One family’s NICU experience

After becoming pregnant following a diagnosis and treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Miranda Yazvec’s biggest concern was carrying the baby to full term.

During the Lewistown, Illinois, woman’s pregnancy, she continued taking progesterone that was prescribed as part of her PCOS treatment. Progesterone is known as the pregnancy hormone and helps a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus and then helps maintain a pregnancy.

Miranda continued taking progesterone until week 36 of her pregnancy. The hormone was taken as a pill for the first three weeks, but her progesterone level was not where it needed to be to maintain a pregnancy. After three weeks taking it in pill form, Miranda had to switch to injections every other day.

While the every-other-day injections “were awful,” she said, the end result was a baby carried to 39 weeks.

Welcome, baby!

On July 19, 2022, Miranda had a scheduled C-section at OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, Illinois, and baby girl Ellisen came into the world.

The C-section was necessary because Miranda had given birth to her son, Greysen, by C-section five years earlier. She also had undergone surgery on her ovaries three months prior to becoming pregnant with Ellisen as part of her PCOS treatment.

Miranda couldn’t wait to hold her newborn.

“I was so out of it. I just remember waiting to see her and as soon as I got to see her, they said they had to take her. She was having a hard time breathing,” she said.

After a pediatric team worked on Ellisen, Miranda and her husband, Darrin, were told the baby was having a harder time and they were calling in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) team from OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria.

“I was instantly hysterical,” Miranda said.

The NICU team transported Ellisen from Galesburg to Peoria by ambulance, and made sure to keep the parents informed. The hardest part for Miranda was she couldn’t go to Peoria with Ellisen since she was still recovering from the C-section.

“My husband went to Peoria and I had to stay in Galesburg, and the next morning I went there,” Miranda said.

A baby’s medical care

“She had persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn. Essentially her lungs were working as if she was still in utero,” Miranda said. “She didn’t get her big breath when she came out.”

Ellisen needed to be intubated, but the NICU team waited for Miranda to arrive to see her baby.

“Seeing her was very emotional because I couldn’t hold her until a week went by. Very, very emotional and hard,” she said. “She was intubated for about a week and was given nitric oxide that went down into the lungs.”

The newborn also had a rib that punctured a lung, so she needed a chest tube and was put on morphine for the pain.

“It was terrifying when she came off the morphine, because basically she went through withdrawal,” Miranda said. “The screaming, her shaking … it was so awful. Then she had to be put on methadone for part of her stay in the NICU.”

Eventually her breathing normalized.

“She was a fighter,” Miranda said.

Feeding, however, took a little longer as she was on a feeding tube. Eventually she improved and was eating on her own the last three days of her 22-day NICU stay.

A NICU experience

Miranda remained at OSF Children’s Hospital for the first week of Ellisen’s NICU stay.

“But I had a 5-year-old at home and he wasn’t doing well with my husband and I being gone. So I drove back and forth every day,” she said.

“The NICU staff was absolutely amazing. Every nurse kept me in the know about everything. They always asked if I needed anything. Any question, they were right outside the door. I was never blindsided,” she said. “Darrin had to go back to work, and that was hard for him. But he felt at peace because there’s a camera in every NICU room and he was able to watch her when he was at work.”

Other families offered support, too, she said.

“Another family saw we just got to the NICU and they ordered us dinner,” Miranda said. “All the families are so supportive and caring.”

Peace of mind

Miranda experienced a normal pregnancy with no complications.

The issues Ellisen experienced could have happened to anyone, anywhere with a full-term pregnancy.

“I didn’t think I’d have anything to worry about. I had a great pregnancy,” she said. “Going full term was my concern. I was full term, how was this happening? You just always have to be prepared.”

Without the connectivity, quick actions and high-level care at both OSF St. Mary and OSF Children’s Hospital, things would not have gone as well.

“It was amazing seeing the NICU team come in while we were still at OSF St. Mary. They knew exactly when to call all the shots to have them come in,” Miranda said. “A whole NICU team came to Galesburg. It was insane. A NICU nurse and respiratory therapist brought an incubator, assessed her and both came to talk to me. It just made me have peace of mind.”

Today, Ellisen, is very ornery, smiley and rolling all over the place.

“She is a very big baby,” Miranda said. “She’s an eater. She loves her food.”

Last Updated: April 5, 2024

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About Author: Lisa Coon

Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016.  A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.

She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, “The beach is good for the soul.”

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Categories: Birth & Maternity