The Hall Family

March 4th, 2005


In February of 2005 Joan's water broke at 25 weeks and she spent the next 4 weeks in Akron General's Parental Unit.  Annika was born on March 4th 2005 at 1:19 in the morning.  She weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces and was 14 inches long.  Annika spent the next 7 weeks in Akron Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 






The text below is from an email sent to family and friends on 2-11-2005


We were expecting our baby to come around May 19th. Joan’s water broke on Monday night however; so now we are looking at any day or maybe a couple of weeks, if we are lucky. She’s in the hospital, drugged up on magnesium; contractions have stopped. We were told that there was a 75% chance of delivering within the first three days. Its day four now and things are pretty calm. The chance of survival has already climbed from 70% to 90%. The odds of serious complications/disabilities, however, are more frightening (about 40%). Those odds are getting better everyday though. On Tuesday, the ultrasound indicated that the baby weighed 1 lbs 15 oz. The specialist said that it is probably putting on ˝ an ounce a day.






The text below is from an email sent to family and friends on 2-24-2005


Joan is still pregnant; things are still dicey and complicated however. Today begins the 28th week of pregnancy, which is a pretty big milestone. 90% of women with preterm premature rupture of membranes give birth within the first two weeks; we have been lucky as Joan has been in the hospital for 2 weeks and 3 days so far. The risks for the baby have decreased greatly, but it is still very early and scary. Joan had an ultrasound yesterday; they predict the baby’s weight to be about 2 pounds 4 ounces (a 5 ounce gain in two weeks). The rate of weight gain should start increasing now. We found out that Joan is allergic to penicillin; she broke out in a rash after the initial doses of antibiotics. It also appears that Joan may have
gestational diabetes; she is having more glucose tests done tomorrow. The
baby’s heart rate dropped a few times through the night last night, which resulted in yet another ultrasound to check for baby movement. A drop in baby’s heart rate indicates a pinched umbilical cord. The ultrasound showed that the baby is doing well, however. She is also starting to show signs of mental fatigue (finally). I’ve been showing signs of mental fatigue everyday for the past two and a half weeks. Four weeks to go, hopefully.






Joan was on strict bed rest and read a lot



Svea and Brigitta could only visit once a week


Joan's room at Akron General's Parental Unit



Joan's room was just above the helicopter pad



Movie Clip!

Annika's Birthday  -  03-04-05

Windows Media Video - 75 seconds, 3.7 M



The text below is from an email sent to family and friends on 3-5-2005


Great News: Mother and daughter are doing well!

Annika Ingrid Hall was born on Friday (03-04-05) at 1:19 in the morning (The first A in Annika is pronounced with a short O – “on” sound). She weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces and is 14 inches long. Annika’s head is exactly three inches in diameter and is covered with dark hair (Svea had dark hair at birth as well, so Annika’s hair may also turn blond.) Her APGAR scores were 8/10 and 8/10, which is pretty good for such an early preemie. Annika was intubated, given surfactant and a gavage tube and put on a ventilator soon after birth (NICU: A Glossary of Terms). She was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital about an hour after birth. She has some jaundice and noticeable bruising (I have already seen her bruising dissipate some, however). Not long after her birth the neonatologist started reducing her ventilator and oxygen settings step by step. By the afternoon of her birthday, all breathing assistance had been removed. She was breathing room air on her own without difficulty. This is a very good sign that she is strong and an indicator that she will do well. We are not out of the woods, however. Certain problems with preemies do not always appear right away at birth but are more likely to be found after 3 to 4 days, 5 to 7 days and even around or after the first birthday. So far the only problem that has arisen has been one instance of apnea; she forgot to breath for a while and her heart rate lowered. This set off an alarm, which prompted the nurse to stimulate her (with a tickle or wiggle), which in turn caused her to “snap out of it” and breathe again. As frightening as this sounds, it is par for the course for early preemies. Most preemies do this often.







Annika's First Picture - Less than 2 hours old



Annika was intubated for about 12 hours


Under the biliruben lights for jaundice treatment





Annika had to be tied down to keep from roaming around



Having her vitals checked by her nurse


Heart rate, specific oxygen and respiration rate monitor



Isolette control for temperature, humidity and oxygen



Annika's isolette and her nurse Pam



Akron Children's Hospital


David holds Annika for the first time on his birthday, 3-6-2005



Joan holds Annika for the first time, 3-7-2005


Mother and daughter



Annika being held; the tube is a canula that provides

supplemental oxygen



Annika being bottle fed



Annika's last 2 weeks at Children's was in a NICU TLC room



Movie Clip!

Annika at two weeks  -  03-19-05

Windows Media Video - 49 seconds, 2.4 MB


Annika Comes Home!  April 18th 2005


Joan bottle feeding Annika at home; it took a few weeks

for her to transition from bottle to breast



Annika's first bath at home



Svea and Brigitta had fun with Annika

as soon as she got home



Annika's Neonatal Intensive Care Wagon - Note the O2

tank, heart & respiration monitor and breast pump


Brigitta holding Annika



Svea holding Annika for the first time



Hall Family Website