I prayed for a third child for about five years. Jeff was a college student and thought we’d be wise to wait until he graduated. I became pregnant in October of 2006. I was so happy, yet also riddled with fear of losing this baby for some reason. All was healthy and fine. However, around 20 weeks, I began having some complications with my pregnancy. These lasted for 10 weeks. Finally, around 30 weeks, I was doing better. Fear had somewhat subsided and I just couldn’t wait to meet my little girl!
On her due date, June 27, 2007, my beautiful Jacklyn Frances Adelaide Herring was born. 7 pounds, 8 ounces. We were all so excited to meet her and couldn’t wait to bring her home and experience life together as a family of five. Her big sisters, Kourtney (9) and Maggi (7) were excited to help with whatever their baby sister needed. They just wanted to get their hands on her!
Just after I had signed the discharge papers to leave the hospital, with the whole family in the room, I looked down at Jacklyn because she had suddenly gotten very still. To my horror, her entire body had turned blue! I screamed for a nurse and the next thing I knew, three nurses were in the room. One of them grabbed her out of my arms, turned her somewhat upside down and was rubbing Jacklyn’s back. The color came back to her and she started crying. They whisked her away and left us all crying and wondering what was going on.
I can’t remember how long it was or what happened between that moment and when I got to see her again. The doctor said she had some sort of infection in her blood and they would need to keep her in the hospital, on antibiotics, for several days. It was terrifying! The girls were devastated, not only because they didn’t get to bring their baby sister home that day, but because they would not be allowed to go into the NICU.
Jeff’s parents came down to stay with the girls and helped us out in so many ways. They were lifesavers. I was permitted to stay at the hospital as a “Boarder Mom.” (That title always made me feel like a dog, reminded me of Border Collie.) I was called into the NICU by the nurses about every hour and a half, around the clock, to feed my little Jacklyn. One of the nurses nicknamed her “Zero to Sixty”, saying that she would be sound asleep or just quietly laying there and then suddenly start screaming her head off.
She managed to chunk up and gain weight in those five days in the NICU. Her infection went away and they finally sent us home on July 2, 2007. It was a very scary journey. We never knew exactly what caused the infection. We were just so glad she responded so well to the medication and that if it was going to happen, that it happened while we were still at the hospital.
We are so thankful for the gift of Jacklyn’s life. She has been such a blessing to us all!