AdventHealth NICU Mama


NICU Mama isn’t typically on the list of things you expect while you are expecting, unless you are a veteran NICU Mama. After our first-born baby girl made her grand entrance at a mere 25 weeks, we had different expectations when expecting baby number two. While lining up our specialists we also considered which hospital we wanted to align ourselves with for delivery in case we delivered early again.

We knew we needed a hospital equipped with at least a level III NICU since our first born needed critical care support. When we spoke with AdventHealth for Children to ask questions and spoke with other NICU graduate families, we knew that AdventHealth was where we needed to be.

Every week that we made it past 25 weeks was such a gift as we knew that each week our little bundle grew stronger. He finally made his entrance at 35 weeks. The NICU staff made us feel so welcome when we visited our little Jackson for the first time. They had a rocking chair set up for me to hold him while we were surrounded by the familiar dings of the equipment. Staff was ready with any information we needed, and we knew we had made the perfect decision. It’s no wonder that for the 2nd year in a row AdventHealth for Children has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the Best Children’s Hospital for newborn care in the state of Florida.

We fell back into another familiar routine which was having family come to visit for the first time in the hospital before we could bring him home. All visitors were checked in and given instructions on how to clean hands before entering. While this was pre-Covid and today we have different challenges, the team at AdventHealth for Children is committed to making it a safe place for families to be able to return to, together.

We are so thankful for everything that the team at AdventHealth for Children did for Jackson but mostly what they did for our family. They were there with respiratory support, neonatologist, lactation specialists and even made big sister feel special when she went to visit for the first time. While the NICU is not the first place anyone hopes to end up after a baby, being surrounded by support during a trying time is such a comfort.

Jackson just graduated Kindergarten and is a thriving big kid who is funny, smart and energetic. We have AdventHealth for Children to thank for helping him get to where he is today by turning his rocky start into a solid foundation.

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A Florida native, Chenoa is originally from Miami but has been living in Maitland for 22 years with a short 2-year break where she lived in (and fell in love with) Raleigh, NC. She's part "adopted Southern charm" with a streak of feisty Miami girl! She's Mom to two strong-willed, preemie babies, a 25 weeker and a 35 weeker, who now are thriving big kids (6yr old girl and 3yr old boy). They have led to a hot mess parenting style that's fueled by coffee to get through the day and wine to try and soothe the nerves at night. She's married to her college sweetheart who she met at the University of Central Florida (GO KNIGHTS) while studying English-Creative Writing and the fine art of Greek life. She's a DIY junkie who loves Fixer Upper (of course), loves reading, cooking and writing. When out and about with her husband, sans kids, she loves eating at new local places around Winter Park, enjoying coffee from a favorite local coffee shop or enjoying a date night at Eden Bar in Maitland. Her adventures through motherhood have included recently transitioning from full-time working Mom to stay-at-home Mom, raising a sassy, hilarious little girl and helping her silly little guy navigate some developmental delays that have challenged her to slow down and let him guide her way. She hasn't lost hope that she can control all the things that parenting brings and her kids haven't given up trying to prove her wrong. Her husband is the Helicopter Parent to her Free Range which is the perfect topping to the chaos of everyday life! She frequents social media and uses her Instagram to document the fleeting moments of "put-togetherness" that occasionally happen by accident...sometimes.


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