Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Little Big Man: Nied's Tiny Child Has a Lot of Heart

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Little Big Man: Nied's Tiny Child Has a Lot of Heart

Article excerpt

The baby boy will be 2 months old Thursday, and he still weighs only 1 pound, 10 ounces. Tanner David Nied could fit inside his father's baseball shoe, he is so tiny.

But apparently he has big plans for this world because against all odds he has survived after being born about three months prematurely June 4 at NYU Medical Center. No one could have measured the size of Tanner David Nied's heart.

"He wasn't given any hope at all of making it," his mother, Malissa Nied, said by phone Tuesday. "That's what the doctors told us. Even now, no one can say for sure. He's still so tiny. But he's stable. He's doing well."

Tanner is doing well enough that he will be boarded onto an airplane - an air ambulance - Wednesday. With doctors and nurses aboard, as well as his mom, the baby will be flown from New York to be hospitalized in Denver, where his dad, David Nied, pitches for the Colorado Rockies.

And while it is only the beginning for the Nied family, the plane trip will bring to a close an unexpected two-month stay in New York that Malissa will never forget.

"I'm not from New York," Malissa said. "It was an awakening. I don't think I'm going to come back any time soon. I'm from Virginia. It's a different world here."

She didn't mean it as a put-down. Indeed, Malissa Nied is grateful for the care her son received and the support offered her by people she encountered here, from doctors and nurses to the wives of several Mets players.

It's just that, well, this wasn't the way she pictured having her first baby, alone in the quaint metropolis of Manhattan, separated from her husband for all but a handful of days over the last two months.

"There were a lot of depressing days," she said.

The ordeal began when Malissa accompanied her husband on a trip to Montreal and New York. On the final day here, she was packing her suitcase at the Grand Hyatt, after David had gone to Shea Stadium, when she felt something.

"My water broke," she said. "The doctors don't know why. It just happens sometimes. I wasn't quite sure what was happening at the time."

She was transported to NYU Medical Center, thinking the whole time "that we were going to lose the baby."

That was a Wednesday night. …

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