Wade Roulette and Krissy Balfour are doubly surprised by the early arrival of their baby girl, Skye — who was born 15 weeks early — and the outpouring of support they have received ever since. Born at 25 weeks gestation Skye will require four months in the Royal Columbia Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until her original birth date of December 17.
Due to complications with severe pre-eclampsia, Balfour was air lifted from Grand Forks and taken to Royal Columbia Hospital where Skye was born on September 7, weighing 1 lb 2 oz.
Balfour has recovered from her pre-eclampsia and emergency C-section. Skye is currently in an incubator, on a ventilator and is receiving phototherapy and IV nutrition.
Wade’s sister, Erin Thompson is a proud new auntie to Skye and has started a fundraising for her niece aka “Baby Ninja”. Balfour and Wade had just moved back to Nelson and a week before Skye was born Wade was able to feel the baby’s movement which he said felt like a ninja kick.
Thompson’s online fundraiser has raised $6,560 of the $10,000 goal to help Skye’s parents with mounting expenses and an unexpected early maternity leave from Balfour’s new job. The couple have been living in Vancouver to be close to their baby girl. Thompson said it is common for premature babies to need follow up appointments with specialists too, adding that the new parents “were in shock at first but their baby has made it through the first week. Now they are totally amazed by people’s donations from people they don’t know, from other provinces and countries.”
“It will get paid forward,” said Thompson, who is is a maternity nurse herself and is expecting a baby two weeks away from Skye’s original due date.
She explained that at this point Skye is tolerating small amounts of breast milk everyday and she just received her fifth blood transfusion to replenish the blood taken for samples.
“Premi babies don’t replenish their red blood cells as quickly as a full term baby,” said Thompson. “At 25 weeks the organs are formed but not mature. [The incubator] is basically mimicking a fake womb.”
She said it is expected that Skye’s parents will be able to hold her at the three to four week range as right now Skye’s skin is too fragile and the risk of infection is high.
Balfour wrote on the You Care fundraiser page, “All her nurses say she is ‘feisty’ and her growing determination is seen every day.”
Balfour will remain in Vancouver and Wade is returning to work in Nelson this week. He will fly back to Vancouver to visit his daughter and partner during the weekends until they can bring Skye home.
Thompson has started a Facebook page for a silent auction which is open for donations and anyone can bid on items until October 15. An online fundraiser for cash donations runs until December 31 and you can follow Skye’s story and updates there.