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Caroline’s Health Update

I can’t thank you all enough for the encouragement, support and prayers in response to my instagram update yesterday regarding Caroline. In a matter of minutes my picture was saturated with uplifting comments that I really needed in those moments. I owe you all a hug. A lot of you asked for updates on Caroline’s tests and a lot of you also asked what the heck happened. It’s still very raw and traumatic for me to recap but I’m going to do my best. And again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for lifting our family in prayer. We’ve never felt so covered in God’s love, healing and protection.

For those of you who just want an update and not all the scary details I highly suggest skipping all except the last paragraph of the following…

I rocked Caroline to sleep at her usual bedtime. She was hungrier than normal so I gave her 6 ounces of milk (she normally takes 4 ounces). I rocked her into a deep sleep, said a prayer over her and tip toed to her crib to lay her down. She didn’t stir – success.


Hours later Matt and I were watching some TV in our living room. This is worth mentioning because it’s pretty uncharacteristic for us as we normally run to our room and collapse into bed much earlier than this. I heard a very brief but frightening scream come from Caroline’s room (which is right off of our family room). It was unlike any scream I’d ever heard but it was just a short burst followed by silence. If I were in my bed I don’t know that I would have responded to her since it was just a short outburst and it seemed she slipped back into her slumber. But for some reason the cry upset me and Matt and I both jumped up to go rescue her from maybe a bad dream?

In less than 3 seconds I was standing over her crib in the dark, gently patting her belly to let her know I was there. Her typical response is to curl up into a ball, roll towards me, make some eye contact and smile. She didn’t do that. I suspected she was in a much deeper sleep so I started to rub her belly a little harder and whisper her name. It was then that I realized her sleep sack was completely saturated in vomit (and so was half her crib – so much vomit) so I hurriedly picked her up to change her. In that moment my heart sank to the floor. Her body was lifeless and collapsed into mine as I put her to my chest. She didn’t squirm or sigh or show any ounce of reflex. Her head had no control and her face crashed into my chest rather than the side of her head. I screamed for Matt to turn on the light and that I thought something might be wrong. We laid her on her changing table and it was then that we recognized she was completely unconscious and not breathing. We screamed her name, shook her a bit (safely) and Matt immediately went into back blows as I called 911. Her coloring went from pale to red to purple.

I was a complete mess on the phone with the 911 operator. I tried to give him all of the information he needed in between my pleads to “please hurry!!!” and screams of “she’s still not breathing!!” He told us to lay her on her back to begin CPR (we took infant CPR prior to Caroline’s arrival). Everything was happening too quickly yet time managed to stand still. It was in those moments that I could hear the comforting sound of sirens approaching our house. The ambulance had arrived in less than 4 minutes. I ran outside screaming for the paramedics to please save my baby and an army of paramedics, firemen and policemen came storming into my house. Each responded as if it was their own child and immediately took over for Matt. At this point Caroline had started taking shallow breaths, opened her eyes but was still unresponsive. The next few minutes were a blur as we were watching the medics care for Caroline simultaneously to giving them all of our information. They loaded her into her car seat and ran her out the front door where there was a stretcher sitting in our front yard. I lost it. Watching your baby’s car seat be strapped to a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance is an image I hope none of you will ever have to see. I rode with her and Matt followed us in the truck.

When we arrived to the emergency room she was immediately taken back to the children’s ER wing and stuck with a thousand needles, monitors, a catheter and a bunch of other wires. She started to cry and it was a relief that I just can’t describe. I’d never been so happy to hear her cry. It meant that she was awake and alert. However, she was also in a lot of pain and it was equally excruciating to watch nurses poke her a million times. Test after test after test was ordered. I can’t even recount everything she went through.

A few hours later we were admitted to the children’s floor where we spent the night. The doctors were really worried about an increased risk for SIDS so they wanted to observe her. We didn’t sleep. Every 15 minutes a nurse or a doctor came in to check vitals, give updates, etc. We were also told by the pediatricians that they hoped to find “nothing” in her tests and that “no answers” was likely the best answer. But we wanted answers! How were we to go back home not knowing why or how this all happened?

We tried to sleep. It was 3 am and we were utterly exhausted. The 3 of us squeezed together on the tiniest couch and Caroline went to sleep on Matt’s chest. When she awoke in the morning she seemed completely normal. She smiled, fussed, took a bottle and played with toys. The doctors ordered several more heart x-rays to be safe but everything came back normal and we were scheduled to be discharged.

Just before we left one of the pediatricians came by and told us that based off of all of the tests the team of doctors on the floor believed Caroline survived a case of SIDS. They speculate she choked on her vomit, screamed out using her last breath and her body shut down to conserve energy, air and relax her tummy muscles so the vomit could go back down (or out). Apparently infants have a remarkable ability to use the air in the body for several minutes and it was by the grace of God that we intervened at those exact moments. They also believe that this was an isolated event that should likely never happen again. We were happy with those answers and even happier to bring our healthy baby home. I swear there was an angel (most likely my mom) who was with her that night and ignited a panic in me to respond to that cry. I am forever grateful to our Lord for healing our Caroline.

Now go squeeze your babies!



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Sparkles and Lattes

Wednesday 16th of September 2015

I am new to your blog, but after reading what is going on with Thomas, I started browsing your blog more. I am so sorry for everything that has happened to your sweet family over the last year. A scare of SIDS, Thomas' eyes, father's cancer, etc. My heart breaks for your family. You are incredibly strong and reminds me to be careful and watch my babies (twin girls). Thanks for the reminder and sharing your story.

Leigh Powell Hines

Saturday 3rd of January 2015

This is such a miracle. I missed all of this when it happened. I am so sorry this all happened to you, but it is such a blessing you were there.


Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

i've been following and decided it was time to stop lurking. this just brought me to my knees. as a mother to a 3 year old and 4 month old, this is always in the back of my mind. if this can bring you any sense of peace, let me tell you this- after i read this, my husband and i took an infant cpr class. we took it before our first was born but decided we needed a refresher. i convinced a bunch of my friends to do this as well or to at least watch a youtube video on it. you not only saved your daughter's life, but you may have saved others that were emotionally affected that decided to take action and be better prepared. so happy she's thriving.

Allie Key

Friday 3rd of October 2014

Reading your story had me crying as I can't imagine having to ever go through this nightmare. I realize it probably wasn't easy to write this and reliving this terrible night over again but as a mother these warnings are eye opening and I appreciate you sharing your story. So grateful to you and your family that everything turned out the way that they did. I believe your sweet girl had an angel watching her as well.


Thursday 25th of September 2014

I am bawling my eyes out as I read this terrifying post with my 2 month old son sleeping on my chest. I can't even imagine that experience. SO scary to have picked her up just for her to go completely limp. OMG I don't even want to think about it. That for sure was your mom watching over you all that night when you and Matt went in to check on her. Ughh this tears my heart. I really am so so glad she is ok and that you were there for her when she needed you most.