It’s hard to believe it’s been that long ago, but in the wee hours of the morning (okay, not so wee, but the first trip to the E.R. was in the wee hours of the morning), my daughter was born. She was 6 weeks premature and she spent five weeks between two hospitals before we could bring her home. I learned a lot about what the hospital missed on our first visit where they determined that my (now) ex wasn’t having labor pains. Turns out back labor doesn’t always register on the monitor they attached her to. Had they checked for dilation (something I didn’t know they should have checked) at 4:30 A.M., I am confident they would have seen dilation enough to warrant keeping her. I was also not familiar with the term “crowning” although I became familiar with the term after five weeks of visiting with other parents who had babies in the NICU. On our second trip to the E.R., around 6:30 A.M., they again put her on the monitor and said she wasn’t in labor. I said they need to look down there and if they still felt she should leave, then I wanted to talk to a supervisor. Once they realized she was crowning, they decided to keep her. It took about 2 hours for the OB/GYN to show up and Karrlita was born very shortly thereafter. Even though I hadn’t been to any child birth classes, the doctor did let me stay in the Delivery Room and watch my daughter’s birth.
The next day, the doctor told us Karrlita was having issues that were beyond the hospital’s ability to handle. They offered us several choices: two hospitals 75 miles away (New Orleans and Mobile), another hospital 150 miles away (Jackson, Mississippi). They had a possible fourth choice Keesler Air Force Base (about 10 – 12 miles away). They did warn if a military baby needed the space that Karrlita would have to be transferred from Keesler. We went with Keesler. She was there a week before being transferred back to her birth hospital where she spent another four weeks before being released. Karrlita came home with an apnea monitor and some medicine to help her breathe better.
Before releasing her, the doctor said Karrlita would be slow. My response was we will deal with that situation if it happens. It didn’t happen and Karrlita was taking college courses in high school.