Kayla Jones remembers Aug. 21, 2013, all too clearly when, at 27 weeks into her pregnancy, she went in for a routine ultrasound and ultimately landed in the labor and delivery unit at Norton Hospital.
“It was a whirlwind,” Kayla said. “I was shocked, worried about my daughter and in tears, but I knew these were the measures that had to be taken.”
On that morning, Kayla had gone to see her OB/GYN, Christopher Watkins, M.D., at Norton Women’s Specialists, for an ultrasound. After a few minutes into the examination, the sonographer paused. It turned out that Kayla’s baby wasn’t receiving the proper nutrients she needed to survive due to a condition called placenta calcification.
Placenta calcification refers to calcium deposits that appear in the placenta. The tiny deposits can cause parts of the placenta to harden and die or block the mother’s blood vessels.
Kayla also had preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that increases blood pressure, among other complications. She would need to deliver her baby that same day.
Upon arrival at Norton Hospital, which is connected by pedway to Norton Children’s Hospital, Kayla and her family met with a team of doctors as well as a nurse from the Norton Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), to prepare her for an emergency cesarean section.
At 4 p.m. on Aug. 21, Ma’Kenzie Mae Bobbitt was born weighing just 1 pound, 9 ounces.
“We were so lucky and blessed that Ma’Kenzie came out breathing on her own,” Kayla said. “No ventilator ever needed!”
Ma’Kenzie was transported to Norton Children’s Hospital while Kayla recovered from surgery. Unfortunately, her recovery was not easy, as she experienced extreme anxiety from being away from her daughter.
“I called across the street to Norton Children’s Hospital every couple hours, every day, just so I could see how Kenzie was doing,” Kayla said. “I even made a journal with the nurses’ names and regular status updates they reported to me so I could feel like I was more a part of the process.
“I felt the love by everyone caring for Kenzie. I loved each and every NICU nurse and the rest of the staff.” The nurses trained Kayla in Kangaroo Care, a method of holding a baby that involves skin-to-skin contact, which was a great way for her to establish a bond with her daughter. In addition, Ma’Kenzie’s parents took part in parenting classes provided on the first floor of the hospital, as well as scrapbooking classes.
“I became so attached to being a mom,” Kayla said. Ma’Kenzie was in the hospital for a total of three months. Kayla describes the now 1-year-old Ma’Kenzie as a “miracle child.”
“It was a long, rough road and we couldn’t have gotten through it without the great care we received from Norton Children’s Hospital,” Kayla said. “I feel very blessed we are both alive and very healthy today. No matter what you go through in life, pray. God will lead you the rest of the way.”
NICU in St. Matthews completes vast renovation
Norton Suburban Hospital, future home of Norton Women’s and Norton Children’s Hospital, recently welcomed the first babies into its newly renovated neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), located on the fourth floor.
The Norton Women’s and Norton Children’s Hospital NICU cares for approximately 650 infants each year, is fully equipped with the latest technology and staffed by compassionate and well-trained professionals. In addition, Norton Women’s and Norton Children’s Hospital practices family-centered care in a relaxed, comfortable and friendly environment. Staff concentrates on building partnerships between families and medical professionals, who understand they are caring for a special member of the family and strive to include parents every step of the way.
Features of the NICU
Physical features of the NICU include:
- A total of 40 beds – 24 in a private room setting
- In-unit shower facilities for parent/family use
- Beds for critical and intensive care newborns and for infants who need specialized care but no longer require intensive care
- Four Ronald McDonald House sleep rooms, a special place for families to go for rest, emotional support and educational resources
Thanks to support from the Children’s Hospital Foundation, the NICU is home to advanced technology, physicians, nurses and other caregivers with expertise in giving newborns the best possible start in life. Some babies spend a few days in the NICU, while others require specialized care for weeks or even months. Babies cared for in the NICU include those with:
Risks and issues related to prematurity
- Complications with breathing
- Heart conditions
- Birth defects
- Conditions requiring surgery
For more information or to schedule a tour of the labor and delivery unit and the NICU at Norton Women’s and Norton Children’s Hospital, call (502) 629-1234.