Kawisatens Clay Swamp was born at 25 weeks and 1.9 pounds, and his mom needs your help. (Photo Courtesy Haylee Jacco)
There was a miracle in Akwesasne earlier this month, with Haylee Jacco giving birth to a young boy named Kawisatens Clay Swamp.
This boy isn’t an ordinary baby; he was born at 25 weeks (three months and one week early), 1 lb, 9 oz, and is still going strong.
As many community members know, I was also born prematurely at 25 weeks (four months to be exact), and when this incident was announced, there was an immediate connection with this family and mine.
After discussing my history with Jacco, explaining the long journey my family and I have been through has helped bring hope to Jacco and her family.
“What happened was my sack ruptured, I didn’t know I leaked, and I didn’t know it was water a few days before he was born, but I spoke to my midwife, and they thought it was normal,” said Jacco.
Kawisatens was born on March 8, but was only scheduled to come out on June 16.
“I noticed my belly wasn’t as hard and I had an instinct that something was wrong. I spoke with my friend, and I told her I was going to the ER, and I just knew something was off.”
Jacco had a healthy pregnancy throughout the traumatic process, receiving an emergency C-section. The baby’s concerns were his low amniotic fluids, with his heart, vitals, and oxygen all being in check.
“I didn’t feel the sac rupturing, that’s why he came prematurely. The doctor looked, and he knew right away that the baby didn’t have any fluids, which resulted in him being distressed. The doctor said the only way we could save him was to take him out, and I said yes, of course,” said Jacco.
“At first I was in shock and scared, I was scared for him, I started crying hard and the nurses told me to stop, or I would distress him.”
Hearing the story and the step-by-step journey Jacco and her son have been through brought back memories to my family, reminding how much of a hard time I gave them by coming home early.
I was born 1 lb, 13 oz.
“They had to put me right out with anesthesia, and before that, I called some family members to warn them right away, and as soon as I woke up from the surgery, my whole family was there beside me,” said Jacco.
Jacco was able to see her newborn the same day at 8 p.m., and to her shock, she never realized how small her baby would be.
“He came out crying, but breathing on his own; it was crazy. He is having trouble now due to his premature birth but has been having a good start,” she said.
I gave her some history on the meaning of my name, translating to ‘He’s in a hurry,’ and Jacco also shared the similarity of naming her son based on his early arrival.
“I didn’t have a name for him so for the first few days we named him Clay until we got the right away to use Kawisatens, which means ‘thick ice.’ We thought it would be nice for him to have a winter name considering he was expected or the summer,” she said.
As of now, the baby has been recovering day by day, having a possible Staphylococcus (Staph) infection, which has been affecting his breathing. Jacco has created a Facebook fundraiser to cover travel expenses, hotel, meals, parking, and bills at home during this difficult time.
“I had to take leave from work and will be accompanying him with his stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa,” said Jacco.
“I have had so many wonderful people asking how they can help.”
The fundraising goal has already been surpassed, with the family initially asking for $3,000 while it has now reached over $4,100.
The fundraising information can be found on Jacco’s Facebook page.
“People from all other reservations are donating, and it’s amazing how our communities can come together to help us. Some of these people I have never met and I am very grateful for their thoughts and help,” she said.