and I’ll be forever grateful for how the team cared for me in that moment.”

Ashley was able to see her son for the first time around three o’clock Sunday morning.

“Every NICU baby has a visitor sign-in sheet,” Ashley said. “By the time I was able to visit Beau, his sheet was more than half full of sign-ins! It was such a sweet reminder of how much love and support our family had in that moment. And even in my medication haze, I immediately realized that he wasn’t intubated and knew that meant his lungs were doing good. He was a fighter from the very beginning.”

Home Away From Home

In the next few weeks, Ashley and Kyle would visit Beau in the NICU daily.

“I drove to the hospital so much that my GPS saved the address as my office,” Ashley laughed. “Initially, the NICU felt like a very cold place to be, in the sense that no one wants to be there. The families don’t want their babies to be sick, and the staff wish they didn’t have sick babies to care for. But in the end, I realized that the NICU was a wonderful place, filled with resilience and love.”

Early on, Ashley was concerned that Beau would also struggle with blood sugar management, but his body was able to regulate sugar levels within his first 24 hours. Beau would overcome other challenges, including exhaustion, slow weight gain and the possibility of a hole in his heart.

“All of those concerns turned out to be typical premature issues that he eventually outgrew,” Ashley said. “But, there were definitely times when my head would be spinning. For the first few weeks, we had the same nurses, Jennifer and Madison, for several days. We formed a quick friendship, and they became people I could lean on and confide in. Jennifer even nicknamed him Bo-Bo, and it stuck! A lot of the staff would greet us by saying, ‘Bo-Bo’s having a great day!’”

Soon, Dr. Pierce had given Beau a tentative discharge date of Oct. 17. On Oct. 16, Ashley and Kyle arrived at the NICU to visit Beau and begin packing up their belongings.

“As we were walking in, I joked with Kyle that I was going to ask Dr. Pierce if we could go home today, a day early,” Ashley said. “It was Kyle’s stepmom’s birthday, and I thought it would be fun to surprise her by walking in the house with Beau.”

Dr. Pierce’s response – Ashley and Kyle were ready, and, most importantly, so was Beau.

“It actually surprised me how hard it was to leave the NICU that day,” Ashley said. “During the 79 days that he spent in the NICU, Beau had been so well cared for, and the team there had become like family. I will be forever grateful for each and every person who helped Beau get strong and cared for Kyle and I along the way.”

That afternoon, the family arrived at Kyle’s stepmom’s birthday party wearing custom shirts that said Mom of NICU Grad, Dad of NICU Grad and NICU Grad. His stepmom had her back to them when they walked in and got the best birthday surprise when she turned around and spotted the baby stroller.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our NICU chapter,” Ashley said. “Beau came home on oxygen, which is an adjustment, but he’s doing great! And we are just so thankful to be back home and in our own space. Having a baby in the NICU is like riding a rollercoaster and hanging on for dear life, and the CHRISTUS team was such a blessing throughout the ride. Every person we encountered was amazing and completely dedicated to helping my baby grow and thrive.”

To learn more about the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at CHRISTUS Children’s, please visit CHRISTUS Children’s | NICU (

Welcome Home Beau Sign

Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Also known as juvenile diabetes because of its tendency to onset and be diagnosed in children and young adults, Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

How Can Type 1 Diabetes Impact Pregnancy?

  • Increased chance of miscarriage
  • Heightened risk of developing preeclampsia, a serious condition characterized by high blood pressure and organ damage
  • The presence of insulin resistance during pregnancy
  • Greater chance of higher-than-normal birth weight

Treatment Options:

  • Use of a continuous glucose monitor
  • Changing insulin needs
  • Early and increased prenatal care

Early consultation with a health care provider is crucial to a successful pregnancy for mothers with Type 1 diabetes. The CHRISTUS Maternal Fetal Medicine team can help mothers minimize risks to themselves and their babies to achieve a healthy pregnancy.

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