On November 3, Sarah Feldman and Jeff Rothenberg crossed over the finish line of the Disney Half Marathon. Pride and happiness swelled around them, but there was something else. The thought of their daughter Rose was prominent in their minds as the reason they were there.
Rose was born on October 25, 2018, about a year before Sarah and Jeff would embark on their first half marathon. Sarah was 28 gestational weeks when she developed some swelling. After visiting her local hospital in Great Barrington, MA, she was sent to Baystate Medical Center with a diagnosis of severe preeclampsia, which can lead to severe, and even fatal, complications for both a mother and child if left untreated.
During the week Sarah was at Baystate Medical Center, her preeclampsia turned in to HELLP Syndrome. Sarah learned she would need an emergency C-section that day and the couple welcomed daughter Rose in to the world, weighting 2 lbs, 5 oz.
The journey begins
Rose spent the next 68 days in the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). While each day felt like a new challenge, the couple was comforted by the medical team.
“We were just so incredibly appreciative for the quality of the providers and the staff. Everybody we met there could not have been more supportive,” said Jeff. “As difficult a situation it is for parents to find themselves in the NICU unexpectedly with a relatively uncertain path, having the quality of the care that we did made all the difference.”
The nursing team holds a special place in their hearts.
“There were many times during our stay where I was in tears and felt so overwhelmed. It was the nursing staff that would give me a hug or give me a pep talk or say and do exactly what I needed,” shared Sarah. “It made all the difference in the world. It made those moments bearable. And, I will forever will be grateful to all of those nurses who helped us during that incredibly difficult time.”
After Rose’s birth, the couple wanted to find a way to commemorate what their family had been through and celebrate Rose, who is now a happy and healthy one-year-old. They decided to up their running game and register for a half marathon in Disney. To make the event even more special, they decided to raise money for the NICU, and through their fundraising efforts, they raised more than $6,000 and donated it through Baystate Health Foundation.
“After Rosie was born, we really wanted to mark that year time period with something special to celebrate my health and Rosie’s health,” shared Sarah. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to the NICU because the NICU gave us so much.”
“This race was our way of saying we’re alive, we’re here, we came through this, and now we’re doing something to celebrate Rose,” said Jeff.