Starting strong

Worth the wait: After years of infertility, Sarah and Brett Anderson were overjoyed to learn that they’d be adding a child to their family. Sarah was monitored closely at the M Health Fairview Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center until little Everett was born via C-section in December 2016 at 34 weeks and 5 days gestational age. 

First-rate care: Everett spent the first three weeks of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. “We stayed there with him, night and day,” Brett says. And he and Sarah were involved in every care decision the medical team made for Everett.

Their little joey: The NICU staff encouraged Sarah and Brett to take part in “kangaroo care,” which is skin-to-skin contact with the baby. It’s been shown to support optimal brain development, reduce stress, and stabilize heart rate and breathing patterns in babies. Sarah and Brett were happy to oblige. “There’s nothing better than holding your child after waiting 7+ years for it to happen,” Brett says.

Heading home: Leaving the NICU was both happy and sad for the Andersons. The nurses they’d grown so close to shed tears that day as well. “They helped him become a happy, healthy boy,” Sarah says. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the NICU staff at Masonic Children’s Hospital for providing him with superior care.”

How gifts make a difference: Philanthropy funds research on optimizing outcomes for NICU babies as well as support for their families.