As a nurse in the NICU, Stacey Crom stood beside families as their babies fought health challenges. She found herself in the same situation, when her son was born eight weeks early.
"It was so incredibly emotional." said Stacey.
Stacey Crom's third pregnancy was far from normal.
"They found that I actually had a blood clot under my placenta. They actually thought that I would miscarry at that point."
She didn't. Stacey made it to 30 weeks, then went into labor.
"It was that long after I got there that his heart rate started dropping and they had to do an emergency c-section." said Stacey.
Carter Crom came into this world weighing only two pounds, five ounces.
"They found he had a tight knot in his umbilical cord. All kinds of things working against this little guy."
He was immediately taken to the NICU at Methodist Women's Hospital. Stacey is very familiar with the NICU there. She works there and has been a NICU nurse for 11 years.
This time, it was different.
"I had to put everything that I knew as a nurse aside, and just be mom."
Stacey says Carter had good days, and tough days. It was hard watching her own son fight for his life.
"I spent eight weeks of my maternity leave at work. 14 hours a day, every single day. I didn't miss as day." Stacey said.
Stacey's husband, Nick, and her two other children, Jackson and Avery also had to watch as Carter fought every day.
The family took pictures of him next to a Diet Coke bottle to show how much Carter had grown.
"I had so much support. Thank goodness the nurses helped me through this."
Eight weeks after Carter Crom came into this world weighing only two pounds, he went home.
"Since we've been home, it's just wonderful."
Now, he is almost four months. Healthy, smiling, and surrounded by love.
"He's perfect. We're so blessed."
Stacey says the night before she was to return to work, she was crying. Then she had a calm sense of relief knowing she can help other families going through the same thing she did.
November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. Stacey says it truly is a celebration of how far babies have come.