A routine ultrasound turned into an unexpected shock and little miracle for Fenton resident Sarah Roach and her husband Matt after pregnancy.
Roach delivered that little miracle, named Dexter, after just 28 weeks into her pregnancy and his birth tale recently took third place in Beaumont Health System’s ‘Tell Your Beaumont Baby Birth Story’ contest for Mother’s Day.
“It’s absolutely amazing. He is a miracle,” Roach, 28, said about her firstborn son Dexter, who is almost 2-years-old. “Every smile is priceless.”
Roach went to see her family doctor for a regular check-up 28 weeks into her pregnancy when doctors discovered her baby didn’t have enough fluid. Officials rushed her to in Royal Oak. Several teams of high-risk doctors determined she would have to deliver the baby within 48 hours by C-Section.
At this point, Roach had been unable to reach her husband, until she frantically reached a neighbor, who ran over to tell him the situation. Matt Roach had been remodeling their new home in Fenton and scrambled to gather the couple’s things and then had to drive through Dream Cruise traffic to try and join his wife at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the baby’s health declined quickly. Sarah Roach received a steroid shot to help the baby’s lungs develop. She had to lie completely still while on oxygen and couldn’t see the monitors keeping track of the baby’s heartbeat.
“Every time the monitors alarmed, nurse and doctors ran into the room,” she said. “Every time the baby’s heart stopped, mine broke a little more.”
Doctors decided they couldn’t wait any longer to deliver the baby and just as staff wheeled Roach into the operating room, her husband had finally made it through the heavy traffic and had arrived at the hospital.
At 9:52 p.m. August 19, 2010, one-pound four-ounce Dexter entered the world.
He measured just short of a foot long, but still had 10 fingers and 10 ten toes. His eyes were still fused shut. Staff rushed to immediately put him on life support. After four months and four days of “endless tears, sleepless nights and loads of prayers,” Dexter finally came home two days before Christmas.
“I didn’t even know anything was wrong,” Roach said. “If I wouldn’t have had an appointment that day, he wouldn’t be here.”
Happy and healthy
Just more than a year and half later, Dexter is happy and healthy. He weighs 20 pounds and is more than two feet tall, still very small for his age, which is one of the few things that are evident from his early birth. Roach said his breathing has normalized after early troubles, and he must wear glasses to keep his left eye from crossing. If the glasses keep corrected that problem, he won’t need any surgery.
“I tear up. I still can’t believe it,” Roach said. “It’s amazing how much he has grown. He’s a champ. He’s the toughest little boy I know.”
Sarah Roach heard about Beaumont’s contest from her mother and decided to enter to share her story. She had to limit her essay to 500 words, though she said she originally wrote about 5,000.
“We just wanted to have the story heard,” Roach said.
Beaumont conducted voting from the 22 entries by Facebook likes and Twitter re-tweets. The grand prize winners Grace and Adam Burns of Rochester Hills took home $500 in prizes, while runners-ups received Beaumont gift shop gift certificates, Target gift cards, Integrative Medicine massage certificates, a free Parenting Program class and children's books.
“We enjoyed reading and watching these amazing birth stories that recognized the extraordinary work Beaumont nurses and doctors did in helping deliver their babies,” said Deanna Robb, director of Beaumont’s Parenting Program.
Dexter’s continued to be a normal little boy, just a bit smaller sized. Some day in the future he might have a little brother or sister to look after, Roach said.
“We’ve been talking about it,” she said. “Hopefully it goes a little better. We’d love to have a brother or sister for Dexter.”