A Gentle Giant for Tiny Babies: Langford Shares Story

Posted Nov 13, 2013

St. Louis Rams Kendall Langford knows all about the importance of pre-game preparation. It’s his job. The premature birth of his daughter last spring wasn’t something he was ready to tackle. At times he still finds it difficult to discuss.

Kendall and his wife, Cristin recently shared their story with other families in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  They were there to offer their support and encouragement to other families dealing with the challenges of premature birth.

Last May, Kendall’s wife Cristin delivered their baby girl, Kylie, more than five weeks early. Cristin had a complicated pregnancy, specifically, during the first trimester, with bleeding issues due to a subchorionic hemorrhage.  Then for the next 30 weeks, everything seemed fine – until she started having more bleeding and contractions.  Apparently, the hemorrhage had not truly healed, but it was so tiny it couldn’t be detected on ultrasounds.

Upon delivery, Kylie had to stay in the NICU for three and a half weeks – a short time compared to many babies who are born premature. Cristin was discharged after only three days, which meant she and Kendall had to go home without their little girl.

Kylie’s time in the NICU was hard on the entire family.  Cristin spent nearly every waking hour at the hospital, which meant less time with 4-year old Kaden at home.  Kendall, meanwhile, also had to fulfill his obligations with the Rams during the day – not to mention being a father to both Kaden and Kylie, as well as a supportive husband.

Unfortunately, the Langford’s story isn’t unusual.  In fact, one in nine babies will be born too soon.  Every November, the March of Dimes partners with organizations like the Rams to bring "awareness" to the critical issue of prematurity.

Three months after Kylie came home; she contracted Group B strep – a blood infection common in preemies.  Once again, she had to be hospitalized – this time for 10 days on the pediatric floor of the hospital.

Today, Kylie is nearly seven months old and developing normally – thanks in large part to the doctors in the NICU and the research funded by March of Dimes.

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