When I originally set out to write this post, in my mind it was about how no matter how hard you try, you never really know what is going to happen in life. What emerged once I had finished writing, was a beautiful birth story as told from an Aunt’s perspective. I hope one day my new nephew will read this and know not only how he came into this world, but how much he is loved by his family, especially his Mom.
Isn’t it crazy how life always has a way of throwing you curve balls? I’m a planner, I like to be prepared, I like knowing details, lots of details and I sometimes have a hard time accepting/adjusting to things not going the way I expect/want them to. I guess I frequently forget that life does not follow my plan, but His. This past weekend I must have needed, yet another, reminder of this. The weekend started off great! We celebrated Brynlee’s first birthday at my in-laws up north in Prescott (I’ll write a post on her first birthday as soon as I get a chance to go through all of the pictures) and while there were few minor hiccups, we all had a great time and I know she had a lot of fun!
And then that evening came…
Unfortunately, my sister had been unable to make it to Brynlee’s party. She had been in the hospital two days earlier with the stomach flu and being 29 weeks pregnant she was having a hard time fighting it and it was wearing her out. At around 7:00 that evening we got a call from my mom saying that my sister was back in the hospital and that she was in labor. NO. OTHER. DETAILS. Don’t forget I mentioned that she was only 29 weeks pregnant! This did not sit well with my plan, prepare, detail oriented self. My mom was frantic, she was taking care of my sister’s 18 month old daughter and was just giving her a bath when she got the call. She was trying desperately to get out of the house and get to the hospital so we would know more.
Before any of us made it to the hospital, the decision had been made to AirVac her to a Phoenix hospital. For those not familiar with Arizona geography the two hospitals are about 79 miles apart. I ended up beating my mom to the hospital and found out that she was on a magnesium drip in hopes to stop the labor but that they were sending her to Phoenix to a hospital that had a NICU capable of having babies that preterm, Prescott’s limit was 32 weeks.
Forty-five minutes later she was in the air being transported to Phoenix, along with all of our prayers that both her and the baby would be safe.
Information coming in was very slow going from this point on, but finally at 6:30 Sunday morning I was able to talk to my mom and find out that they were able to get her fever down and her labor slowed. The nurse had told my mom that my sister was doing a lot better and that she would have time to run home to get some things and come back that afternoon. Great! Some good news!!! We were all so relieved!
A couple of hours later, I got a text from my mom with this picture:
The baby had been born via emergency cesarean weighing 3 pounds 2 ounces and 15 ¾ inches long.
Apparently, when they were able to finally get my sister’s temperature to drop it just kept dropping… all the way down to the low number of 94*. Luckily, my mom hadn’t left the hospital yet, but because of the bad infection that was coursing through my sister’s body instead of getting a spinal for the cesarean, they had to put her completely out. This also meant that no one was allowed in the room with her, everyone at the hospital just had to sit by and wait for news. The doctors still don’t know what the infection was or what caused it, but the hope was that it was in her uterus and that after she had the baby she would start getting better.
The baby was immediately taken to the NICU, while my sister was taken to recovery and then moved to ICU where they would hopefully figure out what was wrong with her. After a little over 24 hours in the ICU, they still didn’t know anything about the infection, but she was recovering well enough that she was finally able to be moved up to the labor and delivery wing. At this point she had still not seen her baby boy except through pictures.
In the meantime, the baby was doing really well. He was a lot bigger than any of the doctors expected and he had really good coloring. When I saw him he looked absolutely perfect, just a little small, he even moved around a little and I heard him cry, which in turn had me on the brink of tears. He is currently breathing on his own, has had some breast milk and seems to be doing really well. With babies this premature we are told that we have to take things hour by hour and the situation can change at any time. But the nurses have nicknamed him Superman by how well he is doing, so we are all continuing our prayers for his health and can’t wait until he can go home with my sister. The doctors have said that if all goes well then he should be able to go home in 7-10 weeks.
Yesterday, my sister finally got to hold him! While she had been able to visit him and touch him and even change his diaper, she had yet to have the chance to take him in her arms. I can’t imagine what a special experience that was for her. To go through everything the two of them went through and then to be able to hold that tiny baby and look into his eyes. Don’t get me wrong, anytime a mother gets to hold their child for the first time is special, I’ll never forget holding Brynlee that first time. But when you go through everything they both did, how hard they both fought and then having to wait days to be reunited, you know that feeling is unrivaled on both sides.
So, we will continue to send our prayers for my sister and her baby (any additional are greatly appreciated) and we will be thankful for those that have been answered so far. I will try to remember that all things happen according to His plan and that even through great trials (some of which we don’t understand) the most pure and unparalleled beauty can emerge.
*Here he is “sunbathing” with is little “sunglasses” on*