Preface: I am leaving out many details of these first days, because this blog is about Lila, and what she’s going through. There were SO many people who were so concerned, excited, supportive, and who just loved us, and if I included all of those details, this would turn into the longest post EVER.

After a fairly easy pregnancy, Jon and I headed to the hospital around 8:30pm the night before Lila’s due date, after determining that my water had broken. We were admitted, and settled in for the long haul. I labored through the night, and the next morning, and finally it came time to meet our little girl.

I think we first began to suspect something was amiss when more people kept trickling into the room. The doctor delivering me said that I had one more chance, and then we were off for a c-section, due to Lila’s heart rate decelerating with each contraction. Between the doctor, the vacuum, and myself, we were able to get her out during this last try.

I just remember saying to Jon, “she’s FINE, I know she is, she’s fine!”, but not hearing her cry. We watched on as a team of doctors worked on her, and heard a couple of feeble cries out from her. I knew they’d take her right away, so we gave her a quick kiss hello, and watched in stunned disbelief as our little girl was taken out of our room, to be evaluated and “fixed”. I was completely out of it, with a fever of almost 103, no sleep for almost 30 hours, and on pain meds. The next hour is honestly a blur, and I don’t remember much.

I do remember the neonatologist coming in after this, to talk with us about what had happened. Apparently during delivery, the umbilical cord had gotten wrapped around Lila’s neck. No one had any way of knowing this, and this was the cause of her heartrate decels. As such, she was put on a ventilator, to help her breathe. We weren’t sure how long she had been without oxygen, just that something had to be done about this immediately.

At the hospital we delivered, they have a standing policy that any time a newborn is intubated, they MUST go to Children’s Hospital in Boston for further treatment. So a team from Children’s was coming to take our brand-new little girl off to Boston, ASAP. They would bring her by our room before going, so I could see her. We made sure Jon could go with her, and he did.

I don’t know where I got it into my head that they would walk her into our room, swaddled in a little receiving blanket, and hand her to me…but quite the opposite happened. Lila was wheeled in in her incubator, tubes and machines hooked up all over her. We had about a minute or two with her, and then she and Jon — my family– had to leave. I sobbed through this entire thing, stroked her head gently, stared into her blue, blue eyes, and let them go. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I knew my sister would be on her way, she was coming to stay with me. So that was a huge comfort to me. During the short time I was alone, I was still pretty out of it. The nurses tried to get me to try to stand up, and see if I could handle walking, but I immediately got lightheaded, and almost passed out. So we decided to wait a bit longer on this little task. About an hour or so later, we tried again. This time, no walking, but just to a pivot into a wheelchair, so I could get out of the labor room, and into my post-partum room. I managed to get into the wheelchair, after about 15 minutes, and then again had to sit there, head down in my lap, because I was about to pass out again. We finally made it to my post partum room, and hauled myself into bed, where I stayed until the next morning.

My sister arrived a short time later, thank god. She kept my sanity that night. I talked to Jon a million times, he was giving me all the updates he could on what was happening at Children’s. I knew my main goal at this point was to get stronger, and get discharged, so I could go be with them.

The next morning, I was finally able to make an assisted unsteady walk around my room, and felt a small sense of victory. As the day progressed, I felt myself getting slowly stronger. Jon came in the afternoon to spend some time, and then went back to Children’s for the night. Cait stayed again this night with me. We were able to meet with my doctor, who said that as long as my fever stayed away for 24 hours, I could be discharged in the morning–yay!

Morning came, and sure enough, no fever. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was finally going to get to be with Jon and Lila that day. I knew I was in for an overwhelming and exhausting day, but really–I had NO idea.