Thursday, March 25, 2010

You're joking, right??

"She's having trouble getting oxygen, we're moving her to the Special Care Nursery.
Uh, OK. Is she alright?
Yes, we just need to get her some oxygen and help her breathe a little. "
an hour or so later....
"Are you aware of what Trisomy 21 is?
That's Down Syndrome, right?
Yes, we think we see some markers for T21, and believe she has a heart condition, we'll need to transfer her to Children's Hospital right away. The transport team should be here within the hour."
"You're joking."

Well, I'd like to think that's what I said - but in reality, it wasn't that clean. I had done the Quad Screen test when I was pregnant and it came back with us "in the clear", so we did not do any further testing for any genetic anomalies. Not that it would have made a difference - as I said, I'm a worry wort so I would have worried had something come back questionable. But the most important problem was that I hadn't held my daughter yet! She had been whisked away after Todd held her and I hadn't had a moment with her yet. So they were able to get me off the gurney and into the wheelchair and took me to the nursery where there was my little girl, under an oxygen hood and not happy about it. The Childrens' Hospital transport team was there getting her prepped to go and gave us a few minutes to hang with her so she could hear our voices. It seemed to calm her a bit.

She didn't have a name yet - we had a list, but hadn't decided on one for sure. I looked at Todd and said we needed to send her to Children's with a name. He looked at me and chose "Caroline." That was the name I had loved all along for a daughter, and it was at the top of our list, but he never acted like he was sold on it. But she IS a Caroline. Caroline Page Rismiller. Page is my middle name, it was my grandmother's maiden name. CPR, ironically enough.

So off to Children's she went that morning. I headed to the recovery room and Todd and I tried to get some sleep for a few hours. We were both completely exhausted and in shock of what had happened in the prior hours. I felt so empty going to the room without our daughter in my arms. I felt like we didn't belong on the floor, without our baby there with us. The nurses put a "It's a Girl" banner on our door and a little sign that said "CCHMC" - meaning she was at Children's.

We were so overwhelmed. What do we do now?????


  1. Lisa, this is a beautiful story, and it's just the beginning. Thank you for sharing it. I'm eager to follow along :) Emily

  2. Every time I see pictures of Caroline, I have to show Frank and the kids-she's just the most gorgeous child! Thank you for telling her story (your family story) thus far. I guess I'd wrongly assumed that you'd learned about her T21 through the quad screen-I can't imagine being thrown so many things at once right after she was born. I can empathize with the being whisked right off to the NICU as Alexis was stressed during delivery and was also taken away and under the oxygen tent/hood thing before we could hold her.