The snuggle session was short lived as the nurses took her to the side to get her cleaned and measured. Callie was 35.6 weeks the day she was born, just over a week shy of being considered “term.” She was very quiet and from what I could see was just laying there as they hovered around her running tests. There are so many possible risks with having a premature baby and I was all too aware of each one. Josh and our moms were busy snapping pictures and gawking over how cute she was but I felt uneasy. They weighed her at 5 lbs 7.9 oz and 19 inches long and then handed her to us for a moment to hold. It was very short lived... The nurse quickly stepped in and said that she needed to take Callie to the nursery to run some tests because she was “grunting.”
The next hour was filled with family and friends congratulating us and lots of tears of joy being shed. They moved me into a recovery room and the waiting game began. Each minute that passed by without Callie’s return was longer and more overwhelming than the one before it. At one point Josh called down to the nursery to check on her. The nurse answered the phone and said that they’d call us back. Callie was the only baby in the nursery and had been gone for two hours now... The aching in my stomach bubbled over. Around 8:45 the pediatrician walked in the room with a concerned look on her face. She continued to tell us that Callie was showing signs of respiratory distress and that she felt her needs could be better met at a more equipped hospital. A huge lump built up in my chest and I lost the ability to speak. All I could do was lay there and cry silent tears. My precious baby was being taken away from me.
Josh and I were able to go into the nursery to see her before the transport team arrived. Nothing could have prepared us for the sight of our baby girl lying helplessly on the table. She was hooked up to monitors with tubes and wires all over her body and a vent hood over her tiny head. Those little arms were lying lifelessly next to her body and with every breath a tiny whimper would escape her lips. Second to the sound of my mom’s scream the night my dad died this was the worst moment of my entire life.
Around 11:30 they wheeled her into our room to say goodbye and whisked her away to Cook Children’s Hospital leaving Josh and I by ourselves in a cold, dark and very empty hospital room. Despite being utterly exhausted and the aid of ambien, sleep did not find me that night.