Jennifer and Matthew Huisking’s NICU experience inspired them to give back.
Upon discovering they were pregnant with their first child, Jennifer and Matthew Huisking discussed their hospital preferences. After talking to their physician, she explained that her practice only delivered at Bridgeport Hospital because of the level of medical expertise and excellence of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). No one could expect how fortuitous that conversation would become.
About five weeks before Jenn’s due date, the Fairfield couple attended what they thought would be a standard followup appointment. But, much to Jenn’s dismay, the nurse discovered that her water had broken. She didn’t feel ready, and they hadn’t yet completed all their childbirth classes, but the baby had its own plans.
Jenn was brought to the Birthplace at Bridgeport Hospital. Thinking the delivery would take a few hours, Jenn tried to rest while Matt went down to the cafeteria to eat. Just as Matt sat down, he received a call to get back upstairs. The baby was on its way.
“The nurse was so supportive,” said Jenn. She stayed past the end of her shift because she wanted to see the Huiskings through until delivery.
Since the pregnancy had not yet reached 36 weeks, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team was standing by to examine the baby. Once Connor Matthew was born, initial testing made it clear that this was not an emergency situation. Jenn was able to hold her newborn before the NICU team took him to monitor his breathing.
After Connor left for the NICU, the postpartum team delivered the childbirth classes they had missed. The lactation consultant showed Jenn how to breastfeed and ensured she would be successful.
Since Connor came early, Jenn’s mother, who lives in Arizona, was unable to be with her for the birth. “I felt, in a way, that my mom was there because the nurses were there and were so caring. They guided us through everything. We could not have scripted a better experience,” said Jenn.
“We thought about what we had gone through and how great it was to have that whole support system,” said Matt.
“It could be the most joyous time, or one of the biggest tragedies you have, so to have a facility like Bridgeport Hospital there, we were very fortunate. We knew we wanted to support it.”
The Huiskings decided to provide financial assistance to the NICU modernization project. They hope to expand their family, and already know where they will deliver their next child.
“We hope we never need the NICU again, but we know we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but Bridgeport Hospital. I feel like our story is just an everyday story, but I think that was what is so amazing. That [experience] is every day at Bridgeport Hospital,” said Jenn.