UPDATE: Sadly, Uriah Goff died Saturday, Jan. 6.
BLISS — When Alysen Springer went to a specialist in Boise during her pregnancy, she wasn’t expecting to deliver her baby 13 weeks early.
The Bliss resident didn’t bring much — not even a change of clothing — to her Dec. 8 doctor’s appointment. She was just expecting a day trip to formulate a medical plan to help with her son’s growth.
But Springer found out her body wasn’t coping well with the pregnancy. A doctor told her: “You’re not leaving the hospital being pregnant.”
She felt fine for a couple of days in the hospital and thought everything would go back to normal.
But at 3 a.m. Dec. 11, “I took a downhill spiral, basically,” Springer said. She was in pain and her liver was in distress.
Initially, the plan was to try to hold off on delivery for 24 hours. But that didn’t happen. Springer had an emergency C-section — not what she’d originally planned.
“I wanted to do a natural birth,” she said. “But my body was already to the point of shutting down.”
Uriah Goff was born at 27 weeks gestation at 1:02 p.m. Dec. 11. He weighed just 1 pound 7 ounces, and measured 12.4 inches.
Once her son was born, Springer started feeling much better.
Since then, “it’s been kind of a roller coaster ride,” she said. Uriah was so small, he wasn’t taking to feedings at first.
He also underwent “a couple of downhills” common to premature babies, she said, such as needing a blood transfusion. “Besides that, he’s basically in perfect health.”
Uriah will likely be at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Boise until March 6, his original due date, but if things go well, he could be released as early as February.
“As they say, he’s the boss right now,” Springer said.
Uriah’s great-grandfather, Danny Reed of Hollister, said the baby is making good progress, especially considering how early he was born. “There haven’t been any major medical issues transpire at this point.”
Now, Uriah weighs 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
Father, Tyler Goff, has two other children from a prior relationship, but Uriah is the first child for the Bliss couple. Springer and Goff have been friends since they were students at Filer High School.
Reed said he thinks the couple has fairly good medical insurance, but there are still daily expenses and a loss of income since Springer hasn’t been able to work.
“They didn’t plan on this happening until March,” Reed said.
Springer has been staying in Boise to be near her son. She’s on maternity leave from her job at Ziggy’s Express Gas & Grill in Bliss.
Goff missed a week of work as a cook at Oxbow Diner in Bliss when Uriah was born. Since then, he has driven back-and-forth from Bliss to Boise on his days off work.
Even though their home is closer to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, the Twin Falls hospital accommodates infants only 30 weeks and older. Those who are younger, like Uriah, receive care in Boise.
Last year, a Hansen couple made headlines when their baby girl — Rainna Crabb — was born in March at just 24 weeks gestation at St. Luke’s Magic Valley, weighing 1 pound, 1 ounce.
Now, she’s home and doing well after spending four months in the NICU in Boise.
It’s a success story — one Uriah will hopefully emulate as his medical journey continues.