• Hannah and Emily Bowman, NICU patients

  • Amanda Bowman had already gone through one high-risk pregnancy when, in March, she had an emergency C-section to deliver daughter Emily – 10 weeks early. Hardly bigger than a No. 2 pencil, Emily was in for the fight of her life. Luckily for the Bowman family, they had a team of neonatal experts on their side.

  • Amanda tells their story

  • My name is Amanda Bowman, or also forever known from now on, Hannah and Emily's mom. I was fortunate to have Dr. James Beckner deliver both of my girls at Holston Valley Medical Center.

    Both of my pregnancies were considered high-risk, so Dr. Beckner, Dr. Mark Hennessy and their staffs, along with the entire labor and delivery staff, could not have done more to show genuine care and concern for me – not only as a patient, but as a person as well. My husband even asked if I could take Dr. Beckner along on a business trip "just in case" during my first pregnancy.

    We truly could not have hand-picked a better group of people to care for our family during pregnancy and delivery. Both of my pregnancies have very different stories to go along with them – thankfully, both have very happy endings.

    Our second daughter, Emily, was born March 26, 2015. At 7:38 a.m., she came into this world 10 weeks early and weighing one pound, six ounces and was 12 inches long. She was essentially born the size of a No. 2 pencil – and yes, we have the pictures with her next to one to show it!

    During her weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, we had a roller coaster of emotions. From delivering an extremely small baby, to being separated from her, recovering from a C-section, not being able to hold our daughter right away, having your newborn hooked up to monitors and breathing machines, traveling back and forth to see her, balancing a 2 ½- year-old… and did I mention my husband is a CPA and she was born right in the middle of his busiest time of year? This was anything but the fairy tale experience. However, during one of the scariest and most stressful times in our lives, the NICU nurses (also now known as Emily's adopted aunts) and doctors not only nurtured her, but us a well.

    By summer, Emily weighed a whopping 3 lbs., 6 ounces, breathing and eating five times a day on her own. She is no doubt our miracle baby! While no one can explain it until you experience it, there is something both comforting and calming about walking in each day and seeing the NICU staff's presence. If I could find a way to forever show my gratitude for the care they've given Emily, I would be the first in line. Hearing the excitement in their voices when they talk about the new Center for Women and Infants is a small way that you all are repaying all of us who can't say "thank you" to them enough. Holston Valley is elevating the quality of care for their patients through the Next Generation and Generations campaigns. This is an exciting time for the providers, patients and our community.

    Growing up with a mother who is a labor and delivery nurse, I knew she worked in a women and children's center, but never had an appreciation for what that meant until I had Emily. As a mother giving birth to a baby destined for the NICU, it's pretty much a given you are going to be separated from your baby. During an already emotional experience, these changes are a huge step towards giving a new mother some peace. We have been so fortunate to have the quality of care in Kingsport that we received before, during and after delivery of our girls. It truly does take a village, and I'm proud and thankful that Holston Valley’s physicians, nurses and staff are a part of ours. In keeping with the Children’s Miracle Network’s slogan, thank you for putting your money where the miracles are.

  • Share your story

    Did a compassionate smile lift your spirits? Or did a world-class team of physicians save your life? Whether you were born here, healed here or both, we want to hear your story.

    If you do share your experience, you may be contacted by a Wellmont representative for more details.