Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 11 of 365

Other than being in labor for 26 hours and winding up having an emergency c-section, my first pregnancy was uneventful.

That was until the nurse came in a few hours after our daughter was born and told me she was having seizures. Lots of seizures. Seizures they couldn't get under control. Seizures they couldn't handle at that hospital. Within 36 hours of my daughter being born, she was in an incubator, hooked up to tubes and lines, and in an ambulance on her way to another hospital, in another city, to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. And there I was, still lying in a hospital bed, unable to follow because I had a c-section.

She spent 10 days in intensive care. Most of it was in a drug induced coma. To stop her seizures she was given enough phenobarbital to keep her from waking up. Enough phenobarbital to keep her brain still as they searched for answers to the cause - was it an infection or brain injury? They were preparing us for the worst (severe brain damage) but helping us find the positives (she opened her eyes and nursed on day 8).

Day 10 she was sent home with a prescription of phenobarbital. They had given her such large doses to keep her in a coma she was now addicted. It took several months to wean her off.

We kept looking for those positives. Could she make sound? Yep. Could she crawl? Yep. Could she walk? Talk? Yep. Yep. Doctors were surprised at her progress. While they never found out why she had so many seizures, they were pretty confident she was going to have some type of brain damage from them. When it became obvious that she was "good to go", the pediatric neurologist shared that in cases like hers only 1 in 100 babies turns out "normal".

Our miracle baby. Now she's on her own, has a job, an apartment, and calls home every day. She comes home every few weeks and helps us out around the house with odd jobs. Is sometimes a pain in the behind, but mostly not.

Which brings me to today's picture. A couple in California had a premature baby that did not make it. Calling All Angels is a service project where they are giving back in memory of their child by donating blankets to a NICU for premature babies.

In memory of those parents around me in the NICU so many years ago, those parents who had children who did not survive, I am donating a quilt. A little girl quilt. I've been working on it for a week or so, and it's now ready to go.