Sweet Baby Clara

Going into childbirth, no one ever expects for their baby to wind up in the NICU. We certainly weren’t expecting anything but the same experience we’d had with our first three girls. And I was really looking forward to being at the hospital with a new baby for two days!

When Clara was born, my midwife immediately laid her down on me and I tried to comprehend the fact that we had another girl. I had been so sure that we would have a boy this time around. Now I know that the minimal-puking pregnancy was just a blessing, not the sign of a boy on the way.

I held Clara for about a minute before the respiratory people took her to check her out. Despite the big cry she initially let out, she quickly started grunting–which, we soon learned, is a sign of respiratory problems. She was struggling to breathe. The respiratory specialists watched her for a minute or two and then rushed her to the nursery. Dave went with them and I was left to wonder and worry.

Since at the 11th hour, I had decided to get an epidural, I couldn’t get up and go with him. It was such a fast labor that, even hours after her birth, the drugs had yet to wear off. It was so hard laying in the bed, feeling helpless, unable to go see my new baby in the nursery. As soon as I could get in a wheelchair, I went to see her.

Not only had I barely seen our new babe, but now she was going to be transferred to another hospital in another town. The emotions that first day were extreme, to say the least.  Seeing her little body with all the wires and tubes was almost too much to handle. Dave and I just stared at her, crying for our new baby and not understanding what exactly was wrong with her.

At that point our pediatrician had already decided that she needed to be transferred from Orem Community Hospital–where she had been born–to the Newborn Intensive Car Unit (NICU) over at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (UVRMC).  That afternoon, a LifeFlight crew came and transferred Clara to the Provo hospital.

They thought it was probably pneumonia, and needed to start her on antibiotics before they knew for sure if they even needed them. With babies, they can’t wait for tests to be done before putting them on antibiotics because it’s just too dangerous to wait.

Dave was also born with pneumonia, so he and Clara will be able to bond on a new level.

We are so grateful for modern medicine. We loved the staff—the neonatologists, respiratory specialists, and all those wonderful nurses—that helped save and take care of our baby.

My sister brought our girls to the hospital to see Clara, but they could only see her through the NICU window.

On day four, she was extubated and we were finally able to hold her!

Hooray for fewer tubes! And we were finally able to get a good look at her cute little face.

This was her last night at the hospital when Dave and I got to “room in” with her.

She also had to do a car seat test for 90 minutes on the oxygen. I always forget how teeny newborns are in their car seats.

Coming home and meeting her sisters in person.

Big Baby meets the newest baby.

Since we didn’t get the traditional picture of our new family in the hospital, we took one once we got home.

After eight days, I was overcome with emotion as we were able to finally be together as a family. A family with four girls (I still can’t believe it)!

I am so grateful for these girlies. And I’m so grateful to have married Dave. He is so amazing—more than I could have ever hoped or wished for. The best husband, and the best Daddy of four girls.

I am so blessed.

  1. Ann

    I’ve been waiting for news that all was well. You were making me nervous. So happy to finally see her–she’s gorgeous, just like the rest of them. Yeah!!!!!

  2. Holly

    Sorry Ann! I’ve just been sleeping or sleep deprived and not taking the time to blog. But we are all doing well. And may I tell you how delicious your dinner was!? I need that recipe! Thank you SO much.

  3. Kalli

    She is so sweet, I’m so happy you have her home at last.

    My Fatty was a grunter at birth too, they watched him very close and did chest x-rays and the whole bit. Thankfully he was just fine but he did have to sleep in the nursery to be monitored and I had to get up every 3 hours to feed him, a willing sacrifice though.

  4. Beth

    Oh I am so happy to have gotten caught up on your blog. I had a lump in my throat as I read this. What a difficult, and finally joyous time for you. She is so so beautiful.

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