Thirty-seven days. That's how long Blair resident Becky Buckner was given to get ready for the birth of her first child. That's because Buckner and her husband Eric, who had been told they would never be able to have a child of their own, didn't find out Becky was pregnant until she was 35 weeks along. "I was having abdominal spasms," said Buckner. "I told my mom about it and she said 'it could be your gallbladder, it could be a kidney issue.' And I went to the doctor finally to have a pregnancy test done and I knew it was going to be negative."
Those abdominal spasms, however, turned out to be little Chloe Marie Grace kicking. "We'd been married for 17 years," said Becky. "We tried for seven years to get pregnant and for the last ten years we didn't even try. When the doctor said the pregnancy test was positive, I asked 'How accurate is your testing?'" When told of the test's almost infallible accuracy, Becky said, "Well I'm going to need a note or something because nobody's going to believe me."
Becky was initially told she was 25 weeks pregnant. Within 24 hours, the doctor said it was more like 35 weeks. All of a sudden, Buckner and her husband were preparing for a baby whose arrival was a little more than a month away.
Unfortunately, when it was time for Chloe to come into the world on Aug. 10, labor didn't go smoothly. Becky delivered her baby via an emergency C-section at a hospital in the Buckners' hometown of Blair. Baby Chloe stopped breathing after delivery and was brought to The Nebraska Medical Center by helicopter soon afterward. Becky was also transported here after suffering Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a condition that can be fatal.
Fortunately, the Buckners' baby story has a happy ending. Chloe was able to leave the NICU soon after arrival. Becky was well enough to be taken off a ventilator on Aug. 22. A few days later, staff members threw Eric and Becky a surprise baby shower.
"I'm just glad everybody here is as caring as they are," said new dad Eric. "The nurses here really care about the patients and the patient's families. The care goes beyond the medicine. There's a lot of healing here that isn't related to the machines and the medicine. It's the staff."
For more information about The Nebraska Medical Center call 1-800-922-0000 or visit www.NebraskaMed.com.