Preemie Baby Ready To Go Home From Tulsa Hospital

Tuesday, March 10th 2009, 10:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- She's not even supposed to be born yet, but a preemie born at St. John Medical Center in December will finally get to go on Wednesday.  She's from the St. Louis area, but she'll always have a special place in Tulsa.

"Everything that I had planned for did not happen, did it? No. It didn't. You decided to come early. Yeah," said Heidi Santanello.

Heidi Santanello was early in her pregnancy when she and her husband came to Tulsa to visit friends for Christmas.  Four days later, her daughter was born unexpectedly, weighing only two pounds 12 ounces.

Giada Paulina Marie Santanello is a miracle, according to her mother.  The baby wasn't due until March 18th.

"Oh, it was beyond frantic and I was scared to death. I cried probably for the first 48 hours," said Heidi Santanello.

Not only was she premature, Giada was born in Tulsa, an unfamiliar place.

"I was like in tears. Cause I was like I don't want to have my baby here. I wanted to wait and have my baby back home," said Heidi Santanello.

Giada lived in what's called a Giraffe bed for the first several weeks of her life. It's called a Giraffe bed.  Her diapers and pacifiers were super tiny.

to show you just how small and delicate she was you can tell by the size of her diapers and pacifiers. This is the diaper she was wearing back then. This is the diaper she's wearing now."

"She's had a very long road. But, she's doing very well. But, she's on her way to going home," said Olivia Hawkins, RN.

For mom, home sounds too good to be true.  Even though she knows when they get there, Giada will still have a long way to go.      

"That's what parents do. You know, it's part of being a parent is that you just kind of deal with it:  the good and the bad. But, we've had enough bad and now we're going to have only good," said Heidi Santanello.

The Santanellos say although they were far from home, they were very happy with the care they received at St. John and in Tulsa.