Shannan's Story:

The Littlest Peanut

What began as a little poem from a mother to a daughter, later turned into a very special book for some very special little babies.

Shannan Wilson delivered her first child, Kendall, six weeks before her due date. The baby girl was born healthy but tiny, weighing just 3 pounds, 15 ounces. She was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Virtua Voorhees where she spent the first three weeks of her life.

“My husband and I didn’t know what to expect and experienced a lot of stress and fear of the unknown. It was an emotional rollercoaster,” says Shannan.

Eighteen months later the family welcomed a new baby boy, Breck. He too was very little and faced some health challenges. Breck spent five weeks in the NICU at Virtua Voorhees.

As the mother of two preemies, Shannan discovered she couldn’t find a baby book to record her children’s milestones. Since preemies develop differently than full term babies, none of the books she found quite fit her experiences.

“I needed to cross sections out and add in others for the things that happened when babies were in the NICU,” she says. “This led me to create a special milestone book especially for preemies.”

Shannan wrote “The Littlest Peanut, A Baby Book for the Teeny Tiny Ones.” It’s a book for parents who wish to document the special milestones their preemies reach. It includes steps that are unique, such as how the baby’s temperature is measuring and what the neonatologist might have said. It also records weekly rather than monthly milestones.

In gratitude for the care Kendall and Breck received at Virtua, Shannan donates a portion of the proceeds from her book to Virtua Foundation in support of the NICU.

“On the most difficult days, the NICU caregivers were our angels. They gave us peace and comfort. They loved and cared for Kendall and Breck and did all they could to help our children grow and thrive,” says Shannan. “We are grateful for their care and compassion.”

The book is a one of a kind memento that can be found in Virtua’s gift shops and online at


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