Katie Lorance, recruiter for CHRISTUS Health, started noticing swelling and shortness of breath early in her third trimester of pregnancy. Noticing all the red flags, her obstetrician, D’Andra Bingham, M.D., advised she go to CHRISTUS St. Michael’s Obstetric Emergency Department. On Dec. 1, 2020, Katie was admitted to CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System with Pre-eclampsia.
“Although it was early, the staff began preparing for Lawson’s delivery because my blood pressure wouldn’t stabilize and I had high protein urine levels,” shared Katie. “My body had become unsafe for both me and Lawson. The Labor & Delivery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) teams all came and shared what to expect. It was very comforting to have a game plan.”
On Dec. 3, 2020, at 10:34 a.m., Katie and husband, Colton, welcomed Lawson James Lorance, weighing only 3 lbs. and 11 oz.
“Initially, I didn’t get to hold my baby like you always see with standard deliveries,” said Katie. “Witnessing your baby fight to breathe is so difficult. And, leaving your baby day after day is so hard. But, fortunately the care team at CHRISTUS St. Michael stepped in and made the hard so much easier. They made it more bearable to leave Lawson behind in the NICU because we knew he was in great hands and just a short drive away. It was like leaving him with family… they became our family.”
Lawson struggled with episodes of apnea of prematurity, where breathing stops for 20 or more seconds, as well as tachypnea, which causes abnormally rapid breathing. Before he could be discharged to his loving parents, Lawson had to be able to maintain a steady oxygen level and overcome other challenges related to prematurity.
“I had to learn to let go and give all my fear and worry to God. I remember after one really hard day, I went home and prayed,” Katie said. “The next day we received a ‘blessing bag’ from a local NICU family support organization, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. The following day, we found out Lawson was going to be able to come home… God’s signs are everywhere if you look for them.”
After 37 days in the CHRISTUS St. Michael NICU, Lawson “graduated,” weighing 5 lbs. and 11 oz., with great celebration and shared joy.
“The care team guided us every step of the way, housekeeping prayed with us…everyone here made such a huge impact,” said Katie. “I am even more passionate about my role at CHRISTUS St. Michael as a recruiter. Knowing the impact this team has on our community and that I am helping place these amazing people where God has called them to serve is rewarding. We are so grateful to Dr. Keeney, the nurses, respiratory therapists, speech therapists…the entire team at CHRISTUS St. Michael for the love and care they provided us.”