CHRISTUS NICU Team ‘Goes the Extra Mile’ for Baby Hosanna and Family

The Collins girls holding baby Hosanna, their new sister.

Abby Collins’ days were filled from morning until night and beyond, thanks to three active girls – Chevy, 7, Autumn, 6, and little Ellie, 3.

So, when Abby and her husband of nine years, Victor, decided to have a fourth, they believed this baby would complete their family. They grabbed each other’s hands and strapped in for another nine-month adventure.

They had no idea how bumpy the ride would become.

After having her third daughter, Abby was diagnosed with endometriosis – a condition known to make conceiving difficult. “We found it hard getting pregnant the fourth time. So, after a long time trying, we finally decided we would give the process two more months.”

But when the two extra months of “trying” came and went without success, an ablation was scheduled. Abby said she decided it was time to believe her five-member family was meant to be complete.

Two days before she was scheduled to undergo the procedure, she took one final pregnancy test. And, as it turned out, God had other plans. The pregnancy test was positive! Disappointment turned to excitement for all.

Expect the Unexpected

Abby’s pregnancy wasn’t smooth sailing from the start. Not once, but twice, she experienced bleeding that required short hospital stays. But both times, she was sent home to stay on bed rest.

At 30 weeks, on August 11, a third event led to a prognosis that was a bit more concerning.

“It was 110 degrees outside, and I picked up Ellie to put her into her car seat,” Abby recalled. “I felt like I peed myself. When my daughter noticed, I told her it was probably sweat. But I wasn’t so sure. I got home, ran to the bathroom, and knew my water had broken. And there was blood.”

Victor, who worked close by, got the call and headed home. When he got there, he grabbed the bags and got Abby and the girls into the car.

Close, but Not Close Enough

Abby expected to deliver at a hospital in San Antonio that was 10 minutes from her home. But she was warned, after her second hospitalization during her pregnancy, that if anything out of the ordinary happened when it was time to deliver, she would have to travel a half hour further away to CHRISTUS Children’s with its Level 4 NICU.

But despite their best-laid plans, there just wasn’t time to get there. Abby felt the baby coming and they knew they couldn’t make it to CHRISTUS Children’s.

“When we got to the hospital, I really felt like I needed to push,” she said.

Baby Hosanna was ready to make an appearance right then and there.

When Hosanna was born, she wasn’t breathing. She was put on oxygen and transferred to the CHRISTUS Children’s NICU, weighing only 3 pounds, 9 ounces. When Abby was discharged two days later, she and Victor were reunited with Hosanna.

A Feisty Little Girl

Baby Hosanna is happy and healthy

“I finally got to hold my baby when I got to CHRISTUS Children’s. They told me right away that she was a ‘feisty little girl,’ Abby said. “The nurses told me she was trying to pull out her feeding tube and IVs. But they said that meant she was strong. They said she was a rock star.”

The Collins family’s faith is deeply rooted in God. They prayed for Hosanna all the time. “One of the therapists, Lori, said it best,” Abby recalled. “She said, ‘preemies don’t usually progress this fast, but God has his hands on Hosanna.’”

And the “expert care” provided by the wonderful nurses and doctors at CHRISTUS Children’s helped plenty, as well, Abby said.

“The NICU nurses were amazing. I truly can’t say enough great things about them. They were so compassionate, kind, and very supportive.”

Abby and Victor Collins drove to CHRISTUS Children’s and spent five hours with Hosanna almost every day she was in the NICU.

After a few days, baby Hosanna was breathing completely on her own without the need for oxygen provided by a nasal cannula. In fact, by day 15, Hosanna only had the NG feeding tube.

Finally, the day came on September 18 when Hosanna was discharged at last.

Giving Thanks

Baby Hosanna and her parents after she was discharged from the hospital

When Abby has a few moments to herself, she thinks back to Hosanna’s days in the NICU at CHRISTUS Children’s. It wasn’t an easy time but the care her baby received and the kindness she and her husband felt will be the memories she holds onto.

“Our neonatologist, Dr. Maria Pierce, is the best doctor I’ve ever met. She was so kind and so patient. She was always there to support me, and she took care of Hosanna from day one. She was there from day one to day 39,” Abby said.

“Dr. Pierce explained everything so I could understand. She always answered my calls. And when I couldn’t get to the hospital she would call and check in on us. She would tell me everything that was happening that day with Hosanna. I will never forget the kindness she showed us through our whole journey.”

Jennifer Martinez was Hosanna’s primary nurse, but Abby said she truly took care of both mom and baby.

“Every day, when I had to leave to go home to my girls, Jennifer understood how my ‘mom heart’ hurt. She understood how I was stretching myself so thin. She called me and gave me updates on Hosanna. She went the extra mile every day to support us as a family.”

Visit our blog and read about more families and children who are forever grateful for the care they received at CHRISTUS Children’s.

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