Monday, 8 October 2012

Thanksgiving Ups and Downs

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     Erica is still in the hospital with Carter as I write this. My house is quiet, as Oliver sleeps upstairs, and Jeff is at the hospital finally meeting Carter. Erica wanted me (her sister, Jen) to update you all on what has happened. I'll let her tell you the whole birth story a bit later, but I figured that I'd at least give you a bit more information about the newest addition to our family.

On Sunday October 7th at 4:54 am Carter was born. He is beautiful. This sweet little gift has a head full of blond hair like his sister, and a face that melts your heart. Erica was amazing. She went into labour at 12:30 on Saturday night (after a week or more of significantly painful contractions!) and delivered a few hours later. Quickly moving along, she gave birth to her new bundle of joy after only four pushes! Needless to say she was tired after labouring all night and sore from the delivery.

Erica snuggled with Carter when he was first born for about 15 minutes, then he was taken to get the usual things done that happen to new babes (weight checks, head measuring, vitamin K shots..). As these procedures were happening, this new little one kept grunting. Those grunts concerned the nurse who was caring for Carter and Erica so she sent him (with Terry) down to the NICU just to make sure that everything was okay. We figured he'd be back in Erica's arms in an hour at the most. Mom and I said that we wanted to hold Carter when he got back from the NICU before we headed home to nap for a bit. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Terry was sent back to the room after about 45 minutes when the NICU closed for shift changes. It was five hours before they were allowed to even see their new little again.

Carter was admitted into the NICU that morning, about two hours after he was born, due to water on his lungs. X-rays showed that something was not right with his lungs. They think it could be pneumonia. For the first day Erica and Terry were instructed not to touch Carter, for fear that he could get sicker. I was in the room for the delivery, so I got to meet Carter, but I didn't get a chance to hold him. I returned later that morning with Jeff and Oliver to visit the new parents. Jeff left the hospital without having met Carter.

Erica wasn't able to see her new baby for the first five hours of his life. He slept in a bassinet in the NICU as the rest of us worried about him. All the baby snuggles and the love that is supposed to be showered on the newest arrival had to wait. After waiting for five hours with no news, they finally ventured down to the NICU with the hope that they might be able to see their new little.

And so we still wait. Erica was discharged from the hospital today and she and Terry came home without their baby. Erica is devastated. The expectations that she had before giving birth were shattered. Here she is, a new mom (to her second, but still, a new mom nonetheless), leaving the hospital without the person that she has spent the last nine months with. Even though she knows that Carter is receiving the best care, and is being given everything he needs, Erica describes it as leaving your one day old at daycare with providers you don't know. He's not getting the hugs and kisses that Mya has stored up for him. He's not being passed around and cooed over. He's being poked and prodded. He's got an IV in his wee hand. He's being left alone at a time when he should be showered with love. Our family has gathered around and we are trying to support Erica and Terry as best that we can, but we can't take away the pain from leaving one child at the hospital, or the other at home. Trying to divide their time between their two children has been painful. Mya has been taken care of by my parents. She is having a blast staying at Nana and Papa's, but Erica still feels guilty.

So Erica asked me to write this post. She doesn't want to have to explain over and over again why she's home without her baby. She doesn't want people to ask to see Carter. It's just too painful. What she would love is your support. Just words, saying that you're thinking of her and her little family. Prayers, good thoughts. We're hoping that the test results that will come back tomorrow morning will indicate that Carter will be able to come home. We're hoping that he doesn't have pneumonia, and that the water on his lungs has cleared. So hopefully, as Erica sleeps in a dorm room in the hospital tonight, you will think of her. She and Terry could use all of the love and support as they deal with a reality that wasn't what they were expecting. Erica is taking this like a trooper. She's doing whatever she has to in order to take care of baby Carter. Terry continues to be the amazing brother-in-law that I have always known. He's supporting his lovely wife, and trying to get in as many baby cuddles as he can, as he makes many trips between his new son at the hospital and his two year old daughter at Nana and Papa's. And Carter, Carter is strong. He is absolutely adorable. He is the most precious thing.

And so, I welcome to the world, baby Carter. Here's hoping that Erica or I will be back tomorrow with a wonderful update telling you all that we can bring him home. For now, Erica will hopefully be able to get some sleep in the dorm room at the hospital. She'll be enjoying every cuddle she can when Carter feeds. And hopefully she won't have to explain where her new baby is, because she'll have him in her arms at home.


  1. The Kozlof's are praying.. Love you all..

  2. The Kozlof's are praying. Love you all!!!

  3. Thinking of you Erica, Terry and little baby Carter. Sending the best get well quickly wishes his way! Hugs to all!

  4. Jen, thanks for your beautifully worded message. Although I've been receiving updates from both your Mom and Dad, I wept as I read your description of what has transpired since precious Carter was born. The pictures are beautiful - he is such a little doll!! - but the one of Erica looking at him in the isolate just broke my heart. Having said that though, Carter really does look the picture of health, rosey pink in colour, and a good weight. Along with the amazing power of his parents love, and all the heartfelt prayers that are being said on his behalf, he has a lot going for him.....enough to bring him home soon, healthy and well, to his loving family and all the cuddles, kisses, and attention that he deserves. My thoughts, prayers and love are with all of you, especially Erica, Terry, and Carter. Hugs, Jane

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  6. Sending lots of love, thoughts and prayers for all. Love Moe

  7. He looks perfect. Which is good, since he has been born into a perfect family. Hang onto all that love Erica, he'll be home soon enough for you to pour it on him. Thinking of you my friend.


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