Brianna, born 2006On Friday, October 13, 2006 I realized I hadn't felt my baby move for several hours. I went to lunch with my mother, husband, and brother and was getting really nervous. I thought a big meal would get the baby moving, but still nothing. I called my doctor and she told me to meet her at the hospital. Within minutes of arriving, a team of doctors assembled and performed a c-section. The baby's heart rate was erratic. I could tell something was wrong, but I remember thinking, "well, they're getting her/him out so they'll fix whatever it is."
Nothing could have prepared my husband or me for the next several days and weeks. Brianna was born at 5:05 PM that Friday. She weighed 6lbs 9.5 ounces. I saw her so briefly before they whisked her off to be intubated and worked on. She was gray in color but I thought all newborns looked like that. She was just so cute crying! I couldn't stop thinking of her while I recovered from the surgery wishing I could hold her and look into her eyes. The next time I saw her she was intubated. That night she was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital. Saying goodbye to her was excruciating! I felt as if someone was ripping my heart out of my chest.
At first, they thought it was her lungs so she was on ECMO for two days. At three days old, she was diagnosed with TAPVR and operated on that night. The surgery took 8-9 hours. It was even more complicated than the doctors predicted. She was brought up to the PICU and we remained there with her every day for 56 days! I didn't hold my baby girl until she was 24 days old and she was covered with chest tubes, IVs, central line, etc. It was a living nightmare. She finally came home at exactly two months old but unfortunately ended up on a helicopter with me by her side back to the hospital on New Years Eve day. The effusion in her chest re-accumulated. I always say she wanted an exciting first New Years! She was intubated at exactly 2007, just after I was told by one of the nurses to call our priest or minister. We were there for another two weeks before Brianna was well enough to come home.
All of this time, her Dad and I never doubted her strength and will to live! She always looked so alert. I nicknamed her "Tiger" in the hospital and she more than lived up to this name. She's the strongest little baby I've ever known! She teaches me what love is every day. I just don't know what I'd do without her. She is my life. I still pray for her health every single day. I will never take it for granted. We are forever grateful to the brilliant nurses and doctors who cared for our miracle baby. Also, we couldn't have survived this ordeal without the love and support of our family and friends.
Story by Brianna's mom, Jeannine - Connecticut
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