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Home Sweet Home



As a surgical tech for labor and delivery at Sanford Bismarck, delivering tiny babies and emergency circumstances is nothing new to Nichol Weigel. But never did she think she would find herself in that situation. “I’ve seen other people go through it, but you don’t realize how hard it is and the emotional roller coaster it is until you have lived it,” says Nichol.

Little peanut

It was during her 20-week ultrasound in Bismarck that Nichol and her husband Jermaine learned there was something wrong with their baby, Mya Grace. She was measuring small. The doctors asked her to return in 3 weeks and it was at that time, they determined she was at least a month behind in development and Nichol was sent to Sioux Falls to meet with the perinatologists there.

“I thought I was going to go home,” recounts Nichol. “But they found it was too risky to head back to Bismarck because she wasn’t getting enough blood flow. They said we were really lucky that nothing had happened to Mya already with the low blood flow.”

Mya Grace was born on August 30th during an emergency delivery at just 28 weeks gestation. She weighed just one pound, three ounces. “She’s our miracle baby,” says mom. “That’s for sure. She’s our little peanut.”

Mya spent over four months at Sanford’s Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she was monitored and grew both in size and in strength. Nichol attributes that to the expert care and compassion she received while in the NICU.

“I miss them so much actually. There are a couple of nurses I still keep in touch with. I send pictures and emails. Those nurses and doctors in the NICU were absolutely amazing,” she says.

Home for the holidays

Nichol wanted nothing more than for she and Mya to return to Bismarck for Thanksgiving. While that didn’t happen, they were home for Christmas thanks to a gift from Sanford.

Because Mya was still under strict care, she couldn’t travel by car or ambulance. She needed to be flown home. But the cost of the plan was too expensive for Nichol and Jermaine. So Sanford Health surprised the family by covering their flight expenses.

“When the social worker came in and told us what Sanford did, I broke down in tears,” she remembers. “It was pretty amazing they’d do something like that for us. I just cannot say thank you enough.”

On December 10th mom and baby returned to Bismarck. Mya was in the NICU there until December 28th when she got home to her family including a very anxious older brother, Jayce.

“When she’s waking up, we all run to her because she’s starting to smile now. When she sees one of us, she smiles so we fight over who gets to go get her when she’s waking up.”

Mya continues to do well, at five months old she weighs six pounds and the family feels the worst is behind them.

Nichol says, “at the time you’re living it, it was hard. But looking back, it’s just a minor part of our lives. We have so much more to look forward to now.”

Posted Date: February 2013

Home Sweet Home

Being home as a family was the best holiday gift.