Grey’s Birthday Story

Hello, we are the Powell’s (Ryan and Allie…and Gus – woof).  We have been so overwhelmed by all the prayers, support, and interest in Grey’s story that we wanted to start the “Pray for Grey” website to share her progress, our prayers, and our praises. We have an army of prayer warriors supporting us and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We believe in the power of prayer and the faithfulness of our loving, all powerful God. We take comfort knowing that He is good all of the time and trust that His ways are higher than our ways even when we don’t understand. We are comforted because we know God has a plan and a purpose for all and we have hope in a glorious everlasting life through Jesus Christ.

Here is Grey’s birthday story…

On Monday, 6/16, Allie had a follow up ultrasound that gave our doctor concern regarding our baby’s size. We were 25 weeks pregnant and Grey was only measuring in the 3rd percentile for growth. We had a follow up visit with a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist the next morning who reaffirmed those concerns. After further studies they determined that our baby was receiving restricted blood flow from the placenta through the umbilical cord causing Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). They determined that Allie needed to be admitted to the hospital for monitoring until delivery. We were told that we would have to deliver prematurely once blood flow stopped and growth was no longer feasible in utero. Our goal was to make it to week 28 where viability and complication risks are greatly reduced. Allie was given steroids to help with the baby’s lung development. Three days later Allie was placed on a 24 hour magnesium drip as a precautionary measure to assist with baby’s neuro development. This is a miserable medication to be on, often accompanied with flu like symptoms of nausea/vomiting, weakness, and acid reflux. Allie experienced all of the above. As the day progressed into night these symptoms worsened, particularly the acid reflux. There was a pain in her chest that continued to increase and eventually radiated down toward her upper abdomen. By midnight this epigastric pain was unbearable, making it very hard to breath. We had a very attentive nurse who was a great patient advocate. By this time she ran a few labs and determined that Allie’s platelets had dropped significantly since earlier that morning. Further lab results showed that her liver enzymes were through the roof. The doctor came in around 1:30am and diagnosed Allie with HELLP syndrome. She told us that Allie was going into liver failure and the only cure was to deliver the baby. Moments later nurses were rushing into our room to prepare for an emergency C-section. Needless to say this was the most intense and fearful moment of our lives, with Allie and Grey’s life in danger and the prospective risks involved with delivering a one pound 25 week old baby. The medical staff did an excellent job and continues to take great care of us. Grey Delphine Powell was born at 2:20am on Friday 6/20/14. She weighed in at a whopping 450 gm (0.9 lbs.) and measured 10 ¾ inches. She was intubated immediately and wrapped in plastic to retain body temperature. They made a quick stop at the bedside just long enough for Allie to reach out her finger and have Grey latch on. Then they were off to the NICU. Allie was placed on bed rest for the next day and a half before she was able to see her daughter again. Grey’s initial intubation went smoothly and she accepted the ventilator well – something that can be challenging for preemies of this size. Most of the medical staff we talk to say this is one of the smallest if not the smallest preemie they have ever cared for. She’s a little princess warrior and, with God’s blessing, has put up an excellent fight thus far. We know we have a long bumpy road ahead. Please keep Grey in your prayers!

Thank you and God bless!

Ryan and Allie

17 thoughts on “Grey’s Birthday Story

  1. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your
    content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  2. Hi!
    What a sweet little girl Grey is! Our daughter, Greta, was born at 30 weeks (in June 2013) due to me being diagnosed with HELLP syndrome as well. She wasn’t quite as tiny as Grey – she was 2lbs 9oz. Always interested in others HELLP and NICU experiences. Thanks for sharing! They grow fast when they get home eh?! We often can’t believe how tiny she really was.

    Kelli

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  4. I just read Kacia’s post about her grey blanket that the Lord had prepared specifically for your baby Grey! And now, here I am, sobbing as I read through your birth story & your time in the NICU. My heart breaks for the extreme range of emotions you both must be feeling. I delivered my little girl at 35 weeks with absolutely no warning or indications that I would go into pre-term labor. My water broke & 14 hours later, my girl was born. My midwife is still a little stumped about why it happened, besides the fact that the umbilical cord completely broke in her hands as she was preparing for my husband to cut it. It was brittle & deteriorating. Which meant that it must have been doing that inside the womb. It was completely God that kickstarted my labor & essentially forced me to the hospital to deliver my daughter before she went any longer with no “life-line”… We spent 5 weeks in the NICU an hour & a half away from our home & it was the longest, most challenging time of our lives. My husband went with her the night she was born, but I wasn’t able to be discharged until the following morning. I am so sure of how you felt that night Allie as you weren’t able to see your daughter or hold her or do all the cuddling & brand new mama things. It makes that first holding SO very special. I now have a 14 month old little girl who is chunky & happy. We’ve still got challenges ahead of us with her health, but He is so faithful. And He truly did carry her & me throughout this past year. I am praying that Grey continues to make progress & you are able to hold her as often as you like (because believe me, that day is amazing when they say you can hold her anytime you want! we couldn’t keep our hands off Emma after that point 🙂 )I would love to send you & Ryan a little care package. Just some things I took comfort having with me when I spent hours by her bedside! My email is ekedwards4@gmail.com ! Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to move through Grey’s (& your) testimonies. She is going to do HUGE things for the kingdom of Christ & I can’t wait to see them happen!

  5. I work with Kim at kohls and just wanted to let you all know the three of you are in our prayers, God is faithful and we have a lot of prayer warriors standing in for Baby Grey. She is absolutely beautiful

  6. I stumbled onto your blog through instagram and your story has resonated with me! We too had a baby girl born at 25 weeks and she weighed 1 lb 1 oz. She had severe IUGR as well discovered through an ultrasound. My doctors diagnosed me with severe preeclampsia and I was put on bed rest and given steroids for two days before she was delivered. I’ve loved reading your posts because they bring back so many memories of the struggles that our little girl went through as well as all of the miracles that came because of modern medicine and many prayers of our family and friends. Our little girl is now 3 years old and is so feisty and stubborn! She is pretty awesome!

    Your daughter is beautiful and I loved seeing the video of you holding her. What a special blessing that is for you and for her to feel you close. I know that you holding her will help her to grow and be strong! May the Lord bless you and your little one through this journey!

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with you Ryan, Allie and baby Grey. You have lots of support from your Baxter friends. Stay strong!!! We are all thinking positive thoughts.

  8. I’m on Facebook tonight and I see this story of ur beautiful baby grey .. Not that long ago I was in ur position .. I feel for u.. I to has a baby early like u.. The difference between u and I is that I preeclampsia . I was on bed rest 24 hours in the hospital . I was woke up in the middle of the night with blood pressure of 274/174 .. The only thing I could do is deliver .. My kidneys were shutting down and the baby was in fetal distress. I was 30 weeks.. So a little bit farther then u.. My baby was 2lb .. I just want u to know how wonderful it is to have that baby on ur chest for the first time . As I read ur story I remember all those special times.. I don’t know what hospital ur in but the way they take care of those babies in such a blessing .. I pray that grey will show those doctors how strong she is and how she will be home and doing what every other baby will be doing.. My prayers and thoughts r with u and ur family as I pray for baby grays miracle .. God bless molly Moore Nevenhoven..

  9. I watched your video today of holding your precious baby girl for the first time. There is nothing like that feeling. I don’t know you but it made me cry. That is a precious video. ( I am Jennie Roeseners mom, Jennie is a friend of Becca) we serve an awesome God and He has blessed you with this tiny bundle of love, cherish each moment and when she gets older share this video and memories with her. God bless you and your family. I am praying for you all.

  10. Prayers to you all. So glad you all had such a great day today. The video of Allie with the baby was awesome.

  11. Prayers for your little one. I delivered twin girls at 25weeks. They are now 18mths and thriving. Be strong and God Bless.

  12. Ryan & Allie – I do not know you but my friend sent me your page and thought my daughter’s story could you some hope. And I know when we were in the situation that you guys are currently in, it was nice to talk to someone that has gone through it. My daughter was born at 27 weeks 1 lb. So she was measuring really small. I had severe IUGR. We spent 4 months in the NICU. The NICU is a long road but friends and family can help you through it all. Being there for your child is the best thing possible right now. My daughter had to have surgeries after the NICU, but now she is our “miracle” 16-month old daughter!! Prayers to you and your family as you go through this tough time. I guess the only advice I can give you is, ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ask. Our nurses became part of our family and still are to this day. They will sit down and explain anything to you!

    Sarah

  13. Ryan and Allie – wow! Many people cannot fully understand what you are going through, but I 100% do – I had an emergency c-section for HELLP last August. Thankfully, we were much further along, so I can’t fully comprehend the fear and anxiety you must be facing as you think about the daunting road ahead of you and sweet baby Grey. I know how traumatic it was for our family and we will be on our knees praying for each one of you in the coming days. May the Lord bring you comfort, peace, and healing during this time!
    Amy (Handy) Slennett TU’08

  14. Allie and Ryan – we are praying for you and Grey. Our God is an awesome God! You are wrapped in His loving arms.

  15. Ryan, my thoughts and prayers are with you, Allie and precious baby Grey. She is beautiful and such a special gift from our loving Father. Put it all in God’s hands and those amazing medical folks. Be strong for “your girls”. If there is anything you can hand over to my team work wise PLEASE just let me know. Take care and God bless.
    Susan Frcka

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