By Mallory Speck, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) marketing specialist – direct to consumer

Fifteen years ago, I was 29 weeks pregnant, in the hospital on bed rest and terrified that I would lose a little girl that I had not yet met. I had preeclampsia, a condition affecting blood pressure that can cause serious complications for mothers and their babies, and was  sicker than I realized at the time. Then the doctors told me I would be delivering via emergency c-section.

This wasn’t the way I planned it; everything was now entirely out of my control. My husband and I were taken back to the operating room, and I was prepped for surgery. Before I knew it, I heard the tiniest cry, and my daughter Emilynn was brought into the world weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces.

I only got a brief look at her over the curtain before she was taken away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It was hours before I would get to see her through an incubator and days before I would hold her for the first time.

Emilynn was a fighter and was only in the NICU for 51 days and came home before her original due date, on a heart monitor and weighing only 3 pounds. Now, as she approaches her 15th birthday, I look back and wonder how we did it. It was scary and stressful, but I felt secure knowing that we had BCBSNE behind us through it all.

My health journey is one of many. To share your own, visit

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