Dad Finally Meets Yankee Doodle Baby

Posted: July 30, 2020

At a time when happy stories seem few and far between, a joyful one played out in the NorthBay Healthcare NICU on July 21 when Senior Airman Alex Hull was able to hold his daughter, Elliana, for the first time.

The occasion was extra special because Alex had to wait 18 days for the moment to happen. He had been on deployment in Saudi Arabia when he learned his wife, Alyssa, had gone into labor eight weeks early, on — of all days — July 4.

“She was supposed to be born on Aug. 28,” Alyssa explained, “but the little firecracker couldn’t wait.”A mask can’t really hide the emotions Alex Hull experiences as he holds his 18-day-old daughter for the first time. Born on the 4th of July and eight weeks premature, Elliana Hull had to wait weeks to meet her Air Force dad, who was deployed at the time.

The Air Force rushed Alex home from Saudi Arabia, but he had to be quarantined on base for 14 days. The wait was excruciating, Alex noted, given that he had already spent significant time in quarantine. “I had to do two weeks’ quarantine before I left in June, two weeks when I got there and then two when I got back to Travis. But I can’t believe how fast I was able to get out of Saudi Arabia and on my way home: 26 hours, all direct!”

Just hours after his quarantine ended, the family was finally united in the NICU, which had been decorated with patriotic welcome signs and a cadre of cheering Mother/Baby and Labor & Delivery nurses in attendance.

Elliana weighed 3 pounds, 7 ounces at birth and had gained 1 pound and 2 ounces by the time she met her dad. That’s impressive progress, according to her NorthBay team.

With news that Alex and Alyssa are on their way from Travis Air Force Base, Jana Parkinson (center) dresses Elliana while Christi Tenret (left) looks on and Christin Leister (right) decorates the isolette with patriotic messages.“She’s not giving us any trouble; she has been a good girl,” said Brian Montenegro, M.D., in explaining Elliana’s first days to Alex as he held her close. “We had to put her on a breathing machine the second day, which is normal for premature babies, to help lung function. But, she’s doing well for a preemie and it would be great to get you guys home in July.”

When asked if it was OK to tell the family’s dramatic story, grandmother Angel Windham said, “only if you tell how great the nurses and physicians and everyone at NorthBay has been in taking care of my daughter and granddaughter. She has come so far in just two weeks.”

Alyssa was grateful to have her mother by her side through the past two weeks, as well. “Oh my god, I couldn’t have done this without her. The nurses have been great, all the way through.”


Recent News

Find the best doctor for you.

View our providers in Fairfield and Vacaville.

Find a Specialist