Health Care Holidays

Family Celebrates Holidays in the NICU with their “Christmas” Baby

With a love for Christmas, Marrisa and Jacob Bradley were planning to welcome their beautiful baby girl, Blake Noelle, into the world during the magical and joyous season. Blake’s original due date on Dec. 29, 2023, however, she decided to make an early appearance to world on Oct. 19. Baby Blake was born at 29 weeks at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission’s Birth Center and was placed into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for being nearly two months premature.

Marissa, mother of Blake, was scared when she realized she was going into labor 10 weeks early.

“The team here has been great since the beginning,” she said. “We haven’t had a single nurse or any team member that hasn’t treated us with complete kindness and it’s been an amazing experience.”

Sam Joyce, RN, was one of the nurses who made the process and experience easier. Sam, who is a nurse in the NICU, believes that explaining to parents everything that’s happening to their children in the NICU helps give them peace of mind by understanding what is going on.

“When parents first come here, they are scared and anxious. I feel like our team does a great job of being understanding,” Sam said. “I feel like parents respond well when you provide them with as much information as possible.”

Although Marissa and Jacob did not have a Christmas baby, the AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Birth Center NICU team did not let that stop the Christmas magic from happening. Blake Noelle and other NICU babies received their first visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus when they came to visit families and take pictures with babies; an annual tradition the care team in the NICU holds dear to their hearts.

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