As I type, I’m sitting in the NICU right next to Ivy Jean while she sleeps and stays warm in her isolette bed. Our precious girl is two weeks old today, and not a day has passed that we are not grateful for her life and humbled to be her parents. I wanted to thank you all for your support and share a little bit about her birth story.
The day started out like any other. Russ and I woke up and both headed to work. It was a Wednesday, the day my weeks turn over. I had hit the 34 mark and was feeling great. We were anticipating her birth in late December and wondering what the season would hold for our new family.
I had my weekly BPP monitoring test, something I did because I was high risk due to IVF and gestational diabetes. We had a great ultrasound first. More pictures of our precious baby! Then they hooked me up to the monitor. At the end of twenty minutes, the nurse came over to check my reading, and I saw the concern on her face. She went to show the doctor and came back to tell me they could not establish a baseline for the baby’s heart rate. It was bouncing in and out of normal range. I needed to stay another 20 minutes. I texted Russ, who had just left after the ultrasound and told him I thought everything was okay but that I needed to stay. It was about 4:30. After another 20 minutes, nothing had changed. The doctor told me he was sending me to the hospital for triage and more monitoring.
While concerned, I still thought everything was alright. I arrived at the hospital around 5:30 and Russ followed closely behind me around 5:45 with dinner and some reading material. After all, we thought we would just be there a couple hours for monitoring. They got me hooked up and two nurses came in to check on me. They quickly disappeared and 5 or 6 doctors and nurses reappeared. Things started to get real very quickly. The baby’s heart rate had dropped and wasn’t coming back up. Within minutes we were on the elevator up to labor and delivery, I had an IV in my arm and an oxygen mask on my face. They told us I was headed for an emergency c-section. Russ couldn’t come with me, there was no time, and I would be put completely under. He frantically tried to call family.
He says he’ll never forget everyone leaving with me and finding himself alone in the room not knowing if we were okay. Then he heard a cry. They took him to the NICU where he found out our baby was a precious 4 pound, 9 ounce girl. When I woke up, he got to tell me it was Ivy Jean. So many sweet and scared tears. So much grace in that moment. She was okay, just little and in need of care.
In the days to follow, Russ and I have found ourselves adjusting to our new normal in the NICU. Ivy has made so much progress. She no longer needs a feeding or breathing tube or an IV. I have been able to do a combination of nursing and pumping. She gains a little weight each day and is currently learning to regulate her own temperature. When she is able to stay warm enough on her own, she’ll move to an open air crib and then home! Our prayer is for her health and wellness.
I cannot begin to express our gratitude to everyone who has loved and supported us through meals, prayers, texts, and more. We are especially thankful for the doctors and nurses who have cared for both me and Ivy Jean. We are blown away by their dedication. Recovering from an emergency c-section while having a baby in the NICU is no joke, but they make it manageable and encourage us when we feel down. Our days are long and dictated by numbers. The nights away from her are hard and interrupted by pumping. Yet God has been so good and so evident to us in this time just as he has been during infertility and the ups and downs of pregnancy. The progress she has made in these two weeks is by Him alone. We are so in love with our Ivy Jean.