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Tiny Triumphs

Tiny Triumphs

I always wanted to have children, but my life took a different path. In my early twenties, I joined the military, got married, divorced, completed my military service, and earned my bachelor's degree, all before turning thirty. During my military service, I was diagnosed with Hydrosalpinx in my left fallopian tube, which led to its removal. Eventually, I had to have my right fallopian tube removed as well. This made my chances of getting pregnant nonexistent.

A few years later, I got married again. My partner and I decided to have a baby, but our only option was in vitro fertilization (IVF). Thankfully, my Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits covered the cost of my IVF treatment. I went through two rounds of egg retrieval and one embryo transfer. The transfer was successful, but the IVF process was laborious. I had to give myself injections to support the embryo's growth until I reached 12 weeks of gestation. My pregnancy was high-risk, and at 14 weeks, I experienced bleeding. Immediately feared I was having a miscarriage. I rushed to see my doctor and found out I had pre-eclampsia due to high blood pressure. At 25 weeks, I woke up with a nosebleed, which did not stop. I sought help at the VA emergency room, received prompt treatment, and was then transferred to the main hospital for continued care. After being monitored and receiving a corticosteroid injection, I was sent home with instructions to return the next day for another injection.

The following day, I received the second injection and underwent overnight monitoring. At this point, I wanted the packing in my nose removed. There was some back and forth, but no doctor available felt comfortable pulling the packing. That night, I started to feel sick. I informed the night doctor about my symptoms, but he just dismissed my concerns. The night nurses also seemed dismissive. The following day, I had difficulty breathing and still felt unwell. Finally, the staff found a doctor who was comfortable removing the packing. I informed the team of doctors who came to check on me about my symptoms. They evaluated me, and the next thing I knew, I was being transferred to the labor and delivery ward. There, I underwent an X-ray and received a magnesium injection. It turned out that I had fluid in my lungs. The medical team advised me to contact my husband and informed both of us that he needed to come to the hospital to discuss the possibility of me giving birth that day.

As soon as my husband arrived, the doctors informed both of us that, due to the fluid in my lungs, I had to deliver my baby right away. I was in shock and scared, and I don't entirely remember the details of the conversation. My husband and I agreed to deliver early, and an hour later, the nurse wheeled me into the operating room. I delivered at 25 weeks, 5 days gestation. We named our baby Axel. He weighed 1 pound and 15 ounces and was 11.5 inches long. When I heard him cry, I felt so emotional that I cried. When I finally saw him, an overwhelming feeling of love washed over me; it was indescribable.

Axel spent 99 days in the NICU. He experienced breathing setbacks, going from being intubated to using a CPAP and back to being intubated until he was ready to go back on the CPAP. Despite being diagnosed with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD), he was otherwise healthy. It took almost two weeks for me to hold him because I felt guilty for birthing him so early. Every time I saw him, I cried. I wondered what would have happened if I had held off delivering him. Would he have had to fight to stay alive? His tiny body seemed so vulnerable. The moment I finally held him, all my worries disappeared. I will never forget the feeling of his little body on my bare chest, giving me a sense of comfort.

I wanted to commemorate that moment with something special. After searching, I found Tiny Tags and ordered their 14k White Gold Skinny Bar necklace. I personalized it with his birthstone and engraved it with Axel Rylan. I have worn this necklace every day since I received it.

My NICU warrior is now five years old. It's hard to imagine him being so little in his isolette with all of the wires and tubes attached to him. Other than his small stature, you can't tell he was ever a micro-preemie baby. I think it's time to own another piece of jewelry from Tiny Tags with "triumph" engraved. The word "triumph" resonates deeply with me as it encapsulates the profound sense of victory and accomplishment that follows overcoming significant obstacles or challenges. It represents the ultimate realization of resilience, determination, and strength in the face of adversity.

- Cindel Fulton

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“I’m so in love with my tiny tags necklace, and the customer service at tiny tags is also so incredible! I needed assistance more than once, and they went above and beyond every time for me! xo”

Mariah Z.

"Beautiful, I love it, it has meaning, very classy and will be a staple item in my jewelry collection."

Jacqueline M.

"I will never take this necklace off. Three boys and along came a girl! Yes, I bought this for myself. A present for me! Thank you- I love it!"

Lisa B.

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