My Birth Story Will Have to Wait

Because wow, do I have a lot of other things to report. I’ll let you have a picture, though… this is from the day after baby Caroline was born.

I don’t have too many other pictures right now because unfortunately she is still covered in wires and tubes, and it breaks our hearts to see her that way.

Caroline is still in the hospital. Her breathing went downhill on Monday, and after a chest x-ray showed an infiltrate in one of her lungs, the doctors made the decision to transfer her to a bigger NICU. (She actually was moved to the NICU at the hospital which is my school– which is SO weird for me.) We had been staying in the hospital with her, feeding her and worrying about her and staying by her bedside basically 24 hours a day. We had almost zero sleep since the day she was born, and we were really starting to lose it by Monday. I literally spent the entire day before she was transferred in the hospital room, pumping and crying, because I just knew that something was wrong. The nightmare just kept going like one of those weird dreams… Tyler and I followed the ambulance to my school in the middle of the night, and we drove up that same road I used to go up every day to class, but this time we were following our precious new baby and wondering what was happening to her and if we would ever take her home.

It still all just doesn’t seem real. I was supposed to be one of those mommies who got wheeled out of the hospital with balloons tied to the wheelchair and holding my baby in my arms. But I wasn’t, and somehow she still isn’t home with us, and I’m terrified to take her home even when they say she’s ready, because I don’t know if I will ever recover from sitting there for days, listening to her monitor beep and watching my baby turn blue. And being completely helpless to do anything about it at all. I swear, after I delivered her, I would wake up in the middle of the night, positive that I still felt her kicking in my belly. Then everything would come back and I would remember where she was… for a couple of days, I couldn’t think about her or look at her without crying because I wanted to take care of her and fix her and I just… couldn’t. Thank God for Tyler, though. I don’t know how I would have pulled through this without him. He has been so strong for me and is already so tender with our daughter that I tear up (with happiness!) whenever I see them together.

Today she finally turned a corner, which is why I am even able to blog about this at all. She hasn’t had any episodes of apnea (stopping breathing for more than 20 seconds) since she’s been at the bigger NICU, which is huge. She’s been nursing well and has learned to pace herself so that she can breathe and eat at the same time. The diagnosis that the doctors have given us is that she has really bad acid reflux, and she refluxed into her lungs which is what caused the aspirate to show up on the chest x-ray (“aspiration pneumonia”), and what caused the new breathing problems on Monday. Otherwise, her problems (which are now resolving) were just due to her prematurity. Apparently there’s a really wide range of what 36-weekers can look like maturity-wise, and my baby Caroline was just unlucky.

So now they are saying she only needs to be at the hospital until her IV antibiotics are finished, which is another 4-5 days. Honestly, I’m dying to take her home and have her with me all the time, but at the same time I’m scared to have her here away from the nurses… what if she stops breathing? I just will have to trust that they won’t let us take her until she is truly ready. That’s the only thing that keeps me sane when they tell us it’s going to be another delay until she can leave the NICU.

This all sounds very depressing, but really today was a great day. We finally got a diagnosis that makes sense and isn’t that scary (SO many babies have reflux, hers just happens to be serious). She did a great job nursing and hasn’t had any apnea in days. All the doctors and nurses say she looks wonderful (and everyone loves her hair!)… I really do believe it will only be a matter of less than a week before she comes home with us where she belongs.

And I promise I’ll post my birth story soon… just wanted to post an update on our baby girl. Here’s hoping she only gets stronger and healthier from here on out.

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  1. by Vikki

    On February 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I’m sooo glad she’s doing well…I hope you can bring her home soon…

  2. by MJS

    On February 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Oh Julia, She is just beautiful. Best wishes to you guys. :)

  3. by edmo

    On February 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Look at all that hair! She’s so cute. I’m sorry this hasn’t been how you imagined it, but I know it’s going to all be okay and you will only look back on this as a growing experience. I hope she’s home with you soon!René (edmo from The Nest)

  4. by MamaBear

    On February 12, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Hugs! I hope you’re able to take her home soon…know that the paranoia you’ll have will probably be worse than the average mom paranoia, but that you’d most likely have been paranoid either way! I’ve heard good things about the Angel Care Monitor, which is supposed to monitor their breathing and might be worth it for some peace of mind. Hang in there–it sounds like you’re handling things about as well as can be expected. Someday this will just be a distant memory, and you’ll have a lifetime to enjoy with little Caroline!

  5. by Ashley T

    On February 12, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for the update and I’m so glad that things have taken a turn for the good! :) She’s an absolute cutie and her hair is indeed awesome.Keep us posted!

  6. by Kristen

    On February 12, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Happy to hear that she is doing better after that initial scare. A similiar thing happened to one of my friends — only thier daughter had a swallowing problem and could not get food so she was transferred to our local Children’s Hospital for her first 2 weeks of life. I understand how incredibly hard that can be for anyone to handle. Keep us posted.

  7. by Susan

    On February 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Glad to hear that she’s doing better now! I can’t even imagine how scary that must have been for both you and Tyler. Hopefully this will be behind you soon and the three of you can be at home together. Her hair is absolutely beautiful and it looks like it’s the same color as yours. : )

  8. by Lauren

    On February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    She is beautiful! I will be keeping y’all in my thoughts and prayers – I know this all has to have been scary and exhausting and everything else.

  9. by cc kennedy

    On February 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    She is gorgeous! I’m glad to hear that she is improving. I hope you get to take your sweet girl home soon!

  10. by Mommymimi

    On February 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    :: Hugs :: I will pray for the three of you and especially for sweet Caroline that she is able to come home and that once she does you have nothing to worry about. She is BEAUTIFUL! Know that many people are thinking of you and praying for you!

  11. by NancyandMark

    On February 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that things are looking up for Baby Caroline. She is a beautiful baby girl and I hope that you can take her home real soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Tyler!!

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