March 23, 2011

Isn't She Lovely


Clara Mae Hardy - Born 5:07pm, 3/23/11
8lbs, 4oz.
Crying, Breathing*, Pink, and Chubby.

*(some)


She's here. At around 4:15 this afternoon, Dr. Scherer let us know that Chrissy was not making the progress she had hoped for, and that we probably needed to go ahead and take her in for a C-section. Very quickly, she was prepped and put onto a stretcher and whisked down the hall to the O.R. Chrissy's mother, Mary Ann, and I got suited up and waited outside while Chrissy was prepped for the procedure, and were soon called in. I sat next to Chrissy's head and held her hand while the surgical team worked; luckily, the epidural did its job and Chrissy didn't feel a thing. We were barely aware that they had started when I heard "OK Dad, stand up and take a look." I peeked over the curtain to see the top of Clara's head (full of curly, dark hair) emerging from Chrissy's stomach:



Closely followed by the rest of her:


Newborn babies are gross. They're discolored and covered with goo. But to these eyes, she is the most beautiful thing in the world. And even more, she provided these ears with the most beautiful sound in the world, crying. Sucking in air (at least some) and pushing it out through her vocal chords. A symphony.

Unfortunately, we only got a brief listen to her cries; she still needed to be intubated and ventilated to get adequate oxygen throughout her body.


After the NICU team got her initially stabilized, they rushed her down to the NICU proper and got to work placing tubes and sensors and everything else that was needed. We got to stay and watch for about half an hour though, and we even got to have a little intimate contact with our little girl.


Then the transport team from Brenner Childrens Hospital arrived and got her all suited up in the mobile incubator for her short ambulance ride between hospitals.

Clara's now in her temporary home at the NICU at Brenner (part of Wake Forest Baptist Hospital). I'm by her side here for a few more minutes before I go back to Forsyth to be with Chrissy for the night. The medical staff here at Brenner are already doing a fantastic job working with her, and have been excellent to an emotionally fragile father as well. I'm very glad to have her here where she can get such excellent care.



Clara's started off with some wonderful and encouraging steps, but still will have a very long and uncertain road ahead of her. We've heard from several doctors and other families that have been affected by CDH, and the phrase "roller coaster" gets used quite often. They have been very clear that many of these babies have a "honeymoon period" after they are born, and often begin to have a hard time after the first few hours or days. Clara will need your prayers more than ever for the next few days, weeks, or even months as she struggles to get her lungs working as they are intended, as well as for an uncomplicated surgery to repair her herniated diaphragm. For now though, we will celebrate the successes of today and get some much needed rest.

-Robert

47 comments:

  1. First- congratulations!! Second- tears brought to my eyes.. of a story well known by many- the birth of our children, and that first cry... My CDH miracle only let out one wimper.. so to hear you got to hear the beautiful cry makes me so happy for you! She is beautiful.. and huge!! Good job!! ha!!

    Remember, try to stay positive for her and you!! She needs your good vibes to help her through this rough part.. Kayla went on that rollercoaster seems like forever! And the NICU team will take great care of her!!

    Again- congrats on the new baby girl!! Everyone will survive this- just keep telling yourself this... over and over! Hugs and prayers headed your way!

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  2. I, too, think that "all newborns are gross" and this is the most beautiful child in the world!

    She is gorgeous! (I also think that my biological clock has started ticking....do men have those?)


    I am so happy for you all. I know that the road ahead is rocky and hilly and unknown, but I hope y'all know that you aren't alone. We are with you, what ever you need....

    Love to you all!

    --carter

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  3. She is definitely so lovely...congratulations and prayers from all the Lovinggoods.
    Twyla

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  4. Congratulations! She's gorgeous! We are sending our love and tons of prayers! If we can do anything please let us know.

    Jessica Singletary

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  5. WOOHOO!! Congratulations guys! The prayers are coming without ceasing. We're so happy to hear what sounds like a great report given the circumstances. Take care of each other, let us know what we can do to help.

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  6. We are so excited! Clara is just precious can't wait to hold her and love her. This modern age is so wonderful that we can already see her picture. We love you. Everyone at church was so thankful and excited that she is here and doing so well. Shirley and Cedric

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  7. Congratulations! She is beautiful! Isn't it the most amazing thing ever?! Tonight as we prayed over our girls (one in her crib and one in the womb) we also asked God to take care of Clara. We are certain that He has His mighty hand on her. What a gift you have been given today. Praise God.

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  8. She is BEA-U-TI-FUL!!Prayers are being said all over Elberton for you all!! One step at a time, one step at a time...........God is there in each and every step!

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  9. Thank you so much for updating us. Clara has many, many people praying for her, the staff that care for her and for her family. Robert, you and Chrissy have a much larger extended "family" than you ever thought of!
    Joanne

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  10. First off congrats!!! I just found out today that I was expecting a little one!!:) but my prayers and thoughts go out to the family!! Keep your head up and let GOD walk you through this I promise he will help!!! GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

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  11. Thanks for letting us know. She is just beautiful.

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  12. Oh my goodness she is absoulutely a doll!!! Congratulations to you both, I am sending up prayers (with all the tears in my eyes) in hopes that beautiful Clara and Chrissy will have angels around them through this time. So happy for you guys! Stay tough daddy.

    David, Brandi, and Sadie Allen

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  13. Thank you so much for the update. I have been praying non-stop for two days. I am so happy and grateful to God for delivering her to you! She is beautiful, how wonderful that we have her with us on this day.

    Tammy Van Duyn

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  14. She is beautiful and that gorgeous hair . . . This little girl has already had more prayers on her behalf than most children have their entire childhood! We praise God that He has brought you this far and trusting Him for the days ahead. Chrissy, you must have done everything right, she looks so healthy, she certainly looks like a "fighter" !! Continued prayers for the whole family. Much love to all, Diane and Jerry

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  15. It's so nice to see pictures of her! She's lovely! Continued thoughts and prayers from Oregon for all three of you.
    Janice K

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  16. what a beautiful girl! sending prayers and hoping that her CDH journey is a smooth one.
    Joanne (mom to John Michael R-CDH 3/11/07)

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  17. Congratulations!!! I rejoice with you and pray God's blessing and goodness on all who will care for Clara at Baptist. What a comfort to know that she is getting the absolute best care. Chrissy and Robert, she is a beautiful answer to prayer... one I will continue to pray..

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  18. Congratulations, Robert..... the power of prayer is so much more powerful than all the medical snags in the world.
    Us Hunts rejoice with you Hardy's.... and look forward to watching your young lady grow into one of you consistently outstanding Hardys!!

    Mat

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  19. Truly precious! Still praying!

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  20. We are so happy for you and Chrissy. Clara is really beautiful and healthy looking. We will continue to pray for her and for you both. I will let my Bible Study know that she has arrived. We were already praying for her this morning at breakfast and will continure to do so. Rest will be hard to come by for a while but do the best you can.
    Love,
    Annette and Randy

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  21. She is beautiful! Prayers will continue for you, Robert, and Clara. I will not forget the grandparents! Love to you all, Chris N.

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  22. Praise the Lord! She really is beautiful. Praying for a quickly-strengthening set of lungs. Welcome Clara!

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  23. My prayers are with you all. Congratulations on the arrival of your most special family member. Clara, you have a host of folks who have you in our hearts and surround you, your mommy and daddy, and all your family as we call all of you "family," too.

    Susan Borwick

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  24. Congratulations to you and Chrissy on the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Clara Mae!!!!! How precious she is! Remember to Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and HE alone will make the pathways straight! Please know that my prayers will be with your sweet family in the days and weeks ahead! If you need another 24 hour or 48 hour prayer vigil just send out the word! In the meantime I will be sending up good thoughts for you all. Can't wait to meet your sweet miracle.

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  25. Robert, Chrissy, and Baby Clara,

    I have never met you, but am praying for you all just the same. Put your trust in God, He will cradle you all in his loving hands. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Trusting,
    Melissa L. Blunkall

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  26. So excited for you all! She is adorable - what sweet pics. We are continuing to pray for Clara and for all of you. I got a birthday party invitation yesterday for one of Hannah's friends and on the invite it listed the time she was born and it was 5:07pm too. By the way, Chrissy you looked fabulous pregnant - I was impressed you had on a necklace and everything - simply beautiful!
    Love to you all,
    Marissa (Liz's friend and someone who loves and adores the Hardy family)

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  27. Congratulations! She is beautiful and we are sending good thoughts your way. Go Clara go!
    Megan and CDH friend Olivia

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  28. Congratulations on your new baby girl Clara! She looks just wonderful, and a nice strong looking little thing!! I am praying for all to go well in the next days, for Chrissy to heal quickly - you are going to have to!, for Clara's surgery to go well, for Robert to continue to be strong in his faith and in his family! You have a true blessing in your lives, and what a miracle medicine can work!

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  29. I have shared your blog on mine...the more prayers the better! Rely on your faith to help you on the upcoming roller coaster ride. I am praying for your family and especially baby Clara!

    Lisa Razza
    Mom to Ramsey, CDH Survivor, Born 1-12-11
    rootingforramsey.blogspot.com

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  30. Congratulations! Clara looks great! Many prayers for good days and forward steps!!!!
    Hugs,
    Mom to Dakota 12-25-2008
    CDH survivor

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  31. Congratulations and welcome to the world Clara!!! She is absolutely beautiful. Keep fighting precious baby girl. Praying for strong and stable days for your little girl.

    Hugs,
    Tracy Meats, Ian's mom from CHERUBS

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  32. Congratulations Mom and Dad! She's beautiful.
    Ned and Mary Nell

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  33. She's beautiful. Congrats. Sending lots of love and prayers as your journey begins. Hang in there and stay Strong Clara you have so many angels watching over you and your family.

    ~julie
    Mom of Kiernan CDH survivor

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  34. Congratulations, she is beautiful! My daughter was born with CDH in 2007. I am praying for Clara and your family.

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  35. I keep coming back to look at the pictures again and again. She is just right!! I'm so glad she got the curls!!

    Jayne

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  36. Heard about your story from Rooting for Ramsey's blog. Congrats on the birth of your daughter and we will pray she is strong & stable for surgery very soon!

    Shelly Moore from CHERUBS
    Grandma to CDH angel Jayden Gilbert

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  37. Dearest Chrissy,
    I am so glad that a friend sent this to me. I find it hard to believe that one of my favorite kindergarten students is now a new mom. Congratulations to all of you and please know that your little family will be prayed for everyday!
    much love,
    Dee Brown

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  38. Congratulations, Robert and Chrissy!! Clara is a lucky little girl to be born to such awesome parents. I am so happy that our prayers have been answered. We will continue to keep her in our daily prayers, but we have no doubt that Miss Clara will be as strong and beautiful as her mother. Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful pictures!

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  39. She is lovely. God is good and prayers are being answered. She is definitely a miracle from God

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  40. Chrissy,

    I just read about Baby Clara on Jeana Hodge's FB page and came to your blog thinking I was reading about and praying for a stranger's baby...then I realized that I know you from Wake Forest! It's amazing what a small world it is. Clara is gorgeous, and I will continue praying for her, you, and everyone involved in her life.
    I sent this link to Jeana, but I'll give it directly to you, too. It's a blog of a Nashville family with a baby boy with CDH, who was given a poor prognosis, and is now thriving at 2 years old: http://thetuleys.blogspot.com/2008/12/welcome-to-our-blog.html

    Joanie Fraser Poston

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  41. Chrissy and Robert,

    Congratulations on bringing the beautiful Clara into this world and on the joy of hearing her first cries. May you have many more wonderful successes to celebrate!

    Cathy L.

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  42. Congratulations! I'll be saying prayers for you and your family and will keep checking for updates. I'm a follower of rooting for ramsey.

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  43. You guys are so sweet! I thank God for His perfect healing and for perfect precision and wisdom from everyone involved in her medical care. You are all in our prayers.

    Love ya,
    Amanda Lee Orsley

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  44. Praying for all 3 of you. CDH is a terrible disease but there are so many survivors out there. I know this time is so hard for you all, and I pray (and know) that our merciful Father holds you all in His hands and heart.

    Niki Vogler - FCDS

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  45. Praying for all of you and especially sweet Clara. May God give all of you strength. Hugs, love and prayers, Kay

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  46. Hey guys, I wanted you guys to know that I am here for you all. I think of Clara often and pray even more often. She is a beauty and looks like her chubby cheeked dad!!! I know she is a fighter, so perfect on the outside and soon to be on the inside as well. Please know that the road is rocky but the picture that I see is a proud set of smiling parents bringing home their baby girl!!!! Love Always, Kathy

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