My newborn daughter’s heart has stopped beating in front of our very eyes.
I take in the scene of the distraught nurse, the red flashing of the monitor and the alarm beeping, the tiny oxygen mask at the ready…without really taking it in at all.
My mom and I being positive, in high spirits, relieved that I am feeling better, hopeful and happy to be seeing the baby, are now suddenly in utter shock, “but she was doing so well”.
Before we can really take in or completely understand what is happening, it is over.
I think that maybe I have misunderstood what is happening, looking at my mom who seems equally confused.
Did that really just happen?
Did my little precious baby girl just stop breathing?
Was it another apnea attack? And why did this one seem so much more serious?
Why were all the lights blinking and alarms blaring?
Kate, the nurse actually looked scared when we walked in, while before she has seemed “close to oblivious” and always reacted down to earth and matter of fact.
Now the look of relief on her face is apparent, she even broke out a sweat while handling the baby and her obvious fear makes it all real…too real…
Wiping at her forehead she quickly rearranges her facial expressions into the stoic, efficient and knowledgeable professional she is and I think maybe I was imagining the fear in her eyes?
She had the situation under control right?
My baby was never in any REAL danger. They are so good here they can handle and predict almost anything, and my daughter was doing so well, she made it to 34 weeks, she was big for her gestational age, bigger than they thought.
Other than the breathing and the jaundice, eating issues and body temperature regulation difficulties she was fine.
Everyone was amazed at how fine she was. The NICU team rushing her there after delivery called her a miracle and even told my husband that her NICU stay would be short and marveled over how good she looked.
Besides; they moved her to a new, open bed, which is a great sign and her nurse also oversees two other little ones and not just her, meaning she is doing so much better.
Also think about all the other tiny babies in here, born terrifyingly early…scary things do happen to them where the nurses have reasons to get worked up, but my baby…
What exactly happened to her and why? I thought I was safe… we were safe, everybody taking the easy going approach, “she is big and doing so well”.
Even though it is in my nature to worry (driving myself and everyone around me crazy) I thought that I could finally ease up a little bit, feel blessed and relieved that my girl was doing so great!
Yes she is premature, yes she is tiny, yes she is in the NICU and not home with us and yes she lost weight and is now just over 4lbs and she has some issues and has overcome obstacles on the way…
The situation is frightening and far from ideal and nothing that I could ever have imagined but I was starting to look forward…
Kate bundles up the baby (swaddling her like only nurses can), puts her newborn hat on (you know the one, pink and blue) and puts her back in her clear crib on wheels…bed number 13.
That must be a very good sign right?
Maybe what we thought happened didn’t really…I don’t even know what I thought, I barely had time to react. From the easy interaction between my mom and I, to “what am I walking in to?” This is all so new to me and maybe it sounds weird but this baby is also so new to me, all these feelings and emotions, all this weirdness about her staying in the hospital, not being able to go home…come home with me, her mother…her family.
Me being sick, the bed rest, the hospital stay, I’m wondering when it all will catch up with me…
I look at my mom again, a little nervous smile. We are all good here, right!? Mom and I stand side by side, arms dangling, looking at the nurse, not sure what to do or say, questions piling up inside.
Finally Kate looks at us, her normal cool, collected self, “that my friends” she says “was a Brady”