When baby Oliver came out of the womb last January after his mother Jamie Tejeda endured 44 hours of labor, he was not breathing and his skin was bluish.
Tejada wasn’t hearing the expected cries from her newborn as a roomful of seven delivery nurses at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center surrounded her — disturbingly more than the four nurses she was told would be there — along with emergency room doctors.
She feared for her baby’s future health and even his life.
The 32-year-old bakery owner, whose complicated birth was caused by the high blood pressure condition preeclampsia, could see her family members by her side. But they weren’t saying much.
“I looked at them as they were observing what was going on with my baby,” Tejeda said in a phone conversation. “I said, ‘somebody tell me something, because I’m hearing nothing.’”
Her sister reassured her that the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses were taking care of the baby, shortly thereafter taking him to the NICU wing. Tejeda’s sister related that her baby was moving and gaining his normal complexion.
“They took him away, and I didn’t meet my son until 24 hours later,” Tejeda said. “He spent a week in the NICU. For my husband and me, it was the hardest week of our life. But the NICU nurses were amazing.”
Now, Tejeda and her husband Lalo are caring for a healthy, nearly 1-year-old baby, and they want to give back.
While spending a week in the NICU, they noticed deteriorating rocking chairs, swings and bouncers — some of them broken — in the wing that gets heavy use from new parents eager to cradle their newborns.
The owners of Pardon My French Bakery found out the baby furniture at the NICU unit is all donated, and they wanted to do their part to provide good quality items.
That’s why they’re now coordinating a raffle involving several businesses, who are offering prizes valued between $100 and $500, including DJ entertainment (Modern Sympony DJ), music lessons (JPMS Music Lessons), a two-hour tattoo session (Apothecary Tattoo), professional family photography (Ashley Furtado Photography), a one-night hotel stay (Avila Village Inn), wine tasting for six people (Talley Vineyard) and more.
Of the money raised, 100 percent will go toward buying new baby furniture for the Sierra Vista NICU Center, Tejeda said.
Raffle tickets are $1 each, and the deadline to purchase a ticket is Jan. 7. The drawing will be held between Jan. 7 and Jan. 12, which is Oliver’s first birthday.
They have already raised more than $800 and hope to raise more than $3,000.
Tejeda said the nurses and doctors were amazingly “calm and confident, it really calmed me down” and they have helped many others, as well.
She calls her baby boy the “sweetest, calmest boy that I’ve ever met in my life and watching him grow and learn is the most rewarding experience of my life.”
“I put all my trust with the nurses,” Tejeda said. “We got to know some of them personally during the week we were in the NICU. We could never repay them for all the love they gave Oliver or the other babies there, but we’d love to try.”
Raffle tickets are available at Pardon My French Bakery and on PayPal at email@example.com or Venmo at @jamie-tejeda.