• Alana Brown

From the day you were born.

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

On May 8, 2019 we were admitted into the hospital in preparation to induce labor to welcome our baby into the world. We arrived at the hospital at 3:00 pm that evening to get everything started. When we arrived they first hooked me up to monitors and an IV drip. I was originally supposed to take a pill that was going to soften my cervix however, the nurses noticed I was already having contractions without any medicines and Hailey's heart rate kept dropping with the contractions. They could not give me anything to induce labor until consulting with Dr Porche. Once they finally heard back from her the plan changed to start me on pitocin through the IV drip.. they did this just in case they would need to stop the labor if her hear rate dropped again.

After hours on pitocin.. they were still concerned with her heart rate so they shut it off. They would randomly come into the room and turn it back on throughout the night to test her and see if she would start to handle the contractions. Patrick and I slept for maybe an hour that night.. mainly because the beds were so uncomfortable but also because the nurses kept having to come in and readjust me because the way I was laying was causing her heart rate to drop during contractions.

The next morning came and I was told they completely stopped everything because her heart couldn't take it and they had to wait for Dr Porche to come to make the call on what to do next. Once Dr Porche came into the room she noticed that her heart was handling most of the contractions but it was too late to start pitocin again so she wanted to try something else. She tried to break my water but it was too high that she could not break it. They decided to insert medicine to start contractions and soften my cervix since I was still only at 1 cm. After a short while I started having contractions and it was getting close to an hour when my mom and I saw Haileys heart rate suddenly drop extremely low. We looked at each other and both said nurses are about to come in. We knew then that there was something wrong. Not even a minute later nurses and Dr Porche were rushing in my room.. Dr Porche told us "her heart is not liking the contractions so we are going to have to take her the other way." As soon as she finished that sentence they were rolling in the bed and an anesthesiologist was walking in with the covers for patrick to wear and the papers for me to sign for a c-section. The nurse had to give me medicine to stop the contractions and one of the side effects of that medication was shaking uncontrollably. My entire body was shaking and I couldn't stop it. Next thing I know Patrick was suiting up and I was on the other bed getting wheeled into the operating room alone.

(our last picture as a family of two)

(getting wheeled into the operating room)

(Patrick anxiously waiting to get called into the room)

Patrick had to wait outside while they did the spinal block. Once I was inside the room all the staff in there were so nice and caring. They kept a conversation with me the entire team to keep me calm. Matt, the anesthesiologist, was very patient and talked me through everything he was doing. While he was going to insert the needle into my back, another man and my nurse Natalia held me up and kept me still while everything was going on. They asked me questions to keep me from focusing on the shot and when i did start to feel it they held me tighter and reminded me to breath. I can not say enough good things about the entire staff!!! Finally it was time to start everything. They laid me down on the table and strapped my arms down.. i started getting sick but they said that was common with the medicine they use. Next thing I knew I was throwing up on the tableeee (so embarrassing lol). Dr Porche came in running, I wasn't sure what was happening but I heard her yell out "They told me it was stat!!" and then everyone got a little quiet. Patrick was finally in the room now and right by my side. Then Dr Porche made the cut. Patrick told me he saw when they broke the water and then turned and asked if I was feeling anything.. i told him "just a little pressure." Meanwhile he said it looked like my insides were outside haha. Then the best thing happened I heard.. "here she is!!!" and then she started crying! Such a loud strong cry!! At 9:35 am our sweet girl was here.. IT WAS PERFECT!


Dr Porche ran around the table with her for me to see. I got to see her for a couple seconds and then she ran away with her. But what i saw was a head full of hair, bright red lips, and a beautiful skin tone. They immediately started testing everything. They checked her weight, sugar, temp, etc. Her weight was 4lbs 12oz. We were super confused because just the day before they said she weighed 5lbs 9oz..even Dr Porche reacted to her weight! She as 17 3/4 inches long. Her temperature was fine at the moment but her sugar seemed a little low. She was on the border line for babies that have to go immediately to the NICU or can go to well baby. She was on the good side so she was able to come into our delivery room, we were so excited!! Patrick helped them wrap her up and stood by her side while they were closing me up. He would bring me pictures of her so I could see what he was seeing. Once they transferred me to the other bed.. Patrick was able to hand her over to me so we could go back to our room where our parents, my brother, and my mawmaw were waiting to see her!

Once we were back in our room the nurse took Hailey from me to do more assessments on her because in the OR her blood sugar was a little low. They kept her under the heater and tried to feed her from bottle of similac to get her sugar up. Nurse Janice tried to feed her for about 30 minutes and Hailey was only eating a little bit which was causing them to be concerned. Nurse Janice decided she was going to let me do skin to skin with her for an hour to try and get her sugar up.. but if she came back and it was still low she would have to go to the NICU. That hour alone in the room just me, patrick, and hailey were perfect. The moment we had been waiting for was here. I just couldn't imagine a more perfect moment.

After our hour of skin to skin was up it was time to re test her sugar. Nurse Janice came and grabbed her from me, stuck her little foot.. and then the dreaded phrase came.. "her blood sugar is too low, i have to bring her to the well baby room now." She was in the well baby room for an hour and then they had to move her to the NICU. So our baby that we have only gotten to know and see for about an hour and a half was taken from us and placed in a room away from us with people we've never met. I had no idea what was happening and why she wasn't with us. I kept coming in and out of sleep due to the pain medicine. They then had to move us to our other hospital room.. this is the room our baby was supposed to bond with us in, the room she was supposed to have her first bath.. but that didn't happen. We went to our room empty handed. After everything I was not able to see her until 7 that night. Patrick went to see her and sent me pictures of her but it didn't help the feeling I had of not being able to see or hold her. When we finally got to see her they explained everything that they would be doing and what the goal was.

The first night we were told that she would be staying in the NICU for two to three days before she would be released to us. To monitor her sugar they had her on a strict schedule.. every three hours she would get her diaper changed, temperature checked, foot poked to get blood, and then they would feed her for 30 minutes. After understanding everything a little better.. that next morning we went in to see her and found out that her sugar had dropped very low again. We also found out that she had got her first bath and we weren't there to see it.. we missed her first bath and I will never get that back. All i wanted to do was hold her. We were originally told that we would not be able to hold her for a while and then we were surprised when they asked us if we wanted to feed her. To feed her they ended up letting us hold her!! We were smiling from ear to ear!!

Every day it seemed like things kept going downhill. She was one day old and not eating enough to keep her sugar up so when we went to see her on we found out that the nurses had to place a feeding tube in her. Then they said she was eating enough and removed it at two days old.. then we came back in on may 11th (three days old) and they had to put it back because she just refused to eat. She had to be placed under a heating lamp and an infrared light to prevent jaundice. They allowed us to do skin to skin to try and regulate her blood sugar and to keep her body temperature regulated. We would take turns every other feeding.. we loved every second of it!!

One of the worst things was I was being discharged on that sunday May 12th.. which was also Mothers Day. For my first mothers day.. I was sent home without my baby. I lost it when we left. I couldn't hold back any tears. I had never felt like that before. That is something I hope I would never have to do again. Our parents helped pack up our room and load up the car. While patrick, my dad, and his mom were loading up our car.. my mom and I were in our room and i just broke down. It wasn't fair. It wasn't how this was supposed to happen. We got in the car and I vividly remember "Lightning crashes" by Live was playing on the radio and I cried my eyes out while heading home. We had to leave the sweetest face we'd ever laid eyes on. We set out a new schedule and made it work.. anything for our Hailey Grace. One of the nurses told us that they would be giving her a bath at 8:30 at night and invited us to help give her the bath. We were so excited. We came prepared with her own rag and towel!! We got to wash our baby!!!

We would go to the hospital multiple times a day to feed her, hold her, and do skin to skin. We asked questions about what she needs to do to go home.. we would never get an exact answer. All we knew was that they needed her to eat an exact amount consistently and she needed to eat the entire bottle so they wouldn't need to put it through her feeding tube. Every day we would get told the same thing... "she will eat when she is ready." She had multiple times that it seemed like she was getting better. She had an IV that would give her the fluids for her blood sugar it was leveled at an 8. It would get as low as 3 or 4 and then her sugar would drop low and they would have to raise it back up. Once her sugar stayed consistent that they were able to remove the IV and they said after that it was a 24 hour window for her to go home. We went the day after they removed the IV and everything was still going great, we went back home for a bit and my mom went visit her.. while my mom was there they had to put back in the IV. We had to start everything all over again. It was the worst. We were so ready for her to come home.

After multiple tries to get everything going in the right direction one day me and patrick just snapped. We weren't getting answers, we weren't getting an estimates on how much more she needs to do and what she needs to do. We started demanding answers. After twelve days in the NICU we were done. Finally the doctor called me and told me they were going to start challenging her. The challenge was that she needed to keep her blood sugar over 40 for the next 24 hours while keeping her body temperature leveled at the same time. We knew she could do it, the nurses thought that he was asking to much out of her but we knew she was capable if they would just give her a chance. The next day we got the phone call telling us when we got there to bring the car seat for her car seat test and everything stayed level and that was all that was left. We got there and nurses saw that car seat and were so excited! We dressed her up and put her in the car seat. She had to sit in it for an hour while maintaining her breathing, blood sugar, and body temperature.

We left for an hour to make sure we had everything ready to go for her to come home. If she was able to come home it wouldn't be until that night. When we got back there around 2 pm we were told she could leave now!!! We were so excited!! She was coming home!!!! After 13 days in the NICU our baby was coming HOME!!!!!!!!!

Hailey is now a month old and thriving, she is officially off of her medicine and we no longer have to monitor how much she eats. It's amazing. Our girl is amazing! She has overcame so much in such a short amount of time. Thank you to everyone for all the prayers!!!

♥ Alana, Patrick, and Hailey

Photos above by: Reaghan Hoffpauir Photography

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