Kansas City Star: After car crash, baby born early to couple who tried for years to get pregnant
Jevon and Julie McBride spent more than 10 years trying to get pregnant. When the Air Force couple found out on Mother’s Day 2016 that they were having a baby, it was the happiest time of their life. But in October they were hit head-on in a car crash. They all survived the crash, including baby Juliana, who was born three months premature. As 2017 begins, the family is preparing to leave the hospital with their baby daughter.
The lights of the oncoming car drew closer, swerving across the Warrensburg roadway and into their lane.
“What is this guy doing?” an alarmed Air Force Staff Sgt. Jevon McBride said.
The lights bore down. All that Jevon and his pregnant wife, Julie, had wanted to do that night, just after 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 7, was get a bite to eat at Wendy’s.
Stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Jevon, 32, had just finished working out at the gym. Julie had just finished a shift at the base day care.
At age 30, she was six months pregnant, and she and Jevon were going through one of the happiest periods of their lives.
But now this. The lights were upon them.
“Oh my God, baby, hold on!” Jevon shouted.
Metal twisted. Glass and airbags exploded. Jevon’s right femur and ankle shattered as the car’s front end crumpled. Julie could feel warm liquid pooling around her. She feared it was blood.
“Our father, who art in heaven,” she prayed. “... Save my baby. I don’t care if anything happens to me. Save my baby and Jevon.”
Two ambulances sped the McBrides to a Kansas City hospital. Jevon’s right femur had cracked in two places. His ankle was in shards. Julie had a concussion. The fluid she’d felt was not blood; her water had broken.
The baby still had a heartbeat, an ultrasound showed. But their story had forever changed: The baby, with a due date of Jan. 16, needed to come out by emergency cesarean section.
Her new birthday: Oct. 8.
Last week, the couple held Juliana, now weighing more than 5 pounds, at the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy. Born at 1 pound, 11 ounces, tiny enough for Jevon to cup her entire body in his hands, she is thriving and should go home as early as next week or not long thereafter.
Juliana was transferred to Children’s Mercy in December when it was determined that she needed neurosurgery. Doctors placed a shunt to relieve blood that was pooling on the left side of her brain.
Children’s Mercy physician Brian Carter, a professor of pediatric neonatology, said Juliana definitely suffered loss of oxygen and damage to her brain from the bleed. But the infant brain is quite resilient, with a remarkable ability in some cases to bypass damage and build new connections. Juliana could be impaired in some of her movements and coordination. She could have speech or hearing problems, on top of some sight problems, that are common among premature infants.
She will need therapies of different sorts. But she is healthy, Carter said, and it is far too early to predict the ways she can progress.
What they do know:
“We’re a family,” Jevon said.
“The next chapter is coming,” Julie said. “I’m excited for the future. It’s a been a ride — high moments, low moments, but beautiful all the same. Every day, I go and see Juliana in the hospital. I always tell Jevon I’m so excited to see her today.”
In the Children’s Mercy NICU, Jevon stood near Julie and Juliana.
“This is amazing,” he said. “From day one, I couldn’t thank my wife enough for giving me this gift. I watch in amazement when she starts breastfeeding. I was in tears for what she was providing for our child.”
He spoke of the first bath, of holding his daughter, of being there for Julie and Juliana to make sure everything is OK.
“It’s been a journey,” he said. “We’ve been around the world together — seen so many things together. Now this.”
He raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Now I’m ready for number two,” he said.
Julie, with her daughter in her arms, giggled and smiled.
Read the full story via The Kansas City Star..
Learn more about the the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children's Mercy.