I was actually in the middle of a blog post on Monday when I clicked “save draft” and headed to my doctor’s office. My blood pressure had been high for the past few weeks, so they asked me to come in for another check. Sure enough, it was even higher. They sent me to Labor and Delivery, where it was determined that we should go ahead with my C-section, three days earlier than scheduled.

I was nervous about the C-section, but I’m nervous anyway when it comes to surgery. It did seem as if my body was giving me signals that it was time. The high blood pressure was a problem and, sure enough, when the OB opened me up she found the uterine window that we’d be warned about.

When I had Emmy, my uterus was very thin, and we knew that we would have to be careful during this pregnancy. A thin uterus could lead to a uterine rupture, which would be bad news for everyone involved. I was monitored during this pregnancy but, sure enough, when the OB performed the C-section a very, very thin window was there. She also saw my baby’s hand under it, waving. So, yeah, we were advised not to have another after this one…

But here he is! My third baby, Theodore. We call him Theo. 🙂

When they put Theo on my chest, I immediately noticed that he was coughing up a fair amount of mucus. I knew right away that he was going to the NICU. I’ve learned so much since Emmy was born. I know the signs. Theo actually didn’t look as bad as Emmy. When she came out, she was blue, ice cold, and had a strange cry (like a cat with its tail caught). Theo, on the other hand, was rosy and warm, and his cry sounded substantial, though a little garbled from the mucus. But I just had a feeling.

Sure enough, Theo ended up in the NICU. His blood sugar was low, but it looked like all he needed was a little intervention and some time to clear the mucus out of his lungs. I actually felt ok with him going there. It wasn’t ideal, but I knew that they did wonderful things for Emmy when she was born, so I wasn’t as afraid as I was the first time around.

I put on my brave, big girl smile and waited patiently for him to come out of it. And he was doing ok for a while…until he wasn’t.

A day or two later (I can’t even remember…), the doctor came into my room to say that Theo was requiring more oxygen support and would have to go on a ventilator. I couldn’t help myself and asked about all kinds of hypothetical situations. And then I just lost it. Everything came up again. And I mean EVERYTHING: Emmy’s time in the NICU, Emmy’s heart surgery, Emmy’s cardiac arrests; Emmy’s crash onto life support. I relived all of it. While Dan went down the hall with the doctor to watch Theo’s vent get put in, a really sweet nurse came to comfort me. I told her that you can only be brave for so long before you just lose it…and I lost it.

When I wiped my tears and was able to make my way down the hall to see Theo, one of the NICU nurses kindly handed me a tissue and said that it’s been a tough few days. I heard myself say, “It’s been a tough few years.”

I was really down.

When I got back to my room, my sister sent me a text that said she was amazed at our positivity when Emmy was in the hospital last year. She was impressed by our optimism and our faith that everything would be fine. She loved that we cheer-leaded Emmy along to good health. Emmy needed that positivity, and luckily it was radiating out of me.

But now it was harder for me to conjure up that positivity. I just felt completely drained. I guess I never thought I would need to harness that ability again. And I didn’t know how I was going to get it back.

Luckily, a wonderful friend called and talked me through it. She’s a very smart and solution-based person, and she’s also spiritual. All of it helped IMMENSELY.

One of the things that was difficult for me was that Theo’s numbers would jump around whenever anyone touched him or talked near him, including his mama. So I had to leave him be in order for him to get better. I felt so helpless. But my friend had a great suggestion, which was to ask for some of Theo’s swaddling blankets, sleep with them, and then give them back with my scent. That made me feel soooo much better. My spirits came back up, and Theo also started doing well.

So now it’s the slow and steady wait. He’s still on the ventilator, but he’s showing signs of progress. I’m sad and exhausted and still in pain from the C-section…but I’m also positive! I know he can do it. I can’t wait to have him home, and his sisters are SO excited to meet him. Emmy keeps saying, “Theo coming!”

Yes he is, Emmy. Sit tight. 🙂


14 thoughts on “Theodore

  1. Hi, Vanessa, Dan, and girls,

    Congratulations on the new member of your family! He is just beautiful and I’m so thankful he’s improving. We’ll keep you all in our prayers!

  2. I wish we lived closer. I wish I could give you a big hug. He’s so
    Adorable and I’m praying he is home with the rest of your beautiful family soon. Thinking of you. Xoxoxo

  3. Welcome Theo! Oh Vanessa, I’m sorry that you have to go through this anxious time. Sometimes it must feel like you can’t take any more bad luck. But your boy is here! He looks beautiful. Keep your spirits up, we’re all thinking of you xxx

  4. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! I’m sorry you are finding yourselves in the NICU again, but everyone is right, he will be home, well and happy, very soon. In the meantime you just remember how strong you, and your whole family, are and you will get through this. I’m sending hugs, love and prayers to you all. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

  5. Hi Vanessa,
    Congratulations on your new little boy!! Now Dan won’t feel so outnumbered! Theo is beautiful and I feel certain he will be home soon and you will all be able to enjoy each other. Much love to all the family. Hugs,

  6. I love your blog and stalk you often! I am a williams syndrome mummy too and i am inspired by your journey. I am so pleased to hear about Theo’s arrival and so sorry to hear you cant bring him home yet. You are in our thoughts until you have all three bears at home with you.

  7. Thinking of you all Vanessa, and so sorry you are having to go through all this again. It’s not the thing we want to be “experts” at, is it. I’m sure that Theo will be home with you all very soon, and I’m so glad you have such a wonderful personal support networkl It makes all the difference.

  8. Congratulations! I am so jealous! I want a Theo too! I’m praying for you and Theo. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.
    I hope that you recover quickly and get home to your fabulous family.

  9. Congratulations!!!! He’s gorgeous! hoping he’s in your arms and home very soon. Our Charlie spent his first days on the nicu for blood sugar and I had a hard time mustering that strength too. I was being hindered by my “here we go again” thoughts. So glad that you’re finding some positive head space ❤

  10. What a cutie! So sorry that it didn’t went how you’ve had hoped (we all know how that feels). I hope you can give him hugs and kisses very soon! Congratulations!

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