The Special Delivery of Latimer Cavanah
pictures of Latimer Cavanah don’t show the real story of this little boy’s
birth. By all appearances, he looked healthy at over six pounds, but his health
was in jeopardy.
six weeks early, Latimer spent his first 15 days in the Special Care Nursery at
North Kansas City Hospital. It’s not the arrival his parents, Keri and Trey,
expected for their third child.
age 33, remembers seeing her obstetrician/gynecologist Patricia Mooney Smith,
MD, because she felt ill. Dr. Mooney Smith determined Keri was preeclamptic, a
potentially fatal condition affecting five percent of pregnant women which
causes high blood pressure, swelling and protein in the urine. The only
treatment is delivery of the child.
experienced this same condition with her oldest, Layne, now seven, but his
birth was just two weeks early. Four-year-old Livia arrived without complications.
six weeks early, I wasn’t mentally ready for the birth of my child,” remembers
Keri, “and I kept thinking of the problems that might occur like low birth
weight or respiratory issues.”
credits the doctors and nurses with getting her physically and mentally ready
for the delivery.
arrived at 3:30 p.m. on March 5 and weighed over six pounds. Keri remembers
visiting him in the Special Care Nursery, also called the neonatal intensive
care unit or NICU. While Latimer seemed large compared to other preemie babies,
his condition still was serious. He didn’t have a sucking reflex which meant he
didn’t know how to eat.
feeding tube in his nose provided nourishment. What followed in the days ahead would
be old-fashioned patience and persistence in an environment with the latest
technology and clinical expertise to help newborns grow and thrive.
and Trey felt welcomed in the Special Care Nursery. She spent many nights in
the room with her baby. Design of the nursery allows parents to be with their
infant as much as they desire.
and Trey saw first-hand the care, concern and expertise of the neonatal nurses.
She says, “I knew I could call anytime if I decided to go home for the evening.”
“I also recall the facility was immaculate, and I was so impressed with the
nursing care,” says Keri, an elementary school principal in Orrick.
emphasis for Keri, Trey and the NICU nurses was to develop Latimer’s sucking
reflex, typically a natural reflex for full-term babies. After 15 days, Latimer was ready to join his
family at their Richmond home.
his rocky start, he is now a healthy one-year-old who doesn’t show any signs of
a premature birth. “The Special Care Nursery is such a good place and the
nurses are so talented,” says Keri. “You can put the best program in place but
it won’t be successful if you don’t have the people who believe in it.”
The Special Care
Nursery at North Kansas City Hospital’s Northland Women’s Center provides the
highest level of newborn care in the Northland.