Nola Hope McWilliams

An email update on our sweet baby, Nola Hope, that I sent out two nights ago (I think - the days are all running together!):

Hi everyone!

I wanted to send an update email about Nola. For those of you who haven't heard, Nola Hope McWilliams was born on Saturday, 10/9 at 11:14am. Labor went well - just came three weeks early! I was able to do it without any pain meds (yes, I'm quite proud of that), which is what we wanted - so that all went really smoothly. She was 7lbs. 14 oz. at birth, 19 1/2 inches long, and absolutely beautiful!

(I know Bobby sent an email to a few people - so forgive me if you know some of this already!)
She came out a bit quickly in addition to being early, so she has had some issues. After being with us for about four hours after birth, they took her and put her in the nursery because she was spitting up a lot of amniotic fluid, etc. Put in an IV and feeding tube and hooked her up to a lot of monitors.

She has some problems with her blood-oxygen levels desaturating (meaning there isn't enough oxygen in her blood and she turns a bit blue) as a result of acid reflux issues. Basically, she has the reflux, which shocks her system, which then doesn't recover on its own like most people's (similar to diving into a cold pool - you get a shock, heart slows and then speeds back up -- except hers has a bit of trouble recovering). They won't let her go home until she stops having these desaturation episodes.

I was discharged on Monday, so we've been shuffling back and forth to the hospital to manage her feedings every three hours. Last night they put a feeding tube back in (they initially had this and then took it out because she was eating well), which was a really good thing overall... I didn't want it at first, but it helps a TON as we can get a bit of sleep instead of basically one hour naps a few times a night, and it allows her to eat better and expend fewer calories. She's also lost 10% of her birth weight, which is more than they like to see, so that is another complication.

Things change rapidly - today was a thousand times better than yesterday, both for us and for her. A lot of this she may just grow out of. They did put her on some medicine to help lessen the acid in her tummy, so there's less of a shock when she does have reflux, and that seems to be helping. She only had two episodes today so far (she was having many more than that).

Anyway, I wanted to send an update to y'all. We are so grateful for the care we've received from those of you who have visited, called, texted, brought food, given us a place to stay in between feedings, etc. etc. etc. Despite the difficulties and the scary-ness of all this mess, God has abundantly blessed us in showing us the beauty of good friendships and the people who care about us so much, so THANK YOU a thousand times.

It's unclear when she will be released. There isn't a lot of danger - it's more just a waiting game at this point. They've told us at the earliest, we could hope for this weekend sometime. In the meantime, we would appreciate your continued prayers for endurance and strength, patience with each other and continued trust in the Healer of all - the God who knit her together in my womb and loves her even more than we do.

I have definitely felt the prayers of our loved ones and friends - and seen already how God has used this to pull us together in our marriage and as parents. Baptism by fire! :)

We'll keep you posted - next time it won't be so long, I promise! Thanks again.

-Emmeline and Bobby McW.

PS - more photos are on facebook! :)

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