Whitney was born on November 19th, her parents were thrilled with the safe arrival of their second daughter. She weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 19 inches long; a healthy baby girl! Big sister, Raegan, was 26 months at the time and being a busy two-year-old, she caught a bug, and as much as her parents tried, they couldn’t keep them apart. Unfortunately, Whitney started to show signs of being ill as well.
On December 9th, just 20 days after Whitney’s birth, we went to visit their family and have our “Merry Makeshift Christmas.” While we were there, Whitney became very sick and was struggling to breathe. Papa Rich left for home while I stayed behind to help for another night. I wasn’t able to stay longer because my daughter and I had scheduled a celebratory trip for her college graduation and we were to fly out the morning of the 11th. I got up early to get ready for our trip and found a missed text from even earlier that morning. Whitney’s mom had sent me a text telling me that she had taken Whitney to the local hospital and Whitney was admitted for RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Due to the hospital rules with treating RSV, and wanting to give Whitney the best care possible, they were making arrangements for Whitney to be life-flighted to a children’s hospital over an hour south of their home.
As Madison and I prepared to leave for the airport, I was so torn on what I should do. Madison, who had recently graduated from college wasn’t feeling 100% and she too was concerned about Whitney. She also knew I would have a hard time enjoying myself while I felt I was needed at home. As we drove north to the airport I called the airline and learned that we could cancel our flight and, with a doctor’s letter stating it was a true medical emergency, we would be able to reschedule our trip. Madison and I looked at each other and knew what we needed to do. We were now just an hour from their home and we decided we needed to continue driving and go help with big sister Raegan.
As we drove through the canyon, we watched as the ambulance passed us going the opposite direction with baby Whitney and her mom inside. It was a foggy night in their hometown and the helicopter was unable to take off requiring Whitney and her mom to be taken by ambulance. It was terrifying to know that Whitney was so sick to the point she would need medical attention to survive. As Madison and I arrived at their home, we hugged Raegan and her dad and then sent him on his way to meet up with Whitney and her mom.
Madison and I spent the next five days caring for Raegan, who was needing breathing treatments herself to get over her sickness. I cleaned their already clean home from top to bottom, disinfecting everything possible and did loads of laundry, washing everything. On Wednesday the 13th, Raegan, Madison, and I drove down to the hospital to see Whitney and for Raegan to see her parents. We then continued south to my home. On Thursday, Raegan and I drove back up to the hospital to see her family again. Raegan was so happy to see her mom and dad, but she wasn’t allowed in to see Whitney and where she was being treated. On Friday, once Whitney’s mom gave the okay, Reagan and her dad loaded up, drove north, and picked up Whitney. By Wednesday of that week, Whitney was able to do some breathing on her own, but the doctors, an amazing staff of doctors, wanted to keep Whitney just a little bit longer.
I was able to see Whitney on Wednesday and it broke my heart to see this sweet new baby girl with a huge oxygen mask, monitors everywhere, and her little body hooked up to several tubes. Whitney is a strong little girl and a true fighter! The Thursday Raegan and I had gone to visit, Whitney was finally off oxygen and able to breathe on her own. I witnessed as Whitney looked up at her mom and with questioning eyes as if to say, “What’s going on?”
Whitney’s parents were told that Whitney may struggle to relearn to “latch on” and eat, but no, Whitney had no problem at all. Whitney’s parents were asked to take Whitney in several times a day, for maybe as much as a week, to their local hospital to have deep suctioning done to Whitney to avoid further infection. It was only a matter of days until the hospital said Whitney was doing well enough and they could keep her at home and take care of the suctioning herself. Again, Whitney showed her fighting spirit and strength.
Whitney is now almost six months old and is healthy, happy, and smiles a ton to show off her three dimples. I am grateful for my amazing daughter and her loving husband, for the way they care for their girls and work together as a team. I was very proud of my daughter as I watched her being a mom and have such courage and strength through this difficult time. I am also grateful to the doctors who helped Whitney through a very scary time. AND, I am grateful for sweet baby Whitney, for her will to not give up, to be strong, her determination, and her happy disposition through it all.
Grandma loves you, Whitney!
My daughter shared this on December 17th, two days after returning home. “Our little trooper has had quite the first month of life! Although it’s been rough, we can’t ignore all of the blessings and tender mercies sent our way. We’re grateful for the talented doctors at the children’s hospital that helped her little lungs fight through the peak of RSV. We’re grateful for all of the prayers, support, and love from friends and family. We’re grateful to be at home together again. And most of all, we’re grateful for the Lord’s hand in our lives. Even when we were scared and hurting, He never left us. We’ll be holding our girls extra tight this Christmas ❤”