On the morning of August 6th, I accompanied my wife to her ultrasound appointment. She was in her 41st week, so unlike our harrowing experience with our first pregnancy, the relatively mild (easy for me to say) discomfort this time around was from going too long. We were ready for our daughter to arrive. Ultrasound showed oligohydramnios, a deficiency of amniotic fluid, and the technician asked us if we were ready to meet our daughter. Apparently, she was ready to meet us.
At around 7:15 pm that day, Willa Lourdes Kayne was delivered by C-section. I sat in the operating room while the doctors told corny jokes and told stories to distract me and my wife from the surgery. Willa cried when she was born, and it was pretty awesome. We slept in the hospital, with Willa’s crib in our room. I went to work during the day, while our families kept Carrie and Willa company in the hospital. That was Tuesday and Wednesday.
Wednesday at 3:30pm, I glanced at my phone to see four missed phone calls and ten text messages. Call me. Please call. CALL ASAP. I need you to CALL NOW. And so on. While I was at work, Willa had stopped breathing for two minutes. She turned blue. My dad and wife had rushed into the hallways of the hospital, and a nurse signaled a “Code Blue”, which is an alarm for a patient in cardiac or, in Willa’s case, respiratory arrest. A throng of medical personnel took Willa into the nursery, where they resuscitated her, giving her chest compressions and who knows what else.
Pausing here to tell you that everything now appears to be perfectly fine.
By the time I got to the hospital, Willa had been admitted to the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). If the shock of having your healthy baby demoted to sick baby isn’t enough to start the crying, having your two-year-old say “Oh no, Baby Willa not here,” when you walk into your wife’s hospital room will pretty well do the trick. We had a hell-storm of a first shot at having children, and it just seemed like this time was going to be easy. Comparatively, it was.
Willa had every test under the sun administered to her: EEG, EKG, MRI, Metabolics, Genetics, and on and on. All tests were normal. The doctors had no idea what caused her catastrophic episode. Apparently, sometimes babies “just do this.” When my wife asked the attending physician if he had any reason for our daughter to have scared us like this, he said “No. But I could make one up.” Ok, thanks.
This past Saturday, after over a week of the best medical care in New York City and world-champion levels of stress from me and my wife, Willa came home. We took a three-hour private infant CPR lesson. We’ve got her on monitors that sound an alarm if her respiratory rate or heart rate falls outside the normal limits, but we’ll return that to the hospital as soon as we feel confident that she’s as perfectly ok as the doctors say she is (when she’s 20?).
Truman is, so far, incredibly sweet with her. We’ve told him to be gentle, so he only dares to lightly stroke his finger on the very outermost layer of her clothes. He says “Baby Willa so funny” and “Baby Willa so cute”. We’re waiting for him to become jealous and horrible, but up to now he’s just been awesome.
So, we’re home. We haven’t slept since whenever, our house is a mess, but it beats the hell out of the hospital. Thanks to everyone for everything. Sorry if we dropped off the planet for a bit, but that’s where we were.
I’ve attached some pictures of all shenanigans, from heading to the hospital to coming home. You guys are great.