On Thursday May 16, 2013 at 4:17pm, Jesse and Teresa Baird became parents to a beautiful baby girl, Julia Michelle Baird. She was 6 pounds and 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. She was born at Covenant Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa. Unfortunately we had a sad turn of events as soon as she was born. Here is the story of her long journey in her new life.
When Julia came out, the cord had been wrapped around her neck twice and she was sent to the NICU immediately. They soon noticed that she was having difficulty breathing on her own and had to resuscitate her several times, eventually incubating her.
They also thought she was having seizures and started communications with the neonatal doctors at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. They kept a close eye on her all night and did everything they could to keep her stable and make her better.
At 6:30am on Friday morning, the NICU doctor came into our room and announced that Julia would indeed need to be transferred to the UI Hospital as soon as possible. Julia left Waterloo around 8:30am and Teresa followed soon after and was also admitted there as a patient. Upon arrival, they placed several leads onto Julia’s head that connected to computers and a video camera for them to monitor her seizures. At this time it was decided that she was having seizures about every 5 minutes. They were pretty sure her difficulty of breathing on her own was linked to the seizures. They also hooked her up to oxygen and several I.V.’s to sustain and keep her well.
Julia had a CT scan on Friday and on Monday May 20th, she had an MRI to get a more detailed picture of her brain. Unfortunately the worst news of our lives came with the results of her MRI. At some point in her life (they aren’t sure when, could have been early in pregnancy, during delivery, or after, they may never know) Julia did not get enough blood, oxygen, and/or glucose to her brain and it caused severe brain damage. The outlook was/is very grim: Julia may never walk, talk, or even know who her parents are. Many tears were shed that day as we met with family and doctors and went over her MRI images and talked about what her future might hold and how to care for her.
After a few extremely rough days came some positives that we are holding onto tightly. On Monday evening (the 20th) they were able to take out one of her I.V.’s that was in her umbilical cord so that we were finally able to hold her! It was a perfect ending to such a sad day. On Tuesday the 21st, the speech therapist came to test her sucking ability. She did well and was able to take a pacifier and drink a little bit from a bottle. (She was being fed through a feeding tube through her nose.) That day she was also moved from NICU Bay 1 to NICU Bay 2! (Bay 1 needs the most care, Bay 5 is the last one they are in before going home.) On Thursday the 23rd Julia had a swallow test in the morning.
video of the swallow test!
Using an X-Ray machine they tested her sucking ability once more and checked to see that the milk she drank went down to her stomach and didn’t get caught in her wind pipe or lungs or anywhere else it wasn’t supposed to be. Julia passed the test with flying colors and started to bottle feed (pumped breast milk from Mom) that very day! On Friday the 24th they took out her other line in her umbilical cord and was able to put clothes on her. We fed her a bottle a few more times and she took it down like a champ both times.
On Saturday the 25th came some more great victories. She no longer had the feeding tube in her nose and we attempted breast feeding for the first time! It is still a bit of a struggle and she is still needing some milk from the bottle but it is getting better each time. This is excellent progress as they weren’t sure she would ever even be able to drink from a bottle. Also on the 25th she was moved to Bay 5!!! We are getting closer to being able to come home!
As we look forward to going home, Julia needs to accomplish a few things first. They will eventually take over her oxygen tube and let her breath room air all on her own and see how well she tolerates it. She will also be taken off of her seizure medicine on Monday the 27th and will be monitored for about a week. If she has no more seizures she will able to finally go home!! Mom and Dad can’t wait to take her home!
This has certainly been the hardest week of our lives…we went to the hospital last Tuesday expecting to bring our baby home a few days later but unfortunately that was not the case for us. However, we are still thankful for the gift of a beautiful baby girl and we cannot believe how much we love her already. We are very dedicated to giving her the best care we possibly can so she can have a healthy and happy life. If you are wondering if you can do anything for her or us, just pray for her.