Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baby Bliss

We are so thrilled to be home with this precious miracle from God. She is so tiny and sweet and we just can't get enough of her! Things are going well and we have settled in to a routine of feedings every three hours. We call her "Baby Bird" because this is how she looks when she eats. Is that not the most precious sight ever?!
I'm SO exhausted but wouldn't change a thing. We are absolutely in love with our itty bitty baby.

Our Stay in the NICU
Having your brand new baby in the NICU is something no one ever wants to experience. It's heart wrenching to see your child, so tiny and fragile, with tubes and wires covering almost every inch of their body. You feel helpless. You long to hold that tiny little person in your arms and experience that first moment of bonding. You look around at all of the other sick babies and feel a sadness in your heart that is unexplainable. No matter how short or long your baby's stay, it's just plain hard to accept.
I feel extremely blessed that we live a half hour from one of the best hospitals in the country. The NICU nurses are some of the most compassionate people I have ever met. I began referring to them as NICU Angels. They were never burdened by our presence or the multitude of questions we asked and the constant visitors to Caroline's bed side. I felt very comfortable that Caroline was in good hands with these wonderful ladies caring for her. They all adored her.

I arrived at her bedside one morning to see this hanging from her NICU bed. One of her sweet nurses made it for her.
The cute giraffe behind her bed was a gift from a sweet friend from high school who works with Dr. Ayers (Caroline's Cardiologist). It was at her bed when I arrived to see her for the first time. Thank you Krystal!

Another day I arrived to find Caroline all dolled up with the cutest bow in her hair. My heart melted!

With each day our baby girl began to show improvement. She had a third Echo a few days after birth andwe were extremely anxious about the results. This test would tell us whether Caroline would have surgery or not. It took a few hours to get the results but to me it felt like an eternity. When we got the call from the cardiologist the results were good! The PDA had fully closed and the aorta was showing no signs of coarctation (narrowing). Our little girl's heart was completely functioning on its own! No surgery needed! We were shocked to say the least. It was truly a medical miracle!! I can't find words to explain the emotions I felt with this news. I think I cried harder than I ever have in my entire life. God had healed my baby.

Her doctors were dumb founded and could find no medical reason for her healing. They spent two mornings at her bed side trying to find an answer. As I sat listening to their conversations I just wanted to shout out, "This is God's work! He is the answer!"

That day just kept getting better and better. After we called our family to share the good news we were emotionally exhausted and went to our room at the Ronald McDonald house to try and rest. When we returned a few hours later Caroline's nurse said she had more good news. Our baby should be ready to go home in the next day or two. What?!! We couldn't believe it and neither could she. She told us that babies are never discharged straight from NICU level III and that Caroline was truly a miracle!

Great Grandma Blanche was the first family member other than us to hold Caroline.

Papa Tom was smitten.

Her first day in real clothes!

Papa Tom's hand is almost the same size as Caroline.

Amy is one of the NICU Angels. We went to high school together. She was such a blessing to us.

This sweet lady was one of my favorite nurses. She was so kind and took good care of Caroline and her mommy. One night she spent a few hours teaching me the ins and outs of infant care. I was so thankful! If you could see how tiny Caroline is then you would understand how scary the thought of taking her home was. She looks much bigger in pictures.

Learning how to swaddle.

My little baby burrito. She loves to be swaddled.

"Whew! After a bath and new outfit I'm exhausted and ready to nap."

Once I was discharged from St. Lukes we stayed a few nights at the Ronald McDonald House at TCH. This place was a huge blessing! They offer rooms to families of NICU patients. We had to check out every morning, sign up again for the next night and hope to get approved but it was so worth it. I was NOT leaving that hospital with out my baby! We were approved every night except one. Thankfully, my wonderful in-laws got us a room at the Marriott right across the street from the hospital so we weren't too far away from our baby.

The Ronald McDonald House was very cozy and clean. This is the family room.

The kitchen was stocked with snacks and they always had freshly baked cookies available.

Daddy adores her!

We finally got the approval to be discharged so I dressed up my living baby doll and we got ready to go home. Thank you Marmie and Aunt Lara for the preemie clothes. My new born clothes are just too big right now.

Mommy and Caroline are ready to go home!
I could not believe I was really taking her home! After months of being told she would need surgery this moment was so surreal. My heart was beaming.

Daddy buckling her up.

I'm ready to go!

Look how tiny I am in my giant car seat.
Being home with our baby is so much fun. Sometimes I hold her in my arms and just stare at her in amazement. I can't believe she is here, healthy, and growing stronger by the minute. My heart is so full of love and a peace that I can't explain. Caroline, you are a testament of God's unconditional love for us. How can I ever show Him how thankful I am? I have no idea but I have a feeling He knows.


  1. Love all of the pictures! Can't wait to meet her...

  2. Amanda,
    I am sitting here with goosebumps all over my body, crying my heart out. I am so happy and relieved for you and David and Caroline. Being a mommy, my heart feels every emotion you have felt (to a much smaller degree). I love you all and hope to come visit soon!

  3. I sat here reading this post with tears in my eyes! God is truly the Great Physician and a worker of miracles! I pray for continued strength and health for baby Caroline Grace and rest for you, mommy and daddy. Kendall is completely fascinated by your tiny angel. Jill Hunter

  4. I LOVE that you have this blog! I was a mess reading this post!! What an amazing story about your beautiful girl! I can't wait to hold her. I hope I am able to see you & your miracle sooner than later. Congratulations!!