“All in God’s timing”: a surprise pregnancy leads to the surprise of their lives
When Ricky Dayaram and Jennifer Flowers found out they were expecting, it was a surprise – but a happy one.
Both attorneys on the Emerald Coast, the couple was living near Sacred Heart in Miramar Beach. Having heard many good things about the birth center there, they sought the care of Dr. Brett Tidwell. Early in her pregnancy, Jennifer found out she had a bilobed placenta, so she also saw a high-risk doctor, Dr. Henry Roque, for regular ultrasounds.
With two months until her due date, Jennifer realized she didn’t have any photos of her belly, so she snapped one that she still keeps on her phone. It turns out, it was the only one she would take.
That afternoon, Jennifer began cramping. She called her mother, a post-partum nurse, who advised her to go home, drink some water and lie down. When the cramping continued to worsen, Jennifer and Ricky decided to go to the hospital. Doctors at the birth center thoroughly examined Jennifer, and she was sent home to rest. While lying in bed the following morning, she felt a sudden rush of fluid. She didn’t want to believe it was her water breaking. She was only 30 weeks pregnant.
They immediately returned to the birth center, where on-call Dr. Yolanda Jones arrived as quickly as she could. Having reviewed Jennifer’s file, she knew she was in danger of a ruptured placenta.
Dr. Jones told the couple they would need to have an emergency C-section.
Olivia Rose Dayaram was born 15 minutes later, weighing just 3 pounds and 6 ounces.
Jennifer believes it was all in God’s timing – as Dr. Jones discovered, after delivering Olivia, that Jennifer suffered from placenta accreta, a life-threatening condition for both mother and child.
“She came early, but she came at the right time … she saved me,” Jennifer says.
Just as soon as she had met her baby, Olivia was transferred to the NICU in Pensacola, where she was placed in an Isolette and given oxygen, an IV and a feeding tube. Despite her early arrival, she did not have any major health issues.
“She was tiny, but so strong!” Jennifer says. “She just needed a little extra time to grow.”
They stayed in the NICU for seven weeks.
It was difficult experiencing the first seven weeks of their child’s life in a hospital room, but still Jennifer and Ricky treasured every moment with their sweet baby girl.
The new children’s hospital – including a NICU with all-private rooms – had opened only days before their arrival. In the previous space, the floor was open, allowing little privacy among families in life’s most difficult moments.
“We have a newfound respect, admiration and appreciation for doctors and nurses,” Ricky says.
The family became close with many of their nurses.
“There were times I just sobbed, and they would hold me and tell me it was going to be okay,” Jennifer says. “I was frustrated and tired and ready to take my baby home. But when it came time to go home, it was bittersweet leaving those nurses who had truly become such a big part of our life.”
Jennifer and Ricky still keep in touch with some of Olivia’s nurses and send them pictures and updates as she grows.
July 4, 2019 – Independence Day – could not have been a more fitting date for Olivia Rose to be released from the NICU. She continues to grow and thrive, and her family attributes so much of that to Sacred Heart NICU and the exceptional care she received there.