Crying is the sound Rita Pitts heard a year ago when her youngest son Hagan was born, but to her it was a surprise. "When Hagan cried, it was a big miracle because we weren't expecting that at all."
That is because premature babies usually do not cry. Hagan came out 14-weeks early, two pounds even, and 13 inches long. "I didn't want him to be in the NICU Unit, I just didn't want him to be there. I was preparing myself to lose him," Rita said.
Hagan was born with a hole in his heart and a slew of intestinal problems. Doctors put little Hagan on a respirator for more than a month. "Just breathing wise, I mean he stopped breathing constantly," says Rita.
Doctors had to feed Hagan through a tube in his nose. He went through two hernia operations, and at one point, doctors had to stop his stomach from bleeding. "They told us to have a funeral home in mind, just in case. So we were ready for the worst," Rita said.
What made it harder for Rita and her husband was that they had already been through the same situation with their oldest son Cole. "So whenever Hagan went to the NICU Unit I knew exactly what to expect. I knew what could happen, and I was expecting. I knew what would happen, and I also knew what could happen. I was prepared for that. So emotionally it was a lot harder with Hagan."
For a while Rita carried a lot of guilt. "Sometimes I would think that it was, it was my fault. That, that I had done, that I knew that I was high risk, and that I didn't take enough steps," says Rita.
But Rita made it through with the help of other women in the hospital going through the same thing. This time around she says she had something more to lean on, a peace of mind that the technology available to Hagan, was the latest. Which was possible by money raised through the Children's Miracle Network.
"Like when their heart beat would start slowing down, you could tell the rhythms. You could tell if they were just about to have some sort of episode. And that was a lot nicer because that made me feel more comfortable, because you could actually tell they are about to have an episode. Let's, you know, let's go ahead and do something," says Rita.
Hagan is almost a year old now. He is on a high calorie diet because he is still a little light. About 15 pounds.
"We were very, very, very lucky the two times. You know, it's very rare that you have two miracles."
Rita says without the help of Children's Miracle Network, things would be much different. "If they weren't around, Ii mean, we probably would've still been in the ice age. I don't think, Cole would've survived. I don't think Hagan would've survived. All those babies, all those miracles, that we're having right now, we wouldn't have the miracles without the Children's Miracle Network."