At six months pregnant, Talisa Jackson was faced with every expectant mother’s worst nightmare.
Following an excruciating night of pain and spotting, Jackson, who lives in Century, Florida, was informed that she was miscarrying her baby girl, and there was nothing her doctors could do for her.
Jackson was rushed to Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola, where she underwent an emergency cesarean section.
Upon waking, Jackson was in for two surprises. Though premature, her baby was very much alive. And she had a boy.
On Jan. 26, 2019, at just 24 weeks, Omaurian “Logan” Allen was born at 12 ounces and 10 inches long.
He is likely the smallest surviving baby in Sacred Heart 100-year history.
“When I woke up three days later and got to see him for the first time, I cried,” said Jackson. “He was so little and surrounded by all these tubes. I remember thinking, ‘Why me?’ ”
Doctors prepared Jackson for the worst, but she said, “Do everything you can for my baby, because I’m not giving up on him.”
For the next five months, neither would the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. After being on and off ventilators and enduring countless surgeries and skin grafts, baby Logan was deemed healthy enough to go home in June.
“We had two episodes where Logan died on us and stopped breathing,” Jackson said. “For a while, I went into a depression. I blamed myself because I had pre-eclampsia.”
But SFCH doctors helped her realize that pre-eclampsia, a type of pregnancy complication influenced by high-blood pressure, was common and beyond her control. Jackson said she met some “amazing people” while bonding with other NICU mothers and nurses, forming a unique support system that helped her through the darkest days.
“I love my nurses,” she said. “If I was busy with my other two girls at home, they would reassure me that they had Logan, and he wasn’t going anywhere. If they ever thought something might be wrong when I came to see Logan, they would ask if I needed to talk. They became my family. They went through this with me, and I was never alone.”
When the new Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart opened on May 4, Jackson and Logan were transferred from Sacred Heart’s old Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to SFCH’s new Level III NICU, where each family receives their own private room. There, Jackson was able to enjoy more solitude and peace with her son, and learn all about his “big” personality.
“You’ve got to be on time with that bottle, or he’s going to let you have it” Jackson laughed. “He may be little, but he’s loud. He knows he has his nurses and mom wrapped around his finger.”
But when he quiets down, gazes into his mother’s loving eyes, Jackson is steadfast with their mantra.
“Every night, I tell him he’s my champion,” she said. “I tell him, ‘You are strong. You are smart. You’re a soldier, you’re victorious, you’re my miracle.’ ”
Jackson promises Logan he will grow up to be successful, able to do anything and everything he could want.
“As soon as I start telling him, he looks up with a smile, because he knows.”