Julia Baird's Rough Start

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.

Jesse, Teresa and Julia in the NICU in Waterloo

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 in the NICU in U of I Hospitals and clinics

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.

Getting Julia ready for the swallow test