MEET THE FOULK FAMILY
Danielle and Aaron were so excited to become parents. They were looking forward to starting their family together and did not anticipate the complications they would soon experience. On Monday, February 12, 2012 at 24 weeks, Danielle went for her regularly scheduled appointment to check on the progress of their expected twins, Landen and Caroline. The Doctor found she was dilated 1cm and was concerned she was having contractions as well. Danielle drove herself to Good Samaritan Hospital. She was admitted and tests indicated she was having contractions every 2-3 minutes. She was given an IV of Magnesium to slow the contractions. The following morning an ultrasound revealed that Landen was measuring around 1lb 13oz and Caroline was 1lb 12 oz. Her doctors decided it was best she stay at the hospital on bed rest. Two days later, Danielle received her first of 3 rounds of steroids to aid in the development of the twins premature lungs. They also had their first of many visits from the NICU staff to educate them on what it would be like if they were to deliver the twins early.
During Danielle’s three month stay at Good Samaritan Hospital, she went for weekly prenatal appointments where the twins were measured and fluid was checked. She also went in to active labor twice, the first time at 29 weeks. Somehow, labor miraculously stopped. At 35 weeks, Danielle was forced to deliver due to her high blood pressure. Caroline was born first, kicking and screaming at 4lbs 6oz. Landen, however was a little blue and not breathing well at 4lbs 12oz. He was rushed to the NICU with respiratory distress and received oxygen as well as phototherapy for his jaundice. His NICU stay was short, and he was back with his parents within 24 hours of birth. The Foulk’s left the hospital 3 days after their twins were born. It was the best possible outcome, but not what they expected, for what turned into a 3 month stay.
With the pregnancy this year of their third child Parker, Aaron and Danielle were looking forward to a "normal" experience. They entered into the third trimester without issue. Parker was born at 37 weeks and everything was going great. He spent his first hour with mom "kangarooing" (skin to skin) and it wasn't until his full assessment at 90 minutes that everything changed. It appeared that his lips were a little blue. The Doctor decided to bring up the NICU team for additional testing. It wasn't until the end of the day that it became very apparent that they would not be taking Parker home with them.
His condition worsened and his diagnosis was changed after 24 hours to respiratory distress syndrome or RDS. With this came a CPAP machine to help force oxygen into his lungs. The settings on his CPAP machine was continually increased as he was not responding to the treatment. They were to the point where the neonatologist told them that they could not go any higher on his CPAP, and if he does not respond in the next 12 hours, there would have to intubate him. That night, Parker began responding to the treatment. Finally, on day 10, somewhat unexpectedly, the Foulk’s received a call that they were going to be able to take Parker home.
During their stay in the Good Samaritan Hospital NICU, they saw firsthand the level of care the nurses provide to their tiny patients. Seeing, and experiencing this care heightened the family’s sense of need to support the work that March of Dimes does to prevent premature birth. The March of Dimes’ mission is now the Foulk’s family’s mission. Danielle and Aaron are so grateful and honored to be serving as the 2017 Signature Chefs Auction Ambassador Family, and to be giving back to an organization whose mission is inspired by all babies. “The research funded by the March of Dimes and the work of so many compassionate medical professionals is a wonderful partnership. I know that had my babies been born even 10 years ago, my family might not have been so lucky,” said Danielle. “The medical advancements provided by the March of Dimes has made their prematurity journey a success. Together, we can make this a reality for many other families just like ours.”
The Foulk Family – Danielle, Aaron, Landen, Caroline & Parker