On October 19, seven-month-pregnant Kerry Quaglione went to worklike it was any other day. When her husband John Quaglione, deputychief of staff for State Senator Marty Golden, picked her up toattend a wake, she complained of having stomach pains, but shookthem off.The couple went shopping and dined at Gargiulo’s Restaurant,picking up some frozen yogurt to enjoy later, when they would becurled up on the couch with a movie. Shortly after arriving home,however, Kerry Quaglione made a shocking discovery. She was goinginto labor, eight weeks before her baby was expected toarrive.She had a regular [doctor’s] appointment and everything was ontrack, John said. The original due date was December 12, and itjust happened.The couple raced to New York Methodist Hospital. Less than 90minutes after they arrived at the hospital, weighing four poundsand two ounces, Natalie Grace Quaglione was born.Barely over 16 inches tall, the child had to be sent to newbornintensive care, requiring an incubator at times. Although the firstweek was particularly tense for the couple, John describes thenurses’ positivity as a guiding light throughout the ordeal.The nurses were angels, he said. She was in her incubator, and anurse said don’t call it an incubator, call it her castle.’ Theywere so nurturing and comforting. If they weren’t there, I don’tthink I could have done it.The child, who is the couples’ first, was healthy enough to betaken home from the hospital after 13 days. Now three months old,the doctors say Natalie will have caught up to the growth of anaverage baby by next month. And although he admits being shaken bythe experience, John said he wouldn’t trade it for the world.We got a surprise, but a very good surprise, he said.He urges parents coping with a prematurely-born child to take aproactive approach.If there is a problem, make sure it is caught early so it can beaddressed, he said.John admits that he and his wife’s lives are completely transformednow that they are parents, but says they welcome the change.Every day is a whole new beginning when you have a child at thispoint, he said. You can’t wait to see the first step and thefirst word and what food she likes. It’s going to be a lot of funto sit back and watch and be part of a good life.
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