Today it has been exactly one month since our little Evelynn came home from the NICU. I spent the first two and a half weeks of her life distraught that my baby wasn’t home with us. I was so depressed that I couldn’t hold my baby and that she was having to be fed through a tube instead of against my chest. I felt like somehow my body had failed me. I knew better though. I knew that it was amazing, unseen forces that had caused Evelynn to be an active growing baby and somehow she had managed to twist that cord into a knot and around her neck twice. I knew that if I hadn’t been sick, we would have been planning a funeral instead of enjoying our beautiful little girl. But I don’t think everyone else who knows Evelynn realizes that.
A few weeks before Thanksgiving I got really sick. My midwife came by to check and make sure I wasn’t in labor, but I wasn’t and since the vomiting, night sweats and constant fever hadn’t stopped after being on medication for several days we decided to go to the hospital again. This time they admitted me and put the baby on monitors. After two days in the hospital I got very little communication from the staff about my illness. They told me I was septic from an infection, but later I found out I actually had a nasty form of food poisoning that can lay in your system for years before it presents… we are extremely lucky that it decided to present itself when it did. I had an extremely high fever (104+) that put me at risk for going into labor and a small heart rate drop caused the nursing staff to panic and start to work on me (put me on oxygen, touch me, etc) without my permission. I was getting very impatient with the staff and decided to transfer to another hospital that was more prepared for delivering premature infants. As soon as I arrived the doctors spoke to me about the potential of a csection, I agreed if it was necessary and seconds later the baby’s heart rate dropped again and I was rushed the operating room.
If all of these things hadn’t happened, in this order, our daughter would not be alive. I wouldn’t be sitting here, typing our story and listening to hear cries from waking. (excuse me a second) I realize now how crazy lucky we are to have our baby and how different our family would be without her.
I am grateful for all the wonderful people we came into contact with during our stay at the hospital that delivered Evelynn. The doctor who did a quick and wonderful csection, the nursing staff who had to deal with my panic attack over an IV, the lactation consultant who had a breastpump delivered to my door but especially the NICU staff who took such wonderful care of our daughter while she was learning to eat, breathe and grow. And now we have a great pediatrician who was so floored by Evelynn’s miraculous birth and even our insurance has been great with making sure we had everything we needed.
We even have been able to touch other NICU moms through our instagram posts and this blog by sharing with them our daily struggles and accomplishments. Evelynn has brought such joy and wonder to our lives that I am proud to wear my csection scars (If you’re brave you can see them here: 2 weeks PP, 5 weeks PP, 7 weeks PP) and proud to have such a miracle in our lives.