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Sugar and Spice

“Who knew our absolute world would become so small?”

Josh and Dallas Goodin are pictured with Paisley as a tiny baby.  Early on, the couple dressed their daughter in baby doll outfits because regular “preemie” clothing “swallowed her whole!” After being born prematurely and spending ninety-eight days in a hospital neonatal unit, Paisley is now a mischievous fifteen pounder.

Photos by Eugenia Jones

On September 19, 2014, Paisley Grace Goodin’s young mother, Dallas, shared news with friends and followers on Facebook:

“At 11:34 p.m. (on September 18), Paisley made her way into this big world.  She’s much smaller than what we had planned at 1 pound and 11.6 inches long.  She screamed and kicked which blew everyone’s mind…she’s definitely a fighter.”

Thus began the miraculous story of the tiny baby who stubbornly held on to life after being born at 24 weeks and 2 days.

“She is amazing.” Paisley’s mother shared.  “I know God has a huge story for her to tell someday.”

Anticipating their daughter’s birth on January 6, 2015, Dallas Clark Goodin and husband, Josh, were looking forward to the birth of their child.  The two had no clue their roles as parents would begin far sooner that either expected.

Four days after having been diagnosed as having kidney stones, Dallas took a turn for the worse and was rushed to the University of Kentucky on September 17.  There the previous diagnosis changed to one of preeclampsia, registering seventeen times higher than normal.  The preeclampsia was causing Baby Paisley’s heart rate to steadily drop.  The momentous decision to deliver the baby prematurely at 24 weeks and 2 days seemed unavoidable.

“The doctor came in and took my hand,” Dallas recalled.  “She said the odds weren’t in our favor.”

Despite the odds, Dallas successfully gave birth to a very small baby girl.

“She was even smaller than we thought she would be,” Dallas remembered.  “Some of her nurses said she was the smallest they had ever delivered.”

An entry from Dallas’ Facebook page describes the fragility of Paisley at birth.

“When Paisley was born, her eyes weren’t formed, she only had one layer of skin, and her ears were fully attached to her head,” Dallas wrote.  “The night she was born, her doctors couldn’t say anything except to just pray for her.  They didn’t even think she would make it.”

But make it, she did.

Proving herself a fighter from the start and blessed with a multitude of prayers on her behalf, Paisley began to grow stronger.

Her mother diligently informed those praying for Paisley and following her incredible journey by sharing frequent posts and photos on Facebook.

On September 20, Dallas shared.

“Paisley is two days old today and doing amazing!  She’s the strongest, most amazing thing I’ve seen.  God def has his hands around her.”

The young family celebrated many milestones during the initial ninety-eight days spent at University of Kentucky’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Special moments came when the first family photo of Mom, Dad, and Paisley was snapped, Paisley’s first selfie was made, Paisley’s weight crept up to two pounds, and more than a month after her birth, Paisley received outfits from the baby doll section of a store because “regular preemies swallowed her whole and micro preemies were too expensive!”

October 2 was especially exciting as described by Dallas on Facebook.

“Today is a big day for Paisley!  She had her first little bath (just a wipe down, of course!) and is rocking her first head band now.  She opened her left eye for the first time ever.  Def. one proud momma, right now!”

Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months as Paisley continued to grow and develop.  Finally, after approximately three months in the hospital, the little fighter made her journey home to McCreary County on December 22, 2014.

The following year saw Paisley mark what would have been her “full term birthday” on January 6, celebrate her 1st birthday in September, and battle through four returns to the hospital for flu and other respiratory problems.  Now, at just over a year old, the baby girl is fifteen pounds and a bundle of energy.

“She’s here, she’s rotten, and she’s into everything!” exclaimed Dallas with a loving smile.  “She loves her dad.  She’s always yelling for her da-da!  As for me, being a mother to a perfect angel is simply amazing!”

In her role as the McCreary County ambassador for McCreary County March of Dimes, Paisley is a true inspiration and miracle.  Her mother sums it up best in another of her Facebook posts.

“I would have loved to have felt Pais growing inside of me,” Dallas shared in amazement.  “But instead, I got to witness her growth with my own eyes.  Now, just try and tell me that God doesn’t work miracles!”

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