Sunday, February 5, 2012

Emmie's Story

 This handsome little guy would like to introduce you all to his 
new baby sister!

Little miss Emmie Marie Cooper!
Born January 6th, 2012
at 11:07pm
5lbs 15oz
18in. long

On Tuesday January 3rd I went to the doctor for my normal belly check appointment around 3:00pm. Everything was measuring and looking normal until the doctor went to listen to Emmie's heartbeat on the doppler. I could tell that something was up because the doctor was spending a lot longer than usual listening, and even I could hear that something didn't sound quite right. The doctor explained a few minutes later that she could hear an arrhythmia in the baby's heartbeat and she would like me to get an ultrasound to make sure everything was alright with the baby. I was scheduled for my ultrasound later that week on Thursday at a hospital across town because it was the only radiology clinic with an opening that week.

Thursday rolled around and I dropped Beckham off with my sister-in-law and headed to my appointment.  Logan had a long break from class that morning so he was able to meet me for the ultrasound. To save some time I'll jump to the end of the ultrasound where we were told that the baby's heart was beating WAY too fast  and they thought that the top part of her heart was beating differently than the bottom half of her heart. I was sent immediately over to labor and delivery for observation and to be seen by a high-risk doctor. They just confirmed what we had seen in the ultrasound and sent me to a different hospital to be seen by a pediatric cardiologist. 

The cardiologist did another ultrasound and diagnosed the baby with an Atrial Flutter. The upper left quadrant of the baby's heart was beating up to 500 beats per minute and the rest of her heart was trying to keep up at around 220-270 beats per minute. I was admitted to the hospital to be monitored and for the doctors to decide what the next step would be. The doctors were considering 2 options. 
1. Begin administering medication through me to slow the baby's heart
2. Deliver the baby and treat her heart condition directly

After about 12 hours of observation the doctors were very worried that the baby's heart wasn't slowing down on it's own. They weren't sure how long she could sustain that high of a heart rate and were worried that she may go into heart failure at any point. Because I was almost 36 weeks along we all decided that it would be best to deliver her and deal with her premature lungs at the same time as her heart condition. 

A few hours later I was all numbed up and ready for a c-section. With Logan by my side Emmie was delivered a few minutes later and we got to hear that wonderful first cry of a newborn. Logan got to cut the cord, I was able to see her cute face for a few seconds and then she was taken to the NICU.  I sat in the recovery room for the next couple hours while Logan came back and forth from the NICU to give me updates. Emmie was stable for the moment so the nurse brought her in to see me and it was the best surprise ever! She couldn't stay with me long but it was so wonderful to see her beautiful face for those few precious minutes, and to give her as many kisses as I could before they took her back to the NICU.

Emmie was placed on a medicine called Digoxin to slow down her heart. She spent the next 15 days in the NICU battling irregular heart rates, eating problems, and the side effects of the Digoxin. It was a very hard and emotional time for all of us. We were so blessed that my parents were able to fly down the day Emmie was born to help us with Beckham and to help me recover from the C-section. I cried the day they left but we were blessed yet again that Logan's mom was able to come stay to continue to help us.

Emmie came home on January 21st and she has been such a wonderful addition to our family. She is the sweetest baby and she sleeps and eats like a champ. She loves to breastfeed which is awesome until we have to give her a bottle. She has to have extra calories added to my breast milk at least 3 times a day so I have to pump, and she has to eat from a bottle which she is NOT fond of! We have a long road ahead of us with her and her fast little heart but we are so lucky to be living here in Phoenix where the are so many wonderful pediatric cardiologists and specialists.

Logan getting to cut the cord

Her first EKG minutes after delivery

 A special few minutes together before she headed back to the NICU

Emmie loved the heaters in her incubator!

Skin to skin time... my favorite!

(UPDATE: Since writing this post Emmie has been to the cardiologist again and has been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. She has an extra little electrical pathway in her heart that is pushing the blood through her heart the wrong way. Her medications were changed  and upped to 3 times a day, and we also monitor her heartbeat several times a day. She is doing really well on her new meds and we take her back to the cardiologist next week.)


  1. She couldn't ask for better parents!!!

  2. What a story..! Wow. You are a strong momma, so glad she's doing better. Keep blogging!

  3. Thanks for the update! What a sweet baby girl! You are such a good little momma.

  4. I can't even imagine what you are going through! She is gorgeous though, and you are such a great mom! Keep up the hard work!!

  5. WOW What a Strong little girl you have been blessed with! I work in a cardiac so I have seen and heard a lot about Atrial flutter and WPW, but not in babies that is a lot for such a tiny babe. What a blessing you live so close to specialist. You guys are in our thoughts and prayers! Also she is adorable, glad you get to have her home!