So obviously a lot has happened since my last post. We had a very busy Spring and Summer preparing for our sweet baby's arrival. We were very blessed to welcome our little lady:
June 22nd 11:52pm
7 lbs 14 oz 21 inches
June 22nd 11:52pm
7 lbs 14 oz 21 inches
Our sweet one arrived 2 and a half weeks early so we weren't quite ready for her arrival. Dad had been out of state with work all week and Mom was busy doing a major clean sweep with Grandmother and Aunt Emily to prepare the house for a new baby. Well I guess Annesley wanted to come and see just how clean the house really was because that night I started to have contractions. I was up through the night with a dull ache in my back so early the next morning I called the doctor to ask what back labor felt like. He said since it was #5 he'd feel better if I went into the hospital to get checked out. So we threw some things in a bag really quick and headed to the hospital with all intentions of coming home after the nurses reassured I wasn't in labor.
Well to our VERY big surprise I was having contractions and showing some progress towards delivery. I just couldn't believe it! I thought for sure it was just a false alarm! It wasn't until they broke my water much later in the day that I was like...we are really having this baby today! The whole thing that day just seemed so surreal since I never thought I'd be going into labor at 37 1/2 weeks. I have head early labor with the last 3 kids but Annesleys pregnancy had the least amount of early labor so I thought we were in the clear for an early delivery.
The labor was a very slow progression but I generally go into the hospital further progressed than I did this time so I was at the hospital through all the slow early labor. The laboring was pretty smooth and uneventful all day. My mom, Nathan's mom, and his grandmother were all in the room to see the little one make her appearance. The first thing we thought when we saw Miss Annesley was look at all that hair...wait...it's RED??? I never thought I'd have a read head! Aunt Emily says its a strawberry brown, but in the natural light it just glows red. Who would have thought??
Shortly after she was born she started coughing and gaging a bit. The nurses said that she might have just had a bit of fluid in her lungs from delivery and they worked on suctioning it out. After several minutes they began to realize that she was struggling quite a bit with her breathing as well. They decided to take her down to the nursery to have the doctor check her out for a bit. He said she was struggling to get the carbon dioxide out because she was panting so much and it looked to be from premature lungs. He said they would do some tests and monitor her for a while to see if she could get her breathing under control by herself or not. After several hours she still had not relaxed her breathing she he said she needed to be sent by life flight to Akron Children's Hospital.Nathan went ahead and left for the hospital so he could be there when she got to Akron. I had to spend the night at the hospital but life flight was so amazing that after they had her intibated and hooked up to all her monitors they wheeled her entire cot, isolet, and all into my room so I could see her before she left. They were so wonderful to answer all my questions. They said they gave her a dose of artificial cerfactin and that with premature lungs sometimes they don't produce the "oil" needed to keep the lungs form sticking together. When the lungs stick together they have to work extra hard for each breath and can wear out after a while. This dose of medicine that gave her would open up her lungs and give them the lubricant they needed. They said they would give her one more does in Akron and that should fix the problem.
The next morning my doctor released me to go and Alicia took me up to see the baby. My best friend form college had jumped on a plane as soon as she heard I was in labor and came to be with me. She missed the delivery by a couple of hours but was there for the whole next week. It was definitely a God thing that she came because He knew how much she would be needed while we were at the NICU. She stayed there with me and Nathan all week and just sat by Annesley's bedside with me. She was an encouragement as well as someone to sit and chat with during that stressful time. What a blessing she was!!
When I reached the NICU the baby still had her ventilator in, but she looked so much more at peace and was not struggling to breath. She ended up having her intibation tube removed the next day and was able to just have a little tube in her nose that forced air in instead. She also was on several monitors and had a feeding tube and IV. Once they began to wean her onto room air she also needed to go under the blue lights for her biliruben levels for a few days. Because of that we could only get her out for a couple of times each day. They started by having me do "skin-to-skin" holding with her. Basically we were chest to chest with a blanket wrapped around us. It was amazing how much she calmed her breathing down and relaxed while I was holding her. Simply so sweet.
After her breathing issues were under control and she was off the blue lights she still needed to get nursing figured out. They were worried about her figuring out how to suck, swallow, and breath all at the same time since she had just gotten her breathing regulated. They wanted to slowly introduce nursing to her..however Annesley had a different game plan. She latched on the very first time and went to town with feeding! No slow process for her! She was ready to go!
We ended up spending a total of 7 days in the NICU at Akron. The staff there was just simply amazing at not only their level of care for Annesley but also just how wonderful they were to work with. They did a supreme job of taking care of our entire family.
The kids were able to come up to visit the baby twice but never saw her out of the isolet. When they came to visit all the girls were excited and had a million questions. Caroline seemed the most interested in her. She put her little face up to the arm whole in the bed and started singing to the baby. So sweet! She kept telling everyone her sister was in a special box. She was like "how do they get her out?" She thought the baby was stuck in there! Elijah had no clue that this baby was ours. I said "Look Elijah our baby!" He looked around at all the other baby beds in there and was like "Baby! Baby! Baby!" pointing to each bed. He missed the concept! Afterwards he was more concerned with playing with her bed than he was with his new sister?
We had Annesley at our family doctor 2 days after coming home from the NICU and he said she looked perfect! What a true blessing from God! Just like our doctor said, she had a rough start but is doing just fine now. Praise God!